I ran today for the first time in 7 weeks. And I ran fast and desperately ~ almost flailing even. And it was pouring rain, which most people probably wouldn’t care for, but it felt soooo good to have water on my face that wasn’t my own tears. It was actually cathartic. You see, I’ve been crying. A lot. And so has my baby.
Yes, my sweet, beautiful, angelic baby Kai seems to have colic. Or as I call it “The C-Word”. A word that has always so terrified me that I would never even linger on it in the baby books, afraid that it would jump off the page and infect my unborn fetus. And now here is my worst nightmare, staring at me straight in the face… and screaming its head off.
When my calm, peaceful, and content baby turned 3 weeks old he started crying. Nonstop. It was so bad that I took him to the doctor 6 days into it, because I just couldn’t look at Kai and believe that he wasn’t suffering for SOME REASON. The doctor is a friend of ours, and after asking me about my medication history (I had just stopped taking my migraine medicine after taking it for weeks) suggested that I take Kai to Starbucks for a big ol’ latte ~ he was sure that Kai was suffering from caffeine withdrawal. At first I was shocked ~ why hadn’t I thought of that? The timing of his crying did closely correspond to the cessation of my medication. Then I was relieved ~ if it was caffeine withdrawal then it would be over soon. Next I was triumphant ~ I KNEW my babies didn’t get colic!
I think I was almost jubilant when I relayed the news to my husband (yes, I could have easily gone down the whole “it’s all my fault he’s suffering because I took Excedrin” road but I made a very conscious choice NOT to go there, because frankly, I couldn’t function without my medication….and that’s that).
Our doctor-friend told us that it would work itself out of his system in a few days and he should be just fine. And guess what? Four days later Kai stopped crying and went back to our calm and content baby. I was so relieved I wanted to shout from the roof-tops “My BABY is better! My baby is BETTER! MY BABY IS BETTER!!!!!!!”
Oh, the profound and utter RELIEF after ten days of hell. Ten days that made me so sympathetic and empathetic to parents (especially sensitive, hormone-ridden mothers) who had to endure this for days and weeks and months on end. Ten days where I seriously considered seeking out medical help and a bottle of pills because I suspected I might have Postpartum Depression. Oh, the absolute, complete, and rapturous (and I admit, somewhat smug) RELIEF. It really was one of the sweetest emotions I’ve EVER had.
Then one week later, Kai started crying again.
And I immediately started crying with him, as I was totally heartbroken to be in this place again. If you’ve never been in this place then you’ll never understand the gamut of emotions it brings out in you. The despair, frustration, anger, helplessness, hopelessness and rage ~ sometimes all in the span of sixty seconds. If you have been there, then you deserve a freakin’ medal ~ the Purple Heart, because living with colic does wound you. Maybe not mortally, but close.
So often in the middle of his crying jags (which for the record don’t come at night for just a couple of hours, but come pretty much EVERY time he is awake, making the whole day a horror movie) I’d picture myself running from the house screaming ~ just running out the front door and leaving it all behind me.
So when I went running today, I ran as if I really WAS running away ~ fast, desperate, and flailing. Perhaps I should have taken it easy as it was my first postpartum run (we shall see how I feel tomorrow!) but at that time I NEEDED to run and run FAST, to at least pretend I was putting it all behind me. A mile into it I started to feel better. Two miles into it I actually started to hear the sound of my inner voice again (which had been so drowned out by the screaming). At the end of my run I asked for the stamina and wisdom to support Kai as he goes through this brief period of time.
Hearing my inner voice (which is always wisest on my runs) and feeling the endorphins gave me the strength to go back home. I even WANTED to go back home. It was actually a blissful drive home and I felt I could handle my horror movie of a day ~ maybe even gracefully.
I came home to a smiling husband and a quiet baby, all swaddled up and sleepy. The crying inevitably started again when Kai awoke, but for the first time in four days I didn’t cry with him. I was even provided with the wisdom to handle his crying in a much different way, a way in which I felt empowered and even graceful (which I’ll share in future posts).
So yes, Kai cried his sweet little head off today, but it was a good day. A day that didn’t end with me feeling broken. I even feel like maybe I can make it through another day. We shall see….
(There’s so much more to say but this post is getting too long. Stay tuned for more of my colic-musings. In the meantime I wish you wisdom, grace, and happy babies.)