Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Two Cents

The best advice given to me was to take breaks during the crying. How much you are able to do this will be a reflection of the resources you have at your disposal. Best case scenario, you can do tag team parenting and switch off during the episodes. You may also be able to garner help from friends and family. This will allow you to actually leave the house which is optimal.

However, I have met a lot of people with really unhelpful partners and they are pretty much on their own as far as dealing with the crying. Or you maybe like me with a great partner, but one that works a lot.

I can’t stress enough the importance of not pushing yourself to the edge with this. In Weissbluth’s book I learned that babies with colic are statistically more likely to become victims of shaken baby syndrome than their calmer counterparts. You are a hero just for being a parent, don’t be a martyr as well. Its not good for you or your child.

My sister in law had two babies with colic, and she also had what I will call a tremendously unhelpful husband. She swears by the Baby Einstein videos. It was the only time her children wouldn’t cry.

Also, if you have to, put the baby down in a safe place and go call someone who isn’t upset. I know this is really simple advice, but can difficult to remember when you are in the middle of an all night crying spree. Also, having a baby with colic can feel like being in crisis situation, a 3 month 911 call, and it is easy just to keep going. I found that it was difficult to check my mental status during that time. Days of crying would go by and I kept thinking, “I am doing ok. I can handle this.” It wasn’t until the kitten would knock something over and I would want to kill her that I realized that I was losing it.
Talking to someone for a few minutes can really help you get your perspective back so you can go back to your child with a calmer mindset.

I also prayed – a lot.

In the end, I realized though I couldn’t always calm my baby, that by holding him and rocking him and walking him outside, I was giving him the message that though I couldn’t always fix what was wrong, I would always be there for him.

I have one last story about this. When my baby was at his most delirious cranky self, it was a week that my wife was working nights at the hospital. Those weeks were always hard on me because my wife slept through the day and worked at night, so I never got a break. After several days of this, my foot hold in reality started to slip. I just had to get away from his incessant crying and I was feeling really resentful at my wife for not being there.

I was walking in the Forest Hills Cemetery, for the hundredth time with the baby in the Baby Bjorn when I started to plan my escape. I was going to run away to the Hilton. There would be tv, food and I could sleep. I would bring the breast pump and Fedex the milk home. I’d come back when I was a little bit more appreciated.

Some minutes past, and I realized, this was a pretty crazy plan. So when my wife woke up, I calmly handed her the baby, and told her I needed a break. I went and got my nails done instead. The best part was, turns out the manicurist was a lesbian and her son had colic when he was a baby. Here name is Gloria and she works at Center Cuts in Rosie Square. She gives a mean French manicure, and I recommend her.

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