Thursday, August 16, 2012

Colic is the Devil

My sweet little M&M has developed colic over the past few weeks. I'd say it truly started around week 7. She's just over 9 weeks today. And this, my friends, is no "gassy" stomach...

What we are dealing with here is 3+ hours of on and off crying in the evening, most days of the week. Additionally, it has started to creep into our morning and afternoon as well. We have tried everything: probiotics, gripe water, the "5 S's" from the Happiest Baby on the Block book, wearing her, keeping her at the breast. We've even started reflux meds in hopes that this might be some of the cause.

But deep down inside, I do believe that this really has not much to do with reflux or the gas we hear coming from her from time to time... I think it's just her sweet little body is not quite ready to handle all the stimulation that she is so very interested in in this new world, and we just have to ride the wave and hope she grows out of it soon.

Tidy is in our "dark room" right now rocking her with white noise by her ear. (It's our office, that we've moved the baby swings into. It has the only light blocking shades in the house, so we use it as a place to help them nap... thus the "dark room"). He's better at consoling her than I am (Which also breaks my heart, on top of the already breaking heart from all of the crying. I think he has to really tune into her and figure out what she needs, where as I just use the breast... it's a magic weapon, sometimes.

But colic not only is sad for the baby, it is breaking our hearts, making our nerves frazzled, having us take precious time away from the Bean Burrito somewhat, or at least not be able to give him as much attention since M&M needs so much right now. I hope he will forgive me. He's such a sweet soul.. so happy and calm. I guess I'm quite thankful they are both not suffering from this.  She's such a sweet little soul too. She's got the most precious smile and she can break your heart in an instant. But the crying... the blood curdling crying...

Our nights are robbed of time together too. We go back and forth from helping to soothe her, communicating via text messages across the house. "I need a break"... "Can you bring me some water?"... "Will you make dinner?"

When will this end? 2ish weeks has seemed like an eternity. Yet another time that I want to scream at the "fair" keepers in the world (which I know don't exist). I want to say to them, "Why the fuck did this happen too? 5 years to get these babies, C-section infection and now a colic-y baby? Why can't we just enjoy this and have things go smoothly for once". Yes, I say that in my head a few times over and let it out. But I know we will get through this and I know that I am still blessed to have these beautiful lives in ours.

I'd better go relieve Tidy. He's been a trooper tonight, consoling not only M&M, but also me, the wife who is struggling not to cry right along with her.



Amy said...

6 months was the magic time for our duo.

Mags said...

Hang in there mama. There is definitely a reason the saying is, "the days are long, the years are short." It does feel awful and endless and so very tough, but it will get better and you will all sleep someday. And then there will be something else to try your patience :)

Heather said...

Oh boy. I can certainly relate. E was soooo fussy in the beginning. Part of it was an oversupply issue I was dealing with (fussy at the boob, green poos), but I think part of it just his personality. It was so rough though. For us it lasted until he was more mobile (thankfully he was ahead on those milestones), so it got better around 4 months and was gone by 5. Evenings were the "witching hours" at our house too. :-(

Hang in there. It seems like an eternity now, but time passes quickly and she'll be better soon.

DR said...

dear tippy, my little boy was colicky too, it was awful. i cried, i was so scared to be alone with him (when my husband was working). but it passes...they say as a rule of thumb (use actual due date to calculate age) that it peaks at 6 weeks and is gone by 12 weeks. i found this to be true with my baby who was born at 37 weeks. the best is to do what you are doing, ride the wave and hand off the baby to each other a lot so that each person does not lose their cool. i would sometimes cry and chant to myself, i love my baby, i love my baby...because as hard as it was i had to remind myself how much i wanted this baby. and yes...there will soon be a day when colic seems trivial...but other worries take their place, colds, teething, eating...hang in there xxxx d.

Gurlee said...

It will pass, be gentle with yourself. I had so much guilt around being frustrated with Cullen's unwillingness to sleep because of my IF experience, i thought I was so ridiculous for being frustrated after all I went through to have him. Babies can be hard, it is okay to cry along with M&M. Cullen's sleep issues started right when he started to pay attention to the world, the overstimulation sent us all for a loop. I think a lot of babies experience difficulty around the 9, 10, 11 week mark. Happily, we seem to be passed the issues. Sorry to relate back to myself so much in the comment but my point is that it sucked for us and now it is better. Hang in there good mama!

grkanga said...

Colic is tough, your baby hurts. BUT, she believes crying will mean someone will be there for her and rock and hold her in her pain. What a HUGE statement of faith in her parents. Some babies in pain do not cry, they have given up and that is far worse. M&M believes in you, your support and love.
What is hardest to believe in is that this will pass and a year from now you will have two toddlers with wide open arms, hands and mouths. Keep the faith. The minutes are VERY Long when your baby is in pain, but this first year of amazing changes and growth will fly by surprising you when it is gone.
old ca grandmother

KC said...

Kathleen, you are doing everything right. It is so difficult when you have a little one that won't settle and nothing seems to help. We had a similar situation where one of our boys was "fussy" (it never seemed like the right word because we knew he was uncomfortable and not just being difficult) but couldn't figure out what it was. I think it is good that you are listening to your intuition and understanding that she is probably overly stimulated. In our case I believe Fynn was overtired because he too was fighting sleep to observe everything around him. Once we got the sleeping thing down (well this is a constant process) he was less "fussy". To be honest though he is still more vocal and he lets us know when he isn't happy. I too had guilt for Hudson because I felt like he always had to wait for our attention but he really didn't seem to notice. I always joke that we will have to buy Hudson and car when he turns 16 to make up for the "neglect". For us things seemed to settle down around 14 weeks (when they started sleeping through the night). I believe that the extra sleep helped.
I laughed when I read that you and hubby text each other because we are constantly doing that, and our house is tiny. In the first 3 months we really relied on each other and we used the divide and conquer approach.
In addition to the dark room and white noise Fynn loved the car seat. I think he felt safe and secure and it calmed him down so when he was really fussy we strapped him in and rocked it back and forth. It seemed to instantly sooth him. Whatever works, right!
Anyways, it get easier and you guys are doing so well with it. We never had a 3 hour crying stretch, our longest was an hour straight and I thought I would loose my mind. I bawled my eyes out and felt helpless. We took turns because it was so emotionally exhausting.
Take care and it gets easier, I promise!

blabla said...


blabla said...

My now 4 month old has/had colic. Hoping we're on the tail end of it now. It was not fussiness or gassiness (though she was gassy). She was diagnosed with reflux at 12 days old but didn't get colic til 4-5 weeks. It was different. Frantic. Crazy. A new octave of screaming. Please believe me when I tell you Bay leaf tea works. Heat 8 ounces of water to boiling. Put in one spice islands brand bay leaf (we accidentally used another brand and it lost effectiveness). Hold the leaf underwater with a spoon for exactly 2 minutes then remove leaf. Add two tablespoons dark brown Karo syrup (we tried agave and it lost effectiveness). Put 3 or 4 ice cubes in an 8 or 9 ounce bottle (we use 9 ounce Tommee Tippee anti colic) and let m&m drink an ounce before every meal. We were doing marathon scream fests and this changed our life. Bay leaf oil is an old school treatment for lots of things. The recipe was given to my great great aunt. Please. Seriously. This tea + ready to feed hypoallergenic formula + gas drops at every feeding and my baby is so peaceful now.

Erin said...

My boy/girl twins were the same way! My daughter had colic and acid reflux and I felt like I was not giving my son as much attention. They are 6 months now, and you would never know we use to have problems! Three months was when my daughter grew out of it. All the advice people mentioned above, we also did. The only thing I also suggest is a children's chiropractor. I am in no way into holistic health, but I swear by this! The chiropractor said my daughter's back and neck were "out" and adjusted her about once a week. After her adjustment she was so calm that evening. I guess when there are two babies in the belly, their spine can become misalligned! She also takes prevacid for the acid which helped so much better then zantac (not sure what your baby is on.) Mine started sleeping through the night at 10 1/2 weeks and this also helped a lot. I wish you much luck and just remember this will ALL be a memory soon!

ebg said...

I have nothing helpful to say except that you will survive, and you're a great mother, and M&M will survive all of the screaming without remembering a moment.

Colic is the worst. It's absolute torture for everyone. It will go away and you'll someday be telling someone else that they'll survive, and they're a great mother, etc... but in the meantime it is a brutal, awful test of your endurance.

So Sorry!

Holly said...

Hi Tippy,

I just found your blog tonight, but boy can I relate to what you're going through (unfortunately). My daughter was a bit colicky and fussy, but my son was SUPER fussy. I had no idea how exhausting, frustrating, and lonely colic could be! The 5 S's did work well for us, but only to get him to sleep...there were still all the waking hours of the day to contend with.

Sammy was grumpy constantly. He cried and screamed and fussed every waking moment until he was 6 weeks old, then just cried and fussed until he was 3 months old. Then he continued to be 'high maintenance', but that's another story :)

Hang in there! I didn't have twins, but I do know the feelings of guilt and sadness over feeling like you're neglecting your older children.