This is the first post in a series of posts I will be writing about our experience with Colic and how we dealt with it.
Both ankle biters had severe milk allergies, I have written about this before. It took away those enjoyable precious first few baby months. It wasn’t just this that took them away it was also Colic.
Colic started when both babies were around 4 weeks old and continued until they were 5/6 months old. We would dread 5 pm because 5 pm meant screaming crying non-stop for 3 maybe 4 hours. I remember I would make sure everything was done by 5 pm the bottles, dinner, bed clothes ready the lot. As once it started that was it we were trapped under a screaming baby until exhaustion would finally get the better of them.
James would get in from work around 5 pm and the screaming would have already started by then. He would be greeted by me frantically walking up and down the lounge rocking the baby. Of course, straight away he would take over doing whatever he could to ease and soothe the crying. Both babies would cry so much they would be almost purple and hold their breath crying. It is a cry I will never forget, it’s ingrained.
We would take it in turns to eat our tea as quick as we could then switch holding the baby in shifts. I remember some days would be too much and I would be rocking the baby and the tears would be rolling own my face. I would think why us ? Why can’t we have a happy baby ? Is there something seriously wrong with our baby ?
Things got really hard the second time around with Frankie as we now had a typical 15 month old to keep entertained too. He didn’t understand why Mummy couldn’t cuddle him. She was cuddling his sister non stop but couldn’t always instantly cuddle him. I felt everything was rushed dinnertime , bath time , story time as we had to get Archie to bed quickly to then endure another few hours of screaming.
James would end up driving the babies around the town or take them on a mountain drive. This gave me enough time to rush around cleaning and preparing for the next day. The days on my own were so hard. I used to get that feeling in my stomach when James was getting ready for work. Sometimes I would plea with him not to go and feel so much anger when he walked out the door.
I used to clock watch around 5pm for him getting home and 10 minutes late would feel like hours as I had waited for 5pm all day and him getting home all day. As it wasn’t just the colic in the evening both babies pretty much cried all day due to the milk allergies and only slept for 30-40 minutes at a time.
I used to resent James for going to work as he could get away from it and not have to listen to the crying on and off all day , he could eat lunch and drink coffee in peace and chat to work mates. Sounds bad I know but living with a baby crying day in day out majorly takes it toll on your life and relationships with everyone. I was snappy and short with everyone and had no interest in anything but getting through the day.
When the screaming finally stopped each night at 9pm , it was like a switch would turn it off just like that you could set your watch to the start and end time. I used to stare at them so peacefully asleep and cry tears of relief that they were at last settled and happy. We both just used to collapse on the sofa and fall asleep , waking for the next wake up.
I’ve said this before but I really didn’t enjoy the baby phase and wished and counted down the days for them to reach 6 months. Everyone said it would be easier by then and the colic would pass, they were right it did.
I used to see Mum’s out and about and at baby groups. Their babies were so happy and content and slept in the pram while we had a coffee. I always had to have a baby on my chest , trying desperately not to tip coffee on them. Not really listening to what everyone was saying and just nodding and smiling politely.
I still feel absolutely gutted that we missed out on so much happiness and joy in those first few months. Don’t get me wrong I loved my babies but just did everything I could to survive and get through. Colic did really break us as people for a while. I feel I am still fixing myself and recovering from it two years down the line. This is also the reason we will never have another baby as we could never go through that again physically or mentally.
The good news is they do grow out of it , it has no lasting effect on them and they grow in to delightful little toddlers!