Tuesday, January 19, 2010

my colicky baby

Seeing my facebook friends with their cute lil' babies has been reminding me of my own children in their infancy. It really is a very special time, filled with wonder and delight. Everything changes. Partially because of the emotional uplift and the deep bonding, but partially because babies are high maintenance and demand a lot of care and attention.
Of course you know all of this stuff by now.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common side-effects of newly acquired parenthood. Especially for mom. I did what I could for my own 2, but dad's not always enough and that's the way it is sometimes. Sleep deprivation can especially be a strain if a baby is colicky. For everyone. It's pretty common, but it can be even more hellish.
The colicky phase usually ends by 3 or 4 months, but can start anytime after birth.

My first was a colicky baby. Cerridwyn (or 'Dwynna' for short) didn't sleep through the night until she was 4 months old. We dealt with it pretty well, mainly because she was our first and we had no idea what to expect. Being new parents we kind of expected anything and everything. As far as we were concerned it was all wonderful.
Of course one of the inherent obstacles in putting a colicky daughter down to nap was lulling her to sleep, laying her in her crib and leaving the room quietly. Simply putting her in her crib awake was not an option. She would scream to the point of exploding. So if we could manage this much, it ensured everyone's chances of undisturbed sleep.

Unfortunately we lived in an old house with creaky floorboards, and doing this was next to impossible.
I would cradle her in my arms while feeding her, swaying steadily while seated in the rocking chair in her nursery. When she was out I would slowly stand and lie her down in her crib, carefully replacing the milk bottle with a pacifier, in mid-suckle, as to not disturb the rhythm.
If that went alright I would quietly tip-toe out of the room, carefully avoiding the known creaky spots on the floors. Once I made it out of the room and closed the door I was home free.
The scenario was almost identical to the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If I could not replace the idol with a fake nipple, and tip-toe around the nasty spots, then 7 gates of hell would break loose.
And I would spend an eternity in that chamber.

Sometimes it did seem like an eternity.
And both of us would end up falling asleep in the rocking chair.

..She's going to be sweet 16 this October.

It does go fast, friends, so enjoy it as much as you can.
respectfully yours in parenthood,

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