It is only now, 2 1/2 months removed, that I am able to write this post. Mainly for fear of jinxing and also to keep those rough rough days as a memory...something that is far in the past.
But I also want to document it and share because its tough but it does get better.
While I was pregnant I had all these images of what life would be like with our baby girl. There was a lot of snuggling, playing, and smiles. Never did it cross my mind that my baby would be colicky. Never. So much in fact that I didn't even contemplate what life would be like with a crying baby. Because my baby wouldn't cry that much. Right.
As a first time mom I will admit I was not prepared for those first few months. Yes, I read books and blogs and everything in between but nothing prepares you for a new baby, let alone a new baby that I lovingly classified as high needs.
I had an amazing pregnancy, I actually really miss being pregnant sometimes. And I also had a great natural labor and birth experience. I was really lucky. And a part of me knew that it couldn't be all blue skies and rainbows. But I didn't know how hard it was really going to get.
From the beginning we had problems with breastfeeding that took a toll on my relationship with my daughter. I didn't get that loving bonding connection from nursing, instead it was screaming and lots of crying for both of us.
But I soon realized that the crying wasn't just tied to being hungry. She started to fight eating, like she was in pain. We found out she had silent reflux. So we put her on medicine. The feeding got better but the crying didn't.
It seemed like all she did was cry. Her happy moments were few and far between. And it was taxing. I was home alone, in my pajamas, not having showered in days with an inconsolable baby. Fun right! Everything I had imagined.
But it would get better. This is only a short time. Its just a phase. All things people would say to me. But I didn't want to hear it because I was in the thick of it. And tomorrow seemed like an eternity away.
I spent most of my evenings after Molly went to bed crying. Crying because I no longer had a life. Crying because I felt like a terrible mother. Crying because my baby wasn't happy. Crying because I was not having the first time mom experience I thought I would. Crying because this was so incredibly hard.
I was afraid to leave the house. Afraid to be that Mom with the screaming baby in a public place with everybody looking as she tried to calm her child. Molly didn't care much for the carseat. Or the stroller. Or the carriers/slings. I felt like I was stuck.
We found a few things that would calm Molly down. Bouncing on the exercise ball was her favorite. And I spent most of my days at home, on the ball, bouncing. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Should I stop for one little second her calm face would turn and the screaming would begin. (I hate the sight of that ball -- ab workouts on an exercise ball will never be the same)
But it would get better. It had to.
Countless emails to the doctor. Hours upon hours spent searching online for answers. Tons of money spent buying this and that hoping it would make her happy. Hoping it would flip the switch. All the while, bouncing. Bouncing to survive.
The 12 week mark came and went. The 3 month mark came and went. The colic stayed. Come on! Everything I read said it would magically go away by now. But it didn't. So we bounced.
And then finally. One day. A breakthrough! We switched her formula to a non-dairy specialty formula and voila! All of a sudden she was happy. Our 20 minutes of happy time turned into hours. She started playing with her toys and rolling around on the floor. A personality started to form that we hadn't seen. Our little girl was changing into a different baby. A fun baby. That was such an amazing transition.
Day by day as she got older more and more of her playfulness and happiness would come out. The bouncing stopped. The exercise ball got put in another room because we didn't need it. Our baby girl was so happy.
They were right. It got better. It passed. We survived.
So for all those moms out there, new or experienced. Don't hate what I am about to say. IT DOES GET BETTER. So hang in there. Try and remember that you are a mother to that baby for a reason. God sent your specific baby to you, and only you because you are meant to raise that child. So hang in there.
Molly is unbelievable. She is more than we ever could have imagined. She makes us so incredibly happy and fulfilled each and every day. Its still hard. It will always be hard. But we are cherishing every moment because time is fleeting and even the good times are just phases.
Disclaimer: I am not saying that a formula switch works for all babies. I also want to make sure that this doesn't come across as though I did not love my daughter in those first months. I did, I loved her very much. It was just a hard time for both of us. One we can look back on as a journey we went through together and now we are on the other side.
If you have any questions please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org