When my son was born, I thought that the emergency c-section was going to be the toughest part.
I remember I called our moms and said I was going in for delivery early, my son’s heartbeat was irregular and my OB didn’t want to wait any longer.
That was terrifying.
Memories of the aftermath of my c-section, still scare me now.
I know some women jump up and exercise 4 days after their c-section. I wasn’t one of them. It took me about two weeks until I could start walking around.
Feeding my son and changing his diapers were a piece of cake. Bathing him…well, I didn’t have the hang of.
For three weeks my son’s extraordinary grandmother helped me learn to be a new mother. She fed me, helped me bathe and walk when I couldn’t on my own. It was as though Adam sensed when she was leaving because as soon as she left for the airport, Adam’s colic came in full force and with a vengeance.
We were blessed with a beautiful and healthy boy, who otherwise was a joy. He ate well, he pooped well (when you become a parent, your kid pooping well is kinda joyous).
Our son was perfect. But, he cried, and he cried and he cried and he never slept. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad, if our closest family wasn’t a 3-hour flight away.
Back in Canada, our son had two aunts, and two uncles that could watch him anytime I would ask, and I would have gotten breaks to sleep.
We weren’t in Canada, we were in Kuwait. We were ALONE and exhausted.
Alone in Colic
How did we manage?
I remember my husband and I lived in shifts.We only took turns sleeping. Turns showering turns eating…we lived in turns.
Our son would cry, and not sleep. When he did stop crying to sleep, it would last about 20 mins. Sleeping 20 mins every 3 hours on and off was vomit inducing. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is considered torture, I’ll look that up later.
Even as I write this (Adam is currently napping) I get teary-eyed because it was hard for us, but I think of how much the poor little guy must have been suffering. That itself is gutting. Everyone would tell me, it’s okay, he’ll grow out of it by the time he is 3 months old.
So I waited, patiently, but not without tears.
The saying, “Sleep when your baby sleeps” made me want to cry anytime anyone said it to me. I wanted to yell, “But that’s when I can eat! If I sleep when he sleeps I’ll starve to death. Would you like me to starve?”
It was overwhelming. I wanted to yell and scream, “No one told me about this part!!!” No one told me that he would constantly cry and not let me sleep, and not sleep himself.
Why didn’t anyone tell me this?
I counted the days until Adam turned 3 months old…only it had gotten worse.
Unlike most babies with colic whose symptoms fade around the 3-month mark, my son’s symptoms did not fade until he was almost a year old.
When our son was 9 months old we were back in Toronto visiting family on summer holiday. There was always someone to take care of Adam, and of course, now that there were other people around, Adam made sure to make me look like a complete fraud and behaved like the most wonderful sleeper. He suddenly started to wake only once a night, and go right back to sleep without much assistance.
I didn’t care I looked like a fraud because I was getting almost 6 full hours of sleep a night for the first time in almost a year.
It did pass, just like everyone said it would. It doesn’t mean it was easy.
I don’t have any tips or tricks. I just wanted to share my experience with you all, in case one of you is up at 3 a.m. reading this because the baby won’t stop crying, and your sleeping sitting in a chair holding them.
As someone that lived through it for almost 9 months, I promise you, you will get through this. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself and cry about it here and there as well.
I feel for you and the silent tears that run down your cheek when you feel too tired to eat. And yes, this will pass. But it doesn’t mean what you are going through right now is not some of the most challenging days of raising a baby.
Just know, you are not alone in this. In the meantime, check out this link for some tips.