What do you mean my son has colic? Not something a first time mom wants to hear, let’s be honest! When Malakai was born, we did not experience the whole “newborn babies sleep so peacefully for the first two weeks”, thing that we were told about. Nope, not at all. Malakai literally screamed, and squirmed, and struggled to settle, unless he was lying naked on my chest and was being rocked. Which is a bit painful for a mom who is post Caesarean birth.
Our little Malakai would skip naps, and be up for up to six hours straight, screaming and squirming. This would happen every day, every.single.day, I kid you not. Sometimes it would happen during the day, and then almost every night without fail from 12 am until 5 am. It was probably one of the most trying seasons of my life, one that left me feeling shaken, anxious and defeated.
Some baby books define Colic as; being over stimulated. Because your newborn cannot process all the new sights, sounds, smells, and in turn they become frustrated and cry. However, I did everything that all those fancy baby books suggested when it came to the avoiding of over stimulation, and nothing seemed to work. I tried all sorts of things to help with burps, and wrapped him tightly, to not wrapping him tightly, to wrapping him up in a sling against my body, to soothing baths, to singing softly. We tried everything, absolutely everything, and nothing helped.
Colic, can be a means of over stimulation, but Colic also happens when a newborn baby’s digestive track has not matured. Therefore, they are in constant abdominal pain. Which, must be so painful for them! Imagine having IBS , but at an excruciating level! Ouch!
That season of being a new mom with a Colic baby was really tough. Don’t get me wrong, I knew in my heart that I loved my son more than anything. But, man oh man, I thought I was losing my mind. I felt a constant sense of frustration, anger, disappointment, then waves of guilt for feeling all of those things. I felt very anxious, helpless, and slightly depressed. Most days I would cry with him, as I felt so very lonely and so very lost! It was a very dark space to live in. When you feel like you’re in your darkest season, you can’t help but feel lonely and disconnected.
After awhile we took Malakai to a specialist, who taught us special burping techniques to help ease the discomfort. But, ultimately the specialist said that all we could do was wait until his digestive track matured. Which apparently could take a couple of weeks to a couple of months! “Wait it out”, or “Just hang in there”, are phrases that do not sooth or comfort a very fragile and a very anxious mom of a Colicky baby.
Some nights I would hold Malakai tightly, and rock him back and forth out of desperation just to get him to sleep. I hated that I felt anxious, I hated that my newborn baby made me feel scared un-intentionally, I hated that I felt out of control, and that I felt very helpless!
When Malakai was eight weeks old, I sat down after he had finally passed out in my arms. I cried out to God ; “God, why? I can’t do this! Make it stop, please!”. In that moment, I felt a deep sense of peace fill and flood my heart.
Then I felt encouraged by the following words:
“Chin up, it won’t always be easy when raising a legend!
You’re stronger than you know”
I burst into tears and I held Malakai so tightly against my chest. That was a very profound moment for me. It made me realize that there will be some things, some very real things that will happen when raising a child that will be out of our control. Yet, God graces us in and through those seasons. It’s so apparent that when we are raising our children to be all that they need to be, that we too as the parents, and as individuals, go through a refining of our character.
The more we embrace the roller coaster that is parenting,
the more adaptable we become.
A week later, Malakai’s Colic stopped. So after nine weeks of constant screaming, there was nothing. Just a happy baby boy! Plus, as an extra bonus, he started sleeping through the night for atleast 7-8 hours during the night! It felt like a holiday! Sleep had returned! Fast track to two and a half years later, and I look at my son, those early days seem like nothing, more like a faded, blurred memory. Looking back I know that all those tears way back then were all worth it, and I would do it all over again. Those early rocky days, shaped me, refined my character, and it taught me to lean on God like never before.
WHEN DEALING WITH COLIC
1 . CREATE A SUPPORT STRUCTURE
This is very important! Especially for a new mom, and a mom with a Colicky baby! Support structures are friends and family members that swoop in when you feel like you are at your lowest and help carry you when you feel like you don’t have the will power or strength. My family would visit daily, and help rock Malakai so I could sleep or just rest for a bit. I had friends who would message, or phone daily checking in on me. Support structures lift, strengthen, refresh and encourage when you need it the most! Find those people, and let them support you!
2. CRY IF YOU NEED TO – DON’T LET ANGER BUILD
I myself have had moments where the constant frustration would build and build and I would feel the need to explode. In those moments, I knew I had let my emotions build without processing them and dealing with them. I would cry most days, but after a good old cry, I would actually feel a lot better!
3. SPEAK ABOUT IT
Often in darker seasons we tend to keep it all to ourselves, we then suffer in silence. Suffering in silence keeps us isolated and disconnected. Choose people from friends to family members that you feel comfortable with and talk to them about what you are feeling. Sometimes talking things through, brings those hidden thoughts to the light, which in some ways frees you emotionally.
4. SEEK HELP
If you are feeling completely overwhelmed, anxious, or even depressed seek help! Do not shy away or feel prideful to ask for help. Your health and your happiness is important , and your well being will feed into your family.
5 . BE GENTLE AND KIND TO YOURSELF
Forgive yourself for feeling frustrated, disappointed or guilty. Remember you are human after all, and humans have feelings. Create moments for yourself, where you can just breathe, rest and have moments where you just gather your thoughts.
6 . JUST KNOW
Just know that with mother hood you will go through good times, and challenging times, but the good times outweighs the tough days. Just know, that you are doing the best that you can with the situation you are in. Just know that you are the right mom for your child. Just know that you are stronger than you realize and are capable of more than what you give yourself credit for!
Chin up mama, you’ve got this!