Babies cry but…

Is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?

Isn’t that just one big mother of a question right there?!  It’s huge!  I love this question!  I‘ve been asked this question and would like to share with you why, why I’ve been asked and why I love it.  Now if you read my blog but don’t follow me on Twitter then the last time I really blogged about my life as a new mum to Baby G was her birth story post however if you were following me on Twitter back in November & December you would have definitely been aware of some dark times here at Lancaster Towers, you may even have heard some crying and if passing seen floods of tears flowing from the door!  We are now in a good place and Baby G is a delight but for a while there things were seriously, seriously tough.  I mean like proper “considering-going-back-to-work-full-time-and-getting-a-nanny” tough!

Baby G is 15 weeks old now, so here’s a quick rundown of how those first few months with two have been. 

The first three weeks with two

Weeks 1, 2 & 3  At the beginning all was good with Baby G, breast feeding well, waking once or occasionally twice in the night to feed, sleeping most of the time.  Lil’ H adoring of his new sister but he was struggling with the change to his family unit.  His night time sleep went out the window.  My poor little guy desperately trying to make up his mummy time at night I think.  He went from sleeping through the night from being just a few months old to waking multiple times a night.  As a result of his poor sleeping his tiredness saw his behaviour spiral downhill.  Desperate to not be telling him off but everyone’s shattered, patience and best intentions have left the building and he’s being, well frankly naughty, so guess what?  He was being told off and frequently and that just made me so sad.  I kept thinking I did this to him, I knew this was all his emotional reaction to the change,  I now know and can see how hormonal a time it was too.  So positive mummy time dropped to an all time low and we spent the best part of a month in one very hideous viscous circle!

Farewell sleep, hello colic

Weeks 3-8           I had a moment of clarity amongst the fug of breastfeeding tiredness and could see the number one way to make some improvements was to tackle H’s sleep.  Bottom line was we wouldn’t be tolerating this if G hadn’t arrived so it was time.  There were two issues firstly he wouldn’t go to sleep by himself, insisting mummy/daddy stayed or he’d be out of bed and out the door.  Then there was the night waking multiple times a night.  I prioritised the night waking on the grounds it would have the biggest positive impact on his tiredness and therefore his behaviour.  We got the stair gate out and put on his bedroom for the first time ever and used aromatherapy and Indigo child essences (both which I still use).  During the day I introduced “The Sleep Fairy” and her chocolate coin incentive programme!  The premise was simple, Mummy had called the sleep fairy, she would watch over Lil’ H and if he slept in his bed all night she would leave a chocolate coin.  Lil’ H and I made a reward chart by drawing and cutting out and sticking on pictures and photographs a reward chart.  It has been invaluable to have a photo of Hugo asleep in his bed, he so clearly understood what we were asking him to do.  He loves going on the little steam train at Brookside so a straight week of sleeping in his own bed and a ticket to ride he would have! 

First night – when it came to bedtime I stayed with him whilst he went to sleep, 2am he woke, crying “Mummy” and rattling the gate, joy!  I went to him hugged him over the gate told him he was safe and told him to go back to bed.  He didn’t, I did.  I then simply spoke to him through the monitor and said Mummy would scare the sleep fairy away if she came into his room.  This was met by silence!  Quickly followed by the pitter patter of feet back into bed!  The sleep fairy came and left a coin and a very proud and not so tired boy awoke the following day.  Night 2 similar but I never went to him just spoke to him.  Night 3, the wheels fell off and I had to go into him and but of course there was no coin from the fairy in the morning L That was that though, the fairy came for three weeks and then had to be “dismissed”.  Which we did by her leaving a chocolate coin, a special present and a magic fairy wand, this is important because if we need to call the fairy back which we have had to a few times we use the wand when we are going to bed and ask her to help H sleep in his own bed.  To date it has been very effective – the Sleep Fairy and her chocolate coin incentive programme rocks! 

During all this Baby G had been a dream, breastfeeding well, sleeping well, napping well.  Toddler sleep issues resolved, make way for Baby crying issues.  It came from nowhere when G was about 3 weeks old this crying started late afternoon say about 4:30pm ish and I would get her to sleep, like to totally floppy arm asleep, put her down and seconds later eyes wide open hysterical screaming.  It was colic.  That was my worst nightmare a baby with colic and it just got worse.  It was for a few hours in the early evening which go longer ‘til it was pretty much 6 hours straight ‘til 10:30pm when she’d be fed and go to sleep and then be put down exhausted.  Then it started to start earlier and earlier and earlier and eventually it was ALL DAY.  I timed it to go to the doctors one day she cried for 5 hours between 9:30am and 4:30pm and solidly without sleeping from 4:30pm until 10:30pm.  Baby G cried for just over 11 hours that day and that was a “regular” day.  She didn’t feed well, she cried, got wind, her tummy hurt, she cried more – yet another vicious circle.  I had the infacol, the Colief, the gripe water, the Gaviscon, the massage pad, a pal on Twitter was sending reiki, the white noise of the hairdryer was rescued with a white noise CD (which is great and we still use).  I’d cut out wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol, I’d seen breast feeding consultants and tried most bottles (Baby Born Free have all the latest on BPA Free, were hugely supportive and deserve a thank you!)  But Baby G was still crying it was getting worse if anything, if something did work it almost never worked again there was no consistency, no pattern, preferences or routine were emerging.  My hair was going greyer I swear visibly by the day, the stress lines were deepening and arriving at a pace.  I didn’t want to go out, it was so exhausting and difficult to visit other people, I was frightened she would just scream the place down, family or good friend or not I didn’t want to be observed struggling with my Baby.  I was in yet another very hideous spiral, this time one of very real and total panic.  Life felt like a tent with no pegs in a hurricane.  I don’t believe any child is “easy” they all have their moments and challenges and it just might not be whilst they are babies but it was only now that I understood what all the conversations I heard amongst my ante & post natal groups with H were about.  Only now did I “get it”, this was the nightmare they were all going on about!

Week 8                 By the time Baby G was eight weeks old she had the six week check, all was well, I’d been prescribed the gaviscon and I had returned twice because “my baby cries all the time”.  I wasn’t dismissed to say I was would be unfair, Baby G was checked out and I was told she was fine, it would pass but to come back if I continued to be worried.  I was worried, worried it might never stop, even my mum started to say “do you think there is something wrong with her?” Family and friends would visit – arriving with their knacks, tricks, secrets, songs and rhymes and declare “oh give her to me I’ll settle her.”  Part of me is proud of G that without exception she saw everyone off and didn’t settle for a single one of their secret-special-fail-safe baby–charms!  I had seen an osteopath when I was pregnant and I had taken Baby G along when she arrived.  I was back there on an emergency appointment to see if anything had changed or could be helped or preferably fixed.  I was running out of routes to explore, next step was going to have to be… I was all out I didn’t have an next step – wait until she was 12 weeks old and allegedly all this colicky screaming would stop that 12 week milestone was a lifetime away.  The osteopath was just lovely and listened and examined Baby G, placed her hands on her head and said, almost immediately, “this baby has an ear infection”.  In my heart of hearts I didn’t really think I’d get an answer from going to the osteopath, I was just dealing with such an alien situation it made me feel better to be doing something, doing anything, I just wanted her to stop crying.  “This baby has an ear infection” I was blown away there was a possible answer, now I feel guilty that wasn’t on my radar as an option, could I have know?  Should I have know?  Oh my God I could have an answer and one that is treatable – I was excited, inappropriately pleased my baby might have an ear infection because if she does we can treat it and she won’t be in pain and she won’t be crying for unknown reasons anymore.  Baby G had her a full osteopathic “MOT” and treatment and then we headed straight back to the doctors.  I called en route as it was gone 5pm telling them I wanted someone to look in my baby’s ears tonight.  The doctor looked in her ears and confirmed.  Calpol and antibiotics were prescribed.  Calpol and 20 minutes later I had a different baby.  We had seen her smile before but we didn’t see it very often, we didn’t know that she is a smiley girl and she is.  Just look!

Happy smiley girl

Best friends are allowed

So that is why my best friend asked me “is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?” I love that question because I knew the answer without thinking, I love the fact that I knew without stopping for a nano second, I love the fact that the question made me really think about the first few months with Baby G.  I love that question because it says so much about the strength and openness of both our friendship and the people my best friend and I are.  It’s a friendship I am incredibly proud of .

So what is the answer to the original question “is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?”  The answer is simple “No” but there are far fewer moments to recognise, reflect and feel that love because all of the attention that is demanded and exhaustion created by the crying.  It is harder to have those moments of calm and quiet and it is those moments when you gaze at your sleeping baby and get to experience rush of love for your child flood over you.

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16 Comments

Filed under Personal & Family, Uncategorized

16 responses to “Babies cry but…

  1. Aaaw what a cute pic and great post

    I really sympathise with the crying…Baby Belle suffered from Colic from 3/4 weeks until 3months old. I have forgotten how hard it was now but I know it was! Still think it was just bad wind but you never really know 100%.

    Thanks for doing this post because I always wonder how I’ll cope with a 2nd and I really want another soon but just not sure how it all works out lol. I am so used to just have BB!

  2. I guess the question is not if its harder to love them but if it takes more out of you

    Babygirl being rather high needs has made it really tough for me – there have been times when I’ve been very close to the edge but we’re getting there

    And hey nothing wrong with going back to work full time and having a nanny …

  3. LOVELY POST! Really it is. And G is blimmin lovely. And praise to that osteopath xxx

  4. I am sat here in floods of tears. Maxi was a coliccy baby, infact it was horrendous. He was my first, I didnt know what to expect the only people I knew with babys were my NCT antenal group and there babys were nothing like maxi, they would offer to hold him and give him back 2 mins later as they couldnt stop the cries.

    In desperation we went to an oesteopath and she was a life saver, diagnosed a tongue tie that we had no idea of and also helpped with feeding, after 4 sessions maxi was a differnt baby.

    I also had one to one baby massage lessons with him and it helpped me form the bond with him, as he laughed and smiled, all I had heard previously was cries. I used to walk round with headphones on pushing him in the pram down lanes crying too.

  5. Jaysus had no idea it had got so difficult which is a note to *actually* read my feeds in my Google Reader. N has cried more in her 9 months than S has in 2.5 years. November was horrendous and like you we had a problem with S playing us up at night. The boyf and I both became like zombies and then we had to get tough. She’s gorgeous and glad you got it all sorted by following your instincts. Hugs xx

  6. Emily O

    It’s good you’ve got through it now, and thank goodness the problem was found and she wasn’t suffering any more! Lovely pic of her by the way. My second son had colic for his first 10 weeks and it was completely horrendous. His worst time was 7pm – 1am but he was bad in the day too. Most of his crying was inconsolable. I know what you mean about lack of understanding and support, whenever I told health visitors about it I just got the standard reply ‘that’s what they do’. Baby girl has got a bit colicky in the evenings (6 weeks old today) in the past few weeks. She was crying 7pm – 10.30pm but these past few evenings it’s been until 12.30am. It’s tough at the moment, I just know it’s fairly short-lived. Luckily she’s quite good in the day and she can be consoled most of the time too. Why do we have them? ! In answer to your question we don’t love them any less. Maybe we should be reassured that a lot of this behaviour is ‘normal’ !

  7. Lovely post Claire,
    I think Baby G’s colicky time was when we first met up on Twitter and I could tell you were exhausted and upset.
    I totally sympathise with your situation. My 2nd baby girl had colic for 4 months and just cried and cried and cried. And so did I. It is so debilitating, and especially hard when you have a toddler around to love and care for too.
    I wish I had gone to an osteopath with Molly, I’m sure she would have benefited hugely from it, I think my head was so befuddled I just took each hour at a time and got through it that way.
    As for the question ‘is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot” I would state categorically NO. If anything, the experience brings you closer; a mother’s instinct is to protect and soothe. I remember feeling how it was my job to make sure my desperate little bundle understood that despite everything she was safe and not alone and that somehow we would get through it together.

    Thanks for talking about this, it has a massive impact on so many newborns and their families, and the worst thing for new parents is that the medical professionals seem to be at a loss as to what colic really is.

    So glad your Baby G is smiling now. She’s gorgeous!

    Anne xx

  8. Alaina

    You ARE an amazing mum. You survived and loved your beautiful little girl through some tough sounding moments (and wisely followed your instincts to continue searching for answers), and treated your son with the most gorgous and reassuring sort of love only a great Mum could.
    Currently feeling like I could have done with this to read appox 1 yr and 8 months ago.

    X
    Please plant a big kiss on that little girls check – she is super sweet.

  9. Like I said on Twitter today, I had no idea it was so bad. How on earth did you get through it without cracking up. Zachary doesn’t cry much unless he’s hungry/tired etc and the odd days when he has cried more I’ve found really tough so god knows what 11 hours crying must be like. I guess you just keep on going… I take my hats off to any 2nd time mums, I imagine it must be so, so hard to suddenly have to care for two little people.
    You must have been so relieved when the osteopath diagnosed the ear infection. Hopefully you have been through the toughest part now and things will only get better. Starting with a holiday, in what, 50 days time now?!

  10. Bec

    Ears are a funny and misdiagnosed/missed entirely thing.
    I had an awful patch with Monty probably on and off 18 months/26 months ish, a long patch!
    His nasal speech was picked up at his 2 yr check and lo and behold a hearing specialist and ENT app later (6months waiting!!!) – GLUE EAR, explains so much!
    I can empathise, you love them so much but the constant crying drowns everything out. xxx

  11. Oh bless her, what an adorable smile! I totally agree with you – No 1 Son was a nightmare but my love for him was immediate and has only grown stronger and stronger x

  12. Walters' World

    She’s as adorable in real life as the picture here – you must be proud mummy!!!

    J had colic 5-16wks old – total sympathy – makes you wonder what on earth has gone wrong.

    Cranial Osteopathy gave me back a ‘new baby’ – 4 sessions, £100 gone – but hey, I would have paid a £million!

    xxx

    PS – you’ve managed to cover the grey hair better than I have 😉

  13. She is gorgeous. I have to say I hadn’t realised it was that bad – I knew she was colicky, but not to that extent. I honestly can’t imagine how I would cope with that. I suppose I would, as you just have to, don’t you? But, though Rosemary needed lots of attention as a baby, there was never really a point where she cried inconsolably – a cuddle, a rock, some food, a walk… there was always something that would work. The idea of not being able to stop your baby from crying is actually quite frightening to me, so to actually go through it must be a million times worse. We are clearly very fortunate in Eleanor – she really is an ‘easy baby’ (much as I hate that term).

    Well done for coming through that – may you have no more inconsolable crying until the teenage years!

  14. Pingback: Notes from Motherhood: Cry Baby Cry! « Baby BornFree's Blog

  15. Oh my, your post took me back. We had the very same experience with our daughter, I remember almost having a nervous breakdown after 7 hours of non stop crying where nothing worked. There were days where I didn’t answer phone or door because I was in such a state. And no matter what state I was in – I can’t imagine to love any child more than her.

    So I too knew that answer instantly (still had to read your full post though 😉 just to confirm….)

  16. What a loaded question , i have honestly never heard it phrased like that before but i have to admit it is true for me.
    I have always loved my son but i think i spent the first 12 months of his life not liking him very much . When you have a child who screams every second he is awake and not being fed it hurts you . When you have a child who refuses to sleep any longer that 30 minutes at a time day and night but will not let you sleep while holding him a resentment builds. At the worst of the sleep deprivation i remember crying to my husband unsure if i really loved our son , at that point i almost felt nothing for him 😦 . My husband talked me around though , made me feel the love again and let me admit that maybe i just did not like him very much as this point.
    I know i love my son, i adore him and life would not be right without him in it. That first year for me was soul destroying though and i do beleive it is harder to love a baby who cries alot.

    And oh Baby G is adorable 🙂

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