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Colic: not for wimps.
Coping with Colic Babies
Member Name: Mama-Q
Coping with Colic Babies
Disadvantages: lack of sleep, feeling like you're going mad
I now have a toddler but I very clearly remember those jagged edge newborn days where day and night didn't meet like they do now - they just merged.
I had a relatively short enough labour (19 and a half hours) and apart from a few health complications, everything worked out okay. At the hospital I tore so bad that it took them three hours to stitch me up. Without numbing me :/. I remember passing out several times, coming to and then feeling the pain and pull of a stitch and would pass out again. And after this one of the horrible midwives poking around my bum and saying "Oh you have a massive pile here! DOES THAT HURT?" So I told her in no uncertain terms should she or one of her colleagues prod me like that again that I would do a roundhouse kick to the face :). She sheepishly moved out of the room and I didn't see hide nor hair of her again.
In hospital most of the mothers on the ward all chose to bottle feed their babies. I remember feeling embarrassed about my choice to breastfeed and I would partition myself off by closing the curtain around my bed when it was feeding time - over time and with hindsight I should have been happy I was able and willing to breastfeed, rather than feel ashamed of myself. I definitely feel that I was a touch depressed after my baby came along, I felt so detached from him at times and found myself feeding him because no one else was going to do it but me.
My midwife came round the next morning and gave me to usual spiel they give to mothers who breastfeed; 'don't give the baby a dummy, they'll get nipple confusion. Don't give them a bottle. Make sure you have a good latch...' and so on. Well, I broke all the rules. When we got home my mum took the baby over night, bringing him into me for feeding. This meant that through the night he'd be up howling and screaming - and the only thing that soothed him was a dummy. Again, with hindsight, this makes me feel like an awful human being. But I will say in my defence that I was very close to an edge with my depression at this point and sleep was paramount to keeping the scraps of whatever sanity I had left so although my son suffered through that night it meant that I could keep my depression under some kind of control and not completely spiral.
On top of the dummy I decided to try expressing some milk. By this point my son was feeding anywhere between every 20-40 mins and taking an hour or so to feed. We had a bad latch - something my nursing aunt picked up on and helped me through - and this was causing him to not get enough milk and therefore feel satisfied, but not for very long. The feedings were overwhelming me and I felt like all I was good for was for a feed.
My son has always been close to his dad, my husband, and this has been the case from birth. I remember trying to rock my son to sleep and he'd just cry and cry. When my husband took our son it seemed to calm him completely. This was probably a lot to do with my own tensions but I couldn't help but feel I wasn't useful unless it was for milk.
Two weeks after my son was born it was mine and my husbands first wedding anniversary and everyone was telling me I needed to go out. Of course I really didn't want too but I felt like I should, just to prove I wasn't depressed. Both my aunt and my mum - who has 4 children herself - were there, as well as my younger brother who is a dab hand with children but I still felt uneasy about going out. Like I said, I wanted to prove I wasn't depressed so I agreed to go out.
So I expressed a little of my breast-milk, put it into a bottle and stored it in the fridge - at this point our feedings had settled a little to every two hours so I would feed my son right before we left, he could have milk while I was out and he'd be okay until we got back. We were very lucky that our local cinema was a 5 minute walk from our old flat and this is the main reason why I agreed to go out - if they needed me I would just dart out of the cinema and run home. We went to see our film, rushed home when it was done and my son was very unsettled when I got home.
He had finished the bottle - about an hour after we'd left he'd started to cry. I learned then that a baby being unsettled isn't necessarily a hunger thing but that they take comfort in their mothers breast. I was annoyed no one had called me and that night was horrendous. He was up the whole night screaming his head off. By 5am I worked out it might be colic and jumped onto Google. The only thing I could see to give him would be Infacol.
I messaged a good friend of mine who had 2 children and asked about Infacol. She said it was the best invention since sliced bread (or words to that effect.) At this time I was a bit of a hippy about medicines and a bit skeptical of medicines in general so I put off buying Infacol for a few days. By the third night I couldn't take it any longer and so my husband bought Infacol. Well...my son woke for the odd feed but he was settled, quiet and seemed happier - and slept until 10am where he would usually wake up at 6-7am.
The Infacol seemed to work a treat, which kept everyone happy. I would definitely recommend using Infacol for a colicky baby - it worked wonders on my son - and I would say try to avoid giving a bottle to a breastfed baby as it does seem to induce their colic as they tend to suck in a lot of air from the bottle. However, in reality, this isn't always possible and so Infacol can work miracles :).
If you're suffering through this, I feel for you. Having been there myself I know it's not easy - but it also doesn't last forever. It will pass and get easier. Go easy on yourself, allow yourself some mistakes and don't blame yourself - a lot of babies suffer from colic, it is common and although it's not nice for both parties, it will pass.
Summary: not great