Colic. It strikes fear into the hearts of parents and parents-to-be everywhere. But what is it? What causes it? Why do babies get it?
This post answers none of those questions.
Let me backtrack to how I got to talking about colic when we have a 20 month old and almost 4 year old. This past weekend we had our family photo shoot which, to no one’s surprise, was complete chaos. Brynn suddenly decided she would ignore every single thing we
told her bribed her with, and Asher totally freaked out because of the lights (sensory issues were a-raging that day).
Side note: Once again, despite the chaos that surrounds our family, our amazing photographer captured some beautiful pictures! I’ll share some sneak peeks from the shoot once we get all of them back – just in case we use one of the sneak peeks we received as our Christmas card! 😉
Driving home, I was
venting talking to Jeff how when Asher freaks out, I feel like I may have a panic attack. My chest gets tight, my heart starts beating uncontrollably, and I practically feel woozy. As I was explaining this, it’s like I had an epiphany. To be specific, I said, “It’s like the slightest whine or cry from Asher triggers something deep within my brain and I have flashbacks to when he was a baby.”
Jeff knew exactly what I meant. To circle back to the opening of this post, as a baby Asher had colic. Or, at least that’s what everyone deduced when no other diagnosis panned out, and no other “fix” worked.
I won’t get into all the ins and outs, because to be honest, despite having lived through the horror of colic, I’m still not a medical expert. Sure, I researched the crap out of colic and reflux (he had that too, hard core, as did Brynn), when it was all going on, but I’m pretty positive my brain has blocked out most of these events and memories to save me from the trauma of reliving it.
Am I being dramatic? Probably. Even as I think back to a year or more ago and wonder, ‘Gosh, it couldn’t have been that bad, right?’ That’s when Jeff gives me a look that says, ‘Really?? YES!! It was that bad.’
This post also isn’t meant to relive all the endless days and nights of crying (from all of us) and the torturous things we did to try and get him to stop – things we said we would never do (things we said before we were parents, but also things we said after we were parents but before we had a colicky baby), like drive around for hours on end, in a snow storm, in the south towns (where snow is generally worse here in Western New York), in the middle of the night (clarification: and in this scenario, by “we” I mean Jeff).
What was (possibly??) even more agonizing than going through all of that at the time, was the torture I put myself through by reading horrible studies and articles of the possible issues, later in life, that could potentially be linked to having colic as a baby. Now of course, again, who knows what I even read at the time? I was without sleep for huge chunks of time so I barely knew what day it was most of the time, let alone if I was reading properly cited, peer-reviewed articles. All I know now is that I was making one living nightmare into an ongoing terror by continuing to read these things online and wonder “what if??”
So what is the point of this post? Well, good question. After my revelation with Jeff in the car, he said “Now there is something you should blog about – blog about the post traumatic stress of having a baby with colic.”
Again, possibly dramatic, but I think he’s right in describing it that way. I seize up, to this day, when Asher starts to fuss. If he stirs in the night I hide my head under the pillow and bury deep under the covers, and pray, pray, that he is just dreaming and will go back to sleep.
Thankfully, now, he does generally go back to sleep (**knocks on all the wood, everywhere, all at once**), but for those of you that have lived with a colicky baby, I’m sure you know the feeling.
Or, when we’re out of the house in the evening, I can still feel my teeth clench when Asher slowly starts to melt down. Totally normal toddler behavior, yes. But also a not-too-rosy reminder of what kind of baby he was just over a year ago.
I don’t know if having colic is related to any of the sensory issues Asher has now. Frankly, I
almost don’t want to know. I can’t go back in time and undo his colic. There wasn’t some magic medicine we could have given him to change the way things are now (although goodness knows we spent loads of money of things that claimed to help).
Asher’s colic felt like it would break me, at the time. As he’s gotten older, Asher’s developmental delays have made my heart heavy as I have watched him struggle. Asher’s sensory issues continue to make me nervous and worried. And I love him. No ‘buts’ in that statement. I love him. All of him. Every thing that has happened to me has made me who I am, the mother he has today. So in only makes sense that every thing that makes Asher ‘Asher’ is what I love.
Even if some of those things also make me (sometimes) want to hide under the covers until he is 18.
So like many things that are hard, the way I have survived the aftershocks is one day at a time.
As always, thanks for reading, friends. 🙂