About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Colic (a reflection)

My mom said it perfectly on the phone to me while I was crying to her during one of my escapes to the grocery store, "It's like a club Kim. You have to be initiated to understand."

After weeks of either listening to my baby scream or the hairdryer on full blast I was filled with horrendous jealousy of those "other babies." The ones that were content to be held. The ones that slept for longer than an hour at a time. The ones that didn't make their parents break down crying in the middle of the night due to sheer exhaustion.

I wanted my baby to be "normal".

I wanted to be able to take the constant advice I heard from everyone to "sleep when she sleeps."
I wanted to be ABLE to sleep.

On the rare occasion that I had the courage (or stupidity?) to take Samantha to the grocery store, I felt like I was a horrible mother for being so angry at the strangers making comments like "Oh, how sweet! Enjoy this while you can!" (This, of course was before she'd start screaming.) I was so angry. Angry at God for doing this to us-- we had moved, started a new job and had a new baby. Why colic too?! I was angry at Jeremy--how dare he say he was tired when he was gone all day and didn't get up all night to feed her. I was angry at myself for not holding together better.

There was one piece of solace that I clung to when I was ready to give up. It stemmed from another comment my mother made on another tear filled phone call:

" You know Kim, it makes you think. This opens your eyes to other parents and maybe become a little less judgmental. My theory is that this is how babies suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome."
This, of course, brought on another flood of tears. I had actually thought of that. Not shaking my baby- but that I could see how someone might just tip over the edge, slipping into an irrevocable moment of insanity out of weeks and weeks of endless frustration.
After hanging up the phone, because my own baby started crying again, I held on to her tight and cried along with her. I realized why we were given this baby. Not as a test or punishment. Not to change us in any way.
We were given this bundle of screams because He knew she'd be safe with us.


Sandra said...

Oh Kim-it is so hard I know. And the fact is no one can understand it until they have had a baby who cries all day and all night (except for 20 minute cat naps maybe). I'm curious, I thought you had eliminated a lot of foods already? Do you think there are more bothering her or possibly her stomach is just simply still healing?

Joseph (our first) was truly the hardest. EVERYTHING is so new with the first baby Kim and because of that everything is also more taxing on the mother. There is HOPE!!! Think of this, by the time I had my third (Joachim) I was eating so few foods so that I could nurse, but was so used to it I didn't really care...as long as he was not screaming and his poop was a nice yellow! ha ha Now my fourth is on the way and I'm already just planning on a very restricted diet as that seems to be the routine with my babies!

There are two core things I believe that a mother can grow in; selflessness and humility. I have got to get you over here! I'm going to e mail you my address okay and you just tell me what works best for your sched. Thinking of you-

The Lukas Family said...

Kim!!!! Aww-I just want to hug! YOu have vocalized exactly what the first few months were like! Everyonce in a while, if I let my blood sugar drop too low I still get that way-the whole "Am I a bad mom to miss my old pre-baby life?" etc...I could go on and on but I think you already got it. We miss you guys tons and tons! Do you realize you guys were our ONLY Married/Catholic/Nursing friends?! All the rest are either 20+years older than us or don't have kids or have kids but not married. Yes-it is very depressing! COME VISIT! I know right now is probably not ideal but you MUST at sometime!

Luke and Ashley said...

I want to give you a hug too! You are right, God gave you Sam because He knew she'd be safe and so very loved with you two. She loves you too, I know! And this too will pass.

I loved the picture of her in her bouncy seat, smiling and so calm. I'll be thinking of you guys and I hope we can meet Sam soon :)

Granddad said...

Ah, dear Kim,

Your baby, Samantha, IS normal! 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 feet and it all works as God intended. And...she is beautiful, just like her mom and dad....

Mama Kat said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! I hated it when women talked about how easy my baby must be and how they sleep all the time. I was like, "are you drugs?? She's screams CONSTANTLY!" I couldn't wait for her to grow up. She's six now and I still stand by that...she was NOT easy!

ItRocks2BMom said...

You brought tears to my eyes with this post. Both of my children had colic and my youngest son, Lucas, just finished his colic at 6 months (a week ago!). It is the hardest thing in the world to go through because as a mother the last thing you want to see your baby is in pain or discomfort and when they cry more hours than they don't you can't help but feel like a failure for some of that time. I also begged God to make him "normal". I remember one night being at my lowest point and saying "I hate you God, I really do." I immediately felt remorse because I knew I didn't but I was THAT low. I didn't know who else I could blame - I had already blamed myself, the doctors (for not figuring out what was wrong), Lucas..only one left was God. I didn't understand why BOTH of my kids had colic. You should read through my blog if you get a chance since I started using it right after he was born just because I needed a place to vent. I have a feeling you'll be able to relate to my horrible experiences at the park, similar to your grocery store ones :) Visiting you from SITS. Have a great day. I'm your newest follower!!

Here's my post about the end of our recent colic:

Tutus and Tantrumns said...

Oh,this post brought tears to my eyes...I love your thoughts on how God gave you this baby because she would be safe with you...I understand it all, I am part of the 'club'... I went through this not once, but twice AND we are getting ready to have #3, I don't think it will be any better this time!
In all this time, I had always seen it as a 'what on earth did I do to deserve this, why is God doing this to me?'...I had never thought of it the other way around; 'these babies are safe with me, God put them in good hands'...THANK YOU!!!!


I remember being desperate for sleep and hearing her crying ringing in my ears even after she'd finally stopped! And the envy of those babies that slept and were content - aaahhh! I felt like the reward, though, when the colic finally passed (5+ months later) was even better!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Oh girl! You have said it perfectly. People that have never had a colicky baby cannot relate. I wanted to smack that knowing smirk right off of my pediatrician's face when I was relating the story of my baby's crying and sleeplessness. Seriously. You feel overwhelming love for him or her,but you also feel robbed of a "normal" baby experience. Truth is . . .there probably is no normal experience. :) Happy SITS to you!

MommyNaniBooboo said...

Yes... and, yes.
I wish I could shake your hand. I feel you so much on this. My son had horrible colic the first four months of his life.
The frustration, exhaustion, depression, and for me... just the feeling of helplessness.
Amazing how strong we can be, huh?

PS- Enjoy being queen for a day, sitstah!

cornflakegirl74 said...

This is so beautiful and so very true. Though I can't say I know what you're going through from experience, I can tell you are doing all that you can and that is what makes you a wonderful mother.

Stopping by from SITS, congrats on being the featured blogger today :)

Best wishes and baby Sam is beautiful!

Christian Mommy Writer said...

I went through this with my Little Man and it was not fun! My son would do this every night and it just about drove me up the wall. Sleep deprivation is no joke.

I did a lot of talking to God during that time and what I ended up doing was searching the scriptures to find out what God said about children. I found Psalm 127:3, which said that Children were a blessing and a reward from God. I made a picture and framed it with that scripture on it. I read it every night when my son had his episodes and after a while, my perspective began to change. I continued praying and he eventually grew out of it.

I pray that you and your family will get a good night's sleep soon! :-) Hugs to you!

Jenn Erickson said...

Kim, that was so beautifully and eloquently articulated. I remember how trying it was during those first few months of having non-colicky babies, and I can't even begin to fathom the emotional and physical toll it must take on a mother having their sleep deprivation taken to such extremes. It sounds like you have a very wise mother, and that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

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