Feels Like the First Time (Or, not)

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I would just like to say that it is incredibly difficult and frustrating when you experience issues with your second baby after having a first baby that had none. I know I should consider myself lucky that I had an easy baby the first time and that the “issues” I am referring to aren’t life threatening, but I totally thought it would be the same if not easier the second time around. Between that and lack of sleep, I’m starting to feel like I suck at this parenting thing.

D was proficient at breastfeeding from first latch, barely cried and didn’t even get his first cold or fever until well after a year old. That hasn’t been the case with Miss DD. Her feeding issues have really picked up in the last little while and her “colic” is starting to look more like reflux.

While I was pregnant, I went through an extremely rough patch with D. I thought to myself, “I can’t wait until the baby comes because she will be easy. Babies are so easy!” Kicking myself in the ass for that one now. It’s actually been quite the opposite, and although DD is the sweetest little thing, she is definitely not the easy one. (I’m sure that statement might vary depending on when you ask me though.)

Trying to balance a household, two kids and my sanity is seeming to be an impossible task lately. I thought only “new moms” weren’t able to find time to shower and my sink looks like a game of Jenga. Like quoting a hipster’s clichΓ© tattoo collection, “this too shall pass” has become my new mantra.

Love me some Scary Mommy on days when I feel like I'm sucking the most

Love me some Scary Mommy on days when I feel like I’m sucking the most
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/212372938649466898/

 

 

Fingers Crossed

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I will try to make this quick because, wait for it… my colicky baby is ASLEEP! For the second night in a row, she was asleep at 8 pm instead of painfully screaming her head off, unable to be consistently consoled.

Yes, as I have mentioned before, babywearing helps and I still try to do it as much as I can but what works for truly colicky babies (as I have read about and experienced first hand) tends to only work for a short period of time before another (often temporary) solution must be found.

I was at my physiotherapy appointment last week, when I mentioned to her about DD’s bout of colic. My wonderful physiotherapist instantly asked me if I had heard of osteopathy (which I hadn’t) and recommended I book an appointment. At this point I was willing to try anything. I confirmed a time slot and went home to do some research.

Osteopathy is a hard thing to explain really, and I will surely get it wrong, but I will do my best. From my understanding, it is a natural and gentle way of helping the body to heal itself. Babies can experience a lot of trauma going through the birth canal, which can manifest into different problems down the road. Osteopathy is known to help babies with feeding difficulties, sinus problems, restlessness, and you guessed it… colic.

My husband and I took DD to her appointment yesterday and it was quite an eye opening experience. One of the first things the practitioner asked during the examination was if her crying was the worst at around 11 pm (it was). He told us it was because her gallbladder was pushed out. He explained to us about the traditional Chinese medicine organ clock, which suggests that the energy of each internal organ is at its peak during a certain period of time each day, and if that organ is out of whack, it can cause distress during that period. After an hour long exam, we learned that her liver was also pushed out causing her to arch her back during a crying spell, and her right hip to be higher than the left. I had no idea! I am positive I am explaining this terribly, but when the practitioner explained it to us, it all made perfect sense.

He gently worked on her, barely looking like he was doing more than holding her and chatting peacefully, making her smile, but at the end of the hour she seemed more content. The range of motion on her right side improved greatly in that short period of time. She slept soundly most of the day, which is typical for her and had a happy alert time in the evening. When 8 pm rolled around, she was sleeping peacefully in my arms and slept right through until 7 am, only waking up briefly for nighttime feedings. SUCCESS!

Whether osteopathy is another temporary fix or will prove to be a permanent solution, I cannot yet say (I will keep you posted). But I do know that right now my baby girl is content and comfortably sleeping in my arms, even as I type this (one handed) and for that I am thankful. No jiggling or awkward living room dance moves required.

Here is an informative article that explains the organ clock far better than I can: http://www.healthymoncton.com/traditional-chinese-medicine-organ-times/ and a handy little graph I found on Google.

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Colic and Babywearing

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DD all wrapped up in her cocoon

As spirited as D has come to be, he was hands down the easiest baby. He slept through the night at 9 weeks old (I’m talking 12 hours). He barely cried and when he did, people would ask if he was laughing. He was just a happy baby. I thought it was just because we were doing such an awesome job. Every new mother should have a first baby like D. It’s good for building confidence.

I don’t know what I expected the second time around. I knew I wouldn’t have the exact experience, but I wasn’t expecting this.

After the first few weeks of cuddles and cooing, we started to notice that DD’s crying periods were gradually increasing, which is normal since crying is known to peak around 6 weeks. Once we noticed it, it seemed to increase until it was every. single. day. It was exhausting, frustrating and puzzling to us, the parents who had raised a baby boy that literally never cried.

It wasn’t until a friend brought it up, that I even considered it might be colic. Our baby was just a bit fussy at night. From what I thought I knew, colicky babies cried all day every day. I decided to do a bit of my own research. What I learned was that for it to be considered colic, a baby must cry around 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. Check. Check. And check. Now, what to do about it?

Since DD was born, I always knew I would wear her. I was a mother of two now and I needed my hands to be free, while still finding a way to be close to my baby. With some help from my friend Karen of That Mom BlogΒ and a beautiful, new-to-me gauze wrap, I ventured into the world of babywearing. It took me awhile to get a hang of wrapping her up, but now it’s pretty easy and I can actually do it without the help of a mirror. The Front Wrap Cross Carry is my go to (okay, the only one I can do but I’m working on it).

Although it was something I did occasionally with D, I never really stuck with it or learned much about all the benefits for both mom and baby. Now I desperately needed one of the crucial benefits it had to offer; relief from the crying of colic.

I went from once or twice a week, to wearing her around as much as possible every day. It has changed our lives. I can’t even begin to tell you.

DD’s witching hour is between 8 pm-midnight, almost every night now, if not every other. What do I do? I don’t even wait for her to cry. As soon as we finish putting D to bed around 7:30, I pop her in the wrap and stop the colic in its tracks. She might start to fuss a few times but it never lasts long. A couple bounces and she’s instantly quiet again. We’ve been known to dance around the living room like idiots (well, I have). If you have ever seen me dance you understand what I mean.

I am so happy for the opportunity to wear my baby. I feel so close and connected to her, as if she’s still inside me. It’s such a special thing to be able to bond with your baby in that way. Being able to hold her close and still be there for my son is priceless. I am sure there are many, many other benefits, but the fact that I don’t have to hear her little cry and be unable to comfort her is reason enough for me.

It’s funny, I never really knew much about attachment parenting. As terrible as this sounds, I thought it was for hippies. I certainly never thought it was something that was for me and my family and I realize it’s not for everyone else either. I think I was following a lot of the principles already with D without knowing it, but I have learned a lot and many of my beliefs have changed even since having him. Now, I’m proud to say I’m a home birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing mama and I wouldn’t want it any other way.