Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~II Cor. 1:4
I remember when I had my first baby like it was yesterday. There are some of my kids whose infant days are a blur to me but I don't think anyone ever stops seeing clearly the days when they were taking care of their first baby. Some people have really great experiences with their first baby. Ours was not so wonderful. I went into labor on moving day, 5 weeks early from complications with toxemia and having been on strict bed rest in the hospital for a week. It was a difficult delivery. Noah was in NICU for 10 days with jaundice. When we were finally released we immediately drove 3 hours south to our new home where we knew not a soul, had not one familiar face to bring a meal or even stop by. The next day Ben started his new job and I was left alone with a colicky baby who seemed to never sleep and ate in hour intervals because of his premature belly not being able to eat too much at each feeding. IT.WAS.AWFUL. We had started out in our marriage thinking 4 kids was a good number, totally cocky and totally clueless as to just how hard raising a child could be. By the time Noah was 5 months and not really over the colic Ben had firmly said, "NO MORE". I convinced him we needed one more because we didn't want an only child. So we agreed we would do this horrible thing called having a baby one more time but then we were done!
I remember during those days people not understanding how hard it was for us. I remember people telling me it was normal that my baby cried ALL THE TIME. I remember spending 3-4 hours a day standing and rocking my baby in the football hold while he relentlessly cried and nothing could sooth him. I remember so many days sitting on the couch crying because I felt so lost and like a failure. I was more tired than I ever knew I could be and did not enjoy being a mom at all. I didn't understand the moms who only had flowery and wonderful things to say about motherhood and that "magical experience" they all talked about never made it to my front door. And that made me feel like a down right horrible person.
It's always interesting to me to meet other moms who have had a colicky baby because all one has to say is, "my baby was colicky" and you know EXACTLY what that means. Unless you have had a colicky baby you cannot understand just how hard it is. People can try, people can think they "get it" but unless you have walked that road you just wouldn't understand. Like when I said to a friend a long time ago that I never used to understand how a mom could shake her baby until I had a colicky baby. She looked at me like I was psychotic because she didn't get it. Not that I ever came close to shaking my baby....but I get where those woman are at mentally to be able to do that. Because mentally I was a wreck. I would go to sleep at night and even if the baby wasn't crying I still heard him crying. I couldn't get away from the crying. I used to have to put him in his crib sometimes during his "fussy time" and go in the basement and turn the dryer on for 20 mins. or so just so I could get away from the sound. And I still have residual effects from it. I have not had another baby that I would say was colicky but our 3rd was definitely on the fussy side and every time he would start crying I would get stomach aches because the stress of Noah's colic caused me to have severe stomach pain when he cried. And that still happens when one of my babies cries and I can't make them stop. It's awful.
Why am I telling you this? Because I know I am not the only mom who has ever felt this way. Because I know how important it is for other moms dealing with colic to know they are not alone. Because I know there will be women who have similar thoughts and feelings someday and maybe they will read this and it will help them. Help them to know that the feelings they have don't make them a bad person. Help them to know that it does get better.
Now that I have had more kids I know that not all babies cry all the time. Now I know that many babies are happy, smiley, cooing kind of babies who take 3-4 naps a day and who eat every 3-4 hours. I know this now because I've had babies like that. Now that I can look back I know that it does get better. Babies don't stay colicky forever and now I know that I can have more kids who aren't colicky and actually enjoy the baby stage. When I look back I am so thankful for where I am today and for the trust that I learned to have in God, that he could get us through some difficult times. Now I know He will continue to do so regardless of what life brings us. Now when I look back I can be thankful for those trials because I am able to have compassion on moms who are in similar situations because I was there, and I know exactly what it's like.