Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Colic Chronicles - and Charlie is 5 months old!

Our little Charlie Baylor is now 5 months old!  
And you know what came in his 5th month?  The end to all the uncomfortable crying that we had all been living through! I thought maybe today I would log our journey with the unexpected and overwhelming - since we're **hopefully** out of the woods and I can think clearly on it!  But first some pictures.  Can you even believe this cute smile was so sad for so long? 

Charlie's new things: Playing constantly in the exersaucer, Sleeping with one are out of his swaddle blanket, and sleeping on a schedule.

(why is this sideways?  Who cares, that's what I say!)

So if you made it this far then you wanted to know about the colic, right? 
I used to think that if you just followed "the schedule" that your baby would be predictable and sleep.  We started Savannah on a Sleep/Eat/Wake schedule when she was like a week old and by 9 weeks she was sleeping through the night and I could tell you almost to the minute exactly when she would sleep, eat, and how to meet her needs.  It was awesome.  So when Charlie came along, God decided to humble me.  He probably knew this was our last go at having a baby around so He had to strike hard.  
For the first few weeks Charlie was a pretty mellow baby.  Savannah was ms Crazypants from day one, and he was obviously more chill.  When he was about 3 weeks old he came down with a respiratory infection.  I think it hurt me way more than it hurt him.  That began our string of excuses.  
Charlie fusses and cries a lot: It's because he's tired of coughing.
Charlie fusses and cries a lot: It's because he has so much drainage. 
Charlie fusses and Cries a lot: He probably has gas from coughing....
a month later....
Is he teething? Maybe it's his formula.  Yeah - let's try Soy formula, that worked for Savannah!
Charlie pukes Soy formula everywhere. 
He's probably just tired....?

By the time he was 2 1/2 months old he was still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat and about 5 times in between just to be comforted.  And the day wasn't much better.  He'd sleep for 20 minutes, or 2 hours, or not at all.  And evenings were marked by lots. of. crying. 

I was at a loss.  One day I tried to go back to my morning Bible study, but after having to leave several times I just decided to sit in the foyer. It was then that my AMAZING pediatrician friend came out to feed her son (the same age) and just asked "how's it goin?"  I broke down in tears.  Trying to squeeze them back wasn't working so I just let it go and explained to her all the sleepless nights and restless days we had been through.  She was so kind.  So understanding.  She hooked us up with some formula samples of Antimonium formula.  The stuff is like $35 a can and smells like you wouldn't believe!  I was actually very relieved when a week later there was no change in his behavior.  

My friend was good to help me remember what was reasonable to expect from a baby his age.  And to help us figure out what WASN'T wrong, and then she told me - this is colic. The strict medical definition of colic is a condition of a healthy baby in which it shows periods of intense, unexplained fussing/crying lasting more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks.[
Basically she helped us know that this was life.  So instead of working our butts off to "fix" whatever this was, we could start learning how to cope.  It was a relief.  We knew at that point that all bets were off.  No more trying to fit him into our box.  No more trying to make him stop.  Just cope.  

I found that when a baby is "colicky" that wrapping them tightly and holding them on their stomach with a pacifier held in their mouth is commonly soothing.  We also found that where gas drops helped Savannah, grip water was Charlie's choice of medicine.  We think it's because the gripe water is loaded with sugar and it gave him a little high.  There was a time when we were going through two big bottles of the stuff a week. That's $20 a week of gripe water.  But it calmed him..if even for 10 minutes.  We'd all sit in his room and sing to him, through the crying.  Sometimes we'd just put him in his crib and let him cry so we could love on Savannah alone.  Whatever it takes to get through it!  That was the theme. 
God was actually incredibly gracious in that Charlie always seemed to calm down and let me work/meet with people when I needed to.  But never for longer than an hour.  
Savannah was great through the whole thing.  She would remind us "He's crying to tell us what he needs".  One time I found her asleep in her room with headphones on.  And only every once in a great while she'd say "CHARLIE! STOP!" But then she'd be fine.  Just had to get it out. 

Fast forward to 4 1/2 months old.  I don't know what clicked, accept age, but the guy started straightening up!  He stopped fussing so much and started sleeping more.  But then it was clear that mr fussface had become prince charming - and when I say prince, I mean royalty.  The bugger was so used to us waiting on his every need that he'd whine if I didn't hold him 90% of the day.  He'd sleep for 20 minutes, then up for 30, then sleep for 40, then up for 2 hours, then sleep for 45.... you get my drift.  At 5 months old we started the schedule.  The Cry It Out, now YOU deal with it, schedule.  It only took about 3 days of intense crying and guess what!?!  You aren't going to believe this.   Two weeks later, after month of what we would describe as hell, CHARLIE IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!  And during the day he is totally predictable!  An hour and a half awake, and hour and half asleep, and then I wake him up and he eats.  And I always know.  And he doesn't cry and scream!  Hardly EVER!!!!  

I love baby Charlie.  And now, he's making it easier, funner, and that chubby little boy has captured our hearts. One friend told me about her and her "rough" kid.  She said that it bonded them because they went through the trenches together. I agree.  We did it.  He's 5 1/2 months old and we have climbed mountains together! 


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