Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Overwhelmed (Understatement of the Year)

(I will preface this post by saying we are so grateful to have a child who is 100% healthy, to our knowledge.)

As though I don't talk about Cole enough on this blog, I am going to go ahead and lay it all out there on the table when it comes to this bouncing baby boy. Cole is not fun. There. I said it. He is literally a piece of work...that never stops. Some of you may be saying "Hahaha, finally Amanda now understands parenting," but to you I say "That's a negative."

Cole is truly different from his peers and has been that way maybe not from his first breath, but at least from two weeks on. Onlookers were incredibly quick to write off his ear-piercing shrieks as "typical newborn behavior" and gave us all sorts of wonderful little tidbits of advice. "He's just hungry" or "He must be teething" to "Maybe it is just your inexperience that he senses..." ha! To those, I gave the following responses: he eats every hour for at least 45 minutes each time, giving himself approximately 15 minutes each hour that he is NOT eating. We have thought he was teething since he was born, but no white caps to speak of. And no, it has been proven that "colicky" children are just as likely to be a sixth child as they are a first child. It was hard enough dealing with this type of behavior almost 24/7 through the early months, but to have to put on top of this excruciating feeding pain made months zero through four almost totally unbearable.

Cole is now 7 months old, and thanks to quite a bit of cranio-sacral therapy to deal with his torticollis (undiagnosed for more than two and a half months by traditional health care providers), his feedings cause me only minimal pain. Unlike his peers, however, Cole still maintains an every two hour feeding schedule (most kids his age are somewhere between every 3 to 4 hours). He has improved with solids, but it is pretty much still force feeding him three times each day (and forget about vegetables). His sleeping, although wonderful until four months and pitiful from four to six months, is slowly but surely getting back on track at this point.

It is incredibly difficult for me to watch other moms with their babies. They say things like "we love him/her so much, I just can't imagine not having him/her in our lives" as they go out to lunch with their copious amount of friends while their baby sits happily in their infant car seat, the one they are still able to fit into. The moms have no fear that their child will suddenly burst into loud screams and sobs and be unable to be comforted. They also have no worries that their child will need a nap while they are out and about and yet be unable to be helped to sleep without at least an hour of rocking and nursing.

So when people say that all they are concerned about is having a healthy, happy child, I totally get where they are coming from. Cole is healthy, but unfortunately when you look at the vast majority of his hours each day, he simply is not happy. It puts an incredible amount of stress on Jake and I. And I'll be perfectly honest - by the end of each day it takes every ounce of self control in me to not just put Cole in his crib screaming, walk out of the room, get in the car, and drive to someplace warm. I know it sounds like a horrible thing to even think about, abandoning your child, but it is hard to maintain this traumatic existence.

Most moms think back to when their child was a newborn and long to have those days back. I do long for those days when Cole was tiny and portable, but they only remind me of excruciating pain...both physical and emotional.

Sorry for the complaining. Like I said before, we are luckier than so many people out there to even have a child, especially a completely healthy child with no long term physical or mental issues.

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