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April 20, 2015

Surviving Colic

Dreaming (Black and White)
Since Mary was two weeks old, we've been waging a war against colic. It began with a little girl screaming at the top of her lungs between 11pm and 4am and has only improved minimally with the introduction of the pacifier. We're hanging on for dear life and although it's been a tough road to walk these last six weeks, we're still alive and hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometime soon.

Initially, we thought our little girl had a nasty case of reflux. The first medication our pediatrician prescribed tasted like peppermint and made our littlest child scream even harder. With one medication down as an obvious failure, we switched to a different one, hoping to give our little girl some comfort. Medication number two (strawberry-flavored and preferred by Mary) went down easier, but still did nothing to quell the screaming. Amongst the medications, we tried two different types of gas drops, "bicycle legs" with our baby, and probiotics. I even went so far as to cut all dairy out of my diet, bemoaning my loss of chocolate and cheese. All of it proved useless, much to our disappointment.

The next item on our list of things to try is one that I've been dreading. Since she started feeling colicky, several of our friends suggested taking Mary to a chiropractor. Although I've read about what to expect and I understand that the pressure used to treat an infant is extremely light, the idea of someone adjusting my little girl's spine is enough to make me run for the hills. We've tried just about everything we can think of at this point and we're getting desperate, not just for our sanity, but because I can't keep watching my little girl be so uncomfortable.

For me personally, surviving colic has been incredibly difficult. I've struggled with a lot of anxiety and mood issues since Mary was born, something I didn't really experience after either of my previous births. Most days, I can handle things, but other days are a challenge I struggle to conquer. It's meant a lot more stress this time around and it most frequently rears its ugly head in the form of not being able to be apart from Mary. I have to make a conscious effort to offer to let friends or family hold my little girl because being separated from her, even briefly, is difficult. At best, I feel possessive and anxious; at worst, I have a panic attack and end up in tears.

We're soldiering on as best as we can these days. Most of the time, we're feeling sane despite the crying, though I've slowly come to accept that my eardrums will never be the same after being exposed to screaming at decibels you would only hear at a rock concert. We've been told that this time will pass, that Mary will outgrow the colic, and as much as I'm glad it's true, part of me still dreads the time that passes. She's our last baby and she's growing up. My sweet little girl is already seven weeks old, but it feels like yesterday that I picked her up out of the water of the birthing tub and held her close. Seeing her grow and change is bittersweet. While I will welcome the end of the colicky phase, whenever it comes, this time is still going too quickly for my mama heart.


  1. I'd encourage you to try a chiropractor. Ask around and find one you feel safe with doing an infant. It really is safe and can help!