I can't tell you how many times I've sat down and attempted to write a blog post only to be interrupted by a baby's scream, an unintended nap, or my husband's invitation to watch a TV show (yes, adult time!). The past couple weeks have been rough ones but I am surviving thanks to quality time with a treadmill, late night naps in a hot tub while my husband watches the baby, and chocolate. Always chocolate.
Things were going well as we made our adjustments as a family of five. And then there was Black Thursday. Three Thursdays ago, out of the blue, Jonathan became a different baby. He was crying and fussing every waking hour, he fought off all onslaughts of sleep, and when he finally would fall sleep, he rarely slept more than 45 minutes to an hour (yes, even at night!).
Jonathan is my third baby. I feel like I kinda know what I'm doing on the baby front. I successfully have not killed two previous babies and saw them to toddlerhood. With over 12 years of babysitting experience prior to becoming a mom myself, I pretty much assumed I knew all the ins and outs of babies. But Jonathan. Jonathan is trying all my last nerves and exhausting all my special baby tricks. I have nothing left. I have no clue what to do other than to take everything a half hour at a time. This means not thinking about the hours and hours and days and days of fussing and crying ahead of me, or dwelling on the hours and hour and days and days of fussing and crying that are behind me. I'm exhausted.
After the first week and a half of this craziness, I fought back the baby-pro inside of me who scoffed at the idea of calling a doctor just because her baby was "fussy" and made a desperate phone call to our pediatrician. She saw us that same day. I assumed the doctor would say he was just "colicky" and give no real, tangible solution other than to send us on our way with nothing more than a sympathetic look. I remember staring at the doctor through desperate, sleep deprived eyes and regaling her with my horror stories of the week about non-stop crying and screaming, all the while trying so hard not to cry myself. To my surprise, however, our pediatrician offered us a real, actual diagnosis: acid reflux. This real, actual diagnosis came with a real, actual solution: a prescription for baby Zantac.
(By the way, if you ever want to bypass a lengthy pharmacy line, just show up with a screaming inconsolable baby. The other customers will let you cut right ahead. It's amazing how a screaming baby can induce anxiety into complete strangers of all ages.)
And for a short couple days, I was filled with hope. There could be a REASON for all the crying and screaming AFTERALL. And just maybe that little vial of peppermint smelling medication was the key. This hope kept me going for the past seven days. It kept me sane through hour-long screaming fits. It kept me from giving up as I rocked and patted and cradled and sang to and shushed my crying baby with no result. But you guys. It's been a week. And the medicine appears to be a dud. Some days are still just as hard as that Black Thursday was. Some days are better. There is no pattern. Nothing has changed.
My diet has also been the same since we brought Jonathan home. I can't point to any food that I eat that may have triggered the upset and trauma that started that Black Thursday nearly three weeks ago. Most days, when Jonathan is not eating or sleeping, he is (at best) fussing or (at worst) screaming. He probably has twenty minutes of happy time COMBINED for each day. Those minutes are golden and precious. And in those minutes, he is the most wonderful, beautiful, charming, and smiley baby ever. Then he turns into Mr. Hyde.
The constant fussiness really hurts in more ways than one. It's hard to see your baby unhappy. The constant and mostly ineffective soothing and consoling is exhausting. But also, this is my last baby. My last maternity leave. And I feel like I'm being robbed. I'm not even getting the chance to enjoy things. I had so looked forward to my time at home with Jonathan. But now, I just count down the minutes until my husband comes home so I can have some help. This is not how things were supposed to be. And it all makes me very sad.