Posted by Duff

There is a huge relief that comes with validation. That makes you feel like maybe you weren’t crazy when you had to have your mom come over to help you deal with your second newborn’s unending cries and insomnia. Or that there was good reason to sink to the floor in frustration when you can’t go to the bathroom without it starting a revolution in the bouncy seat.

Thank you, Dr. McLean.

Yep, despite the odds, Atticus has colic. Ya-hoo.

Three formulas, reflux medication, the whole rigamarole of soothing methods. Let’s face it. The kid wants to be held all day, all night, mostly with a bottle in his mouth, please. Oftentimes even that falls short. We have tried every binky on the market, swaddling, womb sounds, shushing, rocking, burping, and what I used to try on The Dervish that sometimes worked – sobbing alongside her. (Expletive).

Yesterday I was opening our first can of hypoallergenic formula and saw on the cover “Fast colic relief.” And I actually laughed. At least someone was willing to admit defeat. No one would ever use the c-word when it came to The Dervish, and it made me want to scream louder than she did. Did they not SEE the elephant in the room? Did they think I couldn’t take it?

If there is any good to be gained from colic, it’s that once you’ve experienced it, you’ll be far more supportive of anyone else who does. You will offer to come over and listen to the baby cry so his/her parents can shower or eor walk around the block with free hands and listen to the ringing in their ears.

Thank you, mom.

I will tell you, I had a premonition when The Dervish was an infant and we asked our former pediatrician’who feared owning up to the c-word) if this could happen to two children in a row. She, who had said time was the only cure, said, “It happened with both of mine.” And I saw the scar tissue on her nerves in that statement. As if someone clapped too loudly in her presence I’d have to scrape her off the ceiling.

The good news is, Atticus seems to want things to be different. Has whole moments of serenity, between 7:10 and 7:15 am. He will get older. He will find something he likes. Even if right now it’s not carriers that get me hands-free or any of the many other recommended cures.

He likes the vaccuum, but The Dervish is afraid of it. The flarking irony off which will be especially funny when this phase of our family’s story has passed.

I know I sound like a whiner. Please keep in mind that I think of the following when I walk away from Atticus to get perspective (usually while peeing or trying to eat against my natural drive to soothe him).

We have two healthy children. Some aren’t able to have any, or they aren’t healthy. Thank you, powers that be.

We have a boy and a girl. Which many consider the ideal – though I was glad I didn’t get to choose.

Babies aren’t babies forever, and we knew going in that we had babies to have children, not infants, and especially not newborns.

The Dervish is already a spectacular big sister.

I’m even grateful to have experienced both vaginal birth and a c-section, because I’m all about gaining life experience.

Except we already experienced colic once, so the only positive thing I can say about it this time is that once I admitted it to myself, and today, when my new pediatrician copped to the diagnosis AND acted like he genuinely felt my disillusion, it felt not so  ‘not so bad’ that I ever want to experience it again, but at least like I’m not lunatic for feeling so unraveled as a second time parent.

So. Next time someone tells you their baby has colic, you could say you’re sorry. Or, that it sucks and it will pass. Or you might ask what you can do. But you will be the best friend ever in the world if you force your way into her home with an agenda of how you plan to offer some relief.

And also, tell her she doesn’t have a muffin top. But feel free to bring some muffins.

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