I’ve spent my entire day holding and rocking Anna in just the right combination to try and keep her relaxed and comfortable. I haven’t been very successful because she has cried for most of the day…
A couple weeks ago, Alex and I took a class at one of the hospitals to learn a soothing technique for fussy babies. It’s called ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’ by Dr. Harvey Karp. (There’s a book and DVD available too.) We ended up being the only non-pregnant couple in the room. All these pregnant women were drooling over Anna and it kind of made us feel like rock stars. We were the experienced parents there. How insane. 🙂 I sat there looking at these women remembering what it was like to be blissfully unaware of how life with a newborn would be. I clearly remember a daydream where I had a plump little Gerber baby who quickly sucked down an entire bottle and fell asleep smiling in my arms. My daydream baby would hardly ever cry, because I thought there was no way I would one of the fussy babies that I’ve heard horror stories about. Ha. I’m pretty sure the other pregnant women had similar fantasies because when Anna started wailing during the class, they looked a bit puzzled. The teacher did her best to assure the preggos that my baby was not the norm and that they would be just fine. She also informed us that if your baby is in pain (ie. reflux) that no soothing technique will work and you just have to ride it out. Thanks witch – now I feel like punching her in her smug little mouth. I guess that could be the lack-of-sleep talking. I’m generally not a violent person.
So, I have a fussy baby. And it blows. What blows more is the way people label a fussy baby. Parents are so stinkin’ competitive about everything when it comes to babies. Moms will sit around and talk about how perfect their baby is and how they never cry. It’s always a bit stabbing if you admit that your child is less than perfect. It makes me feel like my baby is damaged goods. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Anna except that her throat hurts and she doesn’t want to eat. It wears away at you as a parent. I feel like I’m helpless. She lays there screaming during bottles and is looking at me. God I hope she doesn’t associate me with the pain she’s in. To me, Anna’s reflux feels like I’m a turtle running a marathon.
Tonight, Anna was finally getting sleepy and calming down (and Mommy was enjoying some much needed wine). I looked down at her in my arms and she was looking at me square in the eyes and smiling the biggest, goofiest smile at me. It was as if she was trying to say, “Hang in there Mom, it’s going to be alright.” I melted and smiled back at her realizing that my little angel was completely right.