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Contemplating Colic

So far Baby-Bug is a peaceful soul, content to sleep in his Moby or hang out as we try to keep up with the Little-Bugs. But the last couple of nights he has had a little bedtime angst…and I know that we might be staring colic in the face again. It’s impossible to say. But I’ve had two colicky babies so far, and I’d rather anticipate the crying and be plesantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.

Poor colicky Brother-Bug.

The Little-Bugs had really different colic. Brother-Bug, being the Virgo that he is, cried without comfort from 7:30 until 10:30 PM every night for some un-remembered number of weeks – I’m not going to remember because when you are in the midst of colic it is interminable and then retrospectively it was an incredibly brief time. Sister-Bug cried whenever she needed to – sometimes hardly at all during the day, sometimes all day. It was erratic and much more intense than Brother-Bug’s flirtation with the colic fairies. Sister-Bug could be settled by being ceaselessly bounced on a large ball – which became the center of our universe for her colicky weeks.

In our first days of colic with Brother-Bug, I called the midwife in a panic. Should I cut out dairy and gluten? Should we sleep differently? What was wrong with my baby? Now, my midwife has been baby catching for about 30 years and she’s heard it all from her new (and not so new) moms. She calmed me down. Then she said one of the most profound things I have heard as a parent – something that I hold onto and return to time and time again even though we are well through the kids days of colic.

“Isn’t it wonderful to have an opportunity right away to show him that you love him unconditionally?”

Wow.

All of a sudden the colic was…I won’t say easy because colic is brutal on parents. All of a sudden the colic was a opportunity. Don’t get me wrong; I really, really, really hope and pray that Baby-Bug just skips this infant maladie and our days and evenings flow without the epic tears and parental pacing while holding the poor newborn.

I was reminded of our past days of colic, and started thinking about the possibility of colic with Baby-Bug when I read this post on Love From Baby. It’s good. She gets it. Most importantly, she recognizes that babies are complex individuals and that there is not ever (or there is rarely) and easy answer for colic. That it is possibly a bigger issue than just dairy.

Colic is a tool. It’s perhaps the most powerful tool a baby has  ~ to send us messages, to work through birth trauma, to transition into their bodies, to mourn (yes, I ABSOLUTELY believe that a newborn can mourn). Babies don’t cry for no reason and colic is a baby’s way of “shaking to off”. It’s HEALTHY and PRODUCTIVE. When a baby with colic cries, that baby is HEALING him or herself.

If colic strikes again…I’m going to go re-read that post several times. And I’m going to breathe through it, show Baby-Bug just how much I do love him unconditionally, and know that the interminable hours of colic screams are really just a blip in my parenting history. Thank goodness.

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