Sunday, November 6, 2011
If God wants you to only have one child, he gives you a baby with colic to start with. At least, this is the lesson I've learned.
Why would I ever want to go through that again? Holy shit. No thanks.
My mother swears that the second one is easy. “The second one is an angel baby!”
I will not fall for that trap.
I don’t know why I thought that I would be free from the curse of colic. When I was pregnant, I just did not prepare myself for that (although, how does anyone prepare for colic?). No, I was a highly effective, organized, all-put-together type! I would have a highly effective, organized, all-put-together baby type too! Or at least a baby who followed a schedule and loved to snuggle and sleep, sleep, sleep all the live long day as I nuzzled his soft cheek and we lay in bed together, peaceful-like, just like pictures in magazines.
Instead, I remember hanging on to my last shred of sanity, hoping and waiting for the screaming to stop because there was really nothing that could ever help it stop.
One day, my husband told me I needed to get out. There were some things we needed at Target! Yes, I would go to Target. It was a glorious idea.
I had to wait for this angry baby to fall asleep so I could go. I was still breastfeeding, and I had to make my escape at a time that my body would not be needed.
I was very, very impressed by my husband’s bravery. I didn’t want to be alone with the thing, much less be a person without lactation services. “What if he wakes while I’m gone and starts crying and wants to feed?” I asked.
“I’ll deal with it. It’s ok,” he reassured me.
Eventually, the baby fell asleep. I was scared. It was my moment, and I was just scared. I suddenly felt urgent that I had to take care of this mission as quickly as possible. It had become an errand, something that must be done, rather than a chance to get out, but I made myself do it anyway.
I drove to Target in the rain, feeling strange to be alone in my car. Alone in my car with my own music. Like the person I used to be. I felt I would never be that person again. I felt that I was changed forever. And it freaked me out.
I hurried through Target. If anyone got in my way, I wanted to frantically scream, “I have a baby at home that screams and cries!! It could happen at any minute!! I have to be there, and you are in my way, you mother fucker!” Seriously. It was temporary insanity.
I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The whole experience totally stressed me out. Freakin’ Target.
As I neared our street, a thought struck me dumb.
There’s no way I can ever go through this again.
I started bawling. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t have another baby! I wouldn’t be able to give my child a sibling. I was not cut out for this. How do all the other mothers do this?? How do they have more than one for crying out loud??
Something was wrong with me. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to be a mom. Perhaps my husband and I were supposed to be those travel-types for the rest of our lives.
I pulled up to the house and didn’t know what would meet me on the other side. Crying? Quiet? Peace? Chaos? My home was no longer my sanctuary I could trust to get away from the world. It was filled with constant responsibility.
I dried my eyes, grabbed my bags, and walked inside. It was quiet.
I remember I was actually able to go crawl into bed with that sleeping baby and read a book for about an hour. Being near to him and knowing he was okay, while I was still able to do something I loved was exactly what I needed.
I wish I could have told myself back then, “It’s going to be ok. You will feel yourself again, sooner than you realize. You will get more and more of these beautiful moments all the time.”
Colic does not last forever. In fact, it is merely a blip in time. A hazing. Everything gets to be a whole lot more fun eventually.
But don’t ask me if I’m having another one.