Patience has never been one of my strong suits, but I never realized just how lacking I was until now. Saul is a little bit colicky. He frequently spends a few hours each evening screaming. I don't mean crying. It starts as crying and then quickly moves to panicked, red-faced, all-out screaming. When he's like this, nothing can soothe him for more than a few minutes at a time. It's terrible to feel helpless to make him feel better, and to feel annoyed and angry at the same time because the sound of an infant screaming is possibly the most grating sound on the face of the earth. The first time he did this, I rocked him and sobbed myself for a good half hour before B came and rescued me. I'm a little better now, but B is the only one who can handle it effectively. He has this magical ability to stay calm when I have long since become upset to the point that my being in the room upsets the baby more.

Right now, Saul is peacefully sleeping in his car carrier on the table next to me. He throws his arms above his head and makes little sounds and sticks his tongue in and out. He's so beautiful that I want to cry when I look at him. Right now, it's hard to imagine his fits. But I dread this evening when he will get fussy again. I try to tell myself that I am dealing with post-partum hormone adjustments and a very serious lack of sleep, and that I would be able to be much more patient otherwise. But I'm secretly afraid that I don't have the qualities necessary to be a good mother. If I get this upset over a helpless, crying baby, how will I handle a cranky toddler? Or a sarcastic teenager?

B tells me that I just have to be the person I need to be. But how do you change overnight? How can you magically gain qualities that you have always lacked?


Annie in Austin said...

Oh Steph - a baby with colic is no joke - been there myself and at the time was sure I'd never make it through.

Have you tried the Dr Karp ideas on swaddling, swinging and shushing? I've seen him on television and heard that his method seems to work very well for certain babies - maybe it could help Saul.

Annie the garden blogger

Steph said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I have never heard of Dr Karp, but I will look him up right away. I'm willing to try anything!