I don’t know what anyone expects me to say given that every mother is supposed to spout only love and joy over their newborn baby. My 6 week old has been screaming–angry, painful, red-faced, unhappy-for over a month now. And today, in particular, she has been screaming and writhing around the clock every time she is awake and not eating. That is, every time her mouth is not full and she is conscious.
She will not let me put her down. Not when she is awake or asleep. And so I have to hold her all day long, moving and bouncing. I cannot sit still, even to eat or pee or brush my teeth. This means at the end of the day my hips and ankles and even my shins hurt. My thighs feel like I went running because all I do is stand and bounce. Now, whatever you just imagined imagine it again with my 2 year old running around the picture. He needs lunch, snacks, playtime, diaper changes, clothes put on him, and ME. He needs love and attention from me. Books read, sandbox time, walks, conversation, etc. I can’t even hear him when Laila is screaming. And when she’s not, I have only 1 free hand to do anything for him.
Laila has had 6 outfit changes because her constant vomiting/spitting up soaks her clothes. And mine. It’s so sad.
Today when Sufyan woke from his nap, he demanded I put Laila down. Not unreasonable given how much I have to hold her. He just wanted some Mama time. And I couldn’t do it, she was just pausing from an earlier cry-fest and was about to go off again. So this demand turned into a nearly hour long tantrum during which Sufyan was screaming at the top of his lungs and kicking and flailing. And Laila was screaming at her full force and writhing. It got out of hand in the sense of how loud and impossible the situation was. This is extreme stress. I don’t know how much more I can take. This is the 3rd time this week a tantrum of this magnitude has happened and I am beginning to dread the 2nd half of the day when this tantrum is more likely to occur.
It’s obvious that she is in pain most of the time, and then sometimes it just seems like she gets on the crying train and the train leaves the station and that’s it: she will cry for hours. Nothing we do helps. Not the new meds, not the old meds, not shushing or bouncing or rocking or talking or singing.
It is now nearly 4am. She has been awake and screaming consistently since 1:30am. Faris and she are out in the kitchen, standing under the loudest kitchen exhaust fan you ever heard.
Thank god our friend brought us dinner tonight or no one would have eaten.
We are struggling. Our resolve to just love each other and smile through this seems hilarious to me now. This is a joke, right? Is this happening to my family? Is this really what is happening to my beautiful newborn baby girl?
I wish I was a better person, but:
me personally, I just want to go into Sufyan’s room where he is asleep right now and curl up next to him. Bury my face in a pillow and pretend this all goes away. I want to make believe it’s just us again, and we get to be our old selves again. I want to make plans to take him to the park tomorrow, and go get tacos together or even something as mundane as getting groceries. I want to have a play date with a friend and go to the used kids stuff store to buy him some summer weight pants. But instead I am cringing in my bed listening to Laila cough and scream in the kitchen under the fan and wondering how the hell we are going to get through this. Actually I am wondering what the damage will be on the other side of this. Like in a year when we can look back and shake our heads about it. Will Sufyan be distant from me? Will Laila remember that we loved her through this all? Will Faris and I have a million apologies to make for all the nights we snapped at each other? Will my friends still be around, given that I can barely make it to the phone and hardly ever return emails?