She’s screaming. Again.
Two hours straight now. She’s crying, I’m crying. My head feels like it’s about to split in two, I feel broken, I’m at my wits end and I’m positive that I can’t take any more. I’ve put her down safely in her basket and taken five in the kitchen to regather my strength (feeling like a terrible mum whilst doing so) then I go back in to her. She’s still screaming. I don’t know what to do. She’s fed, she’s changed and dry, she’s been given the anti-colic medicine they told me to give. She’s STILL screaming. Nobody told me it would be like this.
I take her out to baby groups. We get home and as soon as the door is open she starts screaming. If I put her down she’s screaming. I put her in the wrap and she cries for a while until eventually she falls asleep. She wakes up and she immediately starts crying which escalates to a scream. I put her in the buggy and she screams. I put her in the car seat to take her out and she screams. I can’t remember the last time I had lunch on time or a hot brew when I was home alone with her and don’t even think about attempting a shower! All she does is scream.
The rare ten minutes she sleeps in the day… I’m going to wash my hair. No sooner than the bubbles are on my head she’s awake and you guessed it… she’s screaming.
The doctors said she had colic. The medication didn’t work. She’s still screaming. Then they said maybe it’s bad stomach acid so they gave us baby Gaviscon. That didn’t work. She’s still screaming. Then it changes. She starts screaming if I put her down or someone takes her off me and the doctor says she’s developed a strong attachment to me. The Health Visitor tells us ‘it’s just part of parenting, some babies cry more than others. Some are clingier’
I don’t know what to do. I’m convinced it must be my fault ‘If I was a better mum she wouldn’t be screaming all the time.’ In the end I make the decision to combination feed. She has medicated anti-colic formula on a night and I breastfeed in the day. She appears much more settled after a bottle so we try it in the day. No difference.
She’s still screaming.
‘My best friend’
‘Being a mum is the best job in the world.’
‘I’ve never been so in love or so happy.’
I’d see new Mums’ writing these things online and I think, why don’t I feel like that? Don’t get me wrong I love her. SO much but what’s wrong with me? Am I a bad mum? Why is my baby always crying? Does she hate me? Why isn’t motherhood all moonbeams and sparkles as was promised to me? Why was I on crutches by the end of my pregnancy and why did my labour go so horribly wrong that I ended up having a c-section followed by a week in hospital with two infections? They told me pregnancy was the most beautiful thing in the world. That Labour was empowering. So why didn’t I get that once-in-a-lifetime beautiful experience. All I got was terrible morning sickness and pain. I suppose though if I think about it there is the whole slightly amazing ‘I grew a baby’ aspect of it.
They didn’t tell you about the times you and your once-best-friend husband would argue non-stop. How your relationship is all of a sudden on the brink because life turns into a competition almost of who’s the most tired? Who does the most work or who needs a break the most or that the constant crying of your baby is starting to mentally affect you both and neither of you know what to do.
Then every morning she starts to smile at you. You wake up to her, groaning because you had a bad nights sleep, you’re exhausted and then you look down at her. Her little face beams back at you because she’s so happy to see you. She missed you whilst she was sleeping and you know what? Even though you’re tired and long for your own space, you long to take a bath and read a book in peace, you realised that you missed her too.