That's what they call it, you know, when a baby screams a horrible scream for hours on end - day after day - week after week.
The youngest was a colic baby. It was so strange that the oldest screamed at the top of her lungs upon her arrival and then became a quiet and joyful baby - loving everyone and everything she set her eyes upon. The youngest was so quiet when she was born only to scream at life for months on end.
It started at about 6 weeks of age. Just when the gestational hypertension finally resolved itself, the screaming baby started. An older woman was kind enough to explain that although they say it lasts until age 3 to 4 months, in reality it lasts until they are about 6 months old. I am glad she told me or I would have lost hope and the will to live before it ended.
Of course we had everything checked - several times during the course of the colic. No ear infections. No digestive abnormalities. No illness. She was nursed which is supposed to help, but it doesn't.
The scream just rips right through you. It's exhausting to listen to. You try and you try everything just to help that baby feel better - and it doesn't work. You feed, you change, you walk, you rock, you hum, you do whatever you can think of. Nursing her quite often helped - but quite often it didn't. After a few weeks as you go through the day - you know it's coming. You dread it. Then the initial scream and my heart would just drop. Several hours every single day. Sometimes in the middle of it I would feel terrible and guilty for bringing her into this world - only to be so unhappy. I would apologize to her.
Nobody wanted to watch her. People are frightened by a screaming baby. People want a happy baby who loves them and adores their presence. Relatives tried to make her smile and she wouldn't. They wanted her to like them and she didn't. It was rare that anyone agreed to help.
Well - after a few weeks I told myself that even if what I tried to do to comfort her wasn't working, on some level she knew I was trying. I had to leave it at that.
Sometimes I would just sit and cry with her in the rocking chair. I spent many an evening walking and walking and walking back and forth in the living room. There were certain floorboards that would squeak when I made the turns and that squeaking seemed to calm her.
She hated the swing. Hated riding in a car. Hated being on top of the dryer in her little seat with the dryer running. All the little tricks - she hated.
It ended abruptly at exactly 6 months of age. For months afterward I still felt that dread everyday waiting for it to begin.
The young one is a strange little goose. I never could quite put my finger on her personality and so decided that I just needed to sit back and be allowed to discover her. She doesn't reveal herself in a boisterous way. She is deep and has a dry wit that most people don't understand. Her eyes and her expressions will tell you what's up and if you don't pay attention (most people don't...) you will miss the entire show. She is incredibly artistic and loves to play the guitar. I can count on one hand the people that she has taken to immediately. They are all quiet, observant, and exceedingly intelligent. Everyone else - - well. You'll just have to wait until her assessment of you is complete.
If you have a colic baby - hang in there. Be gentle and know that that baby is watching your every move. That baby will understand on a certain level that you tried to help - - even if what you tried didn't help much. It will end smackdab on their 6 month birthday and it will be worth every minute of getting through it together.