Thursday, July 8, 2010

HIgh Times, Low Times

Joshua always tells me, when I am experiencing the highs and lows of life, that I should be blogging this. I don't take his advice nearly as often as I would like, probably because the highest and lowest times are the hardest to put in words. But tonight, I am taking his advice.

To call what I'm experiencing a low isn't really accurate. I'm actually very happy, would not describe myself as sad or depressed in any way. What I am experiencing is, in a word, just hard.

Malachi has colic. Until a few days ago it wasn't too bad. Every couple of days he would be clearly highly distressed for anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. He was sleeping in three hour stretches through the night, and we were able to manage the colic using a swaddling blanket, swing etc. Then three days ago, it changed. Malachi began sleeping only 45 to 1.5 hour at a time with inconsolable crying in between. He still has some longer stretches here and there, but not usually uring the night. He wants to nurse almost constantly. He'll have a while here and there where he is happy as can be.

Needless to say, I haven't been getting much sleep at night. I have been surviving by sleeping more during the day, which means nothing is getting done. When Malachi is awake, it's taking some effort to keep him content, if its possible at all, so I usually can't get anything done then either.

I know we're not experiencing anything that unusual. That's a small comfort, but it doesn't help much when it is happening to us. It's just hard watching my child suffer, especially when my own fatigue just serves to heighten my emotions about the whole thing.

Amazingly, I'm handling all of this better than I thought I might. Somehow its easier to deal with hard things when I'm the one responsible. Malachi needs me to keep it together.

On a positive note, he is changing so much. He is almost too long for his smallest onesies. He is holding his head up so well. I just started doing tummy time with him on Tuesday, and he decided to roll over four times! He didn't like being on his tummy, so I guess he was motivated. Unfortunately, I didn't see any of them because I was cleaning the kitchen. I'm just taking Joshua's word for it.

He's also really interested in watching objects move the last few days. We've been putting him in his bassinet and turning his mobile on and he will listen to the music and watch the little owls go round an round for 10-20 minutes before he gets bored. He is also looking into my eyes alot when he nurses now, which is so sweet.

He's such a joy. He smiles all the time when he's feeling good. I am so looking forward to his colicky-ness being over, because I can see that he has a great temperament.

(P.S. The photo is from July 4th. We went to a party at our friends' the Hillery's. Joshua loves to put cute outfits and shoes on Malachi for special occasions, and this photo is an example of that.)


  1. Lord grant Malachi relief and peace. Bless Sandra with rest and calm and help.

    Isaiah 41:10 (Amplified Bible)

    10Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

  2. Raising babies is hard. Especially during the really hard times! We love you all three and I am so happy we got to spend time with sweet Malachi the other day. It is amazing how much babies need to nurse right around a growth spurt. Do not fear the season of not getting anything else done around the house. Feeding a baby and helping him to grow is pretty big stuff. Making sure you get enough to eat and plenty of rest so you can make milk to feed Malachi is really important.

    The other stuff can wait a little while. Before you know it we will be teaching him how to drive the tractor! Give him a kiss from Aunt Ginger.

  3. Getting through the first three months of Flannery's life outside of the womb wss tough for us too. And when I would talk about the tough time I was having, people would say, "Oh yeah, the first three months are so hard!" THAT's when they told me that, after the fact! :) So I am passing it on to you in hopes that you'll be encouraged. Colic is hard, and I have never dealt with it, but I think you're doing a great job, under the circumstances! Hang in there, this too shall pass!

  4. thanks for your encouragement, ladies. we were doing better for a couple of days, and now we are having some trouble again. it just depends on the day. today is one of the rough ones.

  5. Josh didn't seem to want to nurse all the time, but he seemed colicky in that he always had to be held and bounced, so I would find myself having him in his baby sling, and I would be trying to bounce him in his sling with my left arm while trying to stir something on the stove with my right arm - believe me, it was difficult to co-ordinate the movements. Plus, at that time, Hugh had this dog name "Big Red" who would bark at every car that went by. We lived in a corner house on base by a main street, so it was almost non-stop barking. The combination of a constantly crying baby, plus a constantly barking dog - can you say "I WANT TO PULL MY HAIR OUT"!!!! It will eventually get better. And with April, I was spending 8 to 10 hours a day nursing her. Didn't have time to get anything else done! Finally, with her, I started supplementing breast feeding with some bottles of formula and then had to start her on baby food at 4 months as she just always seemed to be hungry. Also, I was so exhausted at night, and couldn't for the life of me, ever get Hugh to wake up to give her a supplemental bottle (didn't know if he really didn't wake up after all the shaking, or was just pretending to not wake up - LOL - I need to ask him that sometime!)- so, I devised a way to nurse her and get some sleep at the same time. I didn't want to accidentally roll over on her, so would lay on my left side, and raise my left leg up so that it would be under me in a way that it would keep my weight off the baby, and also position my left arm so that it would support April's head and still be under me to also keep my weight off the baby. Crystal says she also developed a way to do the same thing, so I'm sure there are lots of other women out there facing the same predicament and have most likely figured out how to do it also. You might ask some of your friends who have nursed their babies if they have ever done the same thing. You just gotta do what you gotta do to get that baby fed and get yourself your much needed sleep. You're no good to the baby if you are constantly exhausted.