Monday, we stayed home from classes because of a flat tire, and he was just so fussy that I gave him 2 ounces of formula (he was still hungry half an hour later, and I was able to nurse; I'd run out of milk before that, though), then he slept for four hours. At that point, I had to wake him up so he'd eat because I was in borderline pain! (Also, I did try the pump, but my body just won't give it up for the machine.)
Tuesday, Mal was on the verge of a meltdown all day. I distracted him by walking a lot (to 7-11, to vote, to CVS) and moving him around a lot, but it required a lot of attention and effort, and I was exhausted by the end of the day! Even with that, he fussed quite a bit once James got home, though he did seem to enjoy the bath we gave him Maybe we should make that a longer part of the evening routine. If only we could figure out how to get him out of the bath without his having to be partially naked and wet at the same time!
Yesterday was pretty normal, but I gave Mal 2 more ounces of formula in the afternoon when he'd nursed and nursed and nursed and was so upset. I tried the pacifier with him, and he seemed to like the idea but for some reason can't keep that sucker (ha! see what I did there?) in his mouth. He didn't sleep after; in fact, yesterday, he only napped twice for about 30 minutes each.
He did fine during dinner, then James and I sat down to watch "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Mal got upset, and stayed upset during the whole show. He screamed and cried, and I tried everything. We moved into the bedroom, where he lay down in the dark and calmed down... temporarily. Then more with the crying. By the time the show was over (I have no idea how it ended), Mal was losing his voice. James walked him around, but he would not be comforted.
This is one of the worst parts of parenting an infant: When your kid looks at you with pain all over his face, bawling and screaming, tears streaming, and crying mouth in a giant frown, and you think he's thinking, "WHY AREN'T YOU HELPING ME?!"
So, we decided to go to the emergency room. Maybe I decided it and James went with me. Whatever. We did give him some Colic Calm and said that if he seemed relieved before I got dressed, we'd stay home. He didn't.
As we were about to go, James was holding Mal in a fireman's hold so James could grab some stuff, and Mal let out a giant man-burp. We paused to see if that would help, but he was still riled up, so we got into the car and headed out.
By the time we got to Dell Children's, Mal was asleep. James said he'd rather talk to a doctor during the day, so we came back home.
Mal and I went straight to bed, and he had a normal night.
Insert: Praise God that the boy seems to appreciate nights for sleeping. We might pay for the co-sleeping thing one day, but so far it has done more to protect my newborn-mom sanity than I can express. If James never knows the exhausted hopelessness of another. sleepless. night, I won't resent him for that at all.
This morning, Mal was in a great mood during breakfast, but seemed to get fussy as he was feeding. Then he started crying. I couldn't calm him no matter what. James had already left, but I decided we were going to the hospital because I didn't want to find out later that something awful was going on.
As I headed toward Dell Children's again, I had an idea. I looked up Austin Regional Clinic, where we intended to find Mal's pediatrician, anyway, and called them. I asked if they happened to have any appointments available today, and the receptionist put me through to the pediatric nurse. The nurse said that they had a 9:45 appointment. It was 8:45 at the time, so that seemed perfect.
I drove over to the clinic, getting there about 40 minutes early. I was able to check in and go have a seat... well, that sounds nice, right? Actually, I sat in the parking lot for a moment to put on my make-up, and Mal woke up. He immediately expressed his displeasure at being trapped in his car seat, so by the time I walked into the clinic with him, he was howling. He cried during my entire check-in process, and as I made my way down the hall to the pediatric waiting room.
They have a well child waiting room as well as a sick child. No one else was in there, and I didn't know which we were, so I sat in the sick child waiting room in the chair the closest to the break. I was called back almost immediately.
Mal was still unhappy throughout the weighing (10 pounds, 12 ounces; so he's gained pretty much an ounce a day since he was born) and the temperature-taking (98.1, just a smidge higher than his normal, but, again, he was MAD!). When we got into the examination room, I was able to nurse him a bit and he calmed down. As I talked to the nurse she said knowingly, "That sounds like colic."
I was shocked when the doctor walked in almost immediately after the nurse left. He spoke to me for a few minutes, then looked at Mal's ears and nose. He said, "I always examine babies' feet because I've had moms bring in screaming babies who had hair wrapped around their toes. I also always look at their penis for the same reason."
In the end, he said that his temperature, weight gain, and all observable data lead him to believe that this was just colic. He said, "If I could tell you a sure-fire way to avoid colic, I'd be a rich man. Just eat very boringly and let your friends hold him, because a colicky baby will drive you crazy."
On the way home, I realized that it was still before my 9:45 appointment time!
Mal ate a bit when we got home, and then we hung out and chatted. My sister came over for a while and ended up dancing him to sleep on the front porch (told you he loves the dance party, Facebook friends!). He's been asleep ever since.
So, basically, I guess we do our best to keep him comfortable and distracted when he's trying to throw a fit. I hate to think that he's really in pain but if there's nothing medically wrong, we will just go with it.
I was very impressed with the doctor and the clinic, so we'll be going back for Mal's 2 month appointment in a couple of weeks.
Please be praying for our patience, sanity, and hearts... I'm telling you, they want to break when he's so upset!
Here is a list of foods for me to avoid:
So. I'll be eating mush, I suppose. Bananas and avocados, remember? I guess that's it.