after it all

baby henry is 2 weeks old now, he’s been home over a week. i’m beginning to understand postpartum depression, or why it happens. the initial excitement is over, the constant attention is gone, even the babying and compassion you experienced as a pregnant woman is done. the days run together. the baby stops being a quiet, sleepy angel and finds his voice (and lungs). the 2-3 hour shifts of sleeping and breastfeeding wear you down. you no longer have the energy to pretend you are superwoman and forego naps for cleaning and cooking and laundering. all of the time you used to spend cuddling and kissing your partner pretty much disappears. you are both exhausted. and he’s only 2 weeks old.

parenthood is overwhelming. they say that once you have a baby, your life is over. i used to think that meant going out to bars or dinner parties or shows. but it is actually basic functions like having time to eat, or groom yourself, or even go to the bathroom sometimes. in a lot of ways you feel like your life has been swallowed up. where you are is some place in between, in between your old life and your new one. newborns don’t stick to schedules or routines. they’re coming from a cozy spot with womb service- everything included for maximum comfort, without having to ask. babies cry to communicate their needs. but sometimes when it seems nothing could possibly be wrong, they cry anyway.

colic is defined as crying more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks or more. generally at the same time of day (often late afternoon-night). colic is the sort of mysterious, undefined name for overly fussy babies. no one knows for sure what causes it, or how to stop it. over the last 6 days my baby has been crying (and screaming) more and more. yesterday he cried/screamed from 9am-3pm, stopping only to eat. nothing comforted him, not clean diapers or rocking or being held, not being in a carrier or vibrating chair, not classical music or a pacifier. finally, at my breaking point, a tight swaddle did the trick. it seems only feeding does any soothing, but it’s short lived.

i feel as if i am feeding him constantly, i suspect for comfort. the amount of gas he has is concerning to me,  but i’m told gas is common. at this point, i’m looking for solutions. my boyfriend has pretty serious celiac, the smallest trace of gluten or wheat has him doubled over in pain. i have always had a milder allergy to gluten, experiencing acne, dry skin patches & bloating. these symptoms mysteriously disappeared with  pregnancy for me. i noticed that my baby’s worst episodes tend to fall on days where i am eating gluten, and candy. he also develops a small rash on his face resembling hives. so as of today i am cutting out both gluten and sugar to see how he reacts.

any moms out there have this experience? has changing your diet helped?

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