Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prayer for Colic

For the first 3 months of Brielle's life I was exhausted. Brielle fought sleep, by simply not sleeping at all. It was a miracle when I finally did get her to sleep and I would sing prayers of thanksgiving. Once 10 PM hit, she was up and crying. I doubt I spent those first few months of her life sleeping next to my husband at all. Most of my sleeping was during her day time naps. She would seriously scream from 10 until early, early the next morning. The worst night was at Grandma's house where she screamed all night long, from 10 to 5 am.

When we relayed these details to our doctor she very pointedly exclaimed, "It sounds like she has a mild case of colic." Mild?! You call screaming all hours of the night mild?! I probably looked at her from dark ringed eyes and a scraggly hair do. I doubt my clothes even matched. I was running on nothing. I think back to those days as some of the most sleep deprived days of my life (not counting Greek week as a college freshman). I mean I was recovering from 2 surgery's, major iron deficiency and my doctor told me that the best recovery therapy was rest.

Haha. With a colicky newborn?!

So this morning when I read, "Prayer for Colic" out of my "Mommy Prayers" book by Tracy Mayor, I could totally relate.

Dear God, Have I offended you? I know I can be smug, what with my great husband, delightful toddler, and happy second pregnancy. Did I get too complacent or ungrateful? Because my new baby has colic, Lord, and at times it's so awful that if feels like nothing but a punishment from a vengeful God. Look at how my child is suffering! In a single day our happy, sleepy newborn turned into a howling, red-faced monster, and no matter what we try, we can't get him back. They say he's not in pain, God, but I'm not a fool. I can see with my eyes and feel with my heart that he's hurting. He's writhing and gasping and emitting that unmistakably ear-splitting colic cry for hours and hours on end. His big sister is angry and clingy and teary, and why shouldn't she be when there's not a moment of peace in the house from three in the afternoon till midnight, every single night? We've been to the pediatrician more times than I can count, and to every specialist in town. We've tried every feeding, holding, sleeping, and soothing trick in the book. I am clinging to the hope that this colic will very shortly end the same way it began - suddenly and without warning. Until then, Lord, please send us the strength and patience to somehow survive through these minutes and hours and days and weeks. You're our only hope, Lord. Thanks.

I think, had I read this 3 months ago, I would've cried. Now, I giggle as I relate to the feeling of desperation. I would have gratefully repeated the last line in bold, please give us strength and patience to survive! I laugh as I think of how I felt towards other mom's with newborns, holding their sleeping, not crying, baby and think, "Why can't my baby be like that?!" I don't ever remember my child sleeping peacefully in my arms, in her car seat, crib, swing, bouncy chair.... In fact, one night at Bible study a mom of three yelled over my screaming child, "Don't worry! Your next baby will be different, not all babies are like this!"

WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT ANOTHER BABY?!

I mean my first experience with giving birth was an emergency experience, 10 days later I almost died from postpartum hemorrhaging, and while I was supposed to be recovering from both of these experiences I'm a sleep deprived, sickly, weak mommy of a colicky newborn. Having more children was not on any thought spectrum of either my husband or myself.

If you're reading this, while experiencing a newborn with colic, do not worry. It does end as suddenly as it began. The moment you try one thing and it works that one time, the next time it won't. But do not lose heart, you will get through this! You will be a more patient, loving parent because of it and you will be able to look back at this portion of your life as a refining fire, where your only hope was literally in the Lord and his strength!

In the mean time, I'm praying for you and all sleep deprived mommy's out there, trying to recover from labor and delivery, that you find rest in God and love the little blessing He entrusted to you.

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