Feeling like a Helpless Dad: Is this “Colic?”

Erica called me yesterday around 11AM.  Eliana was fussy.  This was not the normal “fussy” that we had experienced already in her short 3-week life.  This was a more pronounced crying fit.  Erica had a scheduled Skype meeting which she had to push back to 1pm.

Erica and I spoke on the phone and agreed she’d try to calm Eliana down after a feeding and see if she went to sleep.  I got another call at 12:15.  She had slept for about 15 minutes or so and woke up fussy.  In specific, she’d frail her arms around, strain as she pushed (either a fart, or a stool out), cry a lot, squirm around, and was evidently in a lot of pain.  By this time, Eliana was exhausted.  The cry I heard on the phone was the faintest cry I’d heard from her.  I knew she needed to sleep, and wanted to give Erica a break.

I rushed home and got there within 15 minutes.  Eliana had begun to doze off in Erica’s arms.  I took her so that Erica could go eat.  The few seconds between her arms and mines were enough to initiate another bit of spontaneous crying.  I cuddled her tightly in my arms as I rocked her gently.  She was asleep within two minutes, overcome by the lack of sleep that she had and the level of tiredness.  She woke up one more time, but for the most part, carried her normal eat-poop-sleep routine through the day.  When I came back from work later on, I even brought a Baby Einstein DVD that she was watching and enjoying.  We thought it was a random thing… until 7:15 that evening.

She had been fed and was starting to doze off, when all of a sudden, she begins squirming, straining, pushing, and crying.  She was frantic, as if she was having a spaz attack.  We changed her diaper just in case, and put some Desitin in the event she felt sore from pooping so much.  We wrapped her up, and kept her in a onesie.  We rocked her a bit, and tried to burp her.  It seems we tried everything, but she kept crying and was in so much pain and discomfort.  Erica began to cry as I was researching information about what it could be.

Colic… I’d heard of it, but didn’t think Eliana would have it.  While the doctor hasn’t confirmed it, the long-list of symptoms were an exact replica of what Eliana had been experiencing.

I went back into the room to find Erica rocking Eliana as she cried helpless.  I prayed for Erica, and then I prayed for Eliana.  She began to calm a little.  This lasted for about a minute.  Then she began crying again.

I took Eliana.  By this time, we were almost certain it was colic that was causing this.  We happened to have some gripe water that came in a survival kit we’d gotten from our registry.  We gave her some, and I continued to hold her.  She was crying hysterically.  I broke down.  I began to wheep over my daughter.

In that moment, I felt helpless.  As I held her in my arms, tears began to run down my face as I desired to take away the pain that Eliana was obviously feeling.  If there was anything I could do to ease her pain, I would have done it.

It was my first “dad” moment.  Feeling the pain my daughter was going through.

Thankfully, the prayers we prayed, along with a little gripe water, were able to keep her comforted.  We prayed over our daughter again, and layed her to sleep.

She woke up four hours later to be fed.  After that, she had a mini colicky session, but was able to be soothed.

Today has been better.  We now know what the likelihood is regarding Colic.  We are taking care of her differently.  In the words of Nacho Libre, it’s all about, “big kiss… little kiss… big hug… little hug… little hug… big kiss…”  and a lot of love for our daughter.

This will be a learning experience for us during the first 3 months, as that’s how long some babies take to “grow out of it.”  But we’re confident that God is on our side, and are comforted by the many stories of friends and families who have gone through raising a baby with colic.


One thought on “Feeling like a Helpless Dad: Is this “Colic?”

  1. Michael Gierhart

    Does it happen within an hour after eating? Sounds more like acid reflux or constipation–especially if it’s waking her up.

    WebMD and it’s contemporaries are probably one of the worst things to happen to the medical field in recent years. Check with your pediatrician rather than diagnosing yourself, see what s/he says. There are medicines that could help her pain if it’s reflux, constipation, or another gastrointestinal type thing.

    (This advice comes on behalf of my wife–she’s working as an infant/toddler teacher at an early childhood education center and getting her masters degree so she can be an early childhood development specialist.)


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