Many thanks to El for giving me the idea for this story and for featuring my version of hell as a guest poster at Running From Hell With El.
I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Our time in the hospital was a blur of nurses coming in and out. I remember that I was the mom who refused to let my daughter spend any time in the nursery. I was convinced it was my job alone to answer her calls of duty.
I spent time awake in the middle of the night in the hospital with her. As I sat with her in the darkness, I heard the babies from the rooms around me screaming through the night. Hubs and I pitied the other moms and reveled in our sweet baby. She seemed content and peaceful. In those first nights I felt blessed and I felt smug.
Unfortunately, we left that sweet contented child at the hospital and took home another. This baby spent the entire first night at home screaming for hours. I was being punished.
I thought I was prepared. I had my arsenal of mommy reading material and I had taken a class about caring for newborns. But there is nothing that can prepare you for a healty baby who screams for six hours straight every single night for 3 months: nothing. It seems doctors don't like to diagnose colic, but Blondie was a textbook case.
At first it was an inconvenience. We would go out to eat and would have to take shifts because Blondie would cry through dinner. The screaming grew from inconvenient to annoying, frustrating, tiring, grating, and intense. I found it harder to answer these calls of duty. We tried every colic "cure" known to Eastern, Western, and Places In Between medicine. Our new normal was Blondie screaming from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. every night.
One night while taking my turn eating I caught it; the sound of silence. Hubs walked into the kitchen; screaming. He left the kitchen; silence. Turning the corner I saw it; my sanity. Sitting on a large blue exercise ball, bouncing up and down with Blondie in his arms was my savior. I don't know what prompted him to do that, but from that night on we took shifts on that ball for as long as she needed us to. Then one day she didn't need it.
Hubs, my three kids and I all laugh about this story now; about our bouncing and Blondie's crying that seemingly never ended. That is the beauty of our big blue ball. I knew before Blondie was born that she would not be my only child. As difficult as my first infant was, I would not be deterred from having another. I was given a baby with colic because I could handle it, get over it, and move on, and as punishment for my smugness in a dark hospital room.