Colic broke me

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Our first daughter was born on 1st August 2012.  She was a week and a half early and despite a long labour everything went naturally and safely.  Baby was healthy, Mummy was well and we quickly settled into our new lives as a family.

Life was as you would have hoped as a new parent.  Our daughter got settled into breastfeeding without too much trouble, she slept well and Mum was healing nicely following the birth.IMG_2570

This idyllic bliss however abruptly came to an end when our baby was 3 weeks old.  One evening, without any previous warnings she started to cry.  As time rolled on the crying gave way to screaming and settled in for the next 18 weeks.  Colic had settled in!

Our beautiful baby, who had just joined us and made our world new again had now begun screaming uncontrollably.  We were at a loss.  We did of course take her to the doctors who referred us to the hospital who ran tests, kept us in for observations and came up with nothing several times.  All the professionals could offer us was a diagnosis of colic.  They were all amazingly kind and helpful, but there was nothing to be done to help.

Failing traditional methods and looking for any possible option that could help ease her pain we also visited a Cranial Osteopathy locally who was also unable to help.  They did in fact add to our concerns by commenting that it was the worst case of colic they had ever seen.

For any of you that haven’t heard of colic yet it is a phenomenon in some babies that results in them crying/screaming uncontrollably.  They cannot be soothed and no one knows what causes it.

Before having children it was something we had not heard of.  We’d done the classes and read the books but none of them had mentioned colic to us.  Over time it became apparent that this wasn’t because it is uncommon, lots of our friends were told at some point that their babies were also colicy.  It felt as though as no one knew what it was or how to combat it it is best hidden from new or soon to be parents.

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The 18 weeks of screaming pushed my wife and I hard.  Both of us at various points broke down into tears as a result of our daughter’s suffering.  I have never before felt so helpless as I did watching my tiny baby scream and writhe around in pain with nothing to offer her to help.  I was desperate to take to pain away but there was nothing to do but wait.  Wait for the mysterious colic to do what it does and then move on.  That wait proved to be incredibly hard to bear.

But once she was 21 weeks old it stopped.  Life became easier.  Our daughter became happier and now that she’s 2 there is no sign that anything had ever been wrong.  Our life as a happy new family could get under way again.

I wanted to write this not to boast about the difficulties that we had nor offer much in the way of advice to people suffering as there is nothing that I could write here that would comfort any parent holding and watching their baby suffer.  But I did want to highlight the fact that whatever it is, colic does affect people.  It is awful.  There are plenty of other people out there who are also suffering.  But it does pass.  Do whatever you can do to help yourself, your partner, your baby and the rest of your family cope with the pain of it.  Look after one another as best you can and in time things will improve.

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11 thoughts on “Colic broke me

  1. colic… It still makes me shudder to remember those evenings spent trying to perfect the perfect March/jiggle/bounce that would buy 5 minutes respite.

    Both of mine had it, E until 5.5 months (so it’s reassuring that your little one suffered for so long too). N’s evaporated at 12 weeks, but E’s only resolved once he was prescribed the right formula for him. I was tempted by cranial osteopaths,but didn’t know where to start and didn’t fancy someone ‘doing stuff’ to my screaming baby’s head.

    My husband bought a tablet, I bought some good headphones and whoever was on colic duty could watch a programme in *relative* peace. 🙂

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    • It’s amazing how many people have been affected by Colic as new parents. It is a HUGE area of parenting that so few people talk about.
      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences of it. Hopefully as more of us share our memories of it more parents will feel comfortable share their problems with it.

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  2. Thankfully our 3 didn’t suffer with colic but we have had lots of family and friends whose children have struggled and watched parents get to breaking point. It is so unfair. Those first few weeks are hard enough. Thanks for linking up. #sundaystars

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  3. luckily my children have only ever had a few colicy occasions and even then i found it hard when they’re crying for hours on end, i can’t imagine how hard it would be for 18 weeks! thanks for linking up #sundaystars

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  4. My eldest daughter had colic! Like your little one it started at around three weeks and lasted for three long months. She’d start screaming every day at around 4pm and it would be non-stop for three hours, just in time for my husband’s return from work, which made it even more frustrating! It’s so sad that I now look back on that time with an awful feeling of dread not the happy, blissful feeling I should have. I do feel slightly robbed.

    On a positive note my second daughter was fine, no signs of colic, just happy and content in her little world – bliss!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the very first #StarSunday linky. Hope to see you again next week.

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  5. All of mine have had boughts of colic. My youngest suffered severe reflux until he was one so I truly feel your pain at having to watch your child suffering and there being nothing you can do. I’m glad your daughter recovered with no negative aftereffects. #sundaystars

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  6. mrshall2b

    My youngest had nights of non stop crying too. At 18 months we now seem to have passed it, weve had better nights the last 2-3 weeks. We switched her to soya milk & gave her gripe water, we also use lactulose. We never truly found out what was wrong but i sympathize with anyone suffering sleepless nights.

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  7. Mike

    Tim couldn’t agree more. When Amelia hit 18 weeks it was like a different baby and the joys we’ve had since have been worth the sleepless nights and shared tears. You wouldn’t even know today that Amelia ever had colic. Great blog by the way.

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