Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Every Star is Different

I am reaching around a sleeping babe in my arms to type this post. It's not worth trying to lay her down...even though I know she just filled her diaper. Trust me, it's not worth waking her up. She might not get another nap for awhile.

I've been musing over how different each of my kids have been. There were definitely similarities, but they were also very clearly their own personalities from the beginning.

I thought since I was having my fourth baby that things would be super easy and I wouldn't have any questions. Hah! "Pride goeth before the fall", right?

Anna Rebecca is doing great. She's a sweet baby and we all adore her. When she's not crying, she's super sweet. And that does happen each day, and for a good chunk of time. I can still describe her as a happy baby.

BUT, she also goes on these big crying stints. It's lovely. (insert sarcasm) At first I thought it was reflux. I ruled that out and then realized I have an oversupply of milk and an overactive let-down (that's a whole other story and pretty funny actually). I also have figured she has a hard time pooing, which I've already written about. And she seems super burpy, also a by-product of the oversupply. All of these things I can deal with. I was changing my diet when I thought it was reflux. If that hadn't worked, I would have moved on to medication. I feed Becca on one side per feeding and sometimes for a few hours at a time (if she's eating more frequently) to help with the overactive let-down. She's getting older and seems to be having an easier time pooing. But when she needs help we bathe her, massage her, and hold her upright so gravity can have a better chance of helping out.

What I'm struggling with is the crying. With each of my previous babes, I knew how to stop the crying. I knew what they needed. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that I was their mother and I had what they needed or I just knew what to do to calm them down.

As I was preparing for Becca's birth, I was so excited and remember thinking, "I do newborns! I love this stage." I wonder if God was thinking, "Heh heh. Just wait."

I'm reading The Happiest Baby on the Block which talks all about colic (and is pretty funny when it comes to his "pro-evolution" thoughts...his theory on colic seems sound, but I don't think it needs to be based on evolution) and how to calm crying babies, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. His techniques calm her down, but they don't help her fall asleep and as soon as we stop the swaddle/side/sh/swinging/sucking she's crying again. Even after extended quiet. And the sucking doesn't seem to be going. She'll suck intermittently on a pacifier, but not with any real consistency and it doesn't seem to send that calming reflex even deeper as The Happiest Baby suggest it does.

Yesterday Eric and I talked about taking her to a chiropractor but I wonder how that would or could help? Her birth was a pretty normal birth -- would all babies benefit from seeing a chiropractor despite the circumstances of their births? Would that really help with this?

I don't really know if it's colic, per se, or if she's just more fussy than her sisters were. I have read that the definition of colic is a baby who cries three hours or more per day for three weeks or longer. I'm not sure I actually want to add up her crying spells to see how much time she cries. I don't think I want to know the answer. And either way, I'm still reading up on crying and colic and trying all the recommended things. I was also sort of under the impression that babies with colic had really rough nights and she does really well at night, especially once we started swaddling her at night.

(I will now need to change MY pants as well as Becca's when this post is over. And get her some new clothes to wear. And a different blanket to wrap her in.)

Well, I don't really have anything else to say about it. I guess I just needed to vent. And I know some of you have been there or are there. And I know one of you is a chiropractor and two of you have had miraculous results by taking a baby TO a I guess I just knew there would be some listening ears if I shared this. Any advice would be welcome too.


  1. jjstringham said...
    Emily had colic. We tried everything (or what we thought was everything - hadn't even thought about a chiropractor). Eventually she just grew out of it. It's hard, I know. I'm just praying this next one isn't as hard. Hopefully you find something that will ease her pain. And soon. For your sanity's sake.
    Headle said...
    You are such an AMAZING mother!!! I look up to you so much! I just want to tell you that! I'm so grateful you are sharing this because I always learn so much from you! :)
    Tiff said...
    Oh, Abby. MAJOR hugs & empathy from over here! And yours is even harder because you have 3 other children to care for.

    Not all chiropractors help. I took Malia to one at 2 months old and it did nothing. It wasn't until I saw a specific one who had "coincidentally" shown up at one of our testimony meetings for a baby blessing. He. did. amazing. stuff.

    You don't need to add up the hours for a true colicky baby. You just know. And it sounds to me like you know. hank heavens she does nights well, though. Malia never did. But I'm not here to compare because it only sucks when you're in it, and you're in it. And I love you and empathize. If you need to talk about it, I'm here. I highly recommend seeing the chiro. I saw in Utah. Do you have any other reason to make a trip out there?

    True colic is not grown out of, BTW. The baby just learns to deal with the pain. You don't want that. You want to help the sweet one feel relief.

    I have so much to say about this, but this isn't the forum. Hit me up, if you want. :)

    LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!11
    Leah Marie said...
    I don't know if all babies "need" it, but all babies could benefit from chiropractors. The journey through the birth canal can be tough. ;-)
    Jean said...
    Oh, I feel for you, Abby. We did Happiest Baby, too, but sometimes we had to stand there in Weston's room, jiggling him on his side in his swaddle, for an hour or more until he would finally calm down and fall asleep. The crying is so frustrating, especially when nothing seems to work!! But if it helps, I barely remember that newborn-crying-stage now. It WILL PASS. :-) (Hopefully sooner than later.)
    Lisa said...
    Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm sad to learn that things don't necessarily get easier with later kids. Mental note. :)

    Jonathan only had reflux during the day, which I thought was interesting, especially since he lies down at night. But yeah, our night feedings would go fine, but day feedings were terrible. You said you already ruled out reflux, but just letting you know that it's not totally crazy for them to be good at night--I sure appreciated it as I'm sure you do.

    Let us know how things work out--I don't really have advice, just lots of sympathy. :)
    Heidi said...
    Oh, oh, oh, I empathize.

    Typing with baby in arms so disjointed, I have overabundant supply/strong let down, too. Read up on it in "The Nursing Mother's Companion" (great book) which is also where I heard about baby's reacting to milk protein (casein) in mother's milk. I cut dairy and two days later I had a NEW CHILD. It was unreal, the difference. I keep trying milk while nursing with each new baby and it's around 3 weeks that they seem to start reacting. I thought colic at first, they were screaming and inconsolable. Gassy, spitting up, explosive diapers, etc, etc. I cut dairy and dramatic difference in their behavior, reflux improved, and much less laundry from horrid diapers. :) It can take a couple weeks for milk protein to clear your system but within a couple days I see a huge, huge difference in the kids. Not all of them reacted like that, Christopher and Joseph were the most sensitive. (And both also have the worst eczema.)

    May want to try cutting dairy for a few days to see if it helps?
    Rae said...
    I have to tell you, it makes me REALLY happy to see in comment-form the support system you have. It makes me feel a little less frantic about being so far away from you right now. If I was there, I would scoop that little Becca into my arms and whisk her away with me while you and Eric enjoyed a date.

    But since I can't do that, I say:

    Keep calling me. Call me every day if you can and when you want. Or have me do your research for you. I love you and I'll pray for you and I'll be ready and waiting any time you call! (Unless I am in the shower.)
    Abby Hanson said...
    Thank you so much guys for your support, your love, and your advice! I don't know how many of you will come back to read the comments -- I hope you do at least so you can know how appreciated you are!! You guys are the best!
    Wendi said...
    I'm kinda late to the party here, but I hope that things start looking up. It is really interesting how every child is different. Julie is definitely different. Harder at the beginning than Shannon and Zub (more fussy, always hungry, tougher to get to sleep), but things are starting to settle down. I am starting to feel like a normal person again.... well as normal as I can claim to be.

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