Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Baby Book

Stealth Jew hates Dr. Sears. Dr. Sears answers questions at Ask Dr. Sears.

Actually, I hate a lot of those people: Penelope Leach, whomever or whatever wrote What to Expect When . . . , Brazelton.

But I particularly hate Dr. Sears. And I particularly hate him today, after Firefly has been crying without stop for four days. Because today I had occasion to read his advice on COPING WITH COLIC. I mentioned Firefly has a touch of colic, yes?

First, "You try to cuddle, but baby stiffens in protest. You try to nurse, but baby arches and pulls away. You rock, sing, and ride. The soothing techniques that worked yesterday aren't working today. And inside your head the familiar refrain, "What's wrong with my baby? What's wrong with me?" plays over and over again."

Dr. Sears, nothing is playing in my head. IF anything is playing in my head, I can't hear it. My baby is screaming too loud. On the odd occasions that I can pawn him off on someone else to scream at, what do I hear in my head? Ringing. I have always had tinnitus, but I think Firefly is making it worse.

"When an adult hurts, the doctor and patient do some detective work to track down the cause of the pain, so they can fix it." Well, sometimes. But sometimes they just administer something for the pain. Do they know what causes fibromyalgia? Can they 'fix' the pain after an operation? Maybe what my baby needs is morphine. Why can't my baby have morphine? If it's unsafe for him, give it to me.

The problem with the epidural is that they took it away and made me keep the baby.

"By viewing your baby as "hurting" instead of "crying," you're more likely to be empathetic, like you would a baby who was hurting because of an ear infection, rather than viewing crying as an annoying tool babies use to manipulate their parents into holding them a lot" Dr. Sears, we passed empathy so long ago. The only way I'd empathise with Firefly mid-scream-fest is if he were making another little firefly and birthing it into his diaper. Crying for 48 hours is more than annoying. It is a form of torture. My baby is torturing me.

"Carrie, a mother in our practice, had a colicky baby who was content as long as she was in a sling. But Carrie had to return to work when her baby was six-weeks-old. I wrote the following "prescription" to give to her daycare provider: "To keep Tiffany content, wear her in a sling at least three hours a day."" That's an awesome idea. Except that Firefly is worn in a sling, well, all the time. Because he cries all the time.

The other day I had a migraine. I was lying on the bed with a pillow over an ice pack over my head. Firefly was next to me, screaming. Round about four a.m., I was so tired that I swaddled him, put him in his bassinet, and just left. I couldn't do any more. I went into the other room, and over his crying, I fell asleep.

I don't know how long he was there. My husband woke up and held him for awhile, and brought him to me to nurse at around 5:30 a.m.

When I started thinking of Firefly and me as a tragic dyad, conjoined twins who hate each other, I realised it was time to visit grandma.

He really likes his grandmother.

I believe in the sun when it's not shining, right?


  1. Have you read the Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp? It's a pretty amazing book! (but you might end up hating Dr. Karp also).

  2. Everyone who is ever within earshot of a colicky baby should read this post.

  3. @ Upper West Side Mom:

    That's actually a really good idea. I liked his book The Happiest Toddler on the Block, even though I read it a long time ago now. It had some pretty useful ideas.

  4. Colic is the leading cause of infant homicide, did you know that? I'll be you're not surprised.

    I can barely remember the first 3 months of Rivka's life. It was one long screamfest. The ped told us to put her on Enfamil Lacto-free formula, and she stopped crying that night. That's all it took. Apparently my milk was too high in lactose and she wasn't digesting it properly.