Have I fallen down the new parent rabbit hole?

Asalaam alaikum!

Oh boy! Oh girl!  I feel like I have fallen into an alternate universe – the land of being a parent.  I felt so ready I read all the right books in preparation of the birth of my daughter but none of those books talked about life after birth (LAB).

It should also be mentioned how none of your girl friends or even friends tell you in detail just how much your life gets thrown upside down!  Just vague comments of “your life will never be the same,” and “sleep when baby sleeps.”

That last one is a bunch of crap I tell you!  Even if my husband was here – I would still be using baby’s nap time to get things done that I can’t do or would rather not do with my baby in my arms or strapped to my body in her baby carrier.  Who else is going to wash the dishes, take out the trash, tidy the living room, toss dirty laundry in the laundry bin or cook the meal I am going to eat when its just me?  Moi! that’s who.

My lovely bundle of joy who is now five months old came home from the hospital and promptly had colic!  Ladies and Gentlemen – a baby with colic = parental mind loss.  I have read in Mother Jones about CIA torture techniques and a baby with colic would have me singing like a stool pigeon faster than the Barney Song on repeat.  Just to get a “regular” infant sleep pattern in the first two months of colic induced sleep deprivation would have been manna from heaven.

So how have I “tamed” the colic dragon?  1. Elimination Diet and 2. Probiotics

The elimination diet combined with a close watch of the color of my daughters poop and level of tummy gas helped me to figure out that my daughter is allergic to – Dairy (Milk, Eggs etc), wheat/gluten, cruciferous veggies, beef, lamb and strong flavors like garlic and onions.  So my diet has been radically changed.. I basically became a chicken and turkey eating vegan of a sorts over the time period of two months.

Probiotics helped by introducing the flora and fauna to help my daughters tummy handle these allergen/ gas inducing foods when met in small amounts ie mommy decides to cheat and eat a slice of her own birthday cake.  So I suspend Flora Udo’s Choice Infant Probiotics and Nature’s Way Primadophilus® Reuteri in pumped breast milk that I keep in my fridge and give to my daughter via oral syringe every morning.

Its like night and day since I started doing these two things for my daughter.  The elimination diet is TOUGH.. for a dairy  and baked goods lover like myself.  That said I have never been more aware of what goes into everything I eat because I am reading ALL the labels of everything before I put it in my grocery cart and purchase it to ensure I don’t trigger her colic again.

Some individuals have said to me.. oh why go to such extremes?  Your baby will out grow the colic or I am sure its not that bad.  I don’t see it as an extreme when I have a baby screaming in pain for hours on end every day pretty much all day but especially worse at night.  It was a horrible cycle to because my daughter like all infants will want to sooth themselves by nursing only to eat more of the allergy laden milk that will trigger another round of gas and pain for them.

I was up around the clock alone after my mother went back to work after talk off three weeks to help me (THANK YOU MOM!) putting warm cloths that I warmed in the microwave around her tummy to sooth her, giving gripe water, giving Colic Calm, rocking and patting her back, holding her in the football hold, putting her in the carrier and taking her outside to walk at all hours – anything and everything I could do to ease her pain.

As much as you love your baby after a while the colic and sleep deprivation gets to you.  I will be totally honest and tell you there were times I put down my screaming baby and walked away into the next room or bathroom for 10 minutes just to get a break!  It was a relief to go visit my mom and hand off the baby.  There was even a day I literally was up all night and morning and when it was a reasonable hour – I drove to my mom’s house and collapsed in her arms in tears because I was just so overwhelmed and alone.

I share this with you not to have you saying oh poor her.  I share this so that other mom’s in my shoes do not feel so alone or that there is nothing to do when their baby has colic!

My daughter is six months now because its taken me so long to get back to finish this post!, still EBF although I have started slowly doing the baby led weaning thing and she still does not sleep through the night.  She wakes every 3-4 hours to nurse then I transfer her back to her cosleeper.

I have no plans on sleep training her as I feel its more for the parents benefit than the child’s to “sleep train,” instead of waiting for your child to reach that developmental mile stone of sleeping through the night.

As for my husband has no idea what its like to be a parent and has little to no experience with babies or children.  So its sure to be a steep learning curve if and once he arrives.  He loves our daughter and will do anything for her but I am confident the dream won’t match the reality for him. I pray in a good way.

As you can see – I have been writing less but inshaAllah I will get back to having a weekly post for you all.