This sweet, sweet girl, our superstar (onesie courtesy of Aunt Jesse), has been pretty fussy for just over two weeks now. Not all day, mostly at night (and into the early hours of the morning). She cries as though she's in pain, is only soothed (and only sometimes) by being in a vertical position and patted firmly on the back while being walked around or by being allowed to suck on my (or my husband's) pinky finger. When she is fitty (as I tend to call it) or upset (as I prefer to call it but forget to use) she refuses to nurse (the worst being the night she finished nursing at 9 PM and barely nursed again until 5 AM-sh) although I can sometimes trick her by quickly slipping my pinky out of her mouth and replacing it with one of my nipples. She seems most upset before and during peeing or pooping. Sometimes she'll be red-faced screaming, then pee (we often have a diaper spread out underneath her, rather than actually putting it on her since she doesn't seem to like being wet) and completely relax and even coo.
It's hard for me to see her in pain and be unable to fix it for her, however, it's harder on my husband. I'm used to babies and feel confident that this will end, yes, we may all suffer for three or four months, but it will end and none of us will have lasting damage from it. Sometimes I believe that the important thing is that we are here for her, that we are constantly attempting to sooth her, because at least she'll not feel abandoned. But my husband isn't used to babies, and he has to go to work every day (six days a week) which means he must sleep, but in a house the size of ours (930 square feet) it's very hard to get away from the sound of a screaming baby, not to mention hard to leave your wife and screaming baby so that you can sleep. And then it's hard on me to feel alone and responsible for so much (her pain, my inability to successfully sooth her, his exhaustion and inability to sleep).
And so we've been trying things I never thought I would try. First came the vibrating baby bouncer complete with music and moving parts:
Which she likes when she's already happy, but hates when she's already upset. We bought that at Target a couple of nights ago, along with an easy-swaddle blanket because we doubted our own swaddling abilities. Turns out that a jersey knit fabric (complete with velcro) is a lot easier for this girl to get out of than a flannel receiving blanket.
And today I sent my husband to the store for Hyland's Colic Tablets, and don't even mind that he also came home with Gripe Water. Junah didn't fuss a huge amount last night (we were able to go to bed at 1:30 AM which is good) but had an unusually fitty morning. I've started (as of this morning) a strict elimination diet I plan on continuing until I can talk to a lactation consultant next week.
But. The lowest point for me, so far, was last night, at nearly 11 PM, when we went to Long's and purchased these:
And let me tell you, I thought I would never, ever even consider a pacifier. I have my own multitude of reasons, and don't expect other people to share them, and fully recognize that for some people pacifiers work, I just never thought I would want to try one. And I didn't want to. But I also did. Jason has no problem with pacifiers, and had brought the idea up a few times, but was deferring to me. Despite the fact that he's been late to work a few times and lost a ton of sleep. And you know what? That is pretty damn generous of him. She's his daugher too and he should be allowed to try new things with her in this sort of situation. But he wasn't even pressuring me to change my mind, he just asked me why I don't want to use pacifiers and left it at that. I was the one who brought them up last night. And I cried about it before we went to the store, (and a little bit in the car while Junah and I waited for him to buy them) and before I put the first rubber nipple into her mouth and after she spit each one out in succession and while I carried her around on my shoulder and patted her back and was glad they didn't work and sad about that at the same time.
Because I want to be a good parent. I want to be consistent with Junah and any other children we have. I don't want to change my mind about things and make her unable to depend upon me because she never knows what I'll do/say/feel/want next. But I also want to be flexible. I don't want to be so set in my ways and firm in my beliefs that I overlook what might work for her. I guess all I can hope for is that we find the right balance. For us.