Before I had my daughter Lainey, I never understood how a person could harm an innocent baby, especially their very own. After my colic experience, I was still sickened by these unsettling news events, but could unfortunately understand a bit better.
You see, no one ever told me that I had a one in five chance of having a baby that would not stop crying. And no one ever prepared me for how upsetting this would be. So when I started to have ill thoughts towards my baby, I was sure I was the worst mother in the world.
From Doting to Indifference
When Lainey was born, she slept in a bassinet that I kept pulled up next to my bed so that I could be close to her, checking to see that her little chest was moving up and down whenever she slept. I even went so far as to put a movement monitor under the bassinet pad that would set off an alarm should she ever stop breathing.
After she turned colicky on me, though, I began pushing her bassinet farther and farther away from my bed and no longer compulsively checked to see whether or not she was breathing every time she napped. I know it may not sound that bad to you, but to my obsessive-compulsive self, my failure to check up on my baby was horrendous! This was only the beginning.
It was when Lainey was about six weeks old that I started to care less whether or not I was dead or alive. And, as I would hold Lainey in my arms at night trying to console her, trying to get her to sleep, I envisioned me holding her up and shouting, "What the hell is wrong with you? Why won't you stop crying? Can't you see you're driving me crazy?"
Actually, I think I did mention these thoughts to her in passing, not that she knew what I was saying at the time. I took her cries so personally, like an attack on my mothering skills. Didn't she know how much I loved her? If she did, why did she act like she hated me all of the time?
Ever since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted was to be a mother. And, when I graduated pharmacy school, I was seven months pregnant with my first child, second pregnancy. I had miscarried my first baby, right around the time of 9-11. My baby was needed up in heaven to comfort all the souls that ascended on that dreadful day. When I first saw blood, I felt in my heart that something was wrong. That was one of the most depressing events of my life. Losing a child, no matter how young, is the worst pain a mother can ever experience.
It was therefore with great glee that I announced the birth of both of my girls (Lainey has an older sister, Leah). I was overcome with joy and thankfulness with each of their births. So when my perfect little baby Lainey turned into a gassy little fuss bucket, I was completely floored.