Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some good words from a new father that show the value of hospital based education for new parents. Following that, a mother talks about colic and the feelings that follow ...

In the hospital they made us watch this really sad movie on shaken baby syndrome (Serene probably doesn't even remember it) and I thought how in the world could someone do that to their baby? I was shocked! Then, after about a week of 1.5 hour catnaps it all started to make sense how someone could lose control. I had to turn on the light sometimes just to make sure that the writhing object in my arms was in fact my baby and not a screaming banshee. I write with some hyperbole to emphasize the point but rest be assured that I never considered hurting my baby even during her most demonic frenzies.

Now, from The Mommy 'n Baby Page, an excellent perspective on what colic means to a mother...

Colic31st July 2008, 06:42 pm Some of us are lucky enough not to have to have a colicky baby, but others aren’t so blessed. My son was never diagnosed with colic, but often he would cry for hours each day, sometimes as many as four or five.

I can’t imagine having a baby who cries more then that, but there are some. My husband’s uncle would tell us stories of the two colicky babies that he and his wife raised. He would talk about two am drives to put the baby asleep and get some peace and quite.

Unfortunatly colic isn’t something we understand. We aren’t sure why some babies re colicky and others aren’t.

Without knowing the cause we aren’t sure how to make it stop either. If you have spent hours singing, pacing, dancing (I used to dance with my son who would sometimes quiet down with this method, at least until I stopped!), driving, crying, feeding, changing, and in all other ways trying to get through it, then you know what it is like to wish there was a way out.

Sometimes thoughts creep up, especailly after hours of hard work trying to make the crying stop to no avail. However, you have to work to combat these thoughts. One of the most common is that you are a bad mom. This thought can creep in as you aren’t making your baby happy.

It is hard to handle, but if you are trying and you care then you are a good mom. You have to remind yourself of the times when your baby isn’t crying and the love you feel then. You’re a good mom who is facing a difficult challenge! You are doing your best and that is better then many. Sure it isn’t easy, but you love your baby (especially when they aren’t crying) and you face it each day.Often times it is easy to feel alone when you are dealing with a colicky baby. Few people admit to having a colicky child because they are feeling insecure and alone too. However, you should look for others who are in the same boat as you are. Colic is something that happens to a lot of families and while it is hard to handle, you most certainly aren’t alone. You can even look for groups of moms with colicky babies online for someone to talk
to. Sometimes it is easy to feel like you are doing something wrong or that you are just nuts (”She only cries when she is alone with me!” or “Am I imagining this?”). This can be heightened by family who just doesn’t believe that your little angel is anything but, a little angel. You can get some relief. Leave the baby with the friends and family who don’t believe at the time time your baby is most colicky. Do some errands, take a break, and make it work for you. You won’t feel so alone and you will be sure to find it isn’t just you and you aren’t crazy! While colic isn’t necessarily something wrong with the baby, it sure can feel like it is and as such can make it feel like you have done something wrong.

You may blame yourself or search for something that happened during your
pregnancy or that you are doing wrong that may have “caused” this problem. While
researchers don’t know what causes colic, they do know that it isn’t you. Mom’s
everywhere may feel a little guilty, but they don’t have a right to be. There is
nothing that you could have done to make your baby colicky.

When I was eight months pregnant a very kind woman was talking to me about having the baby. She told me that at one time she was home alone and her daughter had been crying and crying. The crying had grated on her nerves and she suddenly thought about throwing her baby out of the window. She didn’t hurt her baby and felt guilty for thinking of that. When hearing this story I was appalled. I couldn’t believe that this woman was telling me this. She ended her story by telling me it was
okay if I had bad thoughts during a crying episode, as long as I didn’t act on them

In the hospital they showed a movie on shaken baby syndrome and I was amazed. How could people do that to beautiful babies? Then one day Marcus cried and cried and cried. I remembered both the story that was told to me and the shaken babies. While I could never shake a baby, any baby, I suddenly understood what prompted others to shake the babies and try and make the quiet. If you think, “I can’t take this anymore!”, if you yell at your baby, or you think bad thoughts you aren’t alone. It isn’t a good thing, but it is understandable. You should seek help if you need it (after all there are many psychological professionals who liken a colicky baby with post traumatic stress disorder). If you are thinking thoughts often, feeling like you might hurt yourself or your baby. Don’t feel ashamed to get help. However, it is fairly normal and if you just have an occasional thought just remember that you aren’t alone!Colic is a horrible thing to have to deal with. You should think ahead. After all, it isn’t going to happen forever. Over time you will find your baby outgrows the colic
and will soon become a little person, one you will probably like a lot more!

When we read a personal story, a narrative that explains one person's reaction, it can make a deeper impression than all the facts in the world: this Scientific American article helps explain why our brains value the evidence provided by compelling anecdotes over evidence produced by the scientific progress...

The reason for this cognitive disconnect is that we have evolved brains that pay
attention to anecdotes because false positives (believing there is a connection
between A and B when there is not) are usually harmless, whereas false negatives
(believing there is no connection between A and B when there is) may take you
out of the gene pool. Our brains are belief engines that employ association
learning to seek and find patterns. Superstition and belief in magic are
millions of years old, whereas science, with its methods of controlling for
intervening variables to circumvent false positives, is only a few hundred years

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