Hard Yakka

Hard Yakka

Whinge alert – this post is my way of venting and having a bit of a whinge. Apologies in advance.

The last week has been really tough. The first few weeks of having a new born is really hard for any family, and we are now dealing with escalating colic / reflux / intolerance. Hudson’s irritability and unsettledness has escalated somewhat in the past week, and I have become ‘that’ Mother who searches for the answer by Googling, asking everyone and of course, relying on the experts. I’ve been told that time is really the only answer, and whilst this is hard to take, I know it is true.

Last night before we went to bed, I said to Dan that I both ‘love and hate’ night time. The feeling of putting your tired head on the pillow is pure bliss, until your brain hits you with the reminder of the night ahead. Right now I would love to be in a predictable night feeding routine. By predictable, I mean get 3/4 of hours sleep, wake, change nappy, feed, settle and repeat. Our nights have become a mix of musical beds as Ella has started to wake with the sound of her crying brother. I try to feed H in the lounge room, but am constantly scared of his whimpers waking his big sister. Hudson is generally unsettled most of the night from 2am. His grunts and strains are heartbreaking and they are starting to take their toll on all of us. Dan and I are doing our best to be there for each other. He checks in with me during the day, and I with him. This weekend we are moving back into our home after a mammoth 6 month renovation, much of which he has done himself. I’m not sure if we were adventurous, smart or crazy to time this all at the same time.

Emotionally, I am ok, but physically I am pretty exhausted. I think that I have been able to deal with this colic in a better (ie. rational) way, given the fact that I have had a baby before. The rule of thumb is that ‘this too shall pass’. I guess I’m feeling a little sad that we cannot enjoy his early weeks more, as we are both tired, worried and anxious about what is causing his pain. One thing is for sure is that I know we are not alone. I’ve had so many messages of support, advice and tips on how to treat these (for the moment) unknown conditions. Currently, we are using a reflux medication, and I am also going Dairy Free to try to work out if Hudson has reflux or intolerance to Dairy. I feel guilty to admit that I really struggle with the thought of not being able to have milk, butter, cheese (cheese!!) and a new Mum’s best friend, chocolate. After a night of no sleep, a cup of tea feels like pure heaven and I cried at the thought of not being able to do this. That said, I know that there are alternatives, and I also know that things could be far worse. I will do what ever I have to do for him. It’s just hard yakka when you are in the thick of it, and it simply feels really overwhelming.

I'll be putting Almond Milk in my tea for the next month!
I’ll be putting Almond Milk in my tea for the next month!

All we want is for our little man to be happy and healthy, and right now he is presenting as healthy in every sense of the word, except for this. He is putting on weight and feeding well. It’s just heart breaking to see him constantly squirm in pain, and as a Mum you feel helpless. I just have to trust that things will sort themselves out, and there will come a time that he will be a happy and contented baby who will not have to deal with this.

I take my hat off to any parent who has dealt with colic, reflux or intolerance. It truly sucks. There is no other way to put it. The last thing I want to do is wish away this time, but at the moment, I hope that the miracle ’12 week mark’ comes soon. As I take a photo of my little man at six weeks old, this feels like a long time away. Given the fact that he was 4 weeks prem, it may also be a little longer…

Hudson at 6 weeks old
Hudson at 6 weeks old

In the mean time, I will stay positive and trust that it will all be ok! If you have dealt with colic, reflux or intolerance, I’d love to hear from you!


4 thoughts on “Hard Yakka

  1. Oh, Kate. What you are experiencing sounds so similar to what I went through with my little boy 4 years ago. He was 4 weeks prem and almost from the day he was born he was unsettled. Even in his sleep he would be grunting a wriggling as if in pain. I was an emotional and physical wreck very quickly and tried just about everything. Ant acid medication, homeopathy, massage, dairy free, bed tilting, breast feeding lying down but nothing worked. In the end I went to the royal childrens hospital and the incredible doctor there told me, after giving Fraser a thourough physical exam, that the reason why there are so many cures for colic, reflux etc etc is because none of them work and in most cases it is a developmental thing in their brains ( the crying, colic etc) and you just have to stick it out till they grow out of it. Well it took a long time, Fraser was probably 12 months before the vomiting stopped and he became more settled. I truly hope it doesn’t take as long for you as I know how hard having an unsettled baby is. Good luck and love.

    1. Donna, I cannot thank you enough for your reply. You have described our exact situation and everything we have tried to do so far! Everyone says time is the key, but it is so hard when you are in the middle of it. I don’t want to wish the time away, but I also want the time to come when he can be happier. Thanks again, your post has given me a real boost xx

  2. Sending hugs Kate, I know how those dreaded nights felt and how each child is so so different and just when you think you have a handle of things they change. The only other thing I remember being told was to get rid of garlic and onion for a while to see if that made a difference and also broccoli and in the end if nothing seems to work then do what you instinctively want to and just wait it out, easier said then done I know and how long a night feels when you are at the start of it with a crying baby, yet we all seem to go back for more because in the midst of it all, they give you a smile, or they smell like baby and they are lucky to have your arms around them. Keep sane if you can, and sleep when you can and know that time has a way of making all things seem easier in hindsight.

  3. Hi Kate I read your post and almost cried! My little one (first born) is also 6 weeks old and was born 5 weeks prem. I’m going through exactly what your describe! The nights are a thing to fear as I never know what to expect. Sometimes he sleeps quite well and other times it’s constant crying and feeding. The chuck ups happen after every feed- it’s so exhausting!

    I’m also counting the days til 12 weeks when I’m hoping something miraculous will happen! Comforting to know I’m not the only one going through this. I’m also terrified of giving up dairy but will so it if needed.. Let’s hope they both improve quickly and it’s just their immature little digestive systems still developing.

    All the best! Natalie

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