Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 34: And God Created Babies with Weak Digestive Systems – Baby Colic – Part 2

Just when we thought that the worst had passed within gotten to a point where the reflux was now under control within having stabilized his body with homeopathic treatment and having removed diary from diet – colic came knocking down our door. This was around 6-8 weeks.

Colic is a word you hear and read a lot about when you have a baby, yet at the same time it’s one of the vaguest concepts out there in baby world.

Here’s a somewhat ‘official’ definition of colic to illustrate my point:

‘episodes of crying for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months’

So now that the reflux set itself aside, Cesar suddenly started crying for hours on end. In the first few weeks of his life, he didn’t cry much. He only cried when he was hungry or was a bit uncomfortable in terms of how his body was positioned but otherwise he was a quiet baby. So for him to suddenly start crying hours on end to no relief was quite odd.

When he would start these crying sessions I would just hold him and walk him as this seemed to assist him to gain some stability. After an hour or so of carrying and rocking him, I would hand him over to Gian, Maite or LJ – and so we would take shifts carrying him and holding him until he would fall asleep.

During this time, there would be days that he would not sleep during the day but then be knocked out at night. The one time he even slept for only 6-7 hours in a 24 hour period, where he had one 3 hour stretch and then a bunch of 20-30 min catnaps.

Nighttime was my research time, when I would breastfeed him, I would do research on the internet on my tablet which just fit next to him on the breastfeeding pillow and inform myself on all there is to know about babies and reading up on other parents’ experiences. Looking at how Cesar had been behaving and the research I had done, I decided that I wanted to try giving him probiotics to assist with his digestive system which was still busy kick-starting. After about three days of giving him probiotics suitable for babies, the extensive crying sessions ceased and he seemed a lot more comfortable within his body and we haven’t had such crying sessions since.

It’s quite interesting to see how doctors give things names without really having a clue what it exactly entails. They just label some behavior with a particular name without having any idea what the cause is and what correction needs to take place. In terms of the colic point it’s pretty stupid, because I mean, the only way babies can communicate in the early stages is through crying – and when they’re in a lot of pain and discomfort, well all they can do is cry a lot to express this / let it out. So when you are told that ‘your baby has colic/is colicky’, you’re basically just being told “oh your baby cries a lot and we don’t know why”.

From what I have read up on, different babies display colicky behavior for different reasons – and it’s quite a story to pinpoint exactly what the point is which needs to be addressed and re-aligned.

I think we’ve just come up with the name ‘colic’ so that we can give behavior that we cannot explain a name, to make it seem as if we can explain it. So that when you don’t know what the hell is going on with your baby and he is crying a lot, you can just tell yourself that ‘oh he is colic’ and not feel completely ‘out of control’ so to speak. And I mean, labeling excessive crying behavior with a name as if it’s some medical condition – and then saying that you don’t know where it comes from or what to do about it – immediately gives a message to parents that they don’t need to look further or investigate this behavior because: we already know there’s nothing you can do about it.

It keeps amazing me how little we really know about babies and their development. I thought, you know, living in 2014 and all – that after centuries and centuries of baby rearing as one of the most basic activities there is within the context of the family unit being the cornerstone of society – that we’d be pretty baby savvy. But nope – almost every single point I look up, whether it’s a behavior point such as the colic or a physical point such as say cradle cap – the answer is ‘we don’t know – but we think it might be so and so’. And that sentence just keeps popping up over and over ‘we don’t know’ followed by an opinion and then making it seem like that opinion is fact.

During the first weeks, maybe even first two months – all I did was reading up on things, because it was clear that there was no consensus whatsoever on anything. What was clear however, was that there were definitive ‘camps’ – where you had particular parenting styles / opinions that were very prominent, and that depending on who you are talking to and what ‘camp’ they’re from – you’ll get a different answer, one that fits in with their parenting beliefs. And it kind of sucks, because when you go see a professional like say a pediatrician – you trust their assessment because you believe that their recommendations are based on their medical expertise and they act like it too – while actually they’re coming from their own belief systems. Whenever we would go for our check up with Cesar, I’d listen and consider what the pediatrician was saying but made sure to cross-reference with other sources and then decide whether or not to follow up on her advice/prescriptions or not.

So even though we live in the Age of Information, we actually don’t know shit.

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