Kendall and I often used to remark that we are the gassiest people we know. I’ll let you use your imagination here for clarification, but for all intents and purposes, let’s just say we burp a lot. And we’re remarkably fortunate to have found one another, as we both find this commonality hilarious…most of the time.
Unfortunately for our child, our digestive traits have coalesced in his tiny little tummy to produce what is commonly referred to as colic.
I don’t know what exactly colic is, and after consulting at length with not only Dr. Google, but a licensed pediatrician, we’ve come to learn that no one knows exactly what colic is. Apparently “colic” is more of a catch-all term for what Kendall has come to refer to as “fussy butt”. She has even composed a song:
William is a fussy butt,
William is a fussy butt,
As Wikipedia will tell you, Colic can be a pretty serious condition leading to all sorts of horrible outcomes, and for those parents whose newborns are crying inexplicably for hours at a time, I truly feel for you.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to attribute William’s bouts of fussy butt to severe gas pain. We then like to measure the severity based on his level of wigglyness (not a medically or scientifically accurate term).
At baseline we have moderate kicking with grunts, interspersed with short cries. This is common after a feeding and fairly easy to “pat out.”
The early stages of “fussy butt” being patted out.
Often times, William will get “the bubble.” You can feel hardness in his little tummy. Both legs are kicking in tandem, arms are stretched out and he is wailing. Still we can usually pat it out, but I will often have to take it up a notch. This will require some added bouncing on the birth ball or doing laps throughout the house. He’ll typically calm down after about 20 minutes or so, fall asleep for 10 minutes, then awake suddenly to start the process again.
At critical mass, it’s hard to even position him on your shoulder to burp him. That’s when the hitting starts. It looks like this:
If punching me in the face helps, so be it.
This can usually be a sign of a long night to come. We start a cycle of feed a little, burp a little, nap; feed a little, burp a little, nap that will go on into the morning with crying at every stage. Sometimes this can go on throughout the day as well. These are the days that I am in awe of Kendall’s patience and strength. I’ll come home to hold him for an hour while she takes a shower and gets something to eat, but then I’m back to work where everyone’s screaming and crying is quietly contained.
We’ve been theorizing that these days are the products of growth spurts. He can be really uncomfortable for two days and nights and once he’s calmed down, suddenly it’s harder to snap the buttons on an outfit he’s been wearing all week.
Those are the moments that are hardest for us. Every day he gets a little bigger and we begin to realize what our parents were talking about when they say it seems like yesterday that we were that small.
We’re going to feel that way as well someday soon. Then I’m sure we’ll hardly recall his fussy days to save room for the memories that looked like this: