Okay, it wasn’t deliberate. Yes, he was a newborn at the time, so no, I don’t blame him, but Xanax might have been helpful, Doctor…for both of us…for the whole fam damily. Seriously.
My youngest son (I have three) was born in early September, 1994. He was by far the easiest birth. Granted, I was given some pitocin via IV because my water broke and I was dilated to just over four centimeters, and not progressing, and thanks to some crazy rule, they wouldn’t let me go home. After having stalled for several hours, they started the pit drip shortly after nine that morning. By the time I was threatening to kill anyone that wouldn’t give me pain killers, the nurses were explaining to me that I was in transition, therefore I could not have drugs. Who writes these rules? Anyhoo, Baby Boy made his appearance just under two hours after the IV was started, and I was feeling pretty badass, because I was able to walk to my room, where lunch was waiting. His, by far, was the easiest experience of the three. I was so proud of my maternal prowess…Had I known what was coming…?
I nursed both of Baby Boy’s two older brothers, so I figured I would be a seasoned pro, right? Ugh. Wrong. He didn’t have a problem with the concept. He had a problem with the milk. MY (???) milk. I figured this out a day or so after we got home. He’d cry, I’d nurse, he’d go to sleep for a few minutes, he’d scream. Holy crap, did he scream! I read books (the interwebs wasn’t a household name in 1994), called the doctor, called every mom I knew of. I adjusted my diet, based on what the doctor said. Cut out much of my dairy. Cut out any beans or legumes that could cause gas. Cut out all my dairy. Nothing worked.
The pediatrician recommended soy formula, so we tried that. By this time, Baby Boy was about four weeks old and I’d gotten about 32 hours sleep, total. So I put him on the bottle, which really hit me in the maternal ego, but thinking it would be better for him, I did it. Two weeks into soy formula, grainy eyed, I took him for a well baby checkup. I reported to our ped that nothing had changed, and basically he screamed, I bounced him, walked him, rocked him, put him in the car and rode him around, and yet he screamed until he slept for a short while and then woke up again, hungry. Lather, rinse, repeat and repeat and repeat.
They gave me a “mother’s heartbeat” lullaby cassette to play in his room, thinking that maybe he was just stressed out. We were so hopeful. I popped the tape into the player, turned it on, he fussed for a few, and went to sleep. I drug my ass to the couch for a nap and I was just about to close my eyes, and he started screaming. Again.
We went through this for two more weeks, thinking maybe he had his days and nights mixed up, but he didn’t really seem to have days OR nights. By now, my future second ex-husband had gone back to work and I was alone with the screamer and his twenty-seven month old brother. I was lucky my socks matched. Baby Daddy would come home and I was to the point I would wait by the door and hand him to his dad so I could legally walk out the door, get in my car, and drive around the blog to catch a nap.
I was seriously thinking about driving my car off the nearest cliff, but we were on the plains and the nearest cliff was probably three hours away. I’d never make the drive. I was worried I’d kill someone innocent on my way after falling asleep at the wheel, so that was no good.
FINALLY, the pediatrician suggested a special formula (Nutramigen, I think it was) and lo and behold? The little bugger actually slept. Seems he had dairy allergies, yet they couldn’t figure out why soy had the same effect. We didn’t have internet back then, as I mentioned earlier, so it wasn’t like I could just hop online and research it, so I have no clue why it worked, but it did. That formula probably saved a lot of lives. Honestly. This was the only time I ever SERIOUSLY considered the Thelma and Louise way out. True story.
So that, my dears, is how my infant son tried to kill me…
Do any of you have memories of really hard times with a newborn? I’d never considered driving off a cliff (or any other method of self-demise) until that point, and really never have again. Have any of you been there? How did you cope?
Happy ThrowBack Thursday, y’all….
Until next time…
Post Script: This blog came to be because of Aussa’s blog at Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy…specifically this post. Thanks, as always, Aussa, for the prompt…
Memories you stirred up! My first born was “induced” – five hours of Pitocin with my now ex-husband in the room watching reruns of Benny Hill and Football games on TV …. forever etched in my memory. Give me normal labor (2nd son!) any day.
My newborn didn’t know how to nurse (eventually diagnosed with a chromosome abnormality 5 years later), this was waaaaay before la leche league came to be, and no women in the family to support me, out in the middle of the high desert with no close neighbors… In defeat I finally gave him formula, and “taught” him to nurse, which he eventually became a champion at making the cutest little “duck lips!” Anyway, my fear and waking nightmares (cuz without sleep you “dream” while semi awake and performing tasks!) primarily that I wouldn’t throw him in the big woodstove instead of cord wood… Yikes!
It’s hard being a mom, I always say it is the hardest job I have ever done… But also the most rewarding. We learn how strong we can really be, assuming all the participants survive the experience! Love you, Julie, you always give such a fabulous slant to what you write!
Oh, sleep deprivation! That has to be why the younger generation has the babies…I could handle it better in my twenties, that is for sure. My half awake/half asleep nightmare was holding the youngest, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and him slipping out of my arms. Arrrgh!
I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge once in my teens… spooky… But not as spooky as early mother days!
Soooooo true! Before I left the Bay Area to move to Texas, I walked across it both ways as the last cool thing I did back home, just to say I did it. 😉
It is a small world Julie. I was a traveling military brat until 7, and then lived in the Bay Area until my late 20’s… It is NOT the same place I knew way back in the 50’s 60s and 70s. Time changes places and people. Last time I visited the area was about 4 years ago.
I grew up in Santa Clara, and moved to Texas when I was 18. Young air force wife, which is how I ended up in NC, lol…by way of Lubbock, Texas and Clovis, New Mexico. It IS a small world. I haven’t been back to Santa Clara since 96, but did visit Napa in 10.
Well of course you visited Napa! Wine Country!!!!! I still remember touring and tasting (and the day after, I think I remember the day after….. lol)
Oh my goodness, that sounds……. intense. My 2nd oldest brother had a very similar issue but my parents moved out of the state just weeks after he was born and the hospital couldn’t track them down for months. I have no clue how she survived that… and then she had another baby a year and ten days later. Crazy.
It wasn’t as sinister as it sounded, but I swear, I have never yearned for a cliff as badly as I did during those months! Had he been my first? He’d have been an on,y child. 😉
Reason # 273,382 why we have 2 cats and a dog
Amen, Sissa! 😉
My wife nursed all three of my boys, but she had a hard time keeping up with the twins. I remember mixing up formula and how awful it smelled. Plus, it seems like baby formula was NEVER on sale. I didn’t have a Thelma and Louise moment, but perhaps closer to Hemingway.
Oh, man! That’s right! Twins! I think my future second ex would have left years before he did had we had twins. Especially if they’d been colicky. Hats off to your wife, and every other parent of multiples, because one is a handful. 2 or more? *shudder*. 😉
Yeah, poop patrol was another thing entirely. Luckily, they were somewhat synchronized for that. 😉
Oh, diapers! How could I have forgotten about those, lol? I understand now why women have a biological clock…I am so glad mine wound down years ago, because at my age? I don’t think I could keep up, now!
Yep, my first baby was like that. In her case, she finally stopped screaming once she discovered that she could put her own fingers into her mouth and suck on them. I remember my husband turning to me at one point early on and saying, “How come no one ever told us it would be so hard?” I myself once threatened to throw the screaming baby right out the window. I sympathize with all new moms who have colicky babies.
Cookie, we had moments like that with the first one, and figured if we could handle that, everything else would be gravy. Middle Son was a walk in the park, but nothing could have prepared us for the round-the-clock screaming Baby Boy put forth. I don’t think I have ever been so sleep deprived in my life, lol. Once we got him figured out, though, he was pretty easy until he hit 18, lol!