It WILL get Better! Living with Colic

It’s 7:30pm and both babies are down for the night. Or at least, for now. With a 19-month-old transitioning into a twin sized bed (yep, we screwed this one up real good) and a 3 month old who faithfully eats every 3 hours (maaaaaybe 4 hours at night), my night is young. But right now it’s supposed to be that blissfully peaceful time, watching both babies on their respective monitors. Each fast asleep in their starfish positions, pacifiers on the verge of falling out.

Only I am not relishing in the peace.

I am vibrating. My nerves are raw, I can hardly collect my thoughts, yet I wanted to write this immediately while I was fresh in the aftermath. I keep checking the monitor because I swear I hear screaming, but no – there’s my peacefully sleeping starfish. A little angel.

My youngest has colic and this weekend was a bad “colic” weekend.

She was born in January, and around mid-February is when the colic started. At first I thought she was just going through the typical baby “evening witching hours,” but the intensity, frequency, and duration seemed more than that to me. Some quick internet searches confirmed that she’s the textbook definition of a colicky baby. February and March are complete blurs to me. I really don’t remember many details of these two months at all. Thank goodness, she is now 3 and a half months old and she’s starting to turn the corner. She actually had a relaxed couple of weeks, until this past weekend… so it took me back a bit.

We were at a friend’s birthday party on Saturday. I knew my baby had a fussier morning than usual, but I figured the car ride to the party would calm her down. I thought I’d nest her away in a quiet corner in her carrier, and she’d sleep while people ooo’d and aaaahhhh’d over her cherubic sleeping face. As soon as we walked inside, her eyes sprang open. And it didn’t take long for her to start crying. As the cries got louder my heart sank.

Then she was screaming.

I tucked us away upstairs, away from the noise and most of the people, and took over the host’s nursery as I tried to feed, soothe, walk, rock, everything. I left my toddler playing in the playroom, with a good friend watching her, and eventually my husband followed the noise of the screaming baby and diligently took over toddler watching duties. My husband, and friends, came to the door multiple times to ask if I needed anything… but when you’re in the throes of trying to calm a baby in the middle of a colic episode, there’s really not much that can be done and certainly not by anyone other than Mama.

And so with my baby on my shoulder and screaming in my ear, I moved quickly past the pitying eyes of the party guests and took her out for a drive. Usually the motion of the stroller, or the car, puts her to sleep. It worked, but only briefly. Having missed most of the party, we packed up and left.

Sure, I had heard of colic before but like anything else with parenting you just have no freaking clue what it’s about until you’ve gone through it. I thank my lucky stars daily that both of my daughters are healthy overall. But dealing with colic has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Listening to a baby not just cry, but SCREAM, for hours, is simply… maddening. There were times I thought I was losing my damn mind! My husband and I would take turns pacing the floor with her. We bought a sound machine and tried every trick we could think of to keep her from waking her sleeping big sister.  We’ve had to let her “cry it out” more times than I care to admit. At those points, we were both just exhausted on every level – physically, mentally, emotionally. I am a very solutions-oriented person. I problem solve for a living. I am resourceful and smart, and know how to fix things – so when I couldn’t/can’t calm my extremely distressed baby, I feel defeated and depleted. We’ve used gas drops and gripe water. I’ve tried cutting dairy from my diet. I ran myself ragged with trying this and that and Google searches. I can’t tell you how many times I called her doctor, asking if “this is normal?” My last phone call to him, at my wits end, I literally said “You HAVE to have some secret trick that I haven’t found on Google for this.” He told me I was already doing everything right, and to keep the gripe water on hand. I wanted to scream right into the phone at that response.

The thing about colic is, in order to get through these episodes you have to dig deep. I mean, REALLY deep. At her worst, I was at my worst. The things I thought, and sometimes even said out loud… were just purely ugly and awful when I gave in to frustration. And when the sleep and calm would suddenly wash over her, aside from relief I was left with ringing ears and an incredible amount of guilt for not being able to keep it together. I was scared to find and confront these really dark corners within myself. In these moments, I understood why they make you watch those “don’t shake your baby” videos at the hospital before you go home.

People who’ve gone through this say that “it will get better.” And while I’m starting to see that, we’re not in the clear yet. I’m impatient. Like any mother, I want my baby to be happy all the time.

I’m writing this for any parent out there who’s in the thick of it. Stay strong. Call your doctor, as many times as you need to. Talk to your partner about anything you were feeling, no matter how bad you think it is. Talking it out really does help you prepare for the next episode. Remember that it’s OK to put your baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes or to let someone else hold/rock/walk your baby so that you can take a few minutes to breathe. Because in these moments (well, more like hours), your baby needs your strength and your patience and you’ve got to try to reserve some of that for yourself as well.

It is true, that it will get better. I am hopeful and anxious to have a glass of victory wine when I know we’re truly on the other side of it!

MOMlife by Courtney Spiak

What about this C-Section Scarring??

April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Today, approximately 1 in 3 women in the US have a cesarean delivery.  In recognition of all of you mamas who had a cesarean birth, I wanted to address a topic that I help women with quite often. 

C-section Scarring
The noted healing time following a cesarean delivery is 6-8 weeks. Often, women follow up with their doctor at 6 weeks and are “released” with little to no information about their scar and what to do with it to help with healing or what to expect of it. Is this you? Have you had problems that you thought may be related to your cesarean birth, but you are just not sure? Let’s discuss what happens to the area. During healing, scar tissue develops and takes the place of the tissue injured during cesarean surgery.  It is distributed along the abdomen and uterus.  The scar tissue is not as strong as the original tissue, though similar in structure. This healing process and laying down of scar tissue is influenced by many factors specific to each woman. Keep in mind that even once the incision site has healed superficially, the scar tissue underneath can span beyond the superficial scar and negatively impact the area, forming adhesions that tightly bond structures together. This can bring on various symptoms, some of which include 

  • -abdominal and pelvic pain that interferes with daily function
  • -a pulling sensation at and around the incision
  • -sensitivity on and around the scar
  • -pain around the labia, clitoris or urethra
  • -painful intercourse
  • -digestive problems
  • -bladder and/or bowel problems
  • -low back pain 
  • -and in severe cases, contributes to infertility

What can be done about the scar tissue?
Scar tissue can be treated. I have had many women tell me that they have received little to no instruction on what to expect with their scar or how to take care of it. Once it remained painful or seemed to be causing other problems, they just were not sure what to do about it. Some have avoided it all together. The good news…
The scar tissue can be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy. Manual therapy and massage are used to treat not only the incision site specifically, but also the surrounding structures that are being influenced by the scar tissue. External and internal tissue mobilization loosens up the tissue and lessens restrictions to alleviate problems associated with the scarring and any adhesions present that may be binding tissue tightly together. As a PT, I also educate and instruct women on what they can do at home to assist in getting relief from c-section scarring in conjunction with the treatment they receive from me. Scar tissue can be addressed at any point in attempts to bring about change and decrease painful conditions. It is best to begin scar tissue work and treatment around the 6-8 week mark following the c-section, when the tissue is most easily influenced; however, treatment even after that is not too late. 


By Robyn Wilhelm, PT, DPT Private Practice Owner in Mesa, Arizona specializing in pelvic floor and women’s health physical therapy. Connect with Dr. Wilhelm on her practice website http://www.wilhelmpt.com or email with questions about your core and pelvic health to robynwilhelm@wilhelmpt.com  

Special Delivery!!! What to Bring when it’s BABY TIME!

AGH!  It seems like it took forever yet no time at all and now it’s show time, baby!

Here’s what our local AZ MOMs suggest packing in your overnight bag for the hospital…and psst…pack it early!!


For Baby:

Car seat
Baby Wrap or Carrier 
Wipe Warmer and Wipes
Diapers / Cloth Diapers
Boppy

Clothes / Onesies
Swaddle Blanket

For Mom:

Comfy Clothes 
Snacks / Bottled Water
Coins for Vending Machine
Toiletries – Don’t forget a Brush and Mascara
Comfy, Lightweight Robe
Socks and Slippers
Headphones
Ponytail Holder
Deodorant
Comfy Granny Panties
Long, Thin Overnight Pads
Essential oils 
Nursing Bra
Nipple Cream

Postpartum Padsicles
iPad / Magazines / Games
Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs
Pillow and Blanket
Chapstick
Baby Book

Dads need a bag too!!  You’ll be tired.  You’ll appreciate being as prepared as possible and that will hopefully eliminate tasks so Dad doesn’t have to leave the hospital and you can maximize the time you have together as a new family with the nurses around for help.

Here’s what Dad will need:

Snacks
Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs
Headphones
Phone Charger
Change of Clothes
Deodorant

Congrats Mama!!

What’s up, Doc? Our 2017 #MOMlist of preferred Pediatricians 🚑

We have a few favorites when it comes to Doc’s for our kids!  Comment below if you have any to add to the list of recommendations.

Mesa Pediatrics is our Gilbert, AZ FAVE!  Our Moms had this to share:

We love Mesa Pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe in Gilbert.  We see Dr. Laks.

Love Mesa pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe.  They are awesome.  After my sons 2 month shots he was screaming and we sat in the room for a good 30 mins while he calmed down.  They had no issue and didn’t rush me out.  They are great.  Dr. Wallace is my sons primary doctor but we have seen Dr. Laks a few times and she’s great as well.

Dr. Robin Laks at Mesa Peds!

We live at Sossaman and Guadalupe and we go to Mesa Peds at Guadalupe and Greenfield.  I’ve loved all the PA’s there.  They are usually on time and they take their time with us.  I also love Dr. Kent but she is only there on Wednesdays.

We love Mesa Pediatrics in Gilbert. We see Dr Laks. My Ped at Mesa Pediatrics is great! She referred me to an LC when I mentioned to her I was struggling with nursing and needed help.  She is totally cool if I need to nurse or stay longer in an exam room to nurse.

I always get our vaccines in smaller quantities and spaced out and we’ve been going to Mesa Peds for 7 years!

Gilbert Pediatrics is our Mesa, AZ FAVE!  The votes for this particular office were off the charts.  Here are some reasons why:

We love all of the Docs at Gilbert Pediatrics on Greenfield & Baseline.  They even have an after hours clinic from 6-10pm Monday – Saturday.

Sam is my fave or Dr. Leavitt!

Gilbert Pediatrics!  Dr. Guthrie or his nurse practitioner, Melanie, are my favorite!

I love Gilbert Pediatrics.  We usually see Dr. Guthrie.

We go to Gilbert Peds and see the PA, Sam.

Gilbert Pediatrics has been very breastfeeding friendly to me!  I’ve nursed 6 babies past 13 months (one all the way to 22 months).  They give me extra time in an exam room if needed.

Arizona Pediatrics is our Phoenix, AZ choice! 

We go to Arizona Pediatrics in Phoenix.

We love Arizona Pediatrics.  The Doc is great!

JJ Pediatrics is our go-to in Queen Creek, AZ

We go to JJ pediatrics in Queen creek!

JJ Pediatrics of Queen Creek!  The location is convenient and there is a CVS right there which makes filling a prescription a little easier.

East Valley Children’s Center won our vote in Tempe, AZ! 

We go to East Valley Children’s Center.  We see Dr. Curran but all the doctors are great.

We also go to East Valley Children’s Center and think Dr. Curran is great.  We prefer to only see him.

East Valley Children’s Center, Dr. Curran, won “Top Doc” for 2016.