CRY BABY

MOTHERHOOD, PREGNANCY, BIRTH & BABY'S

Thanks to this blog and the fact I have 3 kids i like to think I have read pretty honest accounts of most aspects of parenting. But this one from Katie Beer  was something I hadn’t until now, hears anyone confront openly. And for anyone currently being taunted by a small human that you love with all your heart but who WILL.NOT.STOP.CRYING, this could well be a life line. 

  • People refer to babies as ‘bundles of joy’ but that wasn’t my experience with my firstborn. 

  • There is, occasionally, a different type of baby. One who just doesn’t seem to like life yet.  

  • My daughter was a crier. We’re talking big, fat, hot tears streaming down her face until her cheeks were chafed and her throat was sore and her cries turned into a hoarse, but-still-unbelievably-loud sound.

  • It was constant and it started almost immediately after a long labour, no pain relief and a third degree tear. 

  • I remember one midwife took pity on me and suggested that she take my daughter to the midwives’ station for an hour or so, so that I could rest.  I was in a cottage hospital and was the only mother there, so the midwives were at a loose end. 

  • Having not slept for 48 hours, I bit her hand off for the opportunity to get some rest. 

  • I could hear my baby crying her heart out for the whole time she was gone but I was still grateful that I didn’t have anything attached to me and I tried hard to get some sleep. 

  • The midwife returned her just 20 minutes later because she “couldn’t settle her”. I mean…neither could I but I guess that was my first lesson that she was my problem and no one else’s.

  • Just like anything else with babies, practice makes perfect. The more they cry, the better they get at it. My daughter was a gold medal crier.

  • The only thing that did soothe her a little bit was being held…by me…all the time. Even that didn’t magically stop the tears from flowing, it just made them a tiny bit more bearable. It was brutally hard. There is a reason they use the sound of a crying baby as a form of torture.

  • You soon realise your kid is different from other kids, who I now refer to as ‘textbook babies’. That isn’t true, I actually refer to them as potato babies, because they just lay there like a potato with arms and legs barely moving or making a noise. And their darling little cries! So cute!

  • People often refer to the early weeks with a baby as being the easy bit, “they’re asleep all the time and so portable”. Don’t take it for granted honey.

  • Getting anywhere was absolutely awful. Having your baby scream blue murder in the confined space of the car knowing there is bugger-all you can do about it is a special kind of hell. 

  • So your life is reduced to a radius of 5 miles maximum.

  • Except for when you’re pressured into a 2 hour solo drive to see your husband’s family and you get stuck in traffic…and call your husband every 10 minutes just so he could hear the crying just to really hammer home the point that THIS IS WHY YOU DIDN’T WANT TO GO.  

  • Then there’s the impact it has on your relationship. Conversations become difficult because you have a constant interruption and you cannot hear each other speak. Everyone’s tired. He feels useless. He can’t settle her, the resentment builds. 

  • He innocently compares her to other babies “so-and-so’s baby is on a proper routine, we should do that with V”. I’ll put it on the to-do list mate, just as soon as I can put her down.

  • Real talk: when your baby doesn’t fit the Bonnie Baby mould, people don’t really like to be around your baby. Especially if they have their own babies…it might be catching! I love the idea that my daughter was secretly trying to lead a revolution aged 5 weeks old (What do we want? CUDDLES AND CONSTANT PHYSICAL CONTACT! When do we want them? NOW!)

  • Then there are the baby classes you go to (within a 5 mile radius of course) because what else is there to do on maternity leave, right? 

  • A personal highlight was singing “You Are My Sunshine” every Thursday morning to my screaming baby while suffering death stares from the other parents and the teacher who is secretly consulting her franchise handbook to see if she can expel you, and weighing up whether it’s worth the bad Facebook review.

  • Little things like making phone calls to arrange appointments become really tricky. People literally cannot hear you because your baby cries so loudly. They ask you to call back at a better time (ok yeah speak to you in six months then who needs car insurance anyway!)

  • Well-intentioned but annoying advice is fired at you daily from all around: cranial osteopathy! gripe water! baby massage! sleepyheads! swaddles! special formula! blah blah blah! NONE OF IT WORKS you’ll want to scream in their faces.

  • Then there are the less well-intentioned advice-givers. Often strangers (but sometimes not) who shout “feed your bloody baby, she’s clearly starving” (see also: “she’s far too hot, that’s why her face is red and sweaty”. No love, that isn’t sweat it’s 10,000 hours’ worth of tears.)

  • Whenever I read blogs by women who have suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum I feel a real affinity with them. I want to do the Hunger Games salute to them from afar because we all believed the hype and were sold The Dream!

  • The Mum Guilt is real. You cannot help but wish your baby was as bonnie as the other little babies, but then you feel guilty for ‘rejecting’ your baby. You feel all-consuming jealousy that other mums got the potato textbook babies, and they have the audacity to moan about them.

  • Intrusive thoughts run wild: your baby clearly doesn’t want to be alive and wishes she hadn’t been born. It’s your fault. Maybe she IS a potato textbook baby but YOU’RE just doing it wrong. 

  • But you love your baby with a fierceness that is all-consuming too; an intensity that makes you super-protective of her. Dare I say it, you love her more because of her challenges. It’s the two of you against the world! Someone has to love this angry little lion!

  • You have to make up for all the love and attention she misses out on from the wider world. She’s unlovable but she’s YOUR unlovable baby and my god you love every inch of her, even those sodding lungs.

  • You will also love the people who love your baby, despite her constant crying. The friends who push their babies next to you around a park for hours in the pouring rain just so you don’t have to do it alone. 

  • The people who hold you together (sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally) and find the positives when you’re too blind to see them yourself (“she’s brilliant at holding that toy!” “Oh isn’t she doing well at rolling!” “Look at those beautiful blue eyes!”)

  • Also, it is First Class training for the toddler tantrum years. Let me tell you that when they’re losing their shit because Peppa Pig’s dress is red and they don’t like red, you will give absolutely ZERO FUCKS. It’ll be water off of a duck’s back. Bring it on toddler, this is nothing compared to the newborn hell you reigned down upon us for the first six months of your life!

  • And you’ll get all the Mum Guilt out the way early too; I swear I am immune to that feeling now. I wouldn’t know Mum Guilt if it screamed in my face (probz because my hearing has been permanently damaged but, y’know).  If I was anything less than an amazing mum, I would clearly have given my child away (or tried to at least…limited market probably). 

  • Your relationship deepens, you and your partner are bonded by a trauma that had no end-date. You survived it together. I lost count of the times I shouted “NEVER LEAVE ME” across the bedroom in the middle of the night.

  • Anyone who says “enjoy every minute” can sod right off…just try to enjoy what you can even if it is just a couple of calmer minutes a day, or a moment of eye contact, or a little hand-hold. Also visit www.cry-sis.org.uk for some excellent support.

  • And it does end. Eventually, they stop crying for long enough to realise life is excellent. There’s so much to see when your eyes aren’t screwed up in anger!

  • I vividly remember my husband getting home from work when V was around 6 months old and I blubbed “She hasn’t cried today, not once!” (Of course I was crying when I said this).

  • And now, at nearly 4 years old, she is the happiest, cheekiest, BONNIEST little girl you could ever meet. It’s like she got all the crying out of the way in the first 6 months. 

  • But let me tell you…she STILL knows how to express her feelings and opinions loudly for the whole world to hear, she makes no apologies for being heard, and actually I’m very much here for that. Shout it from the rooftops my baby girl, never let anyone quieten you.  We don’t change the world when we whisper, we change it when we roar.

  • And if you’re really, really lucky (and, quite frankly, really bloody brave/very shit at taking your pill) you will get your own little cherry potato-on-top in the form of Baby Number Two, complete with one of those darling, adorable, cutesy little cries, and he will heal you.

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply Writer of words December 12, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Omg.

    Mine had periods of that which in hindsight were short but when I was in it? Omg.

    Lovely and heartbreaking post.

  • Reply Em December 13, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    OMG this so could have been written by me! My first born cried all day long, in the house, in the car, in the buggy and all evening till about 1am…she almost broke me!! Then my second was a dream….

  • Reply Carole December 13, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    OMG literally BOTH of m babies. And if anything, baby 2 was worse than baby 1. People wondered why I had him in the sling all the time, it was to save my ears. Then tbey ask me if I want a third. Only if I can preorder a guaranteed potato!

  • Reply Siobhain December 13, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    I can relate to so much of this post. My son turned the corner once he sat up at 8 months and once he crawled the crying just stopped.
    Lovely post

  • Reply Sian December 13, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I thought I was the only one that talked about potato babies! Our son cried for the first 14 months of his life with varying intensity. Second baby due in a few months.. wish us luck

  • Reply Doiu December 13, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Omg thank you for this post. It was hell but makes me feel so much better to hear there’s others out there xx

  • Reply RACHEL December 14, 2019 at 7:25 am

    The breaking point for us was a drive to family in Devon, 3 1/2 hours away & our first screamed the whole way! Torture for all involved! This crying lasted for just 4 months and he turned a corner except when in the car… that special hell continued till 15 months!

  • Reply Lori December 14, 2019 at 7:40 am

    I remember banking on cranial osteopathy. I was told after the first session she may cry more or less and that was right and how it stayed. The only thing that stopped her crying was her getting older.

  • Reply Emily Colderwood December 14, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Wow. Could have written this myself. Used to hate it when people would say “put her in the car, babies love the car they just fall asleep”. Do they?! Because mine didn’t get that memo! Family members thought there was something wrong with her but I instinctively knew there wasn’t. So refreshing to know it wasn’t just us.

  • Reply Toni December 14, 2019 at 11:30 am

    I had exactly this with my daughter (first born) until she got to 11 MTHS old and started walking. It was a really tough time and I too felt like I was doing something wrong the whole time. Now she is nearly 8 and a beautiful, happy and delightful girl and we laugh at the fact that she cried all damn day long for almost a year of her life 😊. It took me quite a few years to go for baby number 2 as I really wasn’t sure I could cope with that again but second time round, my son was much less of a crier and even when we had bouts of it, I knew it would end and it was not ME causing it which helped me massively!
    Thanks for writing such a wonderful and honest post.

  • Reply Anonymous December 14, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Or you get it the other way around… you have easy going IVF twins and then 18 months later you have a baby who has to be held for two whole years 🤪. I’m not ok.

  • Reply Adele Chute December 15, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Oh I could have written this, although I wasn’t blessed with the no.2 potato… I got the new and improved super screamer max edition. Somehow you get through it. Thank you for your honesty xx

  • Reply Katie Hurst March 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    I can relate to this in so many ways ours was more of a no sleeper but also pretty good at the tears. The worst was a 4hr drive to Cornwall she cried until 5 mins before we got there. My mother in law greeted us with “look at her I am sure she wasn’t crying all the way” grrrrrrr. The second. 8yrs on she is delight but still a massive drama queen I am hoping to be her plus one at the Oscars one day.

  • Reply Kalaa March 15, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Omg. Are you me??? First kid was a trial. I’ve never been more in love and more worried for my sanity. She also hated sleep. You know that sleep that babies like to have after their milk, she’d trick me. Fall asleep for two minutes then wake up after her disco nap raring to go. She cried constantly but if we went out, she’d make a liar of me and be all sweetness and smiles. Cue me running away from my house constantly chasing the peace. She’s still a bit highly emotional now, but I wouldn’t change her. Oh and we have our very own potato baby (no 2) 5 years later, and he is definitely a tonic after all those tears!

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