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Inconsolable crying of a newborn can be one of the most depleting emotional
and physical experiences in the early stages of parenthood, both for a newborn’s
progressive development and a parent’s overall well-being.
Sadly, I’ve seen it far too many times. Thankfully, I’ve found some answers.
I remember so well the first occasion when I came head to head, heart to heart with a wee girl
screaming in a way you never want to hear. After a while she was diagnosed with possible
reflux or colic, but this didn’t offer much assistance at the time.
Earlier, when her mother was pregnant, the family had asked if I would live-in as a
maternity nurse, and help them when their twins were born. I felt a little daunted at first.
I had never been asked to care for twins so this was going to be a big learning curve. However,
with some study, instinct and a yearning to see what my own parents, especially my mother,
had gone through with me and my twin brother, I moved in with the family and we quickly
became a moulded team.
When one of their twins, a daughter, was three weeks old, life became dramatically worse.
We went through many awful hours, feeling this gorgeous, innocent baby almost shoot out
of our arms as spasms of excruciating pain coursed through her tiny body. Desperately
we tried everything to calm her, each of us just trying to get through the hours, or even
minutes, without being overwhelmed by fractured emotions.
Exhausted and looking for a cure, we reached out for more professional help, but all we
got were vague explanations and almost flippant responses: “She’ll grow out of it soon”;
“She’s putting on weight — she’s obviously healthy”; and “There is nothing wrong with her.
It’s normal for a baby to cry sometimes.” Other hopeful voices said, “We don’t know the cause
but try this and that,” all of which we tried. But nothing stopped her pain for long. With
the fog of sleep deprivation growing ever thicker, a rising sense of helplessness developed.
On numerous occasions we were brought to tears, mirroring the poor wee honey before us.
During this first experience of exhaustive trials intermingled with wonderful moments,
I was, in a way, like any new parent — armed with little, or lots of knowledge but still
searching for concise answers about the cause of colic, reflux and inconsolable crying.
Now, many of the answers are known. Missing pieces of the puzzle have been found and
you hold these in your hands.
4/03/15 11:06 am