No, I’m not talking about the unbelievably groovy John Waters film that stars yummy Johnny Depp; I’m talking about the cries that come from a baby. Unlike the character Johnny plays in the film, who only cries a single tear, my babies have a heart-wrenching wail with no visible tears. I understand and acknowledge that sometimes babies cry and sometimes we can’t do anything about it, but that doesn’t make it any easier when my baby is wailing and all I can do is hold him, waiting for the tide to turn.
When my toddler was a baby, he had a pattern of getting upset in the evening/night-time and only calming down if we were at home and I bounced him while holding him tight in the Moby wrap. I vividly remember one of the first outings with him. I went with my friend to a an acquaintance’s party and he cried the entire time. I spent the majority of the party in a different room holding my sweet boy and feeling like a complete failure. I swore I would never go anywhere in the evening again! I also vividly remember my husband actually wanting to help during these times and trying to calm him as well. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
We always wondered if the stress of my last few months being pregnant had contributed to C’s crankiness (both my mother and my grandmother fell ill during the last trimester), and made special efforts to remove stress during this last pregnancy. We’ve only had M for a few weeks, so I guess time will tell.
Yesterday, a Facebook friend posted the last bit of an old Mad About You episode, in which the two main characters, and new parents, use the cry-it-out method on their little baby. As the baby finally falls asleep, the mom says “We broke her heart.” I had seen it before, but watched it again anyway (like an idiot). My heart hurt. My heart hurt badly enough that I cried and had to remind myself that there was NOT really a baby behind that door crying….at least I hope not! Of course, they are purposefully allowing their child to cry as opposed to trying to calm him down to no avail.
It also made me think about when M cries. As I said above, it is too early to know whether he has a definite pattern, but we’ve certainly had some intense crying episodes. Most of the time, he’s content to hang out on me and since I’ve been low-energy, we just sit/lay a lot. I’ve carried him in the Moby wrap a few times and my husband has carried him in the pouch a few times as well. He seems to like both, although he does not like it when *I* carry him in the pouch. When he cries, though, and I know he’s not hungry or in need of a diaper change, it’s nerve-wracking. I know that his cries are supposed to make me want to do anything to stop them and that nature’s perfect design ensures the survival of the infant by triggering a compassionate action response in the mother, but that just doesn’t help when it’s happening! It’s especially bad when we’re in the car because I can’t immediately take care of his need. I imagine he’s back there screaming, wondering why in the world mama doesn’t pick him up…