Evil Gail may want to skip right past this post.

The Era of Good Feelings came to a screeching halt just after midnight Monday morning. That’s when our laid back, well-behaved, bundle of joy decided to become a fussy little screamer. And when I say a fussy little screamer, I mean the fussiest of little screamers. We’re hoping her appetite has just accelerated beyond the feeding schedule we had her on and we’re just too stupid to figure it out without screaming and yelling. Or that perhaps mom ate something over the weekend that has upset M.’s stomach. We’re really hoping we don’t already have a colicky baby.

She’s been working herself into a total frenzy at various times throughout the day. About the only thing that seems to comfort her is feeding, but even then, there are often times when she’ll calm down long enough to feed then immediately start to shriek afterwards. Another cliché of parenthood is there’s never a time you feel more powerless than when a newborn is crying and you can’t figure out why or how to stop it. I can validate the truth of that thought after the last two nights.
M. is a big fan of the pacifier. When she gets into one of her fits, she spits it out and puts her hands in front of her mouth so you can’t shove it back in. If she’s wrapped up, we unwrap her to make sure she’s not too hot. More wailing. If she’s unwrapped, we wrap her up good and tight. More wailing. After about five minutes of mom and dad trying various techniques to quiet her down, she gets into the deepest level of crying where her entire body is tensed up, she’s bright red, and she’s screaming as loud as she possibly can. Add in some sleep deprivation and you feel like a pretty horrible parent.

After two straight nights of this, we got one of our guest sisters-in-law up to watch M. when we had calmed her down around 8:30 this morning, so we could go back to bed. S. got maybe 90 minutes of sleep before the phone started ringing. I managed to continue sleeping until the very Belford 11:55 AM. S.’s been forcing her to eat a little earlier than we had been doing, and she seems a little better, so hopefully we’ve found a clue after 36 hours of trial and error.

One of my aunts used to tell a story of how she was changing me when I was a newborn and I started screaming “bloody murder” as she put it. I was wearing cloth diapers, so she checked to make sure she hadn’t stuck me with a pin. I kept screaming. She checked again. More screaming. Finally, she found that she had pierced my skin. You might feel like hell if you do something like that to a child, but at least it’s easily correctable and you know the screaming will come to an end. I’d gladly take a pinprick now rather than these unidentified fits.