What I Never Wanted to Say

filed under: Miscellaneous on June 1, 2011

This is the post I never thought I would have to write.

See, I was a cocky mommy.  I had the whole “three kids” thing down pat.  I could get things done during the day and still be with my kids and still make dinner for the family and not fall asleep standing at the kitchen sink at 8:06pm.

Then Eddie came along.


I love Eddie.  I adore him.  I smother him in kisses and snuggles.  I cant stand being away from him.  He is beautiful and perfect and my sweet, precious baby.

But Eddie cries.

A lot.  I dont know why.  I have heard the term colicky being thrown around and refused to entertain the thought.

Not my baby.  My baby could never cry for no reason… I am super mom!  I would always be able to find a way to ease his discomfort and make things right.

But… and I am crying as I write this… I cant.  I cant always make things right.  Sometimes he just cries and I cant make it better.

And its killing me.

I think about him all the time.  I think if only I could hold him all day long and cuddle him and nurse him he would be happy.

But I cant.  I have three other kids and a husband and a home and I cant.

I just cant.  I cant make my baby ok and I cant be the mom I was to my kids before Eddie came along and I cant make dinners every night and I cant work out like I should be and I cant update my blog and I cant write those darn thank you notes sitting on my dresser half done and I cant keep up with laundry and I cant homeschool and I cant make my baby stop crying.

The guilt is overwhelming.  But I would take it all on and then some if I could just make my baby comfortable and happy.

So much of who I am is wrapped up into being a mother.  And if I cant do this, well, I just dont want to face those thoughts.

There a moments… hours even… of peace.  Where he drifts off into a blissful sleep.  And lately, there are even moments when he is awake and he will smile!  Where he will look into my eyes and lift up the side of his mouth like a mini Elvis.  His eyes will twinkle as he gazes into mine and I am renewed in those precious moments of love.

I covet those moments… they are whats keeping me going.

Right now, I am just tired.  And feeling like a failure.  And wishing I could make everything alright.  Just not knowing how.

I cannot tell you the struggle I have had in whether or not to share this.  To tell the world (or my little corner of it) is a fear I didnt even know I had!  But I selfishly just want to ask for a prayer.

If you have a moment, will you just pray for my little Eddie?


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  • Shannon says:

    Oh, I am so sorry Amanda! I agree with the dairy/allergy comments and also wanted to suggest a swing. My son had a dairy allergy but I never knew until after he was weaned. My Doc kept saying it was “a laundry problem, not a digestive problem” (I should say, “former Doc”) but that kid would projectile vomit all the time and he also screamed like crazy. I would hand him off to my husband as soon as he walked in the door from work – and more often that not, around 3pm I would be calling him, hysterically crying and begging him to come home because I just couldn’t take it anymore! The baby swing was major in helping him sleep, though, and we used the Fisher Price aquarium one. It was the only thing that helped. If I had known about the dairy thing earlier, I think that would have made a huge difference. He was our first baby and we just trusted the Pediatrician, but I wish I had known how many people had the same experience back then, it would have helped. So I hope nothing serious is wrong and that it’s something you can fix with some adjustment to diet or routine. Hugs and prayers, Shannon

  • Mary @ Redo 101 says:

    Hi, this is my first time stopping by, and I don’t know how old your baby is, but my cousin’s baby did the same thing … finally diagnosed with Sensory Integration issues. The county is supplying an in-home physical therapist and it is helping massively. Just something you might want to read up on. Well, if you have time. I’m so sorry I can’t come over right now and vacuum, do laundry, and put dinner on the table. Good luck.

  • liz says:

    I stumbled upon your postings and wanted to leave a comment. I have a 4 month old, who for the first 2 months of his life, wouldn’t stop crying. It was awful and so upsetting. I too, felt like such a failure. Ultimately, we figured out he had painful acid reflux and we started him on Biogaia probiotics. Those things are amazing!!!!

  • Kristin Kunoff says:

    My heart aches for you. I have never had any children but I can understand your feelings of failure. I usually read your blogs but rarely leave comments. However, I want to leave this comment because I want to encourage you. Your blogs, especially this one, are an encouragement to me. I appreciate your transparency, your love for Christ, and your love for your family. It’s funny, hopefully not in a “oh my gosh, this fan is turning into a stalker” way, but my husband and I are moving to the Twin Cities from San Antonio, TX. My step daughter lives in MN and we finally have the opportunity to be with her. God has made it clear to us that He is guiding us and leading the way…but it is hard to go to a new place in which you do not know anyone. This is all to say that knowing that you are in the same vicinity helps me move. I think, “well, even though I don’t KNOW Amanda, I still kinda know her. And well, she lives up there.” So it’s like I know someone up there:)
    I was reading through the Psalms today in my quite time and I came across something that I want to pass on to my step daughter and any other future children I have.
    Psalm 112 1-8
    Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
    They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. THey are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news.; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.
    I see that you will bless your children due to the way you delight in following Christ. You also give generously to others. God will take care of you and Eddie. Do not fear your abilities or lack there of. You are in my prayers!

  • Rita says:

    I will pray for Eddie!!! Hope he is getting more calm soon!!!
    Could you please pray for our city??? http://martenssmily2.blogspot.com/2011/06/prayers-for-weyburn.html

  • Amanda Rettke says:

    Of course Rita!

  • CH says:

    Been there. For us it was Dairy. I was nursing and had to give up ALL dairy, every trace from every food. After three weeks my baby and my world changed and life became good again. He was my fifth child. No Doctor will ever tell you that the cause of colic is dairy, but very often it really is. It caused frightening reflux symptoms in my child and endless crying. Its hard to change your entire life’s eating habits but it can be done and the change was so good for us, but it took a full three weeks after total dairy abstinence. I often ate different meals than the rest of the family. Prayer is necessary and so very comforting, but… very often we need to do something more. Read up on Dairy allergy symptoms, then look on your shelves and see that most things contain some form or derivative of dairy. I know that every mother will have a new piece of advice or a new allergy that they feel causes colic, but through prayer and some research, you can discover what will best help you and your baby… good luck, I hope it gets better soon.

  • Molly says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you and little Eddie. My mom has operated a daycare for many many years. Her trick of the trade has always been to let the little colicky ones sleep in their car seats. Being proped up in this position seems to help with their symptoms. They also feel safe and snug rather than lost in a bigger bed. You are doing a fabulous job as one think is clear, you love your babies. I’ll be pulling for you!

  • Jenifer says:

    I just gave birth to my SEVENTH baby– and she CRIED or was fussy all the time! She was VERY colicky. My doctor told me to try eliminating all DAIRY from my diet. She said that it takes 3 weeks for dairy to be completely eliminated from your breast milk.
    I can’t tell you the AMAZING difference it has made. 3 weeks after stopping dairy I have a different baby. Just thought I’d pass this along… good luck!
    Here is the post I wrote about “colic”…

  • Abby says:

    Have you ever considered taking your son to the Chiropractor? A friend of mine was having similar troubles with her little girl and she took him to a doctor, her baby got adjusted and three days later, she slept through the night! Just a thought… Just thought i would pass along something that worked for her!

  • Jen says:

    Oh I completely understand what you are going through. I am a 1st time Mom who is a perfectionist at everything. My baby would cry so much, hardly sleep, & up most of the night for the first 3-4 months of his life. I felt guilty because I had no more time for church (sing solos every Sunday and couples ministry), and I felt almost dead going on 2 hours sleep a night. I couldn’t even be 5 feet away from him without him crying. He had bad reflux and colic (mild case probably). And we switched him to a thicker formula with rice protein. Helped with reflux but he still had separation issues, and wouldn’t sit in the carseat without screaming, I couldn’t drive anywhere. It was seriously rough. I’ve never told anybody out of guilt, because my husband and I battled infertility for years and prayed so much for him and went through a lot of procedures to get here. So it’s been a long road, but so happy to say that it gets better, that stage is over and at 8 months he sleeps through the night (12 hrs) wakes up happy laughing and playing in his bed, tolerates the car, and will play on his own a little giving me time to myself. Which is how I managed to find your page. I started baking (always loved it but no time) and your baking page inspired me.
    A good friend of ours brother was just killed in Afghanistan and I wanted to make something special as a tribute to his life, and I made your ruffle flag cake (just 10 layers lol) it came out beautiful! I made them pasta and took it over there yesterday and they were so blessed and so thrilled with the cake, they took tons of pictures and they were amazed when the cut unto it and saw the flag!!!
    Sorry to take up your time with my rambling, but just wanted to say thank you for the time you post on your blog and inspiration. And to let u know that I understand having a baby that isn’t “easy” like everybody else’s. But it gets better and God is control. I always say “He must have known I could handle this better than anyone else” and I keep trusting Him! God bless 🙂

  • Jenna says:

    You don’t know me, but I have been in your shoes. My second child, Juliana, was just as you described your Eddie. I felt the same exact way that you did. It seems like it will last forever, but it won’t. I promise you, it won’t. It’s hard, I’ve been there. I’ve cried and cried and cried. I don’t even remember when it got easier to be honest- she’s 2 now and she’s still a challenge. One of the things that helped with us a bit was the miracle blanket- it won’t make the crying stop all the time, but it will give you some relief once in a while. I’ll be praying for you and if you ever want to talk via email to someone who has been there- drop me a line, because like I’ve said, I’ve been there.

  • Heather says:

    I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time with Eddie! Fussy babies are more common than you know, and by no means does that mean you aren’t still a super mom! One thing I have noticed that helps a lot, especially with fussy or colicky babies, is swaddling. Swaddling can increase the amount and quality of sleep your baby is getting. Until recently, swaddling simply meant wrapping your baby tightly in a blanket to restrict his or her movements. However, my girlfriends and I found that TrueWomb has a swaddle that allows baby to move his or her arms up and down (but not out). It also allows them to kick out, and then the unique fabric gently returns their legs to the fetal position, perfectly mimicking the womb! The testimonials on this product are so compelling… great results. Hope this helps you and other parents trying to help a fussy baby get the rest he needs!

  • Heather says:

    I forgot to include a link for the above post! http://truewomb.com/

  • Brandy says:

    My 2-month-old is a complete screamer! All the time!! With my first baby, we were all about the 5 S’s from Happiest Baby on the Block and they worked like a charm. This baby, not so much. Oftentimes the only way I can get my 2-month-old screamer to calm down is to wear him. I use a Moby Wrap at home and a Baby Hawk outside of the home. I read somewhere that babies who are carried/worn cry almost 50% less than those who are not. Some time has passed since you first posted this, so hopefully you’ve had some relief. Good luck!

  • Korey says:

    I cried as I read your post because I could have written it myself verbatim! My daughter was born on May 25 and she too, cries. A LOT, sometimes for HOURS. There is literally, nothing we haven’t tried and the same thing doesn’t always work from one day (or hour) to the next.
    I have cried right along with her -there were days I’m sure I cried more than her. She is our first and only and this has caused me to seriously question my ability to parent my daughter. I mean, my husband and I are educated and intelligent, why can’t we make her feel better?
    You sound so much like me. My daughter is now 8 weeks old and I am still struggling with the list of things that aren’t done. I have thank you notes to write for gifts we were given before our daughter was born; we moved to a new house 1 month before she was born and I haven’t unpacked my clothes yet, I’m living out of boxes; our dog is overdue for her shots and I’m behind in paying my bills. I don’t have time to do any of the things I used to and that bothers me too. So, I can totally sympathize.
    I’m sorry for such a long post, but I really appreciate your honesty. It is SO HARD to admit what you did, and I too felt guilty for saying such things out loud. But as you can see by all the supportive comments you’ve received, you are not alone and you are still a great mother. My best advice is to take it easy on yourself and try not to beat yourself up. I know, it is easier said than done as the guilt you feel can be all consuming.
    We have found a few products that helped calm our daughter: Gripe Water, Colic Calm, and gas drops. We would be totally lost without them! We bought a “Happy Tummi” waistband that helps sometimes too. We learned she preferred to sleep in her bouncer or car seat. It seemed to make her less fussy. I wear her in a Moby wrap (when she will let me) and I can get some stuff done around the house.
    I feel so bad for you right now but know that I am going through this right along with you. I hope things start to improve for you SOON. I admire you for your candor and hope you will update us with Eddie’s progress in the future.

  • Heather says:

    Thank you!!! My oldest colicky for 7 months baby is 6. And my second colicky baby for 6 months is 2. Having a colicky baby is one of the worst feelings in the world. It was very isolating & overwhelming. Thank you for writing this post. I too cried while reading it.

    Your little Olivia is a doll. Congratulations!!!

  • Claire says:

    I just read this (I follow you on Instagram as a fellow cake mad mum), I know it was years ago, but I just wanted to say I’m sorry no one commented then. And also to say how long ago it must seem now. And that I don’t know you, and I’ve only read two blog posts but it’s clear that you’re doing a great job and that you were then also. That is all. Love from a fellow mum in nz

    Ha. Just about to post and seen you did get lots of lovely responses after all. Well it still stands (most of it)!