Things We Aren’t Talking About: P.U.R.P.L.E Crying0
Back in 2008 I entered into motherhood with some ideas of what it meant to be a mother, but also with an overwhelming sense of being maternal. I loved babies and I felt like things came naturally to me when I was around them. Crying babies didn’t stress me out, I just wanted to soothe them! I can distinctly remember telling my older sister that her crying baby didn’t bother me one bit.
Keep on crying baby! You aren’t bothering me! Here let me jiggle you a bit! See how easy I can soothe you!
I felt very competent taking care of a newborn and my hands were at ease holding and comforting them; by the time I had my first baby I had already held hundreds of newborns. When my first baby arrived with a loud cry that did not stop I was shocked into a world I wasn’t so sure about. My baby wouldn’t soothe and caused me to sweat bullets and feel anxious with every little peep that came out of his beautiful face. How could I not soothe my own baby? I was a baby whispering natural!
Until you have hung around a high needs baby you can not truly understand the insanity that festers inside the caregiver. A fussy baby challenges every sense of what you think to be true, and the crying keeps on going. When your high needs fussy baby cries you will start to think that time may possibly be endless. This explains why it feels like eternity when you are into hour 5 of crying.
It took us nearly three years to decide to have a second baby. Knowing that we could possibly have another high needs fussy baby, we proceeded with caution and birth control. While Ben’s crying may now be a distant memory, it’s one of those memories that’s easy to bring back. Even while I was labouring with my second baby, I chatted to the nurse about my fears of having a second fussy baby.
When I birthed my second baby she came out with a cry and settled skin to skin on my chest and cooed. My husband and I looked at each other and didn’t say a word. It turns out that we are superstitious when it comes to crying babies and didn’t want to jinx the fact that this could be a different kind of baby. My daughters first day went by with little fuss and much silence. More looks were exchanged and a silent dialogue between my husband and I began. Could she be a calm baby? Or at least a regular baby?
Once we brought her home from the hospital we kept holding our breath. When she made a peep I soothed her with a pat on her bottom or by picking her up. What a novel concept! The first weeks ticked by and they were somewhat easy. She wanted to be nursed, changed and snuggled. At 2 weeks old she got a teensy bit more grumpy in the evening and cluster fed and needed to be cuddled a tiny bit more. It was still an incomparable two weeks between my two babes.
I went back to the old P.U.R.P.L.E Crying information and confirmed what I knew. At 2 weeks all newborns perk up and are a bit ‘fussier, especially in the evenings. Fussy is a spectrum, with Josie at one end and Ben at the opposite end for the same age. I’m not foolish enough to declare anything at this point. We all know the parenting ‘no no’ of celebrating too soon. Like parents who update their Facebook status about their child sleeping through the night, only to end up with an all nighter the next night….and the next.
All I can say for sure is this, Josie is a sweet sweet newborn and so far it’s been very easy to meet her needs. She wakes up every few hours to nurse at night, but there is none of that constant crying that causes the apartment neighbours to move out.