Today was an unusual day as I got to enjoy the many faces of Maddie in a rapid-fire succession. She went from euphoric to angry to unmanageable and back again all in less than two hours. To be fair though, Maddie is almost 8-months-old and has more than enough on her plate right now.
She’s dealing with a daily assortment of new foods being introduced to her, there are some teething issues, her new found ability to standup and the frustrating talent of zipping backwards when she wants to move forward. Couple this shopping list with the fact that she’s a bit on the impatient side and we have a full menu of possibilities.
Maddie woke up on the right side of the crib this morning, even it did happen just before 5am. She went right to town on breakfast and was in the perfect mood. The baby was playful, full of wonder and ready for a little outdoor time. We got out early and took a brisk walk into this stunningly warm Jersey weather.
She delighted passersby across Jersey City with a smile that lit up the Hudson River along with the rising sun. Each feeding and nap was met with good-natured cheer and enthusiasm. That is until the 1:30 bottle-feeding.
This is when the wagon slid off the rails so to speak. Right at the beginning of the bottle, Maddie flipped the script. Suddenly she was troubled, angry and had no interest in being held at all. This is when I started trying out a variety of possible remedies to help stifle this 0-60 mood shift. Tummy time worked for a while and so did some quiet time in the crib. But these fixes were only temporary.
After about 30 minutes, I tried to feed her again with mixed results. At least she drank something on this go around. Then we struggled with the possibility of another nap, but Maddie finally relented.
When she woke up this time, it was if nothing negative had ever happened. She picked right back up with the good mood she had presented first thing in the morning. Based on her wakeup diaper change, I deduced that she had a bad tummy earlier and just wanted to be left alone to work through it.
When it comes to Maddie, these changes are lightning-quick so you have ready for carnage or love at a moments notice.
Nobody has any passionate fondness for stomach issues and certainly babies are no different. But the real trick with a baby is running through your personalized set of baby diagnostics to find out what is troubling the little one in the first place.
When Maddie woke up literally screaming at 6pm this evening, it certainly wasn’t to help ring in the new year. In the past, such an extreme reaction has been exclusively reserved for negative post-vaccination issues. Since the baby was pretty much hysterical – the first order of business was to try and calm her down.
I wrapped my arm around her stomach and started walking with her – within 30 seconds; I could actually feel the disturbance in her churning tummy. It became obvious that her stomach was under siege from gaseous anomalies and that the baby needed some real relief and distraction from what was taking place in that crazy belly. We actually spent the next two hours trying to get that tummy settled before bedtime and strangely enough, it seemed to work.
This was accomplished with multiple tummy positions designed to put pressure on the baby’s stomach. This included, but was not limited to putting her tummy of my knee, my shoulder and even placing my hand under her stomach and flying her around the room. Each new position led to various expulsions of gas, but just as important, it helped bring out the smiles and relax what had been a desperately upset young lady.
It’s not an easy situation to deal with when you see your child consumed by discomfort, but in this case, various manual tummy time techniques seemed to do the trick.
5:30 seemed to strike a little earlier than usual this morning – but Maddie was in high spirits. I think were both looking forward to a good day with a nice long walk, but it was still a little bit early to get carried away making too many plans. After breakfast and a little bit of playtime, Maddie and I thought we might catch a little 7am catnap.
But just twenty minutes later, we were immersed in a Texas-sized Maddie meltdown of biblical proportions that would plague us well into the afternoon. It turns out that I used a batch of mother’s milk that did not agree with baby’s digestive system. (Information that would not be uncovered until later that day)
For those who know Maddie, it’s safe to say that when the baby is unhappy, she’s not terribly shy about sharing those feelings of discontent. So when the screaming started, I had no idea what was going on. Strike One!
I changed her diaper and that only seemed to make mattes worse! When her anger and screaming intensified, the only option I had left was to try and feed her an hour early. (At this point, I still have no idea that her stomach is torn up) So when I offered Maddie the bottle, she went right after it. Suddenly all was quiet, the anger faded into the morning light and all was seemingly forgotten and forgiven. But our success was far too short-lived
Moments later when I put Maddie on her tummy to get a burp, there were multiple eruptions from various exit points including burps, gaseous emissions, poops and copious amounts of spit-up. Houston, We have a PROBLEM!
For the next three tear-filled hours, I think both of us might have been crying, we went through 5 diapers, 4 bibs, 3 Motrin tablets (for PaPa) and two swaddle blankets. I held, rocked and soothed Maddie through the morning, but it was tough going for my little girl.
I was in the process of the 6th diaper change and I saw the shift right away, from the ashes of sickness arose the smile of a little girl who was feeling MUCH better. Maddie’s expression said it all; she had purged the morning stomach demons and was once again ready take on the world. I love a happy ending!