Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Crying Wish

When you have your first baby, you have this picture in your head that after childbirth you will cuddle her tightly on your chest and listen to her cooing or just watch her sleeping. But that's not what happened with Mary Lawrence. Of course we were delighted to hear those first cries come out of her mouth after she was delivered. But after an hour or so we started wondering when she was going to stop. Her cry was so loud and, honestly, quite unnerving. And it didn't stop. For hours. After a while, I started asking the nurses if Mary Lawrence was okay because it just seemed like such a painful shrieking for such a little person (see picture above which was taken two hours after she was born). But the nurse assured me she was just fine; it was just her personality coming through. So even though I didn't think I would, I happily handed her over to the nursery that first night so I could get a few hours of sleep.

Over the next few weeks her crying spells only escalated and often left her inconsolable. Justin would come home from work in the evening and would hold her so I could go in my bedroom and sleep. Our old house had A/C window units that were really loud so I would turn our bedroom unit on high and sleep right next to it - the whooshing sound was the only thing loud enough to drown out Mary Lawrence’s screams. (I am embarrassed to admit this!)

I kept thinking Mary Lawrence would grow out of her frequent crying spells, especially when I learned from other moms that not all babies cried a good part of the day for no apparent reason. But she never did. She cried when I put her in the stroller, in the car seat, in her high chair. She screamed when I changed her diaper and when I gave her a bath. Nothing seemed to make her happy. I would tell my family about it, but they just claimed it up to normal baby behavior. (Well, they did until the first time they actually kept her for an extended period of time - then they understood!) So when she was about six months old I started taking her to the doctor because I was convinced the child was in pain or suffering in some way. No normal baby should cry as much as she did, I thought. But the doctor again told me it was her personality, that she was probably just frustrated  because she wanted to do more than she could. It was so frustrating I have to say. But eventually Mary Lawrence did grow out of her frequent crying spells, but not until she was about 20 months old.

Anyways I write all of this not to complain. I know people have it much worse. I just have been thinking about the ironic fact that throughout Mary Lawrence’s first two years of life I would always say to Justin that I hoped that our next baby would be an "easy baby" and not cry incessantly. Surely God would bless us with a quiet, serene, happy baby after this experience, I would tell him.

But now, as I lay here in this hospital bed, I would give anything for just the opposite - another feisty baby with big, strong lungs like her older sister! I pray every day that when Maggie is born she will let out a giant cry, too. Because one cry can tell us that everything is going to be okay. That she can breathe. That she will live. I don’t care if she cries everyday for the next 18 years. Never again will I take a cry for granted. If she cries, it will be precious music to my ears.

No comments:

Post a Comment