Jonah has been battling some minor complications of mortality, truly minor on the list of things that can be wrong with a baby. In fact, when Ethan went through them as a newbie-human, the doctor sent me home with an RX for a chill pill, saying this is normal for a baby. Normal, maybe, but do nothing? Oh, no.
Jonah is wrestling with the notorious “colic”, and a mystery rash of unknown origin. Because I don’t believe in colic, that “some babies are just plain fussy for no apparent reason”, I have been trying to sniff out the cause of his distress. I started two weeks ago by eliminating my favorite food group, dairy (and by favorite, I mean ICE CREAM). I don’t mind not having the sauces, dressings or even cheese, but man, do I miss ice cream. Oh, and by the way, they put dairy in half of EVERYTHING.
Within a week I had also eliminated soy products, hence, there goes the other half of EVERYTHING, including chocolate (Evil, thy name is Soy Lethicin). I decided late last night, after a day of his crying and green diapers, that it is time to go whole-hog and do a full elimination diet. Meanwhile Jonah's tender skin has gone wild with spots that disappear and reappear randomly. At times it has looked like he was on the mend (this is when we take all the cute pictures), and just hours later the rash re-appears, worse than ever. It wasn’t too long before I developed an itchy, bumpy patch on my face, another on my breast. I wondered if they could be related, and headed for my computer. I narrowed it down (via pictures on the Web) to two common, harmless, supposedly self-limiting rashes, and the recommended treatments are “Wait”, and “Wait”. Oh, and guess what the recommended treatment for colic is… yup… wait.
Sorry, I ain’t the waitin' kind’a mama.
The two conditions, rash and tummy trouble, take turns competing for my attention. Tummy trouble wins, hands down, with the shrill, heart wrenching cry it elicits. But the crying infuriates the rash, which becomes hot and stippled, claiming more and more baby terrain by the minute, and more and more of my worry-muscles.
Kind hearted Erin (the gifted photographer-see her site here) who has navigated these waters with her own highly sensitive little girls, has generously become my guide through tummy town. Thanks to her, I have not had to reinvent the dairy-soy-gluten-free wheel, and I have a very sympathetic listening ear (though I cannot bring myself to complain to her, since it would be like complaining of a paper-cut to an amputee). Still there are moments of overwhelm.
Last night as I rocked Jonah, our tears mingling, Guy asked if I would like him to hold Jonah for a while.
“Sure.” I replied, in that I-suppose-so tone.
Then I heard Ellen’s voice in my head; “Ask for what you need” it reminded.
“Actually I would like you to hold me for a while.” I said, almost as quickly as the realization surfaced.
As Jonah rubbed his face vigorously into my shirt today, I wondered if he, too, was itchy, and wanted a scratch but couldn’t ask for it.
Gosh, wouldn’t it be awful to not be able to ask for what you need?