The Colicky Shadow: A Short Memoir Series – Ep 2 & Conclusion (for now)

May 9, 2024

To read Episode 1, click here.

The Colicky Shadow: A Short Memoir Series – Ep 2 & Conclusion

It wasn’t long before I realized that my baby was not going to settle down into a smooth routine. From the moment he entered this world, he had a way of making his presence known, and it wasn’t long before I understood that he had an unbreakable tether to me.

He knew when he wasn’t in my arms, and because of that, every time I had to go shower or take care of something other than him, he would scream. Now I am going to tell you this next part and I need you to fully understand what I am saying…..

He always screamed when he wasn’t in my arms.

That is not a passing statement in jest. This is an actual fact. He would literally ALWAYS scream when not in my arms. That means when I had to go to the bathroom, he screamed the entire time. When I had to shower, he would scream. When I had to go eat, he would scream. There was never a moment when he would sit quietly or nicely that lasted longer than 10 seconds (before he realized he wasn’t in my arms). This is something most mothers DO NOT go through. This is rare. This is beyond a typical situation. There was not a doctor who looked like they fully comprehended what I was telling them, what I was living through. They, along with numerous friends and family members, laughed it off and proceeded to tell me this was typical.

Uh, no. This isn’t my first kid. This ISN’T typical. Flippantly dismissing this situation I was telling these people I was in was almost cruel and abusive (especially coming from a doctor). I will tell you now, if I was a woman with mental issues, I would not have been able to get through this. When you hear about mothers hurting their children and/or themselves, THIS is what I believe they were living through, while people laughed at them as well. There needs to be recognition and training around this rare situation.

Through countless tears, sleepless nights, and moments of doubt, I clung to the one thing that kept me going: the unwavering love I had for my son. And slowly, ever so slowly, I began to understand that he needed something from me that went beyond the basics of food and shelter. He needed my presence, my touch, my warmth in a way that was different from my other two children.

Today, my son is four years old, and he’s still as clingy as ever. But instead of seeing it as a burden, I’ve come to embrace it as a gift. I’ve learned to put my children second to myself, understanding that my mental health and self-care had to come first so I could be a safe, healthy place for my child. And in doing so, I’ve created a bond with my son that is unbreakable, a connection that transcends words.

So yes, speaking matter-of-factly about my experience may seem dangerous to some, but to me, it’s a testament to the strength and resilience of motherhood. And if my story can shed light on the struggles that many mothers face behind closed doors, then I’ll gladly continue to speak my truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

With love and solidarity,

Shaunna K

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