Is she breathing?

“Is she breathing,” my wife asked. Our room was dim lit, and I couldn’t see her face. But I could hear a quiver of worry in her voice.

That was a few months ago when our baby was still a month old.

In terms of babysitting, I am more experienced than my wife. That’s the advantage of being the eldest of 10. I’m less panicky than her. But whenever I detect a hint of worry from my wife, I become like a cat on hot bricks. I become restless. If worry has a score and hers is 10, mine is originally 1 that becomes 1000 when she worries! I think that’s just a normal thing for married couples. Your partner is your source of strength. Your partner is also your source of stress.

Thinking that our baby is not breathing makes my panic monster come alive even at 2 AM. 

Articles about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome keep popping on my feeds. 

I also read some articles confirming my fear. They call it BRUE or Brief Resolved Unexplained Events. It sounds cool but it’s not cool. It’s terrifying. They say it’s normal when your baby stops breathing for a few minutes. No one can still explain why it happens…

My grandparents do not know about this stuff. They didn’t have Google back then!

And yes, free access to all information comes with free unwanted worries.

Try Googling “baby stops breathing for a few seconds while sleeping,” and you will be paranoid.

I was confident of my parenting skills until I became a parent of my own child.

My prior experience-tested parenting skill was shuttered by Google.

Try Googling “how much do babies cry on average!”

Yeah! You can find answers to questions you would be ashamed to ask in Google.

Then, we stumbled upon the term “colic.”

My wife and I began suspecting that our baby was collicky. The word ‘collicky’ was funny to me. But dealing with a baby who seemed restless and gassy was never funny. It was torture. While we were trying to understand what’s causing her to cry at night, we were also making strategies in the best scientific ways possible to make her burp without throwing up.

Eventually we invested in anti-colic baby bottles. Yes it is an investment, probably an intangible one. Before I accepted that there was such a thing as collicky baby, and that was when my concept of being a ‘skilled parent’ was still unadulterated, I bought 3 baby bottles for 200 pesos. And I was proud of it. Good quality. Affordable. It was a great buy!

When I took interest in solving our colicky problem, the brand Avent kept popping on my feeds. They were saying that it’s the best brand for collicky babies ever.

The first Avent baby bottle we bought was worth 700 pesos. It’s thrice the price of the 3-in-1 bottles that I first bought. But that’s fine. Our colicky problem was solved.

Then we started noticing a change of color in her poop. 

Again, we contacted our reliable 24/7 know-it-all friend, Google.

What is the normal color of baby poop?

What does it mean when your baby’s poop is dark green?

In one article, it says that it is due to the presence of bile in the pool. In another article, it say that it’s because of bacteria. If you read these type of articles, would you not be paranoid?

Several months have passed.

We still worry about SIDS and BRUE. We still feel puzzled why she would cry for no reason. And we still wonder about the changes in her poop. Aside from color, now, its smell, texture and consistency also change.

But one thing that fascinates me most is how parenting stretches our whole being. It pushes your limits. It squeezes out your patience up to the last drop. It makes you and your partner sigh to each other… 

“Was this part of our agreement?”

“What have we gotten ourselves into?”

 

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