We called our son David the Baby from Hell.
He cried like 23 hours a day, never slept, refused to touch solid food, and did all of this till he was at least 10 months old (when he walked and everything was suddenly, miraculously fine).
He was my first, which made it especially hard – basically I thought he just hated me, or that I was the worst mother who ever walked the earth. I wanted so desperately to know that I wasn’t alone. That there was some other baby out there like David. And, of course, that it wasn’t all my fault…
But there was nothing out there. I read like every book and article ever written about difficult babies, but in all that oh-so-helpful parenting material, there was nothing that spoke to me and what I was going through. Which made me feel even more like what was happening to me was so bizarre and not normal, it had never, ever happened to anyone else.
Which meant it probably was my fault.
Either that, or Dave was actually possessed…
Back then, I used to think about writing about my experience. I even had super-brilliant title for the book-I-never-wrote – What NOT to Expect When You’re Expecting. But I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. I felt like whatever I wrote wouldn’t be that important, or helpful.
Plus I was usually operating on like 45 minutes of sleep.
So whoever else out there was going through what I was going through was in the same boat that I was. If they wanted some confirmation that they weren’t alone, they were basically s*** outta luck.
At least, until someone had the ladyballs to do what I didn’t.
So…my point…pretty obviously…is…don’t be like me. Or like the old me.
Whatever horrible, terrible thing you’re going through, if you feel totally alone, and like you might be some kind of freak of nature, and you can’t find anyone who can speak to your experience, maybe that’s a sign that that person…needs to be you. Maybe you need to be the one to take that deep breath and reach out. Because if you write about what you’ve experienced and share it with the world, there’s bound to be someone out there who is desperate to know that it’s going to be okay.
And if she’s anything like I was, she (or he) will be eternally grateful.