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The Unexpected Benefit of a Super-Fussy Baby

fussySilver is 7 weeks old and the love of my life. I can’t imagine not having him here — even through the sleep-deprivation, I can see that. When I welcomed him into the world just a short time ago, I didn’t think there would be any more parenting surprises in my future. He certainly wasn’t my first baby and this wasn’t my first go at the postpartum and newborn stage.

I was convinced it was going to be smooth-sailing. I mean, I had a very challenging pregnancy, so certainly he was going to be the most chill baby ever. Well, that’s what I thought.

I was wrong. Silver, while majorly adorable, is also majorly challenging. Between the colic, fussiness, crying and intense crankiness if he’s not being held and breathed on, rocked and always in motion, it’s been an interesting month-and-a-half trying to get on some sort of routine in life.

I’m not expecting to get any sleep or have any predictability in life or anything like that, but I didn’t expect it to be this different than my other three children. I guess when they say each baby is different, they mean it.

I don’t like to complain and certainly am not. But when things get challenging and you’re about to lose your mind because all you can focus on are the negative things — you’ve got to look for the positives wherever you can find them.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my living room at the end of the day — my mom was here holding Silver so I could work because otherwise he would be on me, fussing. I got up off the couch, walked up the stairs to tuck the older kids in and all I could feel was an achy left arm and calf muscles that felt like they were on fire.

I didn’t exercise all day so I had no idea why I was aching so much — hoping that I wasn’t getting sick, yet realizing it was totally possible. Something about the lowered immune system I am prone to since I never sleep — like, ever. I pondered over the aches and tucked my babies in bed carefully, so as not make these aches worse. Then I walked downstairs to see my mom holding Silver in her arms and rocking him on my non-rocking couch and it all became so clear.

My legs, arms, and shoulders were aching because I was exercising, just not in any traditional type of way. For the past seven weeks, I have been holding Silver the same way I saw my mom doing so — rocking and holding and working the muscles in my arm, shoulder, and legs the whole time.

Having a newborn with colic who wants to be held all.the.time has me exercising when I didn’t even realize it. I wonder if that has played into me being 45 pounds lighter at seven weeks postpartum than before I got pregnant (though my 38-week long stint of hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy had me losing 20 pounds).

Hello, unexpected bonus!

Colic — the unexpected exercise may seem like a small positive and little trade-off, but I’ve got to hold on to something!

Hey, you’ve got to look at the positives, no matter how small, when you’re up all night — right?

Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness

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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and four kids . Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!

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