2 vs 3 – Part II

To start the week, rather than commenting on that disastrous France vs. Argentina rugby game for third place in the World Cup (and in case you’ve been living in a cave, France lost, and not even particularly well at that), I’ll continue the story of our decision to have a third child. Far more edifying…well, not really as you’ll see…

I should have been warned by the fact that in utero Camille did the rumba in my stomach all day and all night long, but at that juncture I was still under the misconception that, seeing I was such a good parent, I would inevitably get a smaller but equally mellow version of Charlotte for my second baby.

Camille dispelled this notion from the second she emerged from the incision in my pelvis (I had two C-sections, and am gearing up for my third). She came out hollering like a drunken sailor on shore leave, and simply didn’t stop.

Family members who came to visit me at the hospital would try to hold her, but Camille didn’t do the normal newborn thing and stay contented like a little limpet against people’s chests. She would squirm and wiggle and scream until the person holding her would give up and hand her back to me with euphemisms such as, “She’s certainly a lively one!”

Later on back at home from the hospital Franck, Charlotte, and I were all ground into despair by Camille’s enraged hollering which continued unchecked all day and all night long. I had her checked out by numerous doctors who could find nothing unusual with her, aside from an exceptionally healthy pair of lungs. The few friends or family who dared to cross the threshold of our house would leave (usually beating a hasty retreat after only a few minutes) pale, troubled, and murmuring that they had never heard a baby who could scream so stridently and for so long without a break.

Camille’s constant discontent, combined with prolonged sleep deprivation, putting too much pressure on myself to “get back to normal”, the effort of pretending that everything was okay, not to mention caring for a toddler, finally manifested itself in the form of a hard-hitting anxiety disorder – panic attacks, agoraphobia…the whole nine yards. I felt like I was all alone in a black hole, and couldn’t find the way out.

To be continued…