The Purple Period – Part 2

Thank you again, Heather, for sharing your experiences with us.

If you missed part one, I invite you to read it here.

Here is Part 2…

When we reached the seven-week mark, my daughter gave me my first open-eyed smile. It was wonderful.

My sister-in-law told me about a program called Early Years, a baby play group and weigh-in. I decided to go despite the fact that I’m not the type of person who usually likes to be in groups and get attention – not unless liquid courage is involved. That’s just not an option these days.

I was, however, able to muster up the courage to check it out. I’m so happy I did. In fact, I would encourage all young moms to go. The nurse told me I was at the peak of the purple cry period. I was so relieved to hear her say that. Honestly, there were times I wanted to send my daughter down the river in a basket like Baby Moses.

During those painful times, I would hand her off to my husband. He quickly learned a few routines to get her calm. His light rhythmic marching path took them from the living room to the dining room, twice around the table, and off for a quick tour of the kitchen, then back to the living room. Meanwhile, I was in bed wondering what I was doing wrong and thinking I was a horrible mother for thinking such terrible things.

During our baby playtime at Early Years, I was sitting in the group, and my daughter gave me and the mother of a five-week-old baby girl a big smile. “When does that happen?” the mom asked me. I told her it was only the second time. I was happy with the perfect timing. It broke the ice between the two of us, and we soon started comparing birth stories. We exchanged contact info, and so far, we’ve exchanged a couple of texts. I’ve offered some advice to help her through the fussy nights. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a little bit of knowledge. It seemed to take forever to get through each week of my pregnancy, but now time is zipping by.

When Carrie and I were looking at each others babies, I noticed white on her baby’s tongue.  I asked her what it was because my little one had it too. She told me she was worried about it, but the nurse said to wait and see if it got worse.

Later that evening, my little one gave me the biggest smile ever. Her mouth was wide open, and her eyes were bright and shining. I glanced at her tongue. The white didn’t look anything like milk residue. It seemed raised and patchy. She had been very fussy at feeding time. I soon put two and two together. I remembered taking pictures of her yawning a couple of weeks earlier. I wanted to compare the pictures to see if the condition was getting worse. I soon realized I was dealing with more than milk residue left behind on her tongue.

Thrush crossed my mind, and I quickly started investigating it on the Internet. It could explain the extra gas, the sudden disinterest in feeding, and the crying. My daughter’s purple period could be related to this discomfort. I even noticed a red streak on her bottom. I’d read thrush could also cause diaper rash.

I began to wonder. How did she get it? Was it me? Did I have it too? How could I cure it? I knew I wanted to get rid of it immediately. I found out there’s a topical solution called gentian violet. As I watched a couple of YouTube videos, I began to laugh. The solution is really purple and stains the baby’s mouth and face. It kills the bacteria, but in the meantime, it stains everything.

Once my husband came home with it, I started the application with a Q-Tip. My little one immediately started to transform into a little purple monster. My Goth Baby, I called her – with her stained lips. After three days, I saw the thrush was beginning to go away. I had to paint it on my breasts as well. To get the stains out of my nursing bras, I had to wash them with vinegar and hang them in the sunlight to kill the bacteria. It meant a change in our routine, but it was well worth it.

So just when you think your baby is experiencing a purple phase of crying, don’t be alarmed if she actually turns purple too and people ask you some funny questions or shoot you some strange looks.  I forgot to warn people as I got used to the stained face, and I was graced with some seriously funny questions.  “Is your baby cold”?  “Looks like she just had a grape Freezie!”  “Did you feed your baby blueberries?”

The moral of the story is this: Don’t let yourself get too worked up, have fun, and take pictures so you can look back and remember the crazy ride you had.

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