By Christina Komives The Pipestone Flyer
I had heard the term “mombie” before I had my son but I had no idea one day I would be one. Mombie is a term used to describe a woman who is part mom, part zombie. Shortly after my son was born we noticed he cried a lot. I don’t mean regular baby crying, I mean screaming for hours on end. After numerous visits to his pediatrician and a detailed cry journal I was informed my son had “colic.”
Colic is described as gastrointestinal discomfort. Doctors don’t really know what causes colic and although there are a few things you can do to relieve your little ones discomfort, there is no cure for it. We tried everything the doctors suggested such as chiropractors, changing his formula, massages and various others all to no avail. My poor son would cry, sometimes upwards of 15 hours a day. This was the beginning of my transformation into a mombie.
Colic lasted 3.5 months, but when you are spiraling downwards into the bowels of colicky hell it feels like an eternity. Some nights were good and he would sleep in his bassinet and I would get to sleep for an extended amount of time and some nights were not so good. On nights that were not so good I had moments I consider mombie episodes.
I believe the most comparable characteristic between mombies and zombies is the need for and/or lack of brains. I was so tired I felt like my brain had gone into a coma and there wasn’t enough coffee in the world to wake it up. I have met a few moms who have had colicky babies and because it is behind us we can joke about the funny and bizarre things that occurred during our sleep deprived state.
One particular night I had put my son in his bassinet and just as my head hit the pillow he was crying again. I had just fed him so he couldn’t be hungry. I figured he needed to be changed. I took him to his room and I changed him, right after he quit crying and fell asleep. The next morning after my husband left for work I got up with our son. First thing we did was head to his bedroom for a diaper change. I went to take his diaper off and realized he had two diapers on. In my sleep deprived state I had left his old diaper on and put a clean diaper over top of it and put him back to bed. All I could think at the time was, “Thank goodness I didn’t take his diaper off and not put one back on, two is better then zero.”
Another night my son woke up hungry, as other parents know a baby doesn’t wake up a little hungry they wake up starving. He was screaming and acting as though he’d never been fed though I fed him 45 minutes prior. In one arm I was holding a screaming, wiggling baby and in the other I’m heating his bottle. When the bottle was done I tested it to ensure the temperature was just right. Once realizing the bottle was perfect I proceeded to take the lid off and dump the contents down the drain. Then I just stood at the sink dumbfounded, what the heck had I just done? Why would I do that? I wanted to start screaming and crying, a mirror of my son’s tantrum. Instead I just started making another bottle. There is no rhyme or reason to mombie brain, it sneaks up and attacks when you least expect it.
I’m sure all moms suffer from mombie syndrome at some point or in my case multiple times. I have learned I can function on 15 minutes of sleep a night, even if my brain doesn’t want to. My son sleeps through the night now and has for some time but there is still the odd sleepless night and the next day I suffer with mombie brain. Once the fog clears I always wonder how we all survived 3.5 months with my mombie brain running the show.
Christina Komives is sales manager for The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.