Nicholas came to see me at seven weeks old. His mother told me that he was a “total fusspot.” That was an understatement. He had to be held all day or he would scream as if he were in pain. He liked to be held over the shoulder and walked around. He could not rest. He would sleep for only 10 or 15 minutes and would wake screaming.
Nicholas’s mother told me that he cried constantly, to the point of holding his breath. “He is very difficult to soothe once he begins crying,” she said, “and we can’t figure out what is wrong. He looks very fearful all the time and he also looks angry. He doesn’t like to be touched, have his diaper changed, or be bathed. He seems scared and nervous. He’s jumpy and easily startled. He can’t seem to quiet himself. Sucking his thumb seems to help; but if you try to offer him his thumbâ€”because it’s the only thing we’ve found that soothes himâ€”he’ll fight you.” She also reported that he had gas and belched; it appeared to me to be gastro-esophageal reflux.
Like mother like son
Inconsolable crying with gas is a very common complaint of newborns. Because infants can communicate only through crying and other body language, my cardinal rule in such cases is to take the case of the mother. I have found that understanding the state of the mother at conception and during the pregnancy and delivery is often crucial to finding the remedy for the child.
Farokh Master in his book Clinical Observations of Children’s Remedies states: “Most of the illnesses seen in a child in the initial few years of his life are directly or indirectly linked to the mother’s physical and emotional states during conception, pregnancy, and labor.” After hearing the mother’s story of how Nicholas came into the world, his very angry and very fearful state made perfect sense to me.
Taking the mother’s case
“He was a surprise conception,” Nicholas’s mother told me. “My first child was only seven months old. I was in shock. I can’t stand being pregnant. I was so uncomfortable. I just wanted to get him out. I had lesions on the placenta. I have a condition that causes me to have an increased tendency to clot. During the pregnancy I was told that I could have a stroke and die. It was horrendous. Initially, there was a lot of fear. I thought I was going to lose the baby and die. I felt guilty that I had caused this somehow.
“At one point, the sonogram showed something wrong with the baby’s heart,” Nicholas’s mother continued. “I left the doctor’s office hysterical. Did I cause this? Did I do something wrong? When my first child, Rachel, was born, we were elated. But with Nicholas, we were feeling, ‘Oh, my God, how are we going to do this? It’s going to be so hard because my daughter needs so much attention.’ Nicholas didn’t exactly get the welcome wagon.”
Nicholas was born three-and-a-half weeks prematurely and was struggling at birth with low oxygen and low blood sugar. His mother said, “When I saw him in the neonatal intensive care unit with all those wires in him I was thinking, ‘What did I do to my baby? I wished to get him out of me and now look what happened!'”
A likely remedy
At first blush and upon observing the infant, I thought that he needed Chamomilla based on his symptoms: anger with a red face; being easily frightened; inconsolable; irritable on waking; and shrieking with pain. I prescribed Chamomilla 30C, one dose, and told Nicholas’s mom to call me in the morning.
“The crossest child”
Nicholas’s mother telephoned me the next day saying that he had not gotten much relief with the Chamomilla. “He’s so cross that he’s almost mean,” she added.
This made me think of the homeopathic remedy, Cina.
Murphy’s Lotus Materia Medica describes the Cina state of mind as, “Very cross, dissatisfied, very touchy, petulant, nervous. Unreal feeling of having done something wrong.”
Sankaran in his book The Soul of Remedies mentions the close alliance between Chamomilla and Cina: “The main feeling in both of these remedies is that they are not getting enough attention from their parents.”
Chitkara’s Materia Medica of the Mind mentions the following Cina rubrics that describe Nicholas’s mother’s state well: “Ailments from anger,” “Ailments from fright,” and “Anxiety of conscience, as if guilty of a crime.”
Homeopaths have touted Cina as one of the “crossest” remedy pictures. Lippe said, “There is no child more contemptible than the Cina child; he is easily excited; weak; screams, strikes, and bites; is cross and obstinate.” And Morrison has described Cina as, “About the worst child …”
A complete transformation
So I prescribed Cina 30C and it did the trick! Nicholas’s mother reported: “I gave him one dose of Cina 30C, and he was better immediatelyâ€”his mood, his sleeping, everything. A complete transformation! It’s a miracle! You are my angel. Thank you, thank you!” He never needed another dose of Cina.
It never ceases to amaze me what we learn about the unknown and particularly about the state of the fetus in utero. Our thoughts and perceptions are clearly transmitted, as Nicholas’ mother’s emotional state of fear was transferred to Nicholas. It certainly bears further investigation into the fascinating world of conception and pregnancy. Taking a good case of both mother and child can reveal issues present in the child long before they have a chance to become pathology.
Seven months later, Nicholas is a happy, smiling baby who sleeps well and is a pleasure to his family. He never got into that Cina state again. This is even more evidence that his emotional state at birth was not his true constitutional state.
Homeopathy has much to offer in the field of pediatrics. The transformation seen in young Nicholas shows, once again, that homeopathy is a many splendored thing.
Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), is a chiropractor who has been in practice for 23 years. She is a Certified Classical Homeopath with offices in Manhattan and Belle Harbor, NY. Dr. Gahles is the Director of Health and Harmony Wellness Education, providing consultations and workshops on Complementary and Integrative Medicine. She is a health and science columnist for The Wave, Rockaway’s newspaper. She may be reached at [email protected].