Nerves of Steel

If you've read one of my earliest posts, you will know a little bit about our youngest, Alvi Louise.

For close to fifteen months now she's battled with reflux, followed by ear infection, then massive teething, and now, possibly lactose intolerance and/or constipation.

Regardless, she is a feisty little girl. The attitude she has (I have no idea where she gets it from,) is insanely hard to manage.

This girl can scream for hours, and I mean hours. She rubs her feet together until the skin on top of them is raw. Her lips will turn blue. Comfort and touching her is an absolute no-go and unacceptable to her.

She was a boob baby, and that helped solve a lot of the screaming until we started weaning. That only made it worse, but sadly it was just time. For not only my sanity, but in ways, hers, too.

Breastfeeding was entirely consuming our life and made simple tasks impossible to complete. She fed 24/7, mainly for comfort. From birth she refused pacifiers and no matter how much money I spent on a wide variety, none were as good as the real thing.

We tried baby carrier after baby carrier so I could keep her attached and feed her or comfort nurse while I helped her brother and sisters, or attempted to maintain the house. But, for whatever reason, we couldn't find a style she was happy with.

Someone recently commented that I must have nerves of steel, but I have an admission.

We, as moms, are supposed to be the magical fix all. But, what happens when we aren't?

It is really stinkin' hard. My confidence as a mother is slowly but surely deteriorating and try as I might, nothing soothes this girl.

No blanket or stuffy, not food or milk, a cuddle, kiss, absolutely nothing. Except her baby swing now, but that's something that is still fairly new, and certainly not a cure all.

Slowly but surely, it gets easier. Some days are still immensely hard, but I often find myself wondering why, instead of praying for strength and help. Days that I turn to God tend to be days I have a little more grace and a lot more gratitude.

Whatever the lesson is with Alvi - because honestly, I still haven't put my finger on what it is, God is setting me up for big changes and growth, if I can just remember to continue turning to Him in my time of need, rather than thinking I can do it all on my own.

Brett tries so hard to be able to help me with her, but when we try that it only makes her worse. So, to help me, he has his focus on other parts of our lives to help me where I'm slacking.

He's always done dishes, but now he pitches in with washing and putting away laundry, putting away toys (I've taught him how to sort correctly, don't worry) sweeping and mopping, you name it and he'll do it. God is answering my prayers in the ways He sees it best. Even if it isn't Alvi screaming less, He is giving me the ability to focus where my attention is needed while my house continues to be maintained.

Trying to do it all on our own, especially when we're drowning, doesn't do anything good for anyone.

Ask for help, take a day to yourself, whatever you need to do - do it. These kids rely on us to be our best so they can learn how to grow right alongside us.

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