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Leading my little horsey to water and trying to make her drink (Mon 7-12-10)

I'm not going to complain. I'm not going to complain about how frustrating it is to try and feed a baby who doesn't want to be fed. I'm not going to complain about how inadequate I feel knowing that a machine & tubing are currently her only source of nutrition & hydration. I won't say that not being able to convince my child to open her mouth, let me put the spoon in, and then swallow the food makes me feel incapable, and even more so because she is my 4th child. I'm not going to admit that I've never enjoyed teaching babies to eat their first solid foods because I don't like the mess it makes. Or that I resent having to squirt food in her mouth with a syringe (the most reliable way to get it in) only to have it spewed back at me as she happily babbles, "Da-da-da-da!" I also won't admit that nearly every "feeding" session ends in Raya covered with sweet potatoes (currently her only solid food) and me nearly in tears of frustration and wanting to quit trying. Nope, not going to say it.

Instead, I'm going to be grateful that I have a baby to feed, grateful for a machine that can give her nourishment and make her grow, grateful that we've found a food that she almost tolerates & doesn't give her horrible diaper rash, grateful that she loves me even though I squirt gross baby food in her mouth with a syringe and try to make her drink formula that she's only previously tasted when she's throwing up, grateful that she's happy and comfortable now and not crying for 3 hours every night like she used to, grateful that she sleeps all night long and now I can put an ice pack with her feeding pump so that I can too, grateful for how happy she always is to see me, grateful for how excited she gets when I let her chew on the handle of my vibrating toothbrush, grateful that her motor delays aren't delays anymore, grateful that she CAN wave her arms around and knock the spoon & food flying across the room, and grateful for everything I have learned and am still learning from her challenges. And perhaps the thing I'm most grateful for right now is that the smelly helmet comes off TOMORROW!

**Original post w/pictures**

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