Sunday night, Juliette slept four hours in a row.
Monday night, after a complete mid-night meltdown, after she screamed and writhed for an hour and a half, after I held her wrapped in a blanket in my arms and walked the circle of our main floor for a solid hour, she slept for six hours in a row.
She also slept through two hours of a nap two days in a row.
There is progress. Which, up until this morning, scared me a little. Because maybe it means that me being on this diet is actually helping. (Or maybe it's too early to tell.) Her daytime behaviour isn't much improved, but one thing at a time.
But this morning I spent with a lovely group of women, women with whom I've been meeting for six weeks as we read scripture and see how relative it is to motherhood. Six weeks of trying to push ourselves to new levels as mothers. Six weeks of being open and honest and revealing our triumphs and our trials. Six weeks of gathering new ideas. As we spoke, I realized just how similar Juliette's case is with all three boys. My friends helped me remember how bad Caleb's tantrums were, how little he slept, how much he head banged. I remembered how we switched Colin to soy formula because he cried because of the breast milk. Someone noted how bad Caleb's eczema was, and how both he and Benjamin had terrible eczema on their cheeks to the point that it bled. And now, after eight years, I'm finally recognizing all these symptoms as likely allergy reactions. I just didn't know it then.
The most reassuring thing in all this is that they have outgrown it all. I didn't know it might be food related, I didn't know to try and take myself or them off these foods. I just waited, endured, and eventually the tantrums and head banging and crying and screaming and rashes stopped.
With Juliette, we have both the blessing and the curse of information. It's a blessing, because if she was still eating directly all these allergens, days and nights might be absolutely unbearable. They still are, when she is exposed. But it's a curse, because maybe we're overdoing it. It makes the problem seem so big and so permanent and insurmountable. Now I can tell myself that, even though I didn't know it, I've been through this three times before. And we've come through it. And we'll come through it again.