Friday, August 31, 2007

Change For A Time

As a sequel to "Time For A Change," I'll give a little update.

I knew something wasn't quite right with my baby when the most my baby ever did was scream. Not cry or be fussy but scream.

I chalked it up to him being on a bottle, him being a big eater, me drinking coffee a few days ago or him not dealing with a change of weather. I was not even going to think of a milk intolerance and proved it by cutting sugar out of my diet for a day or two to see if that would help.

It didn't help but I still knew Alex did not have a dairy intolerance. I mean come on! what would a person eat if they couldn't have something with dairy in it? Did you know even granola bars are made with dairy?

His diapers displayed some kind of distress but I blamed it on the gas he had from the popcorn we traditionally eat on Sunday night. So, I sacrificially cut out the popcorn. This definitely wasn't a sign of milk intolerance!

Alex would occasionally get a strange skin rash but I knew it was from the humidity, not dairy.

He would also have really strong gas and smelly diapers but even that wasn't from a dairy intolerance. No, this was not that serious.

And then I made that appointment with the lactation consultant and assumed I was going to get help for me to teach him how to nurse. As Alex screamed through the majority of the 2 hour appointment, she somehow conveyed to me over Alex's persistent wailing that we indeed had two problems: he wasn't latching on right and I was eating something irritating to him.

She gave me a list of symptoms and Alex had every single one, except for the bloody stools. The conclusion? Dairy Intolerance.

So, trying to be a good little mom, I cut dairy out. I quit eating cereal, ice cream, yogurt and buttered toast. You know, the real obvious things, the no-brainer dairy products. That helped a little but the screaming seemed to not improve the way the doctor thought it would. So, then I started getting serious and reading labels and that's when I learned that granola bars have dairy in them.

But, he still screams, the diapers are still strange and I'm still confused since I thought a milk intolerance would be the worst "allergy" a baby could have. I'm learning that it's not. The actual cause can be so hidden that many moms and health care providers never find the culprit.

I've heard story after story about colicky babies that are actually weaned from breast milk because they can't tolerate it. They're then put on special formulas only to have to be weaned off that even. Finally, trying goats milk brings relief for many babies.

I told Toby I felt bad that my milk is hurting Alex. And I feel especially bad since if I put him on goats milk, he'd probably do a lot better. Its weird to think that a smelly dumb goat could actually make him happier than me.

So, Toby thoughtfully recommended a goats diet for me and pointed out "all "the grains I could eat that would easily replace the dairy foods in my diet. His grain recommendations? Oatmeal and brown sugar three times a day.

It would be a shame to quit nursing now because at last Alex is happily and sufficiently breast feeding. A nipple shield has done the trick both in protecting me and in adjusting him from bottle to breast. He's a real cuddly baby so nursing is right up his alley. But, if only I could help him quit screaming.

On our recent trip to Wisconsin to visit family and friends and introduce Alex to everyone, I found it quite frustrating that my darling baby spent a lot of time just screaming. I felt like every time I showed up for something, I was arriving with my screaming kid. Every time some one commented to me on who they thought he looked like, they were having to yell in order to be heard over the screaming. Every time someone wanted to simply get a look at our new baby, they had to endure the loud screaming.

Except for one time when Alex amazed me and stayed completely peaceful and sweet and let a mother hold him who just lost her own little baby boy. He was never that quiet for that long for anyone all weekend long. I'm glad he picked that time to be that way though.

As we enjoy our growing (15lbs +) 2 1/2 month old little boy, I'm researching options, substituting foods and improvising recipes. I can't have any dairy at all -- not even to fry my eggs in butter. Which brings me to the next thing: maybe his intolerance includes eggs and soy as well. Yikes.

Read any ingredients list on anything related to food and tell me if you can find something that doesn't have dairy, eggs and soy in it.

Oh, and it has to have calories in it since I am a nursing mom. And if you do happen to find something, let me know.


Pat VE said...

Dear Courtney,
I feel so badly for you and Alex, as well as the rest of the family. Our oldest was quite a screamer, but he was jaundiced. When that became apparent and he was taken off of breast milk at 6 weeks, put onto formula, we had a much happier baby. Has any Dr. suggeted that the screaming might be caused by another sourse beside dietary reasons? I have no knowledge of what that could be, but I didn't know if they were looking into anything else. Does he sleep pretty well at night--or through the night? I will be praying for you. Pat V E

Coeur d'Court said...

Thanks Pat. I appreciate your prayers and concern.

The past day or two have proven that it probably is just a mild dairy intolerance and not an intolerance to other foods. So, having a dairy free diet really isn't all that bad actually. I think in time Alex will out grow this phase as well. Now, if it was an intolerance that included eggs and soy, then yes, it would be challenging. I'm just thankful that it's only probably dairy.

No, they hadn't looked into other reasons to cause the screaming mainly because he had every symptom of dairy intolerance. I've noticed in the past couple days that Alex only cries when he's hungry or wants to be held, which is quite often. :) But, like I told a friend, I don't mind the crying at all, it's the screaming that gets hard.

He is sleeping well at night although even then, he wants to nurse all night and sleep right with me. Amazingly, I'm not feeling too tired in the morning so I think my body is adapting itself to a kangaroo/joey mindset. :) But, overall his sleep patterns are becoming a lot better and I feel rested as well.

Thanks again for your comment and concern! I think we're finally on the upside to things but I'm not holding my breath yet. :)

Anonymous said...

Im allergic to dairy aswell.I eat alot of of soup, wraps with vegitables, lots of meat, and for sweetness, fruit sherbert .:) Goat cheese doesnt taste bad melted on bread ,pizza or tamatoes!:)