We’re in the midst of a new adventure with our sweet Andrew. He had a rough week this week, with lots of misery, crying, and poor nursing. On Thursday he started having blood in his stool, and after the second time, I called our pediatrician. While I waited for her to return my call, I did a little online searching, so it did not shock me that, after hearing my recitation of Andrew’s troubles, she recommended that I stop eating dairy.
It seems the type of bloody stools Andrew was having are most commonly indicative of a reaction to bovine milk protein (cow’s milk protein) in the mother’s milk, also known as allergic colitis. The degree of sensitivity varies; I’ve heard tales of moms who can’t eat one chocolate chip without causing a reaction, and of moms who can return to eating yogurt and/or cheese. But for now I’m avoiding anything with any milk product in it. I discovered that includes store-bought bread. I don’t eat much of that anyway, but it was a hint as to how pervasive dairy is in our food and what a big job I have ahead of me. I might do some experimenting later, but for now I’m being ultra careful.
I’ve been concerned about Andrew’s digestion for a while now, and recently discussed my concern with the pediatrician at his four (almost five) month check, but the blood was the first thing that was definitive enough to point the way to helping him. And he obviously has been processing well enough to gain weight like a champ, so I guess we needed a red flag to give us some direction.
Dr. H said we could expect an obvious improvement by Monday if dairy is indeed the issue, and we have already seen a change for the better. Andrew is happier, nursing better, and the bloody stools seem to be on the way out. It has been so wonderful today to see him smile and laugh.
I’ve learned that I’m far from the first mom to deal with this, and that I have several friends who have dealt with similar situations in the last year. They have said very little about the issue, whether because it hasn’t been a big deal for them or because they did not want to complain, I’m not sure.
I don’t want to complain either. Aren’t you relieved?
At the same time, I want other moms who deal with this to know they’re not alone, so you’ll probably be hearing about my dairy-free journey from time to time.
It is hard.
I love dairy. I love my extra sharp cheddar cheese, my quesadillas, my cream in my tea, etc. I keep thinking of new things that, for now, I will no longer be enjoying. Tonight was pizza night, and I did my best to fix myself a good consolation meal… and the black bean salsa salad was wonderful. But it wasn’t pizza. When I went to the grocery store this afternoon, I fought tears the majority of the time because I kept seeing yummy things I couldn’t eat.
he is so worth it.
We don’t know what the next few months will bring as far as food is concerned. But I’m thankful that it looks like we can do something as simple as adjusting my diet to help Andrew feel better and be healthier. That is so much for which to be thankful!
When I hear that little chuckle as Mama comes in for the tickle, I’m sure that the sacrifice is worth it.
And when the time comes that I find myself once again eating ice cream and having my Earl Grey with honey and cream? You’ll probably hear the shouts of rejoicing.