So what inspired & made me really want to start blogging all things of Mommyhood is our story on having to go dairy&wheat free from my sons food allergies! I know there are many mommies who can probably relate and who are probably at a loss of what to even cook these days! I have had so many private messages on my personal Facebook from friends and friends of friends asking how I figured out about the allergy/sensitivity, and what kind of foods we eat. I figured it would be so much easier to blog about it and let people read it :) In the future I will be sharing recipes & snack ideas for mommies who would love encouragement + recipes! Read our story below: warning: it is very long 😘😘
Soon after I had my son, I was determined to breastfeed him at least a year, because I unfortunately didn't get to nurse my daughter but 3 1/2 months because I didn't educate myself beforehand and wasn't helped very much in the hospital with her. It was a long road with her and eventually I just had to switch completely to formula. There it was, I had given up. I felt so down about it and felt like such a failure of a mommy. It was hard. One of the most important things only mommy can give and I couldn't continue. Mainly, because I just wasn't educated. I didn't know much about supply + demand, how to keep up when pumping and giving bottles. I was so excited about getting back to shooting sessions that I started back to work too soon. That means I would pump , send a bottle with my MIL or leave one for my husband to give to her, not pumping or nursing in between. Eventually my supply went down, she would get mad; push me away, I would cry, she would cry, you get it- it was just one big emotional mess. I tried everything I could to get my supply back up, and as I was working on it, a part on my pump broke. I gave up.. It was really hard and I was really hard on myself- but realized it just was not going to work for us.
After learning everything I could about breastfeeding, I was ready! I was determined, people. I was determined to breastfeed my next one at least a year! Well, when Parker was about 3 weeks old, he started showing signs of "colic" and had "acid reflux". He started to get congested in his nasal. Every night at the same time for about 2 hours, he was inconsolable. He would scream and scream and absolutely nothing helped him! I would nurse him, rock him, do the bicycle on his legs, give him gripe water, nurse him, etc. Until eventually he would calm down. I started to think maybe it was the caffeine I was drinking because he was literally so stimulated his arms would start shaking! A lot of people told me "oh its just normal to have a witching hour", or "oh he will grow out of it in a few months". Something in my mommy intuition told me that it wasn't normal. He also had a bad rash on his face that was way worse than just the normal baby acne.
I had a sweet friend message me telling me the possibilities of it being dairy in my diet. She told me she had to completely eliminate it and that maybe I should try that too and see if it makes a difference! (I'm not talking just cheese milk etc- we are talking everything made with milk! And seriously, everything seems to contain "milk". Everything in our pantries, powder stuff, everything ya'll) I thought about it and it made complete sense because lets be real, us postpartum moms, breastfeeding or not, we are hungry ALL the time! I think it was worst postpartum than in my pregnancy! I was KILLING the peanut m&ms, kit kat candy bars, cheesy pastas, queso dip, chickfila chicken biscuits ( say what?? Chickfila chicken has milk? Why yes it does! And the butter on those biscuits? You betchya!) you name it , I was eating it! Everything that our family and friends brought us to eat after having him seemed to have cheese in it. (Which was non the less heavenly.) I decided to give it a try, even if it took me just eating turkey and mustard sandwiches, black bean burritos with spinach and ritz crackers with peanut butter for a week straight. I was determined to figure it out and determined to breastfeed a year! It was my own personal goal and sacrifice. Usually it can take up to 2 weeks to get out of their system, and really start seeing a difference, but not always. I'm telling you, within 48 hours of eliminating it, he was a totally different baby. He went from being kinda fussy throughout the day and screaming fits at night (along with spitting up throughout the day) to being a happy content baby, no spit up, congestion was gone and one who then started sleeping for hours and hours straight at night and no more screaming fits! It was glorious.
If your not familiar with food sensitivities in babies, this is some good information on Kelly mom. If I hadn't have had my friend message me and tell me it may be dairy, I would have never known. And it would have just gotten worse. So mommies, if your babies have any of those symptoms, look into what you are eating and just try to eliminate things and see if it helps symptoms. I am so glad I did ! The doctor told me "it's probably just a sensitivity so you can still eat it, he will get use to it. If it's an allergy he would have blood in his stool". Okay- that's great- I thought!! It's just s sensitivity and he will grow out of it! But I'm still not eating any dairy for the sake of me enjoying food for a second and him screaming every night 😳
I searched and searched Pinterest for ideas and recipes for dairy free and it took me a while to really build up my recipes and get replacements established. Every now and then I would try something that had a little milk in it just to test and see, (something as simple as chickfila chicken which I LOVE) and within 24 hours he would be throwing a fit, tummy tight, gas and all. It was terrible! I would do that every now and then and it would always be within 24 hours! The only time he would act like that would be when I would have something made with just a little milk (like the Chickfila chicken) So, then I had my confirmation and answer. It was indeed the dairy. If I dare tried ranch dressing on my salad? instant congestion within 24 hours.
We also found out later after starting him on solids that he also has a sensitivity to gluten-wheat. I will make a different post about that journey soon!
Since we were told he would most likely grow out of it, I would stil try stuff here and there. When he started solids and was close to 10 months, we were having dinner at my parents. My husband and I were curious to see how it would do going straight to his tummy instead through my breast milk. We gave him one piece of macaroni and cheese, and then without us knowing he had found a few m&ms on the floor that my daughter and niece dropped , but didn't know that until we found the left overs on his shirt. Within 30 minutes his tummy was hurting, I felt so terrible. He was screaming so we gave him gripe water and soon he calmed down. That night, he had acid reflux for the first time since he was a month old. He also had mucusy diapers and was wheezing in his chest, along with nasal congestion. I slept with him upright on my chest all night. I felt so terrible 😔
After all of that, I was not going to attempt to try anything more. I felt like by that point if it were just a common sensitivity he would have outgrown it. I had a feeling then it was an allergy. Later on down the road, we learned after he snuck a few sips of his cousins whole milk in her sippy cup, that he had an actual allergy. For two hours after he got ahold of her cup, he had bloody mucusy diapers :( it scared me half to death! Then we realized though we had an allergy on our hands.