My little monkey had issues from the word go. Never anything serious and I am surely thankful for that… but we had a number of puzzles to figure out (see And She’s here! and The Doctor VS the Lactation Consultant for other issues).
The first two nights that Monkey was home were great. She slept… I watched her sleep! Friday night that all changed… she began to scream. Throw her arms out, go stiff, and scream. We tried to rock her, feed her, hug her, walk her, drive her around… we did this all weekend and we could not figure out what was wrong. She did not have a fever. She was eating. She was peeing and pooping normally. We were just stressed.
My mother arrived that Monday to help us for a few weeks. She suggested cutting dairy from my diet so I did so. Then I started eliminating foods on days she was fussy and ended up cutting out dairy, raw vegetables, soy, and egg. It seemed to be helping. She was still gassy, so we added in infant gas drops and her pediatrician told us to double the dose to see if that helped… it did, but she was still inconsolable some nights.
Then we had a set back with my milk supply (see The Doctor VS the Lactation Consultant) and she became fussy again. Once we got that figured out, she got better. Until I went to lunch with my husband for his birthday. I had chicken tenders, fries, and ranch dressing. Monkey was a hot mess that night. It never occurred to me that there was milk or anything else in that meal! After hitting Google I felt terrible, of course there was milk in everything I ate along with egg. This was getting out of control. The following day she broke out in a rash, was spitting up like a mad thing, and a hot fussy mess… so I called her pediatrician.
My brother had allergies to dairy as a child and me, I was allergic to eggs. So I told the pediatrician this and he suggested allergy testing (blood test) and to avoid dairy and eggs. We did this and the blood test was not a fun time for Monkey. It took two staff and myself to hold her down and draw the two tubes of blood that she needed. I nursed her afterwards which calmed her down. All I could hope was that the test would give us some answers.
The test came back negative for all allergens. Her pediatrician had said this might happen, but to continue to eliminate the foods that bothered her. He did not feel that seeing a pediatric allergist would help us as she is not allergic (as according to the blood test). I started to keep a food journal so that I could figure out what was bothering her. I narrowed it down to dairy, egg, soy, and peanuts. Talk about a restricted diet. Her pediatrician stated that I should be able to reintroduce foods between three and six months. I also decided to reach out to a Baby Center Food Allergy Board for help. The ladies suggested eliminating the “top 8” – dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, shell fish, tree nuts, wheat, and fish. I had already eliminated four, I was eating tree nuts with no observable reaction, I was eating wheat daily and did not see a reaction, already avoided shell fish (due to not really liking it much and my father having an allergy), and only ate fish on occasion due to my hubby not being a fan. They also suggested that I push to see a pediatric allergist as general pediatricians are, as my Mum says (about all general practitioners) jack of all trades, masters of none.
Around the three month mark I decided to try adding peanuts back in. I bought peanut butter that was just peanuts and ate that two days in a row. On the third day, Monkey was a screaming, rashy mess… no peanuts for me. We are now approaching four months and I am still sans dairy, soy, egg, and peanut. It is hard, but I am making it work. I feel strongly about breastfeeding and do not want to use formula (personal choice and no ill will toward those that formula feed!), so this is the trade off. I also believe she is sensitive to garlic, but I have not limited that yet. I love my garlic too much and she doesn’t get a rash, just spits up more.
I may push for a referral to the allergist as I am concerned about introducing solids with so many sensitivities… but we shall see.
As a result we have had to change how we eat a bit. We were never much for eating out, but we did a couple times a month. Also I started to read all the labels and found milk and soy in EVERYTHING… soy is evil and hides in things. As a result I have had to make my own stocks, breads, burgers, etc. It’s an extra step yes, but it stops Monkey from having a scream fest every night and allows us to get more sleep than we were.