Thompson's take on baby allergies
Our teeny tiny was born in September 2015, and man did he rock our world. Still today he gives us a run for our money. If we had him first, there may have never been Thompson party of four. Even though he is our wild child, and a bit of a tornado, he really ties our family together. So far the
pregnancy and crazy infancy have been well worth it.
After the hospital, we thought we were going to luck out with an awesome infant, boy did he fool us. About two weeks into life with tiny, the screams, cries, vomit, and misery started. After a few days, I broke down. Still recovering physically from a c-section, and feeling 100% defeated. Trey drove me and tiny to the doctor to go over his symptoms to see if a specialist was necessary. Although he was miserable and making my days/nights really tough, he was gaining weight. My supply was good, however his throat was so inflamed and swollen. We tested for strep and she recommended writing a food journal. Not just any food journal, I had to strip my diet and then start over ingredient by ingredient. She gave us a list of possible food allergies, as she felt this was more of a probable cause. This list covered every food item, or so it felt.
As we left, already feeling defeated before the doctor, my world felt smaller after the visit. I love real food, like all of it. Name a vegetable or fruit and I love it, yes that includes raw beets (definite fav). At this time I was strictly Pescatarian. Already having a somewhat "limited" diet, and seeing almost all foods I ate on this list was heartbreaking. The list covered cooking oils, a plethora of vegetables, and all proteins. Although feeling like a rejected parent, I am pretty freaking stubborn, okay really stubborn, I will blame this on being a strong women. I was not going to give up breastfeeding.
We started down the road of elimination. It consisted of plain rice and gluten free/organic/stone ground oatmeal. Basically, the most bland, boring, dry food anyone could ever eat. We did this dreadful "diet" for TWO full weeks. I am going to be quite honest here, this was BRUTALLLLL. As I would sit at the kitchen table breastfeeding tiny, giving both boys the death stare, as they were able to eat whatever they wanted... It was torture. Nevertheless, I survived those two weeks.
Then the fun started, I use that term loosely, as I could not add a new item until a full 3 days of no issues. Slowly one food item (this includes spices as well) at a time was added back into my diet. After doing this, I realized I gave birth to the bubble boy. He was allergic to almost everything. Things that I found I COULD eat were, rice, oatmeal, coconut, almonds, almond milk but only homemade almond milk, vanilla extract without alcohol, carrots, cilantro, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, avocado, and raspberries... Eggs, soy, shrimp, dairy, and most nuts were literally a death sentence. Anything that was spicy or acidic meant a long night accompanied with a lot of throw up. All this was discovered within two months of being brought into this world. I literally asked myself daily,"What did I get myself into?".
After a month of following a strict allergy free diet, I was starving and my milk supply was dropping due to not being able to eat enough food. My doctor recommended me bringing meat into my diet. I resisted, but in the end I caved. My teeny tiny was suffering, and it was because of my pride I was making it worse. I caved, and turkey quickly became an item served in our home. As any loving mom does, she will do anything for her child's health. Looking back on this, I laugh, because I made eating meat such a HORRIBLE thing that I felt guilty about providing for my child... I was 15 when I decided to adopt a different diet, and I created a terrible (shaming) stigma around it, which added to my hormonal emotions. When in reality, I was choosing the best thing for my son.
Now we fast forward almost 18 months later, and we are in full swing. Life is easier, at least with diet. Tiny has outgrown majority of his allergies, and is an eating machine. Although he has outgrown most of his allergies, we limit his intake on the stuff that he had severe allergies with. Eggs aren't really a thing in our home too often, and dairy is minimal, but we SURVIVED! For those new mama's that are experiencing the same troubles, I want to let you know it does not go on forever. I promise. I know how horrible it is to see your little one suffer and scream in agony all day and all night. Try not to beat yourself up, as this is how they communicate. The first 3 months are truly the hardest. I want to let you know that you are doing amazing, and the best for your child. If that means stripping your diet, or going to formula, you are doing it right for you and your little. That little nugget will love you unconditionally, and be grateful for all that you did for them. Although it may not seem like it now, that little butterball sure does love you a whole lot.