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Unlocking the puzzle
Jamie’s visit to the gastroenterologist on Thursday proved to be rather interesting. We went in armed with a very complete written history of his issues, a video of him doing his growling-animal-in-pain thing, and a bunch of questions. We were SO prepared.
We had a nice visit with the doctor (Dr. Annette Whitney), who was quite personable. She seemed very concerned that Jamie’s been suffering his whole life and that the pediatrician hadn’t been much help.
We described his history of problems to her, and told her that we took Jamie off of breastmilk a week ago in an attempt to rule that out (or in) as the issue. We’ve had him on Nutramigen formula, at the recommendation of the lactation consultant.
And quite honestly, this has been the best week of his life. He has been so happy, so relaxed, and sleeping better at night. We didn’t want to get our hopes up too high, but it was looking like that might be part of the answer.
After observing him, looking at his full-torso rash, listening to us describe his symptoms, and watching the video we brought, she told us that he was almost certainly hypersensitive to cow’s milk proteins and soy proteins. His little system just isn’t able to break them down yet.
Clearly he has had a combination of problems. Colic for sure (whatever that is), possibly acid reflux to some degree (since he always used to stiffen his legs and arch his body into a banana shape), and the cow and soy protein sensitivity. When I went off of dairy when he was two months old, the likely reason that we didn’t notice any change was that I was still eating beef. No one ever told me that it could have been a sensitivity to ALL cow products. And, of course, he has had the other issues all along as well, that could have masked any improvements from cutting out dairy.
So our choice was to either continue him on Nutramigen or for me to go on an elimination diet, which means that I can eat only brown rice, chicken, turkey, fruits, vegetables, and water until he is a year old. Neither option is ideal. Nutramigen is expensive, but I think that I would find it nearly impossible to stick to that rigid of a diet for the next seven months. What Jamie eats is important, but having a mommy who is happy is also important, and I know that I would be miserable.
So we made the tough decision to stop breastfeeding. Thursday, April 30, was his last meal from me. I feel guilty as hell, but I know it was the right choice for our family.
The gastroenterologist gave us a sample can of a formula called Nutramigen AA, which she said that we could consider if the regular Nutramigen didn’t continue to work for him. We gave him a couple of bottles of it that night just to see if he liked it. He did. Then we found out that it is approximately $70 for a 12 ounce can of formula powder that would last us 2-1/2 days. Luckily, he is doing just fine on regular Nutramigen!
Either he didn’t react well to the Nutramigen AA, or he caught a little bug on Thursday night/Friday morning. This child has never pooped more than 2 or 3 times a week in his entire short life, and within 24 hours he went about a dozen times. Apparently that’s called “diarrhea,” LOL. I suspect that he just had a little stomach bug, because I wasn’t feeling so great Friday and Saturday, myself. Awww, our first shared disease 🙂
Poor little Jamie has had some awful diaper rash from the diarrhea. His little butt is bright red and raw. We slather him with Triple Paste and Gold Bond medicated baby powder, whenever we change him. And because even just being wet can hurt his raw areas, we are changing his diaper a LOT now. I think he’s beginning to heal up, but he’s had a few painful days and one rather sleepless night. His little pain screams just break my heart. It’s interesting how I can now tell the difference between cries of “I’m tired,” “I’m hungry,”, and “Dammit this HURTS!”
Man, if it’s not one thing it’s another with this baby. We’ve given him Pedialyte a few times to make sure that he’s not getting dehydrated. I’m not sure that was ever a real danger, but we wanted to be careful. Hopefully, in the coming week his rash and diarrhea will clear up, and the new formula will continue to agree with him. He deserves another good week. We all do.
I’ve also been trying to figure out how to stop my milk production. I’ve read hints that range from stuffing my bra with cabbage to wrapping my chest with an Ace bandage, and contradictions such as expressing just enough milk to keep comfortable versus expressing no milk whatsoever. All I know is that right now, and for the past day or so, I have really been hurting. I think I’m going to go get some ice packs now.