Do any quick google search for diet, and you will find a plethora of weird routines and regimens. Some claim you can lose weight in days, others talk about finding your inner caveman (or woman) or making sure you don’t consume anything with eyes. Ekk. I have tried a couple diets myself, usually ones that would restrict my caloric intake or reduce something I was consuming at the time. But, inevitably, I would want that restricted something and the search for another diet would continue.
Meredith’s second month was a rough one. Jack at two months was a relatively easy baby. We were even warned on numerous occasions that he wasn’t “the normal baby”, and no one gets that lucky twice. Yes, seriously, people would say this to us. So, I figured we were getting our fix of a fussy baby with Meredith.
Meredith, frankly wouldn’t let me put her down, even for a few seconds. Or even hand her to the hubs without crying nonstop, and I mean non-stop! This included her lip quivering, losing her voice, and gasping for breaths. No one else could comfort her. No one. I would try to set her down and the crying would start again. There were nights I would sleep on the couch with her nursing continuously until we both fell asleep. It was rough, and I felt super alone and hopeless.
Even with the hubs in the same room trying to help, I felt alone. I felt I did something in the pregnancy that made her unhappy or she got all our “bad genes” or something else crazy. Disclaimer: I was also postpartum crazy town, truly sleep deprived, and pulling at strings. I feared what would happen when I went back to work. I even dreamt about our nanny quitting over this.
It was all truly exhausting. And I still had a toddler that wanted my attention and a household to be involved with. One day I was changing Meredith, and I ask the hubs if he ever noticed that she doesn’t lay her legs straight. He said he hadn’t but thought it too was weird. We then noticed Meredith starting to get a facial rash. It continued to her neck and shoulders throughout the next couple days and down her arms. The hubs noticed the rash would get more red/inflamed after I would nurse her, and we thought it might be a detergent or soap I was using. As I’m writing this it seems so obvious it wasn’t the detergent but we didn’t know. I swallowed my pride and took Meredith into the pediatrician. He took one look at her, reviewed the fussiness, gassiness, projectile vomiting baby I’ve been dealing with for the last 5 weeks, and he said it could be two things. One: Just colic and acid reflux, we could manage this with reflux medication and gripe water. Or two: she could be allergic to your milk. The pediatrician said if he was betting man, he would bet milk allergy. With a cringing face, he turned to me and said this would be hard. Milk is in everything, even processed foods, like Tostitos lime chips we would later find out.
Two things happened in that moment. ONE, I felt horrible I didn’t see it sooner and she was looking for me for comfort AND I was the one causing all her pain! TWO, thank god we may have something that is/might be causing all her symptoms! Maybe we will get lucky twice, with a little work this time!!
That instant I stopped all dairy (first a little pity party of “why me”) and my diet was born. It’s amazing how easy it is to quit something you thought you loved like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc, for something you love even more. Your daughter. I was committed to breastfeeding Meredith as I had breastfed Jack, and now there was an even bigger reason. An even more customized milk I can produce and provide for my daughter.
Jack eating a vegan cupcake! Team Meredith!
A new dairy-free google search was started! I have become comfortable reading labels and tweaking recipes to keep with our new diet plan. Within days there were signs of improvement, which helped fuel my efforts. Meredith spit up much less, was less fussy, the facial rash was receding, and she was letting her legs down a little flatter. By week two she was enjoy life, smiling, cooing, and sleeping in her crib for six hours at a time!! At her two month check up, she was sleeping 8 hours at night, happily being held by others and enjoying being set down in her swing or on the floor to play. She was a completely different baby, and I would say with a little extra effort, we DID get amazingly lucky twice!!
So, if you are looking for a diet routine, I have the one for you! You’ll start instantly and won’t falter! First, get pregnant, have a baby, and have them have an allergy! Dairy is a good one to get away from processed foods. Works every time! Ha!
You’ll change your whole world especially if that means a better outcome for your child.
In all honesty, cutting out dairy has made me eat more clean and whole foods. Lots of salads, minimal ingredient items and vegan products I never thought I would try AND actually enjoy! I hope to continue this healthy minimally-processed eating WAY past Meredith’s dairy allergy. Though, the Ghiradelli semi-sweet soy chocolate chips and angel food have been a lifesaver for my sweet tooth! I hope with my efforts she will overcome this minor allergy sooner than later!
Thanks Meredith for makin’ our household a little more healthy! We love you so much and think you are pretty cute too!