Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stop the Screaming!

Picking up where I left off, we came home from the hospital and my child proceeded to mostly scream his head off. I read everything I could get my hands on. I learned all the soothing techniques & infant massage. It didn't stop. I literally spent all my time trying to sooth him & keep the crying at bay. I prayed for the 6 week mark (the experts all indicated that would be the 'peak'). Nothing changed so I focused on the 12 week mark. Still no change. The response from the doctor was "have you heard of colic?" I'm fairly certain I hit him. In addition to the screaming he was spitting up like crazy & we put him on acid reflux medicine which helped some, but it was still a lot. He also clearly turned to food for comfort. He was in the 95% for weight by 9 weeks & was gaining a 1/2 lb. a week.

After 5 months of screaming (I quit my job as I couldn't bare the thought of a sitter leaving my child to cry in the corner), I started talking to my friend Jen whose child had a milk allergy. He had all the same symptoms. So I went to a specialist. Since I was nursing, I had to cut foods that affected him out of my diet. It's all trial & error at that age and it takes 2 weeks to get things out of your system. First was milk (this includes butter & whey). The crying significantly improved, but he still wasn't the smiling angel I had pictured when I got pregnant. Next was soy. Just to clarify soy is in EVERYTHING! If it's fried, it's fried in soybean oil (aka vegetable oil). If it's in a box or bag it has soy or soybean oil in it. At this point I was keeping a journal. After week 1 of giving up soy I made a clear connection with wheat. So--no milk, soy or wheat. That leaves meat, veggies cooked in olive oil & rice. Let's just say I was the skinniest I've ever been in my life & I'm very thankful for my hubby who can cook anyone under the table.

We were lucky. It turns out the child was "hyper sensitive" vs. truly allergic. He outgrew wheat around 7 months. Soy around a year and milk at 16 months. What I found odd about the whole experience was the lack of knowledge. I worked in a department of 40 people. Eight of us had babies within a year. Three of those babies had food allergies. That's over 37%. Why wasn't it being talked about? I'm certain there were many other parents going through the same thing who didn't have a "Jen" to clue them in. That was almost 5 years ago & I know awareness of food allergies with babies has increased significantly.

So this is mostly how/why my journey begins.

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