Henry is a fussy baby. The thing is, I can tell he is actually a pretty chill little man deep down. For the last 2 months my gut has been telling me that his “colic” is fixable. I put colic in quotes because his fussy/colic symptoms are nothing like what we experienced with his brother. Charlie would basically cry 24 hours a day and almost nothing would sooth him. Henry, on the other hand, seems to be fussy in waves. The waves generally coincide with his need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes these bouts last for hours and sometimes for minutes, often times waking him up from a solid sleep. In every case, I can tell he is uncomfortable.
As a mother, seeing your child in a state of discomfort is heartbreaking. I have literally called the pediatrician almost every single day for the last two months trying to work through with the nurses a way to make Henry more comfortable. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet, gave him mylicon, camomile tea, gripe water, Miralax, prune juice, probiotics, massage and anything else that was recommended. None of it seemed to help.
I took Henry to the pediatric gastroenterologist while I was on the gluten and dairy free diet. They tested his stool for blood which would indicate a possible allergy. It was all clear. His examination led to the diagnosis of colic. The doctor recommended I end my elimination diet and gave me a few other soothing methods for Henry’s “gas.”
3 days later Henry was more fussy than ever and had a suspicious looking diaper. Once again I called my pediatrician’s office but this time told them I am coming in with a diaper to check for bloody stools. 10 minutes later my son’s pediatrician came out to the waiting room, sat down next to me and said, “What made you decide to come in here?” I responded, “my intuition. I just feel like something is wrong.” His response, “You are right. He does have microscopic blood in his stool.” I wanted to jump for joy. No, I was not happy that something was wrong with his stool, but I was happy that we had a potential reason for his fussy behavior. It also confirmed that my gut was dead on. I felt stupid for calling the doctor so much, but I knew something was off and I was right.
We are assuming the blood didn’t show up the first time he was tested because I was off of dairy. I have since then learned that 50% of babies with a dairy allergy also have a soy allergy and I was not off of soy. In fact, I was consuming more of it to compensate for the loss of dairy. Ends up, it was probably the soy that was making him so uncomfortable, but it wasn’t making his bowels angry enough to show up in his diaper.
We called the pediatric gastro who gave us a hypoallergenic formula to start immediately. Within 24 hours Henry seemed so much more comfortable. Within 48 he was honestly a new baby.I have since eliminated dairy and soy from my diet in hopes that I will be able to breast feed him again after the 5 day formula trial ends.
I thought we had it all figured out but on the third day his fussy symptoms came back with a vengeance, he stopped eating much and refused to sleep. Crap!
Again, I called the doctor. This time, I knew something was wrong but didn’t think it had anything to do with his tummy. He was acting a different kind of fussy — ear infection fussy.
Off we went to the doctor for the second time this week. This child has been to the doctor’s office 5 times in his 2.5 months on this planet. Yesterday evening was his 6th trip. The pediatrician confirmed that he does have another ear infection. Poor little man. This is his second ear infection in 5 weeks. So, for now I am on an elimination diet but am not waiting for my system to filter itself out because Henry is best soothed when nursing. We are going to continue him on the hypoallergenic formula when I am not around to nurse. Hopefully, the ear infection will get better and his tummy will recover around the same time.
I guess my next big project will be trying to navigate the waters of a dairy and soy free life. Living without dairy is pretty easy. I have a feeling eliminating the soy will be a lot more difficult. It’s just been two days but almost every food label I read has some sort of soy derivative as one of the ingredients. I definitely won’t try to recreate the wheel. I can’t wait to read more from The Educated Mommy, one of the many blogs I found on this very topic. I also found a service that emails soy, gluten and dairy free menus as well as a weekly shopping list to make the recipes. They charge about $13 a month, but it may be worth it. I’ll keep y’all updated.