I Love Dairy, but I Love My Daughter More

Our sweet Zoey Ann rocketed into this world on March 31st, 4 days before her due date. We loved her at first sight, and she has been an immense blessing ever since.

Beautiful Daughter with Dairy allergy

The fussiest blessing EVER.

We had a perfect first week- she slept literally all the time. And then she just started crying all the time, and this, incidentally, coincided with my family all leaving and my first week alone with two kids. Perfect timing! Luckily she still slept a lot, because no joke, if she wasn’t sleeping, she was crying.

When we went for her 2 week checkup, she actually lost weight from when we had left the hospital, so I had to start supplementing with formula (the emotions from that could be a whole post in and of itself). For a few days this seemed to help- she wasn’t as fussy because she was fuller, she was happier and gained weight quickly- we seemed good to go. And then the fussiness again. And then constant spit up/vomit. Finally we noticed some eczema patches starting on her legs, and, after some research, we came to the conclusion that she may be allergic to dairy.

Zoey with a Dairy Allergy

Now, if you know anything about me, it should be that dairy is legit 90% of my diet. Cheese on EVERYTHING with a side of cheese, please. So I threw myself a nice pity party for a few days and complained nonstop to my poor husband, but we started to notice a bit of a reduction in the fussiness, so that was reassuring that it might be working.

Until it started again. I just got pretty hopeless, at this point. Nothing we did could seem to make her happy. When she was happy she was the sweetest thing! But that was for maybe 5 minutes a day and I just couldn’t deal, especially with a toddler who was getting a little attention starved. When we went for a 2 month checkup on Tuesday, I talked to the pediatrician about the possibility of reflux. The CNA listened to her breathe and said right away, “oh, I can hear the reflux!” She also told me there was a good possibility Zoey wasn’t actually allergic to the cow protein in dairy, but they would test for it just to rule it out.

Oh. My. Gosh y’all. I could have hugged her, and I started seeing all these visions of biiiiig glasses of chocolate milk and pizza and ICE CREAM. But when she came back in a few minutes later with her head low and said Zoey tested positive for the cow protein allergy…my little visions bursted with a loud, resounding POP. My goal was/is to nurse for a year…a year without cheese…but! We finally had answers and could get our little girl feeling better!

Mother and Daughter

I’ve learned 3 things from this.

  1. I am freaking selfish. Seriously. So many times my sweet girl would be crying in pain and I would just be thinking about how not having dairy would negatively impact my life. Sure, I gave it up, but since she won’t take formula I’d say it’s 80% out of love and 20% out of necessity.
  2. Mama’s- we can do anything. I had told my friends when I had my son that if he were allergic to dairy he would just have to do soy formula. Now that I’m actually dealing with it, as much as I’ve complained, it wasn’t ever really a question of if I would do this for her. Of course I would. I would move mountains for this child. We as mama’s have the ability to unflinchingly sacrifice whatever we have to for our kiddos (this may seem dramatic, but please don’t underestimate just how much cheese and milk my household goes through).
  3. You have a mama’s/parent’s intuition- trust it! Is being a parent hard? Absolutely. Are babies going to be fussy sometimes? Unfortunately. Will babies spit up a lot? Gross, but yes. But if you feel like something more might be going on with your little, talk to your doctor. Our pediatrician honestly didn’t think Zoey had an allergy after hearing her reflux. As much as I hated being right, I weirdly felt a little proud; I’m Zoey’s mama, and I knew something was wrong because I know her.

Overall, we are just thankful to finally have definite answers and are excited to get our sweet girl feeling better! We will be grateful for reflux medication and pray she outgrows this allergy. In the meantime, please send some dairy-free recipes my way, cause I don’t have many of those!

Have a phenomenal day!

"Alex" in cursive


  1. Juliette | Namastay Traveling

    June 8, 2017 at 6:45 am

    So good you were able to figure out what was going on! And the things we will do for them, you’re an awesome mama!

  2. Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    June 8, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I had the same issue with my own little Zoey. It was so hard to give it up but worth it!

  3. Ashley Dickerson

    June 8, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Ayla Ruth was super fussy, too. We had just moved to Charlotte and knew pretty much no one and I was a first time Mom with a baby who screamed 90% of the time when she was awake. She didn’t have a diary allergy, no reflux here either. We couldn’t figure out what it was. Finally around 3 and a half months she was diagnosed with torticollis. Basically my poor little one was in pain constantly because she pulled a muscle in her neck during delivery. It wasn’t until she showed signs of plagiocephally (flat head) that they figured it out. I was so thankful and so relieved and she was such a happy baby once she felt better. Praying the same for you all and strength to get through these hard first months and still be able to enjoy them! Miss everyone in Charlotte and at Center City! Hopefully we can come visit one Sunday soon!

    1. Alex

      June 8, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much, Ashley! So glad Ayla Ruth got so much better- she is beautiful, I’ve been stalking your pictures of her πŸ™‚

  4. D at Be you and thrive

    June 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I love your authenticity! So many decisions and changes (and sacrifice) for our babies. But all so worth the reward! xo

  5. Amanda

    June 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, I never thought of this!! My second was exactly the same. The doctor said reflux and I have her meds and they didn’t help, I cut back on dairy but never gave it up. I wonder now if maybe that was her issue. She’s fine now once she started sitting up and crawling. But for so long she cried, I wonder if it was the breast milk the whole time.

    1. Alex

      June 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Yea, my pediatrician’s office would never have tested for it if I didn’t mention I was worried about it- she legitimately didn’t think it would be positive! And with the allergy unfortunately I do have to cut it out completely or Zoey will still get sick…BUT! she said it’s really common for babies to outgrow it between 9-12 months, so hopefully your youngest doesn’t have it anymore, even if she did! πŸ™‚

  6. Amanda Dyer

    June 9, 2017 at 6:10 am

    I’m expecting my first child, a daughter, on July 18th. I’m so nervous that I won’t be able to breastfeed her because that is 100% what I want to do. I guess being flexible and ready to roll with the punches is all a part of being a mom.

  7. Sincerely Christi

    June 9, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Oh my goodness! My Zoe had colic so we had to put her on a special formula to supplement. I never thought of dairy impacting her back then. That would have been a total sacrifice, because like you, I love everything with a side of cheese! But…I would have done it, as hard as it would have been. πŸ™‚ She is now 8, with no health issues and full of life. Praise God! One thing I did take note of, isn’t it interesting how most of our stresses or struggles in life help us to learn more about ourselves if we are open enough to look? I tend to believe, it’s how we grow! πŸ™‚

    1. Alex

      June 9, 2017 at 9:13 am

      So glad to hear she is happy and healthy! It is truly crazy- I think being a parent has taught me more in the short 2 years I’ve been one than I learned in my whole 26 years before! Thank you for your encouragement πŸ™‚

  8. Christine C

    June 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I can’t even imagine giving up cheese! I’m so glad the combination of things seem to be working for your and your precious little girl!

  9. jessica

    June 9, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    being a parent is totally hard! good for you!

  10. Lulu

    June 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    The sacrifices your make for your children will neve be forgotten and they will totally appreciate it πŸ™‚

  11. Mary Leigh

    June 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    What a beautiful post! “I would move mountains for this little girl!” Isn’t it true! Our little ones just totally capture us, huh? I’m glad you all got some answers!

  12. Anna nuttall

    June 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Aww she such a cutie. All parents make sacrifice – just remember you are not alone. xx

    1. Alex

      June 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thank you! It’s so encouraging to have community through parenthood πŸ™‚

  13. Cassidy

    June 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I loved this sweet postπŸ’› What an incredible love you have for your daughter!

    1. Alex

      June 14, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  14. Abby Darlington

    June 13, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Such a sweet post! A mothers love is like no other- no question about it. Glad you’ve gotten some much needed answers!

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