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.
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.
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!
I’ve learned 3 things from this.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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!