Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Our Story

E was never an easy baby. Difficult pregnancy, difficult delivery, difficult baby.

We were in the hospital for two days after she was born, and she was awake almost the entire time.

We brought her home, and she began to cry. She cried for the next six months.

At her two week doctor's visit, I brought a list of my concerns:
Crying
Spitting up (projectile vomiting is more accurate)
All over skin rash
Back arching during nursing
Pulling off during nursing
Days that went like this: 45 minutes of screaming, 15 mintues of napping, 45 mintues of screaming, 15 minutes of napping
Diaper rash

If someone showed me that list, I would tell them, immediately, that they were likely dealing with a food allergy. But of course, my doctor saw a young and tired new mom, overly concerned over normal baby things.

And what did I know of normal? I saw my friends' babies, who would sleep in their car seats or baby swings for hours at a time, and my exhausted post-partum brain told me that I was just not as good of a mother. But I didn't know how else to do it, so I walked my baby, in my arms, for six months.

At six months and beyond, she started getting a little better, happier, sleepier. As we tried out different solid foods, we noticed some reactions. To pizza. To spaghetti. We thought she had a tomato allergy. But eliminating tomato didn't totally solve things. We tried eliminating chocolate. And dairy. And nuts. And corn. (My diet and hers.)

Time went on, and things would get better, and then worse. But we figured that, whatever it was, she would outgrow it soon enough.

Finally, just before her 2nd birthday, we had her allergy tested. She was still pooping five or more times a day. She still had diaper rash. She was fussy and difficult. And then the results came back. Gluten. Intolerant to gluten. I wouldn't have, ever, guessed it on my own. And it was in everything.

We eliminated gluten. She was suddenly actually processing the food that she ate. She shot from the 5th percentile to the 25th. She grew and changed and is healthy. Is she still difficult? Oh my yes. But she's healthy.

4 comments:

zdoodlebub said...

Awesome that you figured it out. Age two seems to be the magic number of figuring out anything that might be "wrong" with our firstborns.

You will help so many people by telling your experience and listing our your symptoms so clearly.

I'm just now (the last couple years) really focusing how much food affects not only my kids, but me! Mentally and physically. Duh.

Kristy said...

Your descriptions of E's early weeks/months need to be pasted on every.single.pediatriacian's office.

The Digerati Life said...

Just want to let you know -- I know what it's like to be "celiac" because I am. I just got diagnosed several months ago. Actually, my doctor suspected I may have this condition ever since last year but I wouldn't believe it and didn't do an elimination diet till a few months ago. I can't believe what a difference a new diet makes. Anyway, just wanted to voice my support and I look forward to learning more about coping with gluten sensitivities via your blog.
Cheers,
-SVB @ The Digerati Life

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