Breastfeeding a baby with food intolerances

Quite a few months ago I realized my baby was grumpy and gassy all the time especially through the night and early morning. My 6 year old is allergic to dairy so I know the signs of it. But Mason was a bit different. Riley was a miserable baby. He cried and cried, no, he screamed and screamed. His belly was rock hard. Riley was a very small baby when he was born. I had some problems during my pregnancy, I leaked fluid, I was under a bit of stress until we bought our house, I was worried with the leaking fluid I would lose him. He was born by c-section at 38 weeks. I had also started swelling and my doctor was concerned with pre-eclampsia. Riley was so so small. He couldn’t latch on to eat and he just cried. He was 6 lb 3 1/2 oz when he was born and my husband commented on how thin his ears were, how you could see through them. The first week was such a struggle. The nurses at the hospital were no help. They made me feel horrible because I didn’t want to give him formula. They didn’t want to let me leave. After 2 days I finally let my husband tube feed him with his finger a tiny bit of formula. He was the only one of my babies to ever taste a drop of formula. And I regret it still. I cried the entire time. I lay in my bed curled in a ball, crying. I wanted to go home, I wanted those nurses to leave me alone, I wanted my husband there to help me.  After that I was determined not again. I made the nurses leave me alone and begged the doctor to let us go home on day 3. It was a huge ordeal to get Riley to eat. It would take hours. At a week old he had lost weight and was down to 5 1/2 lbs. I had never seen such a tiny baby. For two months, I worked at it. Every time he ate he would seem to forget how to do it. At 3 weeks I noticed the reaction he had when I ate dairy. at his one month check up I brought it up and the doctor completely dismissed me. But I knew. My husband had a dairy allergy as a child. His family has food allergies. So I learned to eat no dairy. We also thought eggs bothered him, so I went egg free also. The first year of his life I ate no dairy and no eggs. I cried a lot. I lost weight. I was hungry all the time. When he was one we had him tested, positive for dairy, negative for eggs. So I could eat eggs again! Until he was 2 1/2 I breastfed him and I ate the same as him. He is still allergic to dairy.  But we have learned how to eat dairy free and it is a way of life for us nice, expensive using alternatives for dairy but we can do it.

And this is where I am today. Mason does not scream as much as Riley did. Mason is smiley and happy where Riley seemed miserable all the time. Mason also has gained weight well and never had issues learning to eat. So it wasn’t something I thought for sure. But I cut out dairy and he got better, only not completely. I don’t know for sure all the foods that bother him, but it seems eggs and possibly almonds and peanut butter. I didn’t know until recently the eggs were for sure. But I ate an egg mcmuffin(without cheese), it was the only questionable thing. He screamed all night long. He gets severe gas pains, sometimes hives on his face, and he poops, a lot.  So now I am trying to figure out if he can handle it when I have eggs baked in things. But I don’t think so. I had a muffin yesterday, he screamed all night. Do you know how hard it is to make food for your family and have to sit and watch them eat it? I have to get the egg replacer I used when Riley was a baby, it will help me bake. I love to bake and my kids love to bake. But I also love omelettes, so none for me and I feel bad if I make the entire family go without because I can’t eat it. And I then need to determine whether I can drink my beloved dark chocolate almond milk, it is really the only treat I have right now, except the occasional coconut ice cream.  The peanut butter is easy to give up.

Some days are hard. So very hard. Like today. I am seriously sleep deprived because Mason is getting his top teeth and I have had too many foods that he can’t handle. So I have been up till 12:30 every night and up before 7 most mornings, but he has been tossing and turning all night long, crying out in pain. I am exhausted, and I am not eating well. I have been crying a lot. Crying because I am hungry. Crying because I am overwhelmed. Crying because I am tired. And crying because I don’t want my baby to be allergic to all these foods. I think he is wanting solids and I am afraid to even begin until I know what foods are getting through my milk and bothering him. I worry he won’t grow out of these and when he is bigger he will be allergic to all these foods. I worry that his allergies will be more severe than Riley. Riley just gets hives and horrible behavior. While it is hard on him, it isn’t life threatening. And I am terrified Mason’s will be.  And to add on to all of the food issues, I discovered this week Mason has an upper lip tie. So now I know why he would never stay latched on well, but really not sure where to go from here.

I know I can do this. I know I am stronger than I feel. I know I have my husband by my side to help me. I know my baby needs me to do this for him. And I will.

But some days, I just need to cry.

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