Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am not

a crazy over-reacting mother. YAY! Ok, seriously here is an update on my little Eli. Warning.. POOP issues are mentionedand this is very long... so if you want just skip to the totally cute video of Eli at the end, I don't mind!

Many of you know that we've had issues with his bowel movements in the past. Well, to make a long story short, he's had blood in his poop on and off for a while. Well, I (after lots of research) self-diagnosed him with a dairy and possibly egg allergy. I had mentioned it to the Dr when Eli was around 3 mths and he told me that it was probably nothing more than a fissure. Well, this is when I started all of my research because honestly that just wasn't good enough. I had already been dairy free (mainly for his tummy aches). Then at the end of Dec. I went egg free as well. So, we went almost 3 months with no blood in his stools and then I decide to add back some hidden dairy. Eli seemed to do fine with that. After about 2 weeks with no issues with hidden dairy he had one diaper with a tiny bit of blood. It bothered me but when a week went by without another I just assumed it was a fluke. This past week I added cheese back to my diet, just one serving a day. And then Sunday he had 2 diapers with blood. Ahh.. I was bound and determined to get an answer this time. I called Monday but wasn't able to be seen until this morning. Soo.....

we get there and they checked his little bottom and found no fissures. They did blood work and found that all of his blood work was completely normal, which was great! That just means that whatever issues he is having, it isn't effecting all of that important stuff like hemoglobin's and the like (yes, I'm very well versed in medical terminology). The next step was to test the samples that I had brought (yes, I brought samples). I brought one from Sunday (with blood) and one from yesterday (without). The couldn't test the one from Sunday because it was, well too dry. So, they tested the one from yesterday and it was negative for blood. There was really no where else to go from there. I know they believed me about the blood but until they got a positive sample there wasn't much they could do. They gave me a little card type thing and said the next time I saw it to swipe it and bring it in. Well, what do you think that little booger did about an hour after we got home? Pooped.. and yes, it had blood. Why couldn't he have done that earlier in the day?? So, I swiped the poop card and off we went back to the Dr...

Of course it came back positive. I talked with the Dr again. I asked him if he thought that there was any chance that there might be something internally going on. He said that was unlikely because Eli isn't having any kind of pain or other symptoms, not to mention the diet changes and the success I had for that three months. He is the happiest baby! He rarely cries, except when momma gets out of sight! He's a little attached to his mommy. He assured me that it wasn't anything serious. He said that his first inclination and thoughts on a reason for the blood (after discussing my diet changes and all of that) is that he has a dairy allergy. Babies just have a sensitivity to dairy products (which I knew!). There is no way, right now, to be certain of an allergy but based on all of the dietary changes, additions and subtractions to my diet as well as the reactions and that blood in stools can be a symptom of a food allergy, the foremost reason would be a dairy (and possibly egg) allergy. So, he wants me to go on a strict non-dairy/egg diet (he even wrote it in big letters on Eli's chart!), watch Eli's diapers over the next three weeks and see how they are and come back in about 3 weeks to have some poop samples checked. Then we will go from there. Some facts I know about dairy allergies in babies:

~Most are outgrown sometime between 12 mths and 3 years.
~Most dairy allergies do not cause anaphylaxis. (some do; like this one I mentioned in an earlier post)
~Allergy testing in young babies is invasive. So, the best bet is to wait until they are older to do any kind of testing.

I would like to add, just for others, there are other symptoms of dairy allergies in infants that Eli has had in a more mild manner. A couple weeks right after Christmas we dealt with some eczema flares. Thankfully after stopping the use of dryer sheets, taking very quick baths with Aveeno and slathering Eli with Eucerin cream every night we haven't had any more issues with that. We also had lots of issues with Eli spitting up, even to the point of him loosing weight and having to be put on reflux meds for a while. He still spits up occasionally but that is not a huge problem anymore, although I wonder if it might get worse if I continued adding back dairy in. I don't plan on trying to find out!

Now, first of all I want to say that my husband isn't allowed to make fun of me for doing all of my research online. He often jokes and calls me Dr. and asks me where I got my PhD. I got it online thankyouverymuch. Secondly, I am thankful that someone with a degree has agreed with what I have thought all along. I'm sure some have thought I was over-reacting with all of the no cheese and no dairy and reading labels constantly. And I'm the crazy, breastfeeding mom who thinks her kid is allergic to something in her milk. Yes, I am still crazy but all signs point that my baby boy does have some type of milk/egg intolerance. At the time I was struggling with whether or not to continue breastfeeding, I couldn't understand why I felt so convicted about it. I mean who gets convicted over whether or not to breastfeed their child. Evidently I do. Now, I understand that there was a greater reason for me to breastfeed, and that was to figure all of this out.

I'm praying that Eli will outgrow this but only time will tell. And we will probably not give him dairy right at the age of one, like most. This will be something that we have be careful about, especially with the introduction of solid/table food. Well, this is way too long. And probably a lot more info about my son's poop than you wanted to know. But I did write it all out because maybe there is someone out there trying to figure out something similar. I know that I have read many, many blogs of mom's who's children have food allergies (particularly dairy) and they have helped me! Not to mention that this info is for family too... it's much easier to just direct them here than write emails.

Ok, now what you've all been waiting for: ELI IS CRAWLING!! Seriously after a crazy day (literally all day!) at the doctor's office, he comes home and decides to start crawling. He's really tired in this video and actually did better earlier. I'm a little scared... I have two mobile children!

So here is the video (scroll down to the bottom of the page and mute the music to hear the video):

Eli Crawling! on Vimeo.


Unknown said...

hi crystal, thanks for lurking and leaving a comment recently! i love to know that i am helping someone...that motivates me to keep the allergy blog going. i wish you the best in figuring all this out. we never dealt with bloody stools. you are a great mama. yes, keep breastfeeding and cutting stuff out yourself. it's the hardest way but it's worth it. it's the BEST way to keep the kiddies safe. please check in with updates.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

That was such a sweet video! I just love the way they look when they are just starting to get mobile...

As for your research, I say more power to ya! As long as you are allowing your MD to round out your research (which you are), I think it's better to be informed rather than to just blindly trust anyone. You are doing what's best for YOUR baby, and no one can fault you for that!


Misty said...

How exciting that Eli is crawling! The video is so cute!

I am glad you've figured this all out and I'm very proud of your dedication to breastfeeding and your dietary restrictions. You are a great mother (and a great example to other moms - especially me!)

jengallahar said...

I am just sitting here thinking of how much money you would be spending on specialty formulas if you were NOT breastfeeding. I am so proud that you are sticking through this and that you are being proactive and researching on your own.

I also think the video is adorable!!