Sunday, March 29, 2009

Elimination Diet

I request your prayers for our little family. Teresa's symptoms of food allergy have continued, even though I have been dairy-free for 2 weeks and off soymilk and chocolate for 1 week. This weekend she exhibited 6 of the 11 signs of dairy sensitivity listed here: extreme fussiness, congestion, a pin dot rash (or widespread acne) on her face, frequent spitting up, gassiness, and green, mucousy, bloody stools. It's the last one that's most alarming: two diapers with some blood in them. Obviously, I'm still eating something that's bothering her poor little digestive system.

Food allergies are so difficult to determine! She might be intolerant of any of the multitude of ingredients I've consumed. I've started keeping a food log. With David's assistance and encouragement, I will take the plunge and stop eating anything containing gluten (wheat, oats, and barley) or soy. We've made a bare bones menu plan for the next 7-10 days, and then we'll decide how to proceed.

Giving up dairy was tough. At least I can eat my cereal with soymilk and dark chocolate for dessert, I thought. Then those were forbidden as well. I managed. But now all soy and wheat? I've shed many a tear at the thought of it: What a joyless life! What CAN I eat? Will I waste away? I'm already too thin! Will Teresa still get enough nutrients? Is this really worth it, or should I just stop breastfeeding? That would be a humiliating defeat. You get the idea.

So I ask your prayers: that Teresa would be healthy and grow and know comfort and happiness. That I would embrace this sacrifice/challenge with peace and hope. And that David would continue to be the patient and loving husband and father that he has proven himself to be thus far. Thank you.


Adam said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you work this out.
Abigail and I will pray for you each time we nurse that you find the cause of the allergy quickly so mom, dad and baby can relax and enjoy eachother in peace.

Diane said...

We'll be praying, too. I know it will be hard, but I think you'll find there are many things you can eat and enjoy. The good thing is that it is spring and fresh fruit and veggies should be on the okay list! Yay for Farmer's Markets!

Shannon said...

praying for you as I type, Frances.

*carrie* said...


My heart goes out to you! A mother is asked to make many sacrifices for her child(ren), and I'm sure this one will be very challenging. But I also pray that it will be rewarded quickly by Teresa's symptoms disappearing!

Katherine T. Lauer said...

My heart goes out to you too! Elimination diets are *awful*. I've known two friends who've had to do severe ones. A third friend of mine went on a severe, cave man diet when her first baby had blood in his stool. Nothing worked, but her baby was fine (just a little bloody) and went on to nurse for three years. When her second baby had blood in her stool, my friend *didn't* change her diet. The baby was not particularly fussy, just had some blood. It wasn't hurting her, in that case.

Also, some moms think that if there is an allergy going on, they have to wean the baby. Something to keep in mind is that *even with* a food allergy, breast milk is still far easier on the baby's digestive system than any other substitute available. Formulas are going to be dairy- or soy-based, so they'd be much harder on little Teresa. I hope that gives you some comfort that your nursing is still doing absolute wonders for her.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

P.S. Even though a lot of dairy leaves mom's system within two weeks, truly it takes up to six weeks for the proteins to be gone. So, don't lose heart yet.