I have so many recipes that I want to blog but it has been so hard to get a computer, well to sit down at one and not have the keyboard slobbered by the little peanut while the other repeatedly begs to see Sesame Street games. Although I try not to come across too negative on this blog, I need to vent a bit. My stress is bubbling over and I find myself telling people more than they really want to hear when the topic of Colin’s eating casually comes up in conversations. This is probably a better place for it than the supermarket checkout lane.
To be honest I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed. The main stress right now is what to feed Colin. Colin’s need for calories has jumped way up since he started crawling. He wants to nurse day and night and he seems generally hungry and interested in food. I want him to eat. He wants to eat. So why is this so hard? Well we’ve yet to find a food that doesn’t cause some type of reaction and recently we had a big reaction.
At the beginning of last week we decided to try oatmeal again since Colin never really ate any before we started trying other things. I thought maybe since he’d had some other food textures in his mouth he might be more receptive to it now. The good news is that he was interested. He ate quite a bit of it on Monday. Two hours later though he started vomiting. He vomited until he was just heaving. He then laid his head against my chest, looking pale and tired, and just laid there. This kind of vomiting scared me and his demeanor scared me too. I watched him and after a while he perked up and indicated an hour later that he wanted to breastfeed. He only kept that down about five minutes before we had a repeat of vomiting and dry heaving. After that he was slow to perk up again but then was fine.
Now I have to wonder what is really going on with Colin. Is there something else we are missing? When Colin gagged and turned his head every time we offered oats was he trying to tell me he shouldn’t eat them? I never thought solids would be so difficult. Is this a different phase of the food protein enteropathy or something else? We will head to our pediatrician soon but are dragging our feet since he already told us he doesn’t know a lot about it. I also worry they will brush the vomiting off as a possible stomach bug. I guess that is a possibility but no one else was sick and he was fine before and after all of it. I’m trying to get names of good pediatric GI’s in the area, maybe even ones who have experience with these type of food intolerances. I keep thinking about taking him to an allergist but his food protein issues wouldn’t show up on an allergy test. I’m not sure what help they could provide. After being totally mental about all of this for a few days I’ve calmed down and trying again to take things one day at a time. As of today we’ve decided to wait and see if the vomiting happens again with other foods. With Colin’s history with food already, two episodes would seem more than a coincidence. We will probably need help soon though as we try to find other safe things for Colin to eat.
All of this food drama just happened to come the same week I was really considering giving up breastfeeding. I talked with some other moms who use specialized formula with great success and I felt pangs of jealousy. I know formula is not the best option for Colin nor is it wise for our wallets, but I am so ready to be done with this crazy diet. I want to eat outside of my own house again. I don’t want to worry about food so much. Focusing on Colin’s issues is enough. But this week showed me that breastmilk is Colin’s safe food right now and so I am thankful we have that. We really don’t want to fight two battles: the battle of solids and finding a formula that would sit well with him.
Another part of feeling overwhelmed is due to my lack of sleep. I almost have to laugh when someone asks if Colin is sleeping well. Sleep? Ha! Not really on my radar these days. I’m not happy about Colin’s sleep habits but I don’t think there is a lot I can do about it right now. Colin did really well for a while between the colic phase and getting sick in the winter, but since the asthma that started this spring, which occurs when he is lying down, and his tummy troubles due to solids, a good night sleep has taken on new meaning. We go for decent sleep. Being able to crawl out of bed and reach for my decaf (Doh!) coffee on good days, my husband taking the kids out to the living room to play so I can sleep in a bit on bad days. Goal: Try not to be a zombie at 3pm, eat another snickerdoodle. I can’t expect Colin to sleep when he can’t breathe. I can’t let him cry it out when he is having stomach cramps. Sometimes he is really really hungry and sometimes he just wants to be picked up and comforted. Only Colin and God know what is really going on so I feed or pat him and rock Colin and try to remember to appreciate these quiet little moments in the night. He will sleep someday. Until then, I just have to keep on going.
How is Hannah doing with all this happening in our house? Amazing. She is such an incredible big sister. She loves to kiss and tickle Colin and play on the floor with him. She hardly ever gets jealous and she still gets so excited when we try to feed Colin. We give her the reins (well, spoon) from time to time. Her giggles help to distract Colin and make the high chair a more fun experience. Sometimes I do think she is affected by the stress, crying more often and pretending to be a baby, but for the most part she seems to take it all in stride. I try really hard to remain patient with her when I’m totally frazzled and exhausted and repair things when I can’t. I have been doing more “home school” with her lately and she loves that time and attention. “Ocean” is our theme right now and we do about a half an hour of activities together each day. We try to do our work during Colin’s nap time so she gets dedicated “Mom Time.”
If you are still reading this, thanks for hanging in there. Maybe you too have had the “low days” when dealing with food allergies. I know things will get better. We will solve the Colin puzzle. I just have to remember to be patient, focus on the positives and keep looking at the wonderful smiles my children have each day that keep me going.