Or at least I think I do. That’s what I keep telling myself.
We had Vivienne’s 4-month well baby doctor’s appointment this morning and the pediatrician was THRILLED to hear how well Vivienne has been doing in recent weeks. The little chunk-a-monk (I’m sure she’ll appreciate that nickname when she’s older!) is regularly sleeping all the way through the night at the moment. We’ve still had a night here or there when she’ll wake up once, seemingly wanting to eat, but all in all, it seems like she may be growing out of that.
The bad news is that it appears that cutting milk products out of my diet made a big difference. Just like so many of you suggested it would. And so I am officially off of milk products for the foreseeable future.
It’s only been three and a half weeks since I had my last bite of delicious milk-laden food, but it feels like it has been FOREVER. It has been both harder and easier than I ever thought it would be. My diet still feels so, so limited. A lot of the things that we used to eat on a very regular basis are a no-go, even with modifications.
Still, I’ve managed to find a lot of things to help fill the void… in the sweets department, anyway. I found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that substitutes coconut oil for butter that certainly did the trick. And a “brownie in a mug” that is also made with coconut oil that could turn out to be seriously dangerous. I’ve also been known to eat a tablespoon of peanut butter with semi-sweet chocolate chips (Wegmans brand is dairy free, woot woot!) to satisfy my sweet tooth in the evenings. Or just chocolate chips by themselves, actually. But Christmas without Christmas cookies and cinnamon rolls and chocolate… wahhhh. And I guess I should figure out what I’m going to eat for dinner on Christmas Day, in lieu of the lasagna we have planned.
I think I miss pizza the most. Which is ironic considering I didn’t even like pizza until I was 10 years old. (Before that, it had always made me gag. Go figure.)
Our pediatrician did say I could start to “test” foods with milk in them at my own discretion. She said she would definitely avoid things like ice cream and cheese, but that I might be able to get away with the products that say things like “Made in a shared facility with milk products” or whatever. I might even be able to get away with “baked milk,” which would be things like… cookies! But who knows. I’m kind of scared to mess with a good thing. I guess worst case scenario is that things go awfully and I just quit ALL milk ALL the time again.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me why I wouldn’t just give up breastfeeding since a restricted diet is such a pain in the ass. I guess it’s a fair question, since it’s not like formula is the devil. But the thing is, with the milk sensitivity and reflux in question, we would likely have to experiment to find the “right” formula for Vivienne, which also sounds like a pain in the ass. And expensive. Not to mention that I’ve been blessed with the ability to make milk—and enough of it (at least for now)—for my baby, and I would like to take advantage of that.
Besides, this is all temporary. At SOME point, I will be able to eat all of the world’s dairy again. There are many people out there who can’t. Ever. So even if I do have to put up with this for another eight months, it’s not the end of the world. It’s nothing to cry over.
If I have to continue with the restricted diet, will I make it to a year of breastfeeding like I did with Nora? I don’t know. I may not be able to, simply because of supply issues. With Nora, once she started solids at 6 months, I definitely noticed a drop-off in supply, and as time went on, there were days (most!) when I was dipping into my freezer supply to make her bottles. I was taking out more than I was putting in. That was fine at the time, given my large freezer stash. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to build up the start of a cow’s-milk-free freezer stash, too, but there still remains the issue of the 600+ ounces of cow’s-milk-filled milk that may or may not be able to be used. And if I get to a point when I have to supplement anyway because I’m not making enough? Eh, I don’t know what my decision will be. I won’t ever say never.
I have my fingers crossed that this is something she will outgrow sooner rather than later. The pediatrician said that they see significant improvement in a lot of babies by 8-9 months old, so… maybe?
Until something changes, I’m just going to count my blessings. Giving up milk products seems to have saved us from looking at other (scarier!) reflux meds, a trip to a pediatric GI specialist, and has resulted in better sleep and a happier, more comfortable baby. When you look at it that way, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice.
Disclaimer: Before the baby safety police come after me, let me just say that in that one photo above, I KNOW sleeping with loveys/blankets up near her face like that is unsafe. It actually gives me a heart attack, as I think I am one of the most SIDS-paranoid people you’ll ever meet. But sometimes, it is the only thing that will put her to sleep when she’s fighting it. We move them away from her face once she’s sleeping, and/or keep a very, very close eye on her. It’s only when we’re WITH her. We do not let her do this in her crib alone at night. Believe me.
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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