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.

*sigh*

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.

 

12 Responses to I like sleep better than cheese.

  1. Heather says:

    I definitely empathize. I am 29 weeks pregnant and was recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was completely shocked. I now monitor my sugar 4 times a day and have a diet plan that I follow. It has been both easy and hard. It takes a lot of planning and modifying of meals. I can’t just decide on the spur of the moment what I’m going to eat or go to just any restaurant. I’m most worried about the holidays, as you mentioned as well. I keep telling myself it is temporary (hopefully) and it means a healthy baby and healthy Mommy, which is by far more important than any cookie, cake, et cetera!

    • Oh yeah, G.D. is a whole different animal. I’m sorry! Having to give up these foods that we love for the sake of our babes is tough. Like everything else that’s tough about parenthood, I just keep saying, “This too shall pass.” And the fact is, I don’t want to wish it away, either! Trying to carpe diem and all of that jazz. :)

  2. Melissa says:

    I feel your pain! I had to give up every tiny trace of milk while I was breastfeeding too, but good news was that around 6 or so months, my girly started tolerating dairy. I also had to deal with the no dairy around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Superbowl…it was hell! I don’t have any helpful advice for surviving the missed food, but just wanted to let you know that I hear ya on how much it sucks and let you know that you’ve got this!

    • Melissa, how did you know when she started tolerating it (versus when she wasn’t tolerating it)? Did you periodically “test”? And if so, how exactly? By eating little bits here and there? By eating a giant slice of pizza and seeing what happened? :) I’m lost!

      • Melissa says:

        If I ate even a little bit of dairy (sadly even butter…oh butter!!) she would break out in with a horrible diaper rash and have mucousy poo. I tried to cut myself some slack, because sometimes well-meaning people would say “I made sure this didn’t have dairy” and they were WRONG! I read that babies often outgrow sensitivity around 6 months, so around 5 months I had some ice cream… rash was back. Then I tried again a little after 6 months and nothing! So I slowly started reintroducing it into my diet after that. It was a little bit of a guessing game unfortunately, but since her doctor didn’t think that it was a true dairy allergy, there wasn’t much I could do other than wait it out and try dairy every couple of months. I hope that is at least a little bit helpful!

      • Melissa says:

        I should also mention that I read (who knows where or if this is even true! real scientific, huh?) that if there’s a concern that there’s an actual milk allergy that it’s better to avoid even the non-obvious dairy. Although I must say, our neighbor just found out her 1 year old was allergic to milk, eggs and nuts and she regularly ate all of those things without issue when she was breastfeeding. Go figure!

  3. Sarah says:

    Heather – are you doing just obvious dairy? I’ve given up everything, but wondering if just obvious would help (my son shared a lot of the same symptoms as your daughter)

    • Nope, I’ve been avoiding everything. Well, anything with milk products; eggs are fine. I’ve even been (for the most part) avoiding products that are made in the same facility with milk products. It’s crazy. But if I am going to start experimenting with putting things back in, the “non-obvious” ones are where I am going to start.

      Have you noticed improvement in your son since making these modifications to your diet?

  4. Rosie says:

    I had to give up everything with my first daughter – I never knew how much dairy was in everyday products! It took about 6 weeks for me to really notice a difference in her but I do think it really helped her whole GI track. I started reintroducing dairy at 8 months – I gave her some sweet potato with a little butter mixed in (my pedi recommended this) and she did okay. The next couple of days I ate some “processed”dairy – hummus with pita and she was fine again, then I went for it and had Chipolte with cheese (best burrito ever I missed cheese so much) and she did fine still so I started eating it again just fine. Now at 20 months she can eat whatever. I did get to use my freezer stash of milk at that point to which was amazing. – I was going to donate it if I couldn’t but it was so nice to have it back! Good luck!

  5. Becky says:

    DH cannot have dairy (but can have butter and eggs) and we have gotten a lot of recipes from Comfybelly.com or againstallgrain.com. The Jerk Chicken on Comfy Belly is awesome! Good luck! We make a lot of diet modifications due to not geing able to eat dairy, gluten, lactose, grain, and sugar. Its hard, but so worth it!

  6. Jen says:

    I’m lactose intolerant so I feel your pain… Are you able to have soy products? What about goat or sheep milk products? I couldn’t live without my goat and sheep milk cheeses. And tofutti cream cheese.

  7. Erin Maree says:

    I was actually a child who made her Mum give up dairy products! She only avoided obvious dairy (this was 19 years ago so not many people knew much about all the intolerances) but apparently if she even had a slice of pizza I would scream for hours. I never did grow out of it, I just have to monitor my dairy intake so I don’t like yogurt or milk as my subconscious relates them to me being sick. I do eat cheese but again I don’t eat much of it, nor do I enjoy coffee (I drank 3/4 of a mocha the other day and felt sick almost immediately after it), I stick to low fat ice cream too. I do eat chocolate (I have been eating mint m&ms as I am writing this) but stick to dark varieties most of the time and love the combination of dark chocolate chips and almonds. I do eat dairy its just all in moderation.
    I do sub margarine in for butter in cakes and cookies it doesn’t make that much of a difference, you just may find that you to add in more flour if they get to soft :)

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