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Diaper Edition 2: An Update on Miss Rilyn

22 Mar

I’m going to try to keep this from getting too wordy. Key word being try.

Also, I’m going to talk a lot about poop. I’m going to talk a lot about baby tushies. If the words blood, mucus, poop, rectum, or fissure gross you out, stop reading.

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been dealing with Rilyn’s abnormal diapers. Her stools for the most part have always been mucusy. We dealt with the period of colic in her first few months, but since then she’s been a completely different baby, always happy and content. She has a great appetite and is gaining weight well and developing like she should. The girl is perfect.

To try to help figure out the diapers, I went dairy free about 2 months ago after researching and finding that mucus is really common in the stools of babies with a dairy and/or soy intolerance. Two and a half weeks after that, I cut soy from my diet as well.

About two and a half weeks ago, we noticed bright red specks of blood in her diapers. I called her pediatrician (who knew that I’d already eliminated dairy and soy) and told me that I needed to switch her to a nondairy formula because they thought she was allergic to my milk. Rilyn is exclusively breastfed, partly because she’s still refusing a bottle, partly because that’s what I want to do, so switching to a nondairy formula isn’t an option. And I think it’s ridiculous that she could be allergic to my milk. So we’ve been on the hunt for a new pediatrician, and doing what I could think of to help her out the best I could, I went on an elimination diet, eliminating beef, nuts, wheat, eggs, corn, and fish in addition to the dairy and soy. The blood specks lasted for about 5 days and usually there were only one or two specks in the diapers. The mucus and color of her diapers stayed the same.

This Wednesday we went to a new pediatrician. She was super nice and I loved the office setup. She seemed like she knew what she was talking about. I explained everything from the beginning, even showed her pictures of Rilyn’s past diapers and answered some of her questions, but her explanation for this kind of threw me for a loop. She thinks Rilyn’s fine. She thinks that her mucusy diapers are just how Rilyn poops and she thinks the blood is from a small fissure. She did take a look and pointed out where the fissure was to me, and yes, I did see what looked like a small tear so I felt comfortable with that. She went on to say that because Rilyn’s not fussy, doesn’t seem to be in any pain, is gaining weight really well, and that I’ve been on the diet for as long as I have and haven’t seen any change in her diapers, that this is just how she is. If it got any worse, we were to call and let her know, but she said she wasn’t concerned about her at all and that we can start feeding her vegetables and fruits again and that I can resume a normal diet.

I left not really knowing how I felt. I left confused. Part of me was kicking myself for reading too much into a situation and making something out of nothing. The other part was thinking that that answer was just too easy. Of course I was going to question what I was seeing. Lakyn never had any diaper even close to resembling what we’ve seen from Rilyn. And hello, any time your baby poops blood, you’re gonna freak a little.

I decided that we’d go ahead and try it out, but cautiously. We’d start Rilyn on a vegetable and I’d go ahead and start to slowly add foods back in, one at a time waiting a week before adding another.  Rilyn had green beans with her rice cereal and I had a handful of corn tortilla chips with dinner.

Yesterday she had more poopy diapers than normal. She usually just has one or two at most, but yesterday she had 3 and a half (I’m not sure I can count that half as a full one. just go with it). The last diaper she had was full of bright red blood specks. More than there have been before, mixed all throughout the mucus. I tried to calm down and remind myself that bright red blood usually meant the blood was from the rectal area. I checked where her fissure was before, where the doctor pointed it out to me the day before, and I felt like it was a little more noticeable and more red. So I decided to keep an eye on it and also decided that we should probably stop the vegetables for Rilyn and the corn for me until it was healed, just to be sure that the new foods weren’t part of the problem.

This morning I changed Rilyn’s diaper and instead of specks of bright red blood, there was now one single strand of dark red blood (maroon) in the mucus in her poop. I freaked out. This was completely different than any diaper she ever had before and everything I read on the internet says that dark red blood means a GI issue. I called the doctor and they said to bring her and the diaper in. Long story short, after looking at the diaper and at Rilyn’s bottom, she still thinks the blood is coming from the tear. I asked her so many times whether the change in color and appearance of the blood could still be caused from that, but she said she wasn’t concerned, that it’s just coming from the fissure and that she didn’t think meeting with a GI specialist would be beneficial for us right now. She said the fissure was much worse than it was on Wednesday and that it was actually bleeding while she was looking at it. She wants us to put some ointment on it and if she’s still pooping blood in two weeks and we can’t see a fissure anywhere, then we’ll meet with a GI. She said she had no doubt in her mind that that’s where the blood was coming from. My question before I left: “If there is still blood in two weeks and we find out that it’s stemming from a GI issue, is waiting these few weeks before we get it figured out going to cause her any harm?” Her answer: “Absolutely not”. She said most GI issues aren’t serious and are easily fixed. I suppose that makes me feel a little better.

I’m not sure what to do at this point. This day has almost been more than I can handle. I guess we just continue on and if we’re still seeing blood in two weeks, take the next step then. I go back and forth with agreeing with her and with feeling like there’s something else we’re missing. I have been reading some things that have pointed out that it’s not abnormal for exclusively bf babies to have mucus poop since their bodies are so efficient at using all of the milk. Hopefully we are just dealing with a fissure and a baby that poops mucus. It is encouraging to me that Rilyn’s as happy as ever. I love that little bug to pieces!

I said I’d try to keep it from getting too wordy. I failed. Sorry.

Elimination Diet Dinners: Day 10 and 11

15 Mar

Day 10- Homemade tomato soup with brown rice noodles and turkey meatballs. This was delicious.

Day 11:

Guys! GUYS! This might have been my favorite dinner thus far. I knew we’d be watching our beloved Cats play late tonight and I was really craving some finger foods that we could eat while watching the game.

We really will be having this meal again.

Maybe tomorrow night.

Baked bacon wrapped chicken with brown sugar and chili powder, homemade baked sweet potato fries, and homemade guacamole. I don’t like to say that I’m a good cook and I don’t take praise over my cooking well either, but my guac is good, y’all. That I will say over and over again.

Random dinner, yes, but delicious nonetheless. Even if I had to eat the guac with rice chips instead of tortilla chips. ;)

Plus, our Cats won! Holla!

Elimination Dinners: Day 6, 7, 8, and 9

14 Mar

I’m slacking on these food posts, but I’m giving myself a free pass since we’ve been dealing with some sickness. Hopefully we’re on the mend around here.

Day 6 dinner is probably my favorite I’ve made since starting this elim diet. I’m craving mexican food like mad, but since eggs and corn are on the no-no list, finding tortillas is pretty much impossible.

I’m not a huge fan of lettuce unless it’s covered in salad dressing, but I’m finding this diet is helping broaden my horizons, and I used lettuce leaves as my ‘taco shell’. I loved it!

I call this chicken salsa tacos. I put chicken breasts, taco seasoning, salsa, and black beans in the crockpot. I then shred the chicken when it’s done cooking and add it back in the mixture. I made brown rice with some spices and scooped the rice, chicken salsa, more salsa, and an avocado sauce I made using avocados, chicken broth, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and lime juice into the lettuce leaves. It was delicious!

Day 7 was rotisserie chicken and homemade fries again. I didn’t figure I’d need to take a picture of the meals I’ve already done.

Day 8 The flu found it’s way to Brandon so I scratched what I had originally planned for dinner for something easy and fast since Lakyn and I would just be eating it. Spaghetti with brown rice pasta. Again.

I know I’ve got two repeats as far as meals go, but if it works in my diet, it’s good, and it’s cheap, I’m not above repeating meals. Sorry peeps.

Day 9 I threw a ham in the crockpot with some brown sugar. Made some garlic mashed potatoes, and added some green beans. Oila! Dinner is served.

Elimination Diet Dinners: Day 4 and 5

9 Mar

Day 4′s dinner consisted of this:

Rice chex and applesauce.

And water.

The flu will do that to you. As awful as I felt all day yesterday, and as many times as I threw up, morning sickness was still WAY worse. End of story.

Day 5′s dinner was much better.

Grilled marinated chicken with roasted zucchini, squash, and onions.

I wish I would have weighed myself at the start of this elimination diet so I could compare it to what I am now. Of course, having the flu will also knock a few pounds off for ya.

All I know is I may be frustrated with my food options right now (CORN IS IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!!) and I’m craving anything and everything I cannot have, but by golly this has helped to lose some of those pesky pounds that just won’t go away!

Now if only I would start exercising.

Elimination Diet: Day 3′s Dinner

7 Mar

Spicy!

This was a first for me. Making some cajun food. Look at me growing up!

I’ll definitely adjust some seasonings for next time, but overall, it was yummy. The sausage was the best part.

And it was spicy! But I said that already.

Red beans and rice with andouille sausage

 

Some Questions, The Plan, and Meals

6 Mar

Questions some are wondering:

1. Why not get her tested for allergies? Wouldn’t that be easier?
Yes, it would be easier if they were conclusive, but the problem with getting her tested for allergies, especially at this age, is that there is no test for intolerances. We (I) could go through the trauma of having R’s blood tested just for it to come back saying she’s not allergic to anything, which would be great news, but not helpful, because obviously there’s something that isn’t agreeing with her body.

2. Why not switch to formula?
Rilyn’s still not taking a bottle and because she’d have to be on a special formula (dairy free). That stuff is ex.pen.sive.  A-nothankyou.

3. Will Rilyn get everything she needs?
Yes. Actually, she’ll probably be getting better things than before as I will be eating better than I ever have. Plus, I’m still taking my prenatal vitamins (although I had to switch to ones that were free of dairy,soy,wheat,nut,fish,etc). We decided last week to stop her cereal and her green beans to make sure all she was getting was milk. This is to clear her system faster and to help her as breast milk is the easiest digested food for her. Our plan is to start her on rice cereal again this weekend. If she does well with that, we’ll reintroduce green beans.

4. What WILL you get to eat?
I’ve been wondering that same thing for the last couple of days now, and honestly, I’m finding quite a few things that will fit inside the limitations.

And honestly, I’m kind of excited!

There are two silver linings to this huge drawback of major diet restrictions.
1. I’m helping my baby.
2. I’m being forced to branch out and cook new things; I’m being forced to not be such a picky eater.

The plan looks like this:
Eliminate all beef, dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, eggs, corn, nuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish from my diet for 2-3 weeks. Hopefully at this point Rilyn’s diapers are better. If they aren’t, we’ll contact a GI specialists. Let’s say that they are better, and please God let them be, at which point I will slowly add those items back in one at a time.

As of right now, I will add corn back in first, then beef, then eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten, soy, and lastly dairy. I will wait 5-7 days between adding something new. If her diapers go back to being mucusy then we’ve found the or one of the culprits. It’s very possible we’re dealing with multiple intolerances here. We’ll just wait and see.

So, that’s where we’re at. Exciting, huh?

Wanna know what we had for dinner last night and tonight?

Last night (Night 1):

 

Seeing how it was the first day of my new diet, I didn’t have a lot of ideas and kind of felt like I was going to be left eating plain lettuce. Alas, I picked up a rotisserie chicken (checking the ingredient list first). Hooray! To go with it, I made some homemade french fries, and a salad. Winner winner chicken dinner!

Tonight (Night 2):

Spaghetti!!! I used rice noodles which I actually don’t mind at all. Yay! I also had a salad with cucumber and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with some salt and pepper. Delish and I’m full!

Stay tuned for more dairy/soy/wheat/gluten/peanuts/tree nuts/shellfish/fish/eggs/corn/beef free recipes.

Cravings

12 Feb

The cravings I’m having while dairy free and soy free are way more intense than any of my pregnancy cravings ever were. My God, what I wouldn’t do for a huge greasy slice of cheese pizza right now! With extra cheese.

Or Baskin Robbins’ mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Or queso.

Or ranch dressing.

Or fettucini alfredo.

Or a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

An apple will totally suffice, right?

DF Chocolate Cookies

11 Feb

DUDES!!!!

I’ve struck gold. Dairy free gold. And if I use the right chocolate, these could even be soy free. Double score for me!

Okay, maybe this won’t be a big deal to everyone, but it’s HUGE to me! Real quick, I suppose you need to know something about me.

I have an insatiable sweet tooth, more specifically, a chocolate sweet tooth. I get these cravings and I NEED chocolate. Stat. The problem is that a candy bar, or cookie, or even ice cream isn’t enough to fulfill it. Often times, the only thing that cures it is brownie batter.

Gasp! I know, raw egg and all. I’d always try other forms of chocolate first, but more often than not, I’d end up making the batter.

Enter dairy free and soy free diet. Exit chocolatey goodness.

So, back to striking gold…

Now that I’m dairy AND soy free, finding yummy chocolatey things to eat isn’t as easy as it once was. Forget about the candy bars, the M&M’s, the ice cream. I even have to be careful with chocolate chips. I’ve been researching and hunting for more dairy free things to eat and in that quest, I found these amazing cookies.

Believe me when I say amazing.

They’ve replaced my brownie batter fix.They’re everything I need from the batter: fudgy, intense chocolate, sweet. They look like chocolate crinkle cookies but are so much better. They’ve got a slighty hardened outside and an incredibly soft and gooey inside. They’re divine when still warm and still amazing the next day. I’m telling you, I’ve struck gold.

Plus, if I use the right chocolate, no soy as well.

Plus, no flour. Holla all you gluten-free peeps!

Plus, only 6 ingredients.

Plus, 72 calories a cookie.

That’s right, I said it. If ever there was a healthy chocolate cookie, this would be it. Dairy free, flourless, and healthy. Unbelievable? Believe it.

Go ahead, try them. You might like them.

Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.

Sorry, the Dr. Seuss in me came out a little bit there.

 

Flour-less Dark Chocolate Cookies - recipe adapted from Picklee.com
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli for dairy free and Enjoy Life chocolate chips for a dairy and soy free version)
3 large egg whites, room temp
2 cups powdered sugar, divided (plus 1/2 cup for cookie coating)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large  baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, add dry ingredients into meringue mixture. Mix lukewarm chocolate mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff). Place 1/2 cup sugar in separate bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 9-10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes.Transfer to rack to finish cooling.

DF and Me

6 Feb

DF is an abbreviation I’ve come to know well. It stands for dairy free and that is just what I have been for the past thirteen days.

Not that I’m counting or anything.

Why have I started another dairy free diet? Well, Miss Rilyn’s diapers have become more worrisome to me lately. She’s not fussy, is growing and developing the way she should be, and doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable, for which I’m thankful, but those diapers are not normal. I’ll leave it at that.

Like I said earlier, I’ve been DF for almost two weeks, this time being careful to cut out every. little. trace of dairy. I can read food labels like a pro!  While I’ve been good at keeping at it, I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference in her diapers. After researching and talking with the pediatrician, I know that it can take a while for the cow’s milk protein to leave my system. I’ve also found out that 30% of babies with dairy sensitivities also have soy sensitivities.

So cutting out soy is my next step and I’m starting this weekend.

I’m holding back tears while I type this.

I love food so much and having a restricted diet is so hard for me. Oh, the things we do for our children! While I still need to research more recipes and ingredients, I can’t say that I’m not a little depressed about my new up and coming diet. While dairy was hard at first, I’ve learned that there are actually still a lot of things that I can have. I can still have my chocolate. And I can still have my bread. I just have to find the right ones.

Unfortunately, I’ve been finding that if a certain chocolate or bread doesn’t have dairy in it, its got soy in it instead. Bummer. I’ve yet to find a dairy free and soy free chocolate or bread. Of course, remember I mentioned above that I still have lots of looking around to do.

At this point, though, I feel like my diet will consist of grilled/baked chicken, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, and nothing else.

Except Dr. Pepper. Thank the good Lord above for DP!

If after a couple of weeks being dairy AND soy free, I still haven’t noticed a difference I’ll cut out nuts as well. If still no change after that, the pediatrician and I will have to go back to the drawing board. My main concern was whether or not having diapers like the ones she’s having for this long has caused any sort of harm to her. The ped said that wasn’t a concern.

Whew. Momma guilt faded a little with that!

At this point I’d like to give a shout out to my man. He’s noticed, as have I, that I’ve been cranky since going DF. I blame the constant cravings for all things cheese. Thanks for putting up with me Babe. Love you.