Archive | March, 2013

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.

Rilyn Ann: 6 Months

19 Mar

Oh. You noticed I’m posting this an entire month late.

I was hoping you wouldn’t.

Alas, here’s Rilyn’s 6 month post.

Sweet, sweet girl, you are so much fun!

At 6 months you are:
-weighing 16 pounds (50th%) and are 25.9 inches long (50-75th%)
-wearing 6 month and 6-9 month clothing
-in size 3 diapers
-sitting up on your own!
-rolling both directions
-taking two naps a day and sleeping for about 12 hours at night, although you’re still up frequently throughout the night. Usually 2 or 3 times. It’s a big improvement from last month, so I’m happy.
-you think cow noises and pig noises are hilarious
-you adore your sister
-I could stare at your eyes all day.
-still not taking a bottle. You just like to chew on the nipple.
-we started you on green beans but then stopped 3 days later in order to try to figure out what’s going on with the whole diaper situation. You tolerated the green beans at best.
-We still have no idea what’s going on with your diapers, and this month started to see specks of blood in them.
-Nursing is your favorite way to be comforted.
-We love your hair! Some days it resembles a feather duster! :)
-You’re reaching out and grabbing things you want really well.
-anything and everything goes in the mouth. Except for your tongue. It’s always out.
-your favorite toy is the tv remote, although you’d really love to get your hands on mom or dad’s iphone. just once.
-you get so excited when in your jumper.
-You are such a happy baby. I love when people comment about how different you are now. It’s night and day compared to your temperament your first few months of life. You are content and very much a “go with the flow” baby.

Miss Rilyn Ann, we could eat you up, we love you so!

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.

Diapers: The Problem and the Plan

4 Mar

Long story short, Rilyn’s diapers are still worrisome. I’ve been off of dairy for…I can’t remember how long, and I’ve been off of soy for almost a month now.

I think. I can’t keep it all straight anymore.

Anyway, despite eliminating those two from my diet, we haven’t seen a change in Rilyn’s diapers. Minus just a handful of days when they were magically normal and we thought, “Halleljuh! We’ve figured it out”! But no, they went back to being full of mucus and in the last 5 days they’ve started having specks of blood in them.

Don’t freak out.

In a diaper full of mucus, there are one or two pinpoint sized specks of blood. Nothing makes you feel like a parent more than rooting through your child’s diaper.

That and trying to catch their puke when they throw up.

Anyway, although it’s not a lot of blood, it is something we need to get figured out. She’s perfectly fine otherwise. Content and happy, developing and gaining weight. I called the pediatrician on Wednesday and after a very lengthy phone conversation and a few call backs, she told me that she thinks Rilyn is allergic to my breast milk and that I need to stop nursing her and put her on a dairy free formula.

………….!

………….?

I have so many thoughts running through my head regarding this. So if this post seems fractured and out of order, please forgive me. I’m having a very hard time organizing my thoughts. There are many things I want to say, so many questions, but “ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS” is what keeps coming out.

I’m sorry. Maybe it is possible, but it is HIGHLY unlikely for a mammal to be allergic to their own species’ milk. Breast milk is intended for/created for babies. How in the world could she be allergic?

Right now, that’s an answer I’m just not willing to accept.

Everything in me is telling me that’s not it. If she was allergic to my milk, I feel like her symptoms would be worse. I don’t feel like she’d be a happy baby. I don’t feel like she’d be gaining weight and developing like she is, either. My guess is that it’s something in my diet.

It’s funny that when all this no dairy stuff first started, I said I wished Rilyn would take a bottle so we could start her on formula and I’d still be able to enjoy eating whatever I wanted. You’d think now that we are a couple months into it, I’ve added soy to the DO NOT EAT list, and there’s a very good chance something else is about to be added to that list, I’d feel the same way, but I don’t. When the doctor said to stop nursing R, I lost it. I hung up the phone and bawled my eyes out. It was so clear to me at that point that I love nursing my babies and that I really did not want to stop. I’d rather take 50 different foods out of my diet than stop nursing. It’s nothing against formula feeding. Lakyn was formula fed from 4 months on due to my lack of milk production. I think I feel differently this time around because of that. I wasn’t ready to stop nursing Lakyn, and I felt like such a failure. I’m not ready to stop nursing Rilyn, either.

In a nutshell, I’m going to do whatever I have to in order to keep nursing her.

So the plan is to start an elimination diet where I’ll eat nothing but chicken, brown rice, vegetables, and non citrus fruits for 2-3 weeks. At that point hopefully her diapers have cleared up and I’ll re-introduce foods back into my diet one at a time, starting with the least suspicious and waiting a week before adding another. If we add one in and find that her diapers go back to being mucusy, we’ve found the culprit.Or one of them. I’m probably going to be miserable/grumpy at first, and I’m probably never going to want to see a chicken again in my life.

But I’ll get used to it, and it’ll be worth it because it’s going to bring us one step closer to figuring out whats going on with our sweet girl.

If after 2-3 weeks, her diapers are not better, we will then re-evaluate our thoughts on a breast milk allergy. I know it’s risky to go against what your child’s pediatrician is telling you to do, but I feel so strongly that being allergic to me is NOT what’s going on here. We’re also thinking about getting second opinions, and a GI doc is also an option.

My suspicions: I had a few days where I wasn’t as careful about what I was eating. We ordered food two different times, and while I didn’t order anything that had dairy or soy in it, you can’t be absolutely positive there isn’t any unless you make it yourself. Most mass produced things contain both in some form or another. Check your bread, bet you $20 it has soy in it. There’s also the risk of cross contamination, and there’s also the possibility of seasonings for foods being full of dairy and soy ingredients. Shame on me. I know better.

Also, I’m super suspicious of wheat. In my research I’m finding that it’s very common for babies to have these symptoms when allergic to wheat as well. Wheat will be one of the last foods I add back in my diet.

Yes, this is going to be hard. I’m going in aware of that. I’m also going in knowing there isn’t a better reason as to why I’m doing this.

Knowing that it won’t be forever also helps! And of course, there’s this. This helps the most! I have the best husband!

So, anyone want to come over for some grilled chicken and veggies? ;)

Goodbyes

4 Mar

Ugh….there’s no way around it. Goodbyes just plain suck.

Unless of course they’re for unwanted weight gain, or illness, or that jerky person who makes you feel like crap.

But this goodbye was for none of those things. This goodbye was for great friends. Immediate family.

Brandon’s sister Monica and her family lived just three minutes away from us. We loved being so close to them. We loved getting together to hang out and watch sporting events, to eat dinner, to bake treats, and to watch the kids interact with each other. Lakyn absolutely adores her cousin Tara.

So why are they moving? Monica’s husband Chris accepted a job in Portland, Oregon. While we’re super sad they’re moving so far away, we’re equally excited for them and their new adventure!

We watched as they cleaned unwanted belongings from their house (Lakyn scored a BUNCH of Tara’s old clothes and shoes that will fit her perfectly in about a year. Holla!), watched them prep their house to put it on the market, and then watched that house sell in what felt like 2 hours. We’re thankful for the three days they were homeless before leaving Saturday. That meant they moved in with us and we got to soak up the time together. Apparently, that time also included adopting a pet. Tara gave Lakyn her pet fish before they left and gave permission to change the name.

The fish’s name was Jewel.

Lakyn has changed it to Fishsticks.

Not kidding.

So, meet Fishsticks.

Saturday was difficult. We knew it was coming, but didn’t let it sink in. When it finally did, it hit us like a freight train. We may have stared out the window until we couldn’t see the airport shuttle taking them away anymore. We may have spent the rest of the day and evening wiping random tears. We may have spent some time looking at prices for plane tickets to Portland.

A K-State win at the buzzer may have helped a little. Or a lot. That was pretty awesome! :)

We’re doing better today. Even though Brandon and I may or may not have eaten dinner in bed at 9:30pm while watching some netflix. Don’t judge. I think it was exactly what our souls needed. You know, if we did actually do that sort of thing.

All sadness aside, I have no doubt that they are where they’re supposed to be right now. The fact that their house was on the market for less than a week, and the fact that they got a full-price offer (two reasons among a handful of others) tells me this is what is meant to happen. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard not having them here. Yeah, it’ll be hard going from seeing them weekly to once or twice a year, but that just means that when we do see them, it’ll be so SO wonderful!

SO WONDERFUL!

Of course there’s technology, too. Phones, Facebook, and Skype will help lots. We’ll be okay, I have no doubt they will be, too. I keep thinking about what new and exciting things they will get to do, be a part of, new friends they’ll make, new places they’ll see! We’re truly excited for them!

And we can’t wait to go visit a new part of the country. We hear Portland is absolutely beautiful! We’re looking forward to it!

*Note to self: talk Monica into starting a blog so I can follow every.single.detail. of their life in Portland. 

^ That’s totally not creepy, right?