I'm sure that most of you are thinking that because I just had a baby, I am dieting in order to lose the last of my baby weight. That's a pretty normal assumption, I would think. However, I really have to say that working out through pregnancy really did help me to keep my weight at a very reasonable level, and almost all of that weight has come off in the past 8 weeks. I'm currently about 6-7 lbs (depending on the scale) over what I weight prior to getting preggers. I'm pretty happy with that, and I know if I could fit a little more workout time into my schedule, I'd lose even more.
Today's post is, unfortunately, a lot more heartwrenching (for me at least) that just a few lbs. About two weeks ago I noticed that SYT had some blood in his stool when I changed his diaper. Knowing that nothing about that was normal, I called the pediatrician's office to see if I needed to make an apointment, get a stool sample, etc. Our pedi called me back, we discussed all the symptoms, and then, just like that, my next 6 months to a year are seriously changed.
SYT is growing like a weed, has no symptoms of pain, is a generally happy baby, etc, etc. The number one cause of blood in stools when the baby is healthy and growing well? The inability to break down Cow's milk protein. What's this you say? What is cow's milk protein- it's dairy, ladies, DAIRY! Oh, and it's just found in EVERY SINGLE FRICKIN THING AT THE GROCERY STORE!!!!!! Yes, my friends, this woman is now on a dairy free diet. DAIRY FREE!!!!!!!!!! As in no milk products, none, nada, zip zilch. Okay, so you think, ahhhh, stop whining and just get some soy milk for your cereal. Oh no, I can have NO CHEESE, no butter, no yogurt, no cottage cheese, NO ICE CREAM, nothing with whey or caesin (pretty much all breads at the normal grocery store have at least one of these), no pesto (parmesan), no caprese salads, NO ICE CREAM, no baked cheetos or cheese-its (my go to salty snacks), no chocolate, no sour cream, no cream cheese, NO CHEESE, pretty much no baked goods (due to the butter) etc. If you look on labels, most of them will give allergy information on the back. Go ahead, look at the labels and see how many of them contain milk- it's a lot. I have zero food allergies, so I've never realized how hard this could be, and I am now one very sympathetic person!
The pedi asked me right away how committed to breastfeeding I am. I said that my plan was to nurse for a year. I'm going to pump at work and, while I can't guarantee that SYT won't wean himself earlier than that, that's my current goal. I still feel that way, but boy is it a lot more of a big deal now. I have read a few articles that she sent me and have done some of my own research, and this isn't uncommon for babies to have. There are many symptoms (fussiness, frequen spit ups, etc) that may take a while to diagnose, but bloody stools are really easy to spot and they immediately stopped after I gave up dairy. In fact, one night up north, I took in dairy without even thinking about it (old habits die hard) and the next morning SYT had blood in his stool again. That makes it pretty obvious to me that his little GI tract is having a hard time breaking those proteins down, and he needs me to be vigilant about not eating dairy in order to help him out.
The good news is that I try reintroducing dairy into my diet when he is 6 months to see what happens. 50% of children outgrow this by then, and 98% outgrow it by their 1st birthday, so sometime between November and May, I should be able to add cheese, greek yogurt, and ice cream back into their normal place in my world. I'm so glad that there is such a small risk of him actually having a dairy allergy, as it wouldn't be fun at all for him to miss out on so much food! Giving it up for 6 months or 9 months is one thing, never experiencing a grilled cheese sandwich, an ice cream cone, or a glass of milk with a fresh baked cookie is another.
So, yes, this is going to be hard. I could just quit breastfeeding him and try out different formulas, but I love knowing that I'm able to provide something special for him, especially since I will be going back to work soon. I also love that we have bonding time multiple times a day. To me, breastfeeding is way worth it. Living dairy free seems to be a healthy way of living. I'll be eating lots of protein, lots of vegetables, lots of fruits, and very little processed foods. Hopefully this will help to get off these last few pounds as well!! (Especially if I can create a good schedule that allows me at least 45 min to work out- but that's another post!)
Any great dairy free recipes out there that you would like to share? Does anyone have good baking recipes that DON"T involve butter, milk, or chocolate? I just don't know how I'll survive if I don't get my time in the kitchen! Any bloggers who have been through this that I need to be reading about? I'd love any info you guys have!
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