Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Specialist

The pediatric gastrointestinal specialist (GIS) was fantastic.  He was so kind and good with Maizy, and Croix who was bouncing around the whole room, and out of the room.  He said he was glad we were there now rather then waiting months to come in because Maizy is already low for weight on the growth chart and often children with food allergy issues fall completely off the growth chart between 3-6 months. He did say most children will out grow it with in 12-36 months.  The way I understand it it is not really an allergy to the food as it is her intestines are not mature enough to digest these foods. Eventually she should be able to just fine.

He gave us three options to consider.

1. Exclusively formula feed (which would cost roughly $350 a month and the #1 ingredient is corn syrup)
2. Do a 6 food elimination from my diet. No dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, seafood. Continue breastfeeding exclusively and see how she does after 6 weeks.

3. I do the 6 food elimination and put her on formula for 6 weeks so her intestines can heal. Then reintroduce her to breast milk and see how she does.
That leaves food options of rice, meat, fruit, vegetables, and other grains like quinoa, amaranth etc.
I cried the whole way home from the doctors office.  And some more when I got home.  All of those options suck big time!  
Option 1.  I love breastfeeding.  It is somthing so special.  Breast milk is hands down the best! That is uncontested.  It changes as your baby grows to provide exactly what they need, it's completely balanced, and you don't even have to think twice about it.  It breaks my heart to think about not breastfeeding.  This option would be the easiest.  It is mostly just hard emotionally and financially.  I have given her a bottle twice thinking I could "pump and dump" for 24-48 hours after eating a normal meal (that's what the pediatrician said).  I was thinking I'd do this Saturday since it's Croix's birthday party and our anniversary.  But the GIS said I'd have to "pump and dump" for two weeks, not 2 days.  Not so much a realistic option.  Back to the bottle, she hated it.  It took 55 minutes to feed her 3 ounce, I timed it.  She cried and fussed the entire time.  I know eventually she would get used to it, but there would be an adjustment for sure.  The GIS said if we start formula she would most likely develop reflux.  They are not positive why this happens but the thought is that the stomach heals first and gets stronger, and as it squeezes stronger the path of least resistance is up and out.  They have a RX they can give for that.  The reflux usually clears up after about two weeks.  It really does break my heart to think about doing this.  Plus the cost is huge.
Option 2.   This effects our entire family.  Brent, bless is supportive heart said what ever I decide he's ok with.  Which is good because I won't/can't do a diet like this alone.  I will need him right there with me eating all the new weird foods and missing out on everything too.  Eating like this is more expensive then "normal" foods.  Meals will not be quick and easy.  I'll have to have them thought out and since it pretty much leaves just fresh foods it will be a lot more preparation.  Although I do cook fresh most of the time anyway so that is not a big change, it just means I CAN'T just pull something out of the freezer.  This is basically living the word of wisdom.  It is healthier.  Brent could use to loose some lbs.  It would be hard for the first little while but once we figure it out not a big deal.
 Option 3.   This seems like the fastest way for Maizy's stomach to heal and continue breastfeeding.  From day one she stops getting the allergins that are causing the problems.  Immediately her stomach can start healing.  Same issues as option 1 with reflux and all considerations of option 2.  Big concerns with this is that not breastfeeding for a month (I would have to pump) could mess up my supply.  She could refuse the breast when the time came to reintroduce.  Cutting out all the foods could still not be enough and after healing the breast milk could put her right back where she is now and it will take weeks for her to heal again.

I've already started the diet.  Surprisingly it almost feels easier to cut out everything then just dairy and soy.  Then I had to read every label and was still trying to eat "normally" but not sure what I could eat and what I couldn't.  This way I know what I can eat.  In sprouts (the health food store) it's easy to find the foods that are free of all allergies.  There is a whole world of food out there, we just need to become familiar with it.  So the decision has been made to do the 6 food elimination, I'm just not sure which would be best for Maizy option 2 or 3.  They told me that sometimes when Mom does diet elimination babies do fantastic!  Sometimes all of that and baby still has issues.  If Maizy does fine after elimination then I can slowly add in one thing at a time and see how she does.

Another thing I have to consider is my health.  I've lost 3 lbs in the past 6ish weeks of no dairy.  I have no more weight to loose.  I'm going to try my hardest to maintain my weight while on a diet!  Lots of avocados, fruit juice, bacon, oils etc.  But if I can't then breastfeeding just isn't going to work.

I'm trying to just face this one day at a time.  We'll do the best we can.  We'll see how changing our diet goes.  Hopefully in 8 weeks we'll test her again and she'll be great.  If not that will be ok.  I would be able to honestly say I've done everything I can and formula, although not best is not bad.  We could fight insurance to see if we could get it covered.  If for what ever reason the diet doesn't work that will be ok.  I will try hard to not be too sad about not being able to breast feed.  I'm trying to not put pressure on myself.  I do need to decide soon if I want to do option 2 or 3!  Time to do some praying!!  I keep wishing someone would just tell me, this is best and what you need to do.  He's the only one who really knows so I better ask my Heavenly Father!

Oh and one more thing to really sweeten up the situation, while in the office the GIS noticed Maizy has thrush!  With all the diet changes and figuring all that out I didn't even look that up until this afternoon.  Reading about it I thought, good heavens, I can fight a good fight, but can I fight food allergies and thrush!  If I get it, or if it doesn't clear up and starts causing problems with her eating then where does that leave us?  Goodness my poor baby!  It sounds like this can be painful for her.  And I cried a little more.

In the grand scheme of things 12-36 months is not that long.  She is over all healthy, still gaining weight, sleeps well.  No matter what happens over the next little while, it will be fine, difficult but fine.  As difficult as any of this may be it's all worth it to help poor little Maizy's tummy heal.


Heather said...

Oh bless your heart! And Maizy's tummy! Such hard decisions to make but I am glad you have Brent to support you and do this diet with you. You are amazing and very dedicated. Best of luck my friend!

Kristin & Ryan said...

I don't know if this will help or not but my sister in law does a gluten free dairy free diet. She mostly eats fresh fruits and veggies. She juices a lot of her foods. Here is a link to her blog and FB page I think she has recipes on there.

Elizabeth Farnsworth said...

Good luck my dear! I sure hope you can figure out what is best for you and Maizy soon. It is always so hard when your baby is hurting. Hugs!!