We just can’t catch a break. Seriously.
So, a couple weeks ago, we got Zantac for little G’s reflux. Well, a few days after starting the Zantac, he started having really bad diarrhea poops. The pediatrician said it was very likely NOT related to the Zantac, but was just a stomach bug. Well, it hasn’t gone away, and in fact got worse with some green liquid poops (not watery, I’m talking straight up liquid). And I called on Wednesday because I was worried about him, so we went in on Thursday for a visit and… he’s not gaining any weight. He hadn’t gained anything from week 4 to now. To explain how bad this is, he should have gained about a pound in that time period. That’s 10% of his weight. Well, they freaked out, and had me basically force feeding him around the clock from Thursday to Saturday morning. When we had a recheck on Saturday, he’d actually LOST weight. Lost 1.5oz. Not much, I know, but scary. He weighed less than he did when he was 4 weeks old.
I didn’t really get any good answers. They haven’t said that the diarrhea is the cause. They don’t even pay attention to the Zantac. They had me pumping and bottle feeding to make sure I have the supply and he’s eating enough. It was awful. Kid hates bottles and pumping is a pain in the ass. But I’m pretty sure he’s eating enough, and I pumped way more than he ate, so it’s not that…
They also tested for blood in his poop, and it came back positive.
One pediatrician said that it means he has a Milk (and possibly Soy) Protein Intolerance, which is the protein present in dairy (but not in human milk). It’s a malabsorption problem. His intestines are so irritated by the milk protein (which he gets because I have dairy in my diet), which acts kind of like an allergen with his body attacking the protein, that he can’t get nutrition from my milk. It would explain the fussiness, gassiness, mucousy poops, blood in his poop and, most importantly, the weight loss. So I’m on a strict dairy-free diet. This pediatrician said not to bother avoiding soy, even though the proteins are very similar.
One different pediatrician kept coming back to me possibly having low supply. She said that if he was getting enough milk and still not gaining weight, we’d have a “real problem”. I guess she didn’t think the milk protein intolerance was real enough? And she kind of didn’t bother with the bloody poop or anything else, just the lack of weight gain. She still said for me to avoid milk and soy.
I wish we could just get consistent guidance, but we see someone different every visit. In the absence of that guidance, I’ve decided to stop the Zantac. We can deal with the reflux. So I stopped that on Saturday, and he’s been fine. We just keep him upright for 20 minutes after he eats and he sleeps at an incline, which we were doing anyway. And I’m avoiding dairy and soy. The two intolerances are so close to each other that it’s not worth the risk to my son’s health to eat soy just in case he doesn’t react to it. I’ll add it back in sometime down the line to test it, after he starts gaining weight again. And I’m still feeding him on a strict schedule. Not to say I will avoid feeding him if it “isn’t time” yet, but even if he’s not acting hungry, I offer every two hours and I wake him up every three hours at night. I’m exhausted, but I can deal with it if it means making my son healthy. We go for another recheck on Tuesday morning (when he will officially be 7 weeks old) and I’m terrified that he will have lost more weight.
So what am I not eating? Well, my dad was in town this weekend and he brought a dozen donuts for breakfast. I can’t have donuts. He got my favorite pizza for dinner, which I couldn’t eat because of the cheese and dough. He got wings for dinner the next day… those are made with butter. I can’t have chocolate or bread or pasta or most prepackaged foods. What can I have? Well, I just ate a plain hamburger with rice. I can have baked potatoes (no butter, cheese or sour cream though!) I eat eggs for breakfast, but have to cook them with olive oil instead of butter. I can’t have much, and it makes eating with a baby around even harder because all “convenience” foods have dairy and soy. But earlier I had some Oreos, which it turns out have no real ingredients other than sugar, so it’s not all bad.
I’ve been off dairy and soy for just over a week now (I started before he was diagnosed on the advice of a friend whose daughter had the exact same symptoms and diagnosis) so I’m hoping he starts improving very soon.
In other news, there’s a milk-drunk baby passed out on my couch like a little old man with a combover. I love that baby so much it’s insane. I don’t like him sometimes still, but the amount of love is unfathomable. What else is new?
* I applied for a job doing procurement/supply chain management for the state government last week. I didn’t think I had a chance, since I don’t have any supply chain experience, but I really want to do it (I’d love to start in government, work for 10 years til my loans went away, then go into the private sector as an expert and make the big bucks). All other applications I’ve ever put in have had the status “application received” or “under review”. I’ve never seen anything different in years of applying for government jobs. Well, this one says “most qualified”. I don’t know if that means much, since I haven’t been contacted for an interview, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
* He’s definitely giving social smiles lately. When my dad came to visit, as soon as he got out of the car, G looked at him and gave a huge smile. It melted my heart, and I’m so glad my dad got that.
* I might have freaked out at my in laws this weekend. It was in the middle of a 24 hour pump/bottle feed session, which is insanely difficult. I had to pump before I could feed him and then bottle feed him (which he hates) so I could record his intake. I can’t really care for him while I’m pumping, and everyone else was eating (hot wings, so they couldn’t exactly hold him either) and I put off feeding him to show hospitality and allow my husband to entertain… well, when I tried to tell everyone to leave at a certain time, and that time came and they were lingering over coffee on the couch and I hadn’t pumped yet and my baby was crying with hunger? Well, I flipped out and gave everyone five minutes to be out of my house. I’m pretty sure I offended everyone, but to be honest, I consider myself to be reasonable and them to be inexcusably rude. My baby was HUNGRY. And crying burns calories! I’m still angry with them. I wrote my mother in law an email explaining what was going on, and letting her know that I was trying to put hospitality and their feelings first, but that I would never put grown adult’s feelings before my son’s needs again. Ever again.
* He’s also starting to make little noises. Not babbling exactly, but he has learned how to coo and he makes this weird noise by breathing in and squealing a bit. I love it. It’s so funny. Every time he does, my husband and I both echo his noise, no matter where we are. I can be holding him in the living room and my husband is on his computer, and he makes the noise and my husband and I will both coo back.
* We’re still both being treated for thrush. I finally got a prescription for him (after his thrush was missed by three different pediatricians, even after I asked, and was only caught by the lactation consultant) and I hate it… it’s sticky and stains everything, but hopefully it works.
* I’m back to sleeping on the couch because I have an alarm set for every few hours to try to force feed him. Sucks.
* I gave my parents a picture frame with “I love grandma and grandpa” and a picture of G in it. They both loved it. I also got a metal ornament with a picture of my husband and G on it. He might have teared up a bit when he opened it.