Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Fail-Proof Diet

Madelynn is now 5 1/2 weeks old. It's been a minor roller coaster trying to figure out what is going on with her, but I think we've got it figured out.

It started with Madelynn being tongue-tied. That caused my milk supply to less than normal and sore nipples. We got her tongue clipped so that we could continue breastfeeding successfully. It was a simple, and judging by her reaction, painless or nearly painless procedure.

Three days later I was engorged. It was like starting at the beginning. That was when the other problem cropped up. She started spitting up regularly and often...as in a dozen or so times a day. It was more than my other kids ever spit up but we chalked it up to "normal". She also started crying...inconsolably...every night. Nothing we tried would console her for more than a few seconds or minutes at best. So, every night we could do nothing but hold her until she passed out from exhaustion an hour and a half or so later.

Then one night, I noticed a very important clue. Just as she was calming down, she'd have a wet sounding hiccup which was immediately followed by renewed crying. It seemed that she was refluxing and that was causing her renewed pain. Put that together with all of the spitting up and it seemed quite likely she had infant reflux. I got online and did some poking around. The next night when the screaming began, I gave her Hyland's Colic Tablets. After two doses and 30 minutes it was obvious it wasn't working, so I gave her 1ml of Mylanta. Fifteen minutes later, she calmed down, nursed, and fell asleep. It was the first time in 2 weeks that she was willing to nurse during that time period and the first time she cried for less than an hour and a half.

Armed with that information, we headed for the doctor (we had a well-baby visit already scheduled). He agreed; if the Mylanta was helping her, it was reflux. He prescribed Zantac. Well, the Zantac wasn't working; we were still relying on Mylanta every night. Fortunately, the Mylanta cut the crying down to a short period of fussiness. However, it is not good to rely on Mylanta every night so we planned on talking to the doctor about adding in Prevacid.

Then the next clue hit us. We were out and about and stopped for lunch as one of the kids was seriously hungry. DQ was the first place we found. After lunch, we treated ourselves to small blizzards. Madelynn spit up extra that day. In fact, I had to change clothes after one particularly large spit up. She also was back to screaming in pain that night. The Zantac didn't work. The Mylanta didn't work. We ended up giving her a second dose of Mylanta before she got relief. DAIRY!

We have family history with dairy. Mika was allergic to it for a while. It caused her allergic shiners, constipation requiring medicine to clear, and what looked like chemical burns on her bottom where her poo touched her skin. We cut dairy from our diet and she was fine. Sam was lactose intolerant. We didn't catch it until he was 3 1/2 and suffering from severe learning delays. We dealt with the intolerance and he was able to recover fully. I'm also lactose intolerant to an extent.

So, this is where we get to the "Fail-Proof Diet". I've removed all traces of dairy from my diet. No more milk, butter, cheese of any kind. No foods prepared with dairy. I have to read ingredients lists on all packaged foods, searching for those ingredients that indicate that there may be dairy proteins in the food....words like whey, casein, caseinate, rennet, etc.

I eat A LOT of dairy. In fact, there is probably dairy in some form or other in every single meal I eat. I also love desserts, most of them with dairy in them, and ice cream. Eliminating dairy not only limits my food choices, it drastically lowers my caloric and fat intake.

Thus, in the last 72 hours, I have lost 3.4 pounds.

Here's my weight lost since giving birth...

17 lbs --> pregnancy weight
9 lbs --> additional weight lost before dairy elimination
3 lbs --> weight lost since dairy elimination

TOTAL LOSS since last prenatal weigh-in: 29lbs

I'd love to lose an additional 40-50lbs. I wouldn't be surprised if dairy elimination gets me there. The last time I was at that weight, I had eliminated dairy from my diet for Mika's benefit.

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I took DS to the doctor because of the pain he had w/ his reflux. He was on two medications Zantac (liquid for infants) for the acid and another one I don't remember the name to keep the food down. His meds were administered until he could sit up, or six months. I never heard that it could have been prevented/changed by *my* diet though. Interesting thought...

Best of luck to you in these early days! :)