We had Oliver’s dietician appointment last month and his allergy test two weeks ago – we found out some very interesting things! It turns out he is allergic to cow’s milk, peanuts, egg whites + egg yolks, and rice. Finally, some answers! I know it sounds bad but I was so relieved because now we know what’s happening we can focus on helping him and getting him better. I made the decision to stop expressing because of his allergies, and have just yesterday switched him completely to soy formula (Karicare) after gradually adding more and more formula to his breastmilk bottles for two weeks. It was a tough decision, but absolutely what was best for us both. I drink soooo much milk – like 2l a day (it’s my drink of choice haha!) and I was already doing so many things I didn’t think I could commit to eliminating dairy from my diet. If it was just the milk it wouldn’t be so bad, but cow’s milk protein is in so much stuff! Butter, cream, yoghurt, ice cream, cheese! It would really take so much focus for me to correctly eliminate all sources that I don’t know if I could. As well as helping with his rash we were told that his general fussiness should be helped by switching to soy too, and tonight he has actually gone to sleep and stayed asleep for the first time in so long, it is so nice! He hasn’t woken up crying in pain, which up until the allergy test results, we assumed was reflux or wind. And surprisingly my boobs have handled the weaning really well – I’m down to hand expressing in the shower once a day just to relieve that uncomfortable feeling. It is kind of sad but at the same time I’m so thankful to have been able to give him breastmilk for this long – 9.5 months – yayyyy baby!
Since I’ve stopped giving him breastmilk, his TOF Cough has really become more pronounced. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s winter and the air is a little different or if the composition of formula affects the mucus in his oesophagus? Either way, I am a little self conscious about it because a lady at the grocery store told me off for taking a sick baby out on a cold day when she heard Oliver coughing. I was so taken aback I just did a little smile and that awkward giggle then turned away. It wasn’t until afterwards that I got really angry about it and thought of all these things to say at her – namely what a busybody bitch she was and to keep her mouth shut lol. Maybe in time I’ll learn to not give a shit what others think, we’ll see.
Anyway, at Oliver’s dietician appointment we discussed the possibility of him having a food aversion. His dietician, Jane, says that he has had such bad experiences with things in his mouth he associates food with pain – it broke my heart! Poor little darling. It makes sense though – he spent the first few weeks of his life with tubes down his throat and every time he has a dilatation he has rods and tubes put down. Even though they numb his vocal cords and put him to sleep he still wakes up very raspy and cranky so I can imagine it would be painful. Strictures are also painful, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t like things in his mouth! So we left with some homework and strict instructions to just let him do whatever he wants with food and to put absolutely no pressure on him at all to eat. Man is he loving that! (Which is the whole point I guess haha). Before seeing the dietician, we were cutting up some finger foods for him which he would rarely put in his mouth let alone nibble and swallow – that would be a miracle!) As well as a few mls of puree in a syringe, which he very weirdly LOVES (and I mean the syringe, not the food ha) and then attempting a spoonful or two of puree out of a bowl. He would usually just toss it all aside and clamp his mouth shut in protest. Now, we give him some finger food and hold a spoonful of food just a little in front of his face. We aren’t allowed to put it in his mouth, we have to wait for him to come to the spoon with his mouth open. Well, after weeks of sitting there with a spoon – TONIGHT!! he took his very first self-initiated mouthful…. aaaaahhhhh!! I couldn’t believe it. And it wasn’t just one, it was 10 mouthfuls! Shane and I were both in such shock haha. Lucy says she can manage to get a few spoonfuls into him but he never does for us so I was so excited. He has also become way more accepting to trying new foods and putting things in his mouth. It turns out he really loves blueberries, and his favourite snacks are apples, pears, watermelon, corn, and pikelets. Just typing this is blowing my mind, the progress he has made in the past month since seeing the dietician is just incredible and I am so so so so proud of him! We have our next appointment in a week and I just know she’ll be proud of him too