Sunday, July 26, 2009

What I wouldn't give

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The chances of having one baby who has major breastmilk allergy is slim. Having two, even more rare. Three? Unheard of. Except for me. And my babies.

There are those medical professionals who don't believe what we eat has any affect at all on babies. I know better. Because I lived it, and I'm living it again.

This is the longest I've exclusively breastfed. I practically gave my right nipple to make it happen (fortunately it healed). I eat only to keep myself alive and my breastmilk producing. Otherwise, there's no enjoyment in chewing the same bland foods day in and day out.

I'm not complaining. Far from it. There's not much I wouldn't do in order to safely breastfeed my son.

And yet, I fear it's not enough. Again. I thought I'd finally gotten lucky because even though my first two kids did not respond to an elimination diet, Xander was.

But this week has been rough. He had a day with green poop and I saw some blood. Then this morning, after sleeping through the night for just the second time, he woke up, nursed, and when he spit up, it was bright yellow. I'm talking flourescent.

We went on an outing this morning and he was in a good mood, actually allowed us to put him in the stroller. He only fussed when it was time for him to eat. Then we went on an errand, and he fell asleep in the car. We stopped at ToysRus, and I went in with Sawyer and Sage.

Next thing I know, there's David coming through the store carrying Xander under the armpits, the diaper bag slung over his shoulder. The little man had a massive blowout, up his back, and was being marched straight to the restroom.

Xander took a great nap in the afternoon, then woke up and ate. He ate again about an hour and a half later, and soon after he pooped. And in it there was a big blob of mucous and more blood.

I did not change my diet. But he might be becoming sensitive to more than he was before. I'm not sure.

There are so many women who take nursing for granted. They don't fret over every bit of food they put in their mouths, afraid it might cause their baby stomach cramps. They never get nervous before taking off a poopy diaper, wondering what it will reveal. They wean because they want to, or because their baby wants to, not because the milk they are producing, that's supposed to be the perfect food, is actually hurting their baby.

I envy them.

Intellectually, I know if I have to switch Xander to the prescription-only formula, he will be fine. He will get through his first year happy and healthy, just like my first two kids.

Emotionally, well, I'm having a tough time. He's my last baby. I love the time he and I spend nursing. It's my little escape, my quiet time to spend just with him.

We gaze.

I will miss it. And so will he. He knows where to go for comfort, and I am happy to be that for him.

I'm not ready to give it up.

Not yet.

And that's what kills me.


JenC said...

I'm sorry, Cheryl. Cam stopped nursing around 4 months, but at least he would still do it sometimes in the middle of the night. I know I was lucky.

kirsten said...

That sucks Cheryl - I'm sorry. I went through this with my 3rd (but not #1 or #2), and it's heartbreaking. I know (I know!) that dialogue w/ yourself, the back and the forth that ends with no good answers. I ended up weaning, and for me, it brought a whole host of new ailments. (But no one offered the prescription formula until almost too late, 13 mos.) Wishing you peace, and joy in Little Man, no matter what.

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