Blog Archive

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Adventures in milk protein allergy: A rant about the dairy-free life

Every baby has something about them that is less than perfect. Maybe they have colic, maybe they have reflux, maybe they are a terrible sleeper. 

With Trevor, the major factory defect is that he has a milk protein allergy. Any protein that comes from milk that isn't human (so cows, sheep, goats, cats if you're weird) will cause an allergic reaction in him and will inflame his little tiny baby intestines. The poor thing; I can't imagine how uncomfortable that must be, especially since he has no control over what he eats.

But this post isn't really about Trevor. Today's post discusses the myriad ways in which his milk protein allergy has annoyed me.

For starters, there was diagnosing the problem. Trevor has been exclusively breast-fed since birth, but his weight gain in the first few weeks was less than ideal. I figured I was having supply issues like I was with Audrey, and got all upset and dejected again like I was failing at this whole feeding-my-child thing AGAIN even though this time I was doing EVERYTHING right.

The real canary in the coal mine that led to the whole milk protein allergy diagnosis, however, was his poop. It was green and mucousy like someone very ill had sneezed into his diaper. You're welcome for that mental image.

Image result for sneezing person clipart
Why did I do this.

So, after some back-and-forth with the lactation consultants and pediatrician, it was decided that the best thing would be for me to cut all dairy out of my diet and see if that improves things for him. The ol' Dr. House approach of diagnosis through treatment.

So that is what I have been trying to do: stop consuming dairy in any form. And it has been harder than I expected.

Breakfast is a pain in the ass. I used to start every day by drinking a Slim Fast chocolate shake, because it was full of protein and vitamins and bought me some time to get real food into my body.

But hey, wouldn't you know it? Slim Fast chocolate shakes are made with milk. Oh, and when you're dealing with a milk protein allergy, you can't have soy either. So replacing this with a soy milk substitute was out of the question.

OK, no problem… I'll just drink almond milk instead. 

Oh, except almond milk has no flipping protein in it whatsoever. It's basically just chocolate flavored sugar water. OK, no problem… I'll just add protein powder to my almond milk.

Oh, except whey protein is pretty much pure milk protein. So I can't have that. OK, no problem… I'll just order some milk-free soy-free protein powder from Amazon.

Image result for orgain organic protein plant-based powder
Uhhh ... yum?

The protein powder I got uses protein from peas. F***ing peas.

Image result for peas
Look at em, all frozeny and pea-like.

For some reason, this offends me greatly. I hate peas. They are gross. Their very existence is an abomination. They pollute shepherds pie and ruin pasta dishes. They are unforgivably foul vegetables. 

And yet here I am making chocolate protein shakes with PEAS.

The upside, I guess, is that the shake tastes so weird and there's so much going on in it that I can just add a scoop of Brewers yeast (which is good for milk supply, but tastes foul and sour like an old fart in a gym sock) and I can't even taste it amongst all that weird pea protein noise. In other words, the pea protein tastes so bad that I can add more bad-tasting things to it and I can't taste how bad they are. I should leave a review online.

I got breakfast from McDonald's one morning. I had an Egg McMuffin, but I couldn't have butter on it and I couldn't have cheese on it. So it was just two dry English muffins with an egg and a slice of ham. Deeeeeelicious. 

Oh, and I had to drink black coffee with it because of course I can't have dairy creamer either.

I made cupcakes for Audrey's birthday. I could not eat them.

They even looked marginally like the Sesame Street characters they were supposed to resemble!

My mother brought over fancy gourmet cupcakes for Jesse's birthday, and I had to sit next to everyone at the table and watch while they ate them. Audrey kept twisting the knife by repeating "it's good!" while eating hers. I allowed myself a sniff of the salt caramel cupcake. It smelled like Audrey was probably right. :-(

We had individual English muffin pizzas at Audrey's birthday party. I had to make mine with no cheese. PIZZA WITH NO CHEESE. What fresh hell is this??!?! There were sliders, too. I bet they were delicious. But I wouldn't know.


Now, after all this bitching, you might be wondering why I don't just give Trevor formula instead and avoid all of this. And the answer to that is the next phase of this rant.

Babies with a milk protein allergy cannot drink regular formula. They have to drink formula that is specially made for this specific allergy. And that formula is 1. Expensive as f***, and 2. Tastes so awful that even a newborn baby knows better than to drink it without a fight. I accept that this expensive and disgusting formula will be a part of our lives for the next year, but I would much rather make breastmilk the largest part of his diet for long as I can. Because breastmilk is free. (if you exclude the cost of the anguish I feel when I see cake and ice cream and can't have even a tiny bite or else my baby will shit blood)

So basically, I've just been sentenced to a full year of breast-feeding when my original intention was to maybe make it six months, if that. And I have to train Trevor to drink the disgusting formula by using this ridiculous supplemental nursing system where I mix formula, put it in a little bottle, and then attach this to a skinny little tube like an IV and attach this to my nipple so that when Trevor latches to breast-feed like normal he actually drinks this disgusting $30 formula instead of breast milk. 

This is not me, obviously. But just looking at this contraption should be enough to make you hate it for how complicated and annoying it is to use.

So basically, for one feeding every day Trevor thinks my breast milk tastes rancid. But, he does drink it. And then, over time, I need to start mixing this rancid formula with actual breast milk in bottles, and forcing him to drink this until he can actually stomach the taste of the expense crap.

And then there's his poop. I am constantly staring at his poop to see if this dairy-free diet is actually working. One of the major symptoms, besides the green mucus poop, is that there will be small tinges of blood in the stool. So that means every time Trevor poops, I end up holding the diaper up to my face so that I can stare deeply into the goo and look for traces of blood. I hold poop diapers four inches from my face to examine their contents.

This is madness.


But ... when baby's health is on the line, alas I will do what I need to do.

I just don't need to be happy about it.


YOU'RE A C***.

No comments:

Post a Comment