Dairy free mama from Wisconsin? Say whaaaaaaat!!!

Makenzie had a lot of issues with her tummy when she was first born. We had tried everything from bicycle legs, baby massages, warm baths, heating pads, rubbing her back, colic calm, and gripe water. Some of things took the edge off but never really resolved her issues. I had an a tiny feeling that what I was eating was the culprit because Dr Google, Kellymom.com, and a bunch of other websites told me that screaming, plus pulling her legs up, plus getting red in the face, mixed with the green mucusy diapers that happened EVERY time she nursed could indicate a milk intolerance. In Makenzie’s case this intolerance was DIFFERENT than an allergy in that she never had blood in her stool (although, not having blood in the stool doesn’t necessarily mean the baby is not allergic either), she didn’t have hives, respiratory problems (she did squeak a lot when she was first born and her breathing was pretty loud), and lastly eczema never developed on her skin.

Her symptoms were clear though:
Green mucusy diapers
Diarrhea
Colic like symptoms- excessive crying
Spit up and lot of it. It is obviously normal for babies to spit up but Makenzie was doing it All.The.Time. Thus the reason she was put on Prevacid for silent acid reflux. (Double whammy, she would spit up and then swallow it, burning her throat on the way up and back down again).
She would be happy one minute and then next pulling her legs up, holding her breath and fighting those painful gas bubbles.

So, I made a decision in September, I stopped drinking milk. No big deal, I’m a water drinker anyway and usually drink around 100 oz a day at least but I sure was going to miss my cereal. After a few weeks went by I wasn’t seeing much of a change and we had one rough weekend when the look in her eyes from the pain she was in was just too much for me to take. I decided that day to quit all dairy all together, cold turkey. What did that mean? Well, the obvious, no cheese, cream, milk, butter, ice cream but that also meant I couldn’t eat any of those things that were “hidden” in foods either. I won’t list what I couldn’t eat but just to give you an idea, walk down the freezer section none of that, walk down the bread aisle, none of that unless it was straight italian bread, walk down the cereal aisle, a lot of those cereals are made with milk/whey so none of those, walk down the candy aisle, nope. Anything that says “made with artifical flavoring” that usually means it contains milk.. the list goes on.

What I could and did eat:

Protein (chicken, tuna, seafood, beef, turkey, ham, etc), pasta, brown rice, fruit, fresh veggies, Almond milk with granola, cliff bars, oatmeal, papa murphy’s pizza without the cheese and loads of veggies, tacos (minus the cheese and sour cream). Earth Balance made a great butter made from Olive Oil and veggies that was completely lactose/dairy free that I used and I also found a yummy sesame seed bread that was straight protein which is also great for breastfeeding mommies. And lastly Oreos. These were my saiving grace and the one thing that was on the sweeter side so I felt like I was eating dessert.

This went on until March and I can honestly say, I never cheated once. It wasn’t easy but the look in her eyes and the sounds from her cry were all to much for me to see and hear again. I knew one day I would be able to eat dairy again just not right now. I slowly started reincorporating little things here and there into my diet, some cheese here sour cream there and no reaction. I had over 200 oz of breastmilk in my freezer from when she was first born and it all contained dairy so we tried giving her some of that at daycare, still no reaction. I tried a little bit of regular butter and then lastly milk. Smooth sailing and she never once showed the same reaction that she did previously. She went through the 200 oz of “dairy” milk no problem and today I am back on full fledge dairy. In fact, last night I had my first bowl of Whitey’s chocolate chip ice cream. Awesome.

She was a completely different baby once I cut the dairy out of my diet and it was so, so worth it. Today, she is eating Yogurt by Yoplait called YoBaby and it’s made with Whole Milk. I’m confident that in 4 months when she turns 1 year old, she will be able to eat dairy without any problems.

People always say that once your a mommy you will do anything for your babies. I definitely didn’t move heaven and earth but the saying is very true. I’d do anything for Makenzie to keep her happy and smiling.

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