Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dairy Free Won't Kill Me

So, it's been a week without dairy. I haven't seen too much improvement, but am still sticking with it because lots of what I have read (which is a LOT) says that you have to cut it out for about 2 weeks to a month to know for sure. If you are interested in knowing more about why I'm doing all this crazy stuff to keep breastfeeding, go here. I really am amazed at all the people suggesting to just give it up, but I know that it's the best thing for Kyle! Anyway, didn't mean to pull a Le Leche League moment on everyone. :)

I realized today that I just need to start substituting things and I can still have some of the things I love (although a big huge chunk of cheddar cheese is not one of them). I have been on a lot of forums of other moms going through the same thing and found that rice milk was a good alternative to regular milk in recipes. And, that you could use oil instead of butter. So this got me thinking....about fudge. Yep, since I was an infant (OK maybe not that long) my Mom has made us homemade fudge frosting for cakes. Her mother made it for them growing up, and now me and my sisters make it for our families too. I'm a chocoholic and so I was really mourning having to give up chocolate because virtually EVERY chocolate candy (except the overpriced organic rip off stuff) has dairy in it. But, today, it was like I had an "ah hah" moment!

Could I possibly still make fudge but just dairy free??? It can't be so.

But I tried.

And I conquered.

So, I am totally fine giving up everything else if I can still make my homemade fudge. Problem solved. This dairy free thing isn't so bad after all.

And I can't even tell a difference although my Mom said she could. Go figure.

And for any of you daring enough to attempt to make this fudge that never turns out the same way twice, here's the recipe with dairy for your enjoyment.

Take 2 cups sugar and 4 heaping tablespoons of Hershey's cocoa powder and mix.
Add 1/2 Cup milk and 4 tablespoons of butter cut up. Stir together over high heat until it comes to a full rolling boil.
Let boil at full boil for exactly one and a half minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and whip until it looks like the right consistency to pour over any cake of your choosing (although a white cake is the best).

PS-It is also good to just pour in a pan, let it harden and eat at your leisure with a spoon. :)

For the dairy free version, you can use rice milk instead, and it's also good with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil instead of the 4 Tbs. of butter.

Good luck! Oh, and this picture below is just to drool over. Don't expect it to look this pretty. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Where it all began...

So, I'm starting this blog as a way to maybe help solve the mystery for someone else. I'm in the process of trying to figure out why the heck my son has such yucky diapers. Here's my story.

I have two kids. My oldest was such an easy child. Still is for the most part although she is an almost 3 year old so that presents challenges in and of itself. Along came #2 and he is a pretty good baby. However, his poop is crazy! For those of you who are not moms, you may want to stop reading here. If you're a Mom, I'm sure you've talked about poop at some point in your life.

I exclusively breastfed my first child, and she went straight from the breast to eating solids. No bottles or formula. In fact the one time I did try to feed her formula, I think she literally gagged and spit it up immediately. She knows what the good stuff is. So, I thought breastfeeding #2 would be a piece of cake. Wrong. Well, it sort of is. He is a great nurser, loves to eat, and is thriving! However, I noticed some things that were off.

1. His poop did not smell like that normal, sweet breastmilk poop smell.
2. At about 4 weeks old, I started noticing it was pure liquid a lot of the time, and the rest of the time, really mucousy.
3. Gassy. At first, I thought, well, maybe it's a boy/girl thing. Boys tend to be more gassy in general, but this is not normal people. He has gas like a 300 lb. grown male.
4. Streaks of blood. Yes, this is what got me worried, but in all honesty, not too worried. My daughter had this to once in a blue moon, and her Ped. told me not to worry about it. So, with him, when I first saw it, I didn't.
5. Fussy. This I kind of just didn't worry about either, because some babies are fussier than others, and I knew that.

But, when I put all of these together, my gut just told me something was wrong. So what do I do? I go and ask the expert. Google.
I started seeing all these things come up about allergies in breastfed infants. So, I thought, hey, maybe. And the more I read, the more it sounded like my baby boy. I have to stop here to say, I'm a cheese addict. So the thought of cutting this out was like torture to me! But, I believe in breastfeeding, and I want the best for my child, so I'm willing. I tried it for a week, and did not see any results, so I thought that was that.

Today I took him for his two month well visit. This boy is GROWING! So, he is now 13 lbs and 14 oz which means that he has gained almost 4 lbs in a month. Whew! I thought he was getting heavier. And, he is 23 1/2 inches long now, so he's gained another 1.25 inches. So, he is definitely getting plenty to eat. But, I did get some sad news for me at his visit. No more dairy. I know!!! Horrible huh? About 2 weeks or so ago, I went online to investigate allergies in breastfed babies and was doing some reading about milk allergy symptoms. I just had a hunch. He seemed really gassy, fussy, not sleeping restfully (grunting a lot), abnormally loose stool, etc. etc. Call it mother's intuition, or whatever, but I just had a suspicion so I cut dairy out for 8 long days. I didn't really notice a huge change, but that first 24 hours, he slept for 7 hours straight. Well, I started eating dairy again thinking it was nothing, but today when I went to his visit, I casually mentioned that I had tried to take out dairy, and she asked me if I had seen any blood in his stool (in addition to the other symptoms), and I said yes. She tested his stool right there while I waited and sure enough there were traces of blood in that sample as well. So, to make a long story short, I was right. He does have a milk allergy which, frankly, makes me depressed. Those of you who know me well know how much I LOVE my cheese. But, I will probably lose weight cutting out dairy. I asked her how extreme I needed to be with cutting it out and she said, "Pretty extreme".
So, I guess I'll be going from eating tons of this:

To more and more of this:

So that is how this is all beginning and this is my journey to figure out what is the story behind all those yucky diapers...My hope is that I'll figure some of this out, and be able to help another Mom out there.