The Grand Experiment

***If you can’t handle talk of poopy diapers, then read no further!***

[Also, this is really long. I want a written record of my thoughts and feelings through this process, so forgive me for being a bit long-winded.]

Long time readers will know that Little Lamb was not the easiest of babies. It wasn’t just that she didn’t sleep well. It wasn’t just that she was fussy. It wasn’t just her unbelievably shrill scream. It was all these things together, and so much more.

I have always been suspicious that there was something behind her disposition. In fact, I all but begged the pediatrician for a referral to an allergist when she was 7 months old. The skin tests were all negative. The resident was ready to order a blood test, but the attending said no go. The rash was not quite right. “Some babies are just fussy.” “Yeah, right. You try living with her!” was what I wanted to say to him. But of course, I didn’t.

I’ve since mentioned to the pediatricians (we see a practice of 5 or so docs, but there are two women we see most often) that her poopy diapers just don’t seem right. It was first dismissed as being young-an underdeveloped digestive system. Then it was dismissed as a matter of volume of liquid intake compared to solids intake. She was gaining weight, so I understand why they were not as alarmed as I. But the diapers were getting worse. No longer just mushy, but true diarrhea all the time.

Just after Christmas (when J was around more often to witness the state of the diapers), he suggested we try Lactaid. Within 24 hours she improved greatly. I was so excited thinking I had finally found the answer. The improvement lasted about 3-4 days, but slowly returned to mushy, then worse. I cut out all cheese and yogurt with no change.

When Belle was at the doctor for strep, I asked her about Little Lamb. I told her about the short term improvement and she suggested getting some Pro Biotic to see if she might have somehow killed the “good” bacteria that live in the lining of your stomach. I bought the powder, but saw no results. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse.

I started looking more seriously at what she was eating on the days when the diarrhea was the worst. She’s in that typical baby phase (at least typical for my kids) in between baby food and being willing to eat a variety of foods. Each of my kids has gone through this same phase where basically all they really eat are carbs and fruit, usually at least with cheese and yogurt mixed in (but not for Little Lamb). She was eating 2 Eggo waffles for breakfast, dry cereal and veggie/fruit puffs for snacks, crackers or bread at lunch, graham crackers for afternoon snack, and so on and so forth.

In doing some research, I began to wonder if she might have a gluten intolerance. She had a terrible cold last week, but I also knew we have an appointment this Wednesday for a check-up with the pediatrician. So I decided to do a little experiment: remove all sources of gluten from her diet for the week prior to the appt and see if there was any difference in her diapers.

The results thus far are such:

*Gluten is in EVERYTHING “normal” people eat!

*Gluten free food is really expensive! Of the roughly $60 I spent on food last week, $40 was spent on Little Lamb alone. What have the rest of us eaten? Well…not much frankly!

*She has had no more than 2 poopy diapers (and some days only 1!!) a day in 3 or 4 days.

*She has had 2 completely normal poopy diapers in the last 2 days.

*It is absolutely depressing to think that my dear, sweet girl could have no memory of the taste of a crusty loaf of french bread or a Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie.

We do not have a definitive diagnosis at this point. But, I wanted to be able to walk into the doctor’s office on Wednesday with more than just a hunch. I don’t know for certain, but she’ll probably order a blood test and/or possibly refer us to a specialist.

As much as I don’t want her to be glucose intolerant, or worse have celiac, it is nice to think that we might be on the right track to solving the puzzle that is Little Lamb. If this is indeed our new way of life, it is going to take A LOT of trial and error to find food that she’ll eat. A process that will surely be full of much wasted food, money, time, and energy. I only ask that you keep my little baby (as well as the doctors) in your prayers.

Ok, I’m exhausted now! How ’bout you? It’s time to close up shop and hit the bed. Till the next time we meet…….

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5 Responses to “The Grand Experiment”

  1. Bless her little heart. And your’s, too! I’ll be praying that it’s nothing too serious.

  2. I get what you are saying. We were so relieved to know about Zachary’s allergies. It changed our lives. He is a completely different child, happy and outgoing. It’s a bit sad – the Toll House cookie thing, but it could be worse.

  3. My very good friend was just diagnosed with Celiac on Thursday and gluten is in just about everything. And it definitely requires vigilant label reading.

    Poor Little Lamb, I hope this is something she can outgrow. And I just have to say good for you as a mother to not let this go or blow it off but to investigate further and help your baby. You should feel really good about yourself.

    Lots of prayers.

  4. Amy Reeves Says:

    I know that the Super Target has some gluten free products and I had really good chocolate chip cookies that were gluten free. I do not know if you can get anything on-line but Whole Foods had the cookies, brownies, and natural junk food and they were quite good. If you need any help just contact me and I am sure that I can help out.

  5. A friend of mine has a daughter who outgrew her gluten and APPLE allergy. Apple is in everything, too! My friend made everything from scratch- including pasta. She only had to do the gluten free diet for about 2years – it seems like a long time, but it isn’t.
    Good luck!!
    LBC

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