PS is truly the second child...because if she weren't..she'd probably be our only.
She has reflux--and even medicated twice a day--it still bothers her. Her fussiness is better--she smiles and coos (at us sometimes, at her flower decals above her changing table...always!). She still is hard to console in the evening...she still has some witching hour tendencies. This usually indicates to me that she is ready for her evening dose but even so, she's happiest when being held by mama. TH is great with her and helps out a ton with LM...but most times, she just won't calm down for anyone but me...me rocking/swaying/bouncing etc. It's hard--sometimes I just want to put her down or for her to just STOP. But, I know that she'll calm soon, so we power through. I'm going to have killer back/ab muscles soon!
This last week, after giving her the first bottle of formula in preparation for the return to work (as you might remember from LM, pumping at work is a stressful, not productive endeavor for me so we're sticking with formula during the day and hopefully bf'ing at night/breakfast), PS was a bit fussier than normal until about 5 hours post bottle (3oz) when she became covered in hives! Cue major freak-out on my part---all topped off with a heaping helping of guilt. Later that night, she had two poopy diapers with some blood in them, as well as an increased mucous amount (lately, post starting Zantac her diapers have become more green/mucousy). Again---Fah-reak out! I researched, consulted the mamas in LM's FB group who are experts in allergies etc and pretty discovered that we were most likely dealing with a milk protein/soy intolerance. I've been reducing my dairy intake over the last month or so to see if it would help. Luckily, the next day we had her 2month well-baby check up anyway so we were able to get into talk with the pedi about it. Nonetheless, I spent all of the night worried and listening to her breathe.
Her pedi took a look at the pictures of her hives (gone by this point), looked at the diapers and talked with us about my diet, the formula etc. She immediately suggested MPSI as a strong possibility and got a referral to a pediatric allergist going. She told me to cut out all dairy until we talked with the allergist and he gave his rec's. She gave us a sample of some hypoallergenic formula--no milk protein, soy etc. We tried a bottle of it with her the next day--she HATED the taste, which I heard was to be expected but she took a couple of ounces so we figured we would keep trying (I'm only replacing 1-2 feeds a day until next week). We were able to get an appointment (at the crack of dawn) with the allergist the next day (48 hours after this all started). He listened to what happened and said that he wanted to do the skin prick test for a milk allergy. However, he explained that the blood in her diaper tells him that her body can't handle milk so even if she tests negative for the milk allergy, she still has an intolerance and shouldn't have any milk until close to 12months. So, we did the test and she did not test + for a milk allergy. So, we're dealing with a milk protein intolerance.
This is a great link that explains the difference between an allergy/intolerance etc---it helped me figure out how to explain it all to TH and family.
Anyway--we kept trying the hypoallergenic formula....and she kept hating it worse and worse. It got to the point where she wouldn't even drink pumped breast milk from a bottle because she was associating it. TH and I talked and decided that we needed to try a soy formula. Why? 1) She wasn't tested for a soy allergy so we weren't sure if she actually had that 2) If she would drink it and thrive on it, it's not $30 a canister (retail) like the hypoallergenic ones. We tried it and she's had several days of 2 bottles a day with no hives. She still has some eczema patches (but had them before) and some days I still feel like she's having tummy troubles. But, soy can add to constipation so it's possible that she's just having some gas issues. I've been giving her gas drops with each bottle. She still is having some mucousy poops but she's still getting about 1/2 her feeds from me and I haven't been dairy free yet for 2 weeks (and may have had a few tiny cheats with some holiday goodies) so it's possible that is from me.
My issue at the moment is that I don't know anything for sure---not even that she doesn't have a milk protein allergy as the allergist explained that it often won't show up on a test until after repeated exposures (which I'm not planning on doing). It's not often that he sees children with such controlled circumstances (only breastfeeding except for the one bottle) when they have a reaction...and after only one instance. I also don't know that she doesn't have a soy intolerance...if I could go back, I'd have him at least test for that too on the allergy test. But--I don't. So, until she's 100% on the formula, I won't know if it's the dairy in me or a soy intolerance. And, if it is a soy intolerance, than our only option at that point is the hypo formula she hates (because by then, my supply won't be salvageable.). I'm planning on upping the number of bottles she has this week to 3-4 (depending on when she gets up) to mimic a day at daycare so that may shed some light too. I may also put a call into her pedi this week to discuss her thoughts on soy and maybe about getting a sample of the other hypo formula---I can't stomach spending $30 dollars on something she may not touch. If we end up with a total MPSI (milk protein soy intolerance) than it is what it is...and we'll chance our lifestyle to accommodate the additional cost.
I'm having a LOT of guilt about leaving her soon, not being strong enough to go 100% dairy free for her and a whole host of other issues (Did I eat/drink/do something while pregnant to cause this etc? Yes, I know I didn't. But still, it's in my head). I'm going to try to do better and post more in the next week....because I realize how crazy it will be when I get back to work. I thought for sure that I'd be able to post more frequently while home on leave with her (like I did with LM) but she is truly a different child than him and has required much more of me.
Thanks for reading this...it helps to even type it out.