On Thanksgiving morning, I noticed that Ella had a tiny bit of what appeared to be blood in her stool. She seemed perfectly happy and didn't appear to be in any sort of pain or discomfort. Since it was Thanksgiving, I didn't want to bother the pediatrician, so I figured I'd just wait and see. She had a tiny bit more on Saturday morning--but again, since it was the weekend, I didn't want to bother the pediatrician. Again, she didn't seem upset--if anything, like I previously mentioned, she has seemed happier than normal lately. I also did a little research on my own, and found that most of the time blood in the stool indicated some sort of allergy--typically milk. She has her two month appointment scheduled for next Monday, but I promised myself that if it happened again during regular office hours, that I would call.
Sure enough, I found the tiniest amount of blood on Tuesday morning, so I called and spoke with the triage nurse, who consulted with the pediatrician, who said that it didn't sound like an emergency but that I might as well bring her in sooner than her appointment on Monday. So we went in this morning, and the resident who we saw confirmed that she thinks it's probably a milk allergy. I had already started cutting out dairy from my diet, so hopefully it helps.
Life is boring without milk and dairy. My husband insists on "Taco Tuesday" every Tuesday night, and I give in to his quirky request. But my tacos just weren't as much fun last night without cheese and sour cream. I realize that there are so many foods out there that have milk protein in them, but since Ella doesn't seem to be upset and the blood in her stools is so minimal, I think I'm going to start with eliminating the main sources of dairy and see if that is enough before I start checking every label. Perhaps it's a "mild" allergy...her symptoms just seem so minimal. Concerning, yes...but minimal.
It's interesting that she just now developed this allergy at two months of age--just when she's starting to get happier and sleep longer. The resident explained that sometimes it takes a while for babies' little bodies to essentially realize that they don't like a particular substance. I understand that babies can also "grow out" of milk allergies, so I'm hoping that's the case.
The thing that sucks the most...I'm afraid I'm going to have to throw out all of the milk that I've pumped for the last month. I've been drinking rice milk all along, even through my pregnancy, to eliminate some hormones (and thus hopefully balance mine), but I ate cheese on my sandwiches, cottage cheese for breakfast nearly daily, and an occasional bowl of ice cream. The appointment today was rather rushed and wasn't with our regular pediatrician, so I'll be sure to go in with more questions on Monday for the real appointment.
I also admit that I'm not 100% certain that it is a milk allergy. I was looking on the LLLI website and found an article about over supply which could also match Ella's symptoms. I've noticed that my supply has been increasing when I pump, and I can feel a pretty intense let-down (both when I pump and when I nurse). I can't help but wonder if she's getting too much of the "thin" stuff and not enough of the "thick" stuff, thus making her intestines a little sensitive. So in addition to chatting with the pediatrician, I think I'll put in a call or an email to my lactation consultant as well.
Thoughts? Suggestions? (Dawn, I know that you struggled with some of this with Addy...)
Today's blessing was running into one of my student leaders when I was doing a little shopping after Ella's appointment. It's nice to be able to introduce Ella to some of the students who are so important to me and my job.