Monday, July 22, 2013

MSPI, nut allergy, and a possible gluten intolerance

My complicated pregnancy produced a cute, loving, yet complicated infant.

Miss Kalah May
I am a all about breastfeeding for as long as I can. With Kesha that took me to 2 years. It was easy as pie. She has a bit of a dairy protein intolerance stint when she was 3 months old, but it didn't last long or affect my lifestyle much.

This chiquita, however, is a whole different story. She is allergic to everything!

Kal was very colicky when she was first born. She liked to sleep, but you could tell her sleep was interrupted by discomfort. She was very gassy (she had a hard time getting rid of gas and just stored it creating bloat), there was blood in her stools, she projectile vomited once or twice per day (you have no idea how much vomit I have cleaned up in the last 2.5 months... *sigh*), and she would cry inconsolably. At one point she would only sleep when carried in her Ergo carrier. My mom would come take her from me at night and pace the hallways of our apartment building with her in the pack so I could get some sleep. I recognized the symptoms from Kesh, and when Kal was 3.5 weeks old a visit to our pediatrician confirmed my suspicions.

The pediatrician told me to watch out for soy as well, as many children who have a milk protein intolerance also have a soy protein intolerance. We tried it out, and lo and behold, Kalah also had this intolerance. Both of these intolerances combined form a condition is known as MSPI (milk, soy, protein intolerance).

Then at around 5 weeks old we found out she was allergic to nuts.

Determined to still breastfeed I researched, read, and sorted out the dos and don'ts for my new diet. I then proceeded to removed all dairy, soy, and nuts from my diet. Sounds easy, right? Start looking at prepackaged foods then you will realize that almost everything is either processed in a plant that has traces of nuts or soy, has soy lecithin, uses soy oil, or has powered milk or a milk derivative. Even dark chocolate is off limits!

No more desserts for me, as most of them look like this...

This one has THREE kinds of milk!

Or this...

Nuts AND chocolate... a definite no no

Or this...

Ice CREAM... not happening

See, even dark chocolate can't be trusted!

Needless to say this made me unhappy. However, I was (and am) determined to breastfeed Kalah like I did with Kesha, as long as possible.

So, out the window with desserts, out the window with most pastas (its the cheese!), eating out is difficult, as are invitations to peoples' homes when they are cooking and don't realize the extent of my dietary restrictions. I have to ask what type of oil restaurants cook food in, send my meals back if there is any dairy on the plate... I have become one of those people!

We even went through a terrible skin rash spell (which seems to be under control now, thank goodness). We still have no idea what caused it.

Bread, thankfully, has been ok. Even if it contains butter, it seems to be okay. There is a cafe in the same building as our apartment and it does not use soy in its breads, and the bread seemed to sit well with Kalah.

Until recently.

We now also suspect she might have a gluten intolerance.

She had a cold when she was only 3 weeks old. She had a cough, runny nose, the works. I got sick again about 3 weeks ago and at the same time she developed a stuffy nose. However, her stuffy nose has not gone away. She has no other symptoms of a cold. So she has a permanently stuffy nose, is gassy, fussy on occasions, and has explosive poo... most of these symptoms point to a gluten intolerance (or another undiagnosed food allergy).

So, I will also be removing barley, rye, wheat, and semolina from my diet to see if that helps, making the following foods are off limits (list curtesy of the Mayo Clinic):

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries (I can eat homemade french fries)
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry (I don't even know what this is...)
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

Truthfully I would rather have it be gluten than it be something environmental. It is much easier for me to control my diet than it is for me to change her environment.

It has been difficult having so many dietary restrictions, but the hardest part was the initial change. Once your fridge and pantries are stocked with the foods right for your new diet it's not so difficult.

For breakfast I've been doing fried eggs with avocado on bread, but now that I'm cutting out bread maybe I'll eat brown rice or potatoes. Then we have a Breville juicer and do all kinds of mixtures. This morning I did orange, apple, pineapple, ginger.

Lunch is easy as we usually have a meat, rice, and lots of veggies. We have been eating a lot of homemade soups as well (the broth is also homemade). Dinner is either leftovers or something similar to lunch.

I will try to post a few ideas of what I've been cooking and eating with my new dietary restrictions and will keep you all updated on the gluten bit.

Here are some resources that I found helpful when researching how to change my diet:

Does your baby have MSPI or other dietary restrictions? If so, how have you handled them? What resources did you find helpful?

Monday, July 1, 2013

A sample day for me this high season

It has been insane being a mom of an almost 3 year old, a 7 week old, having 35+ students here at once, running my own business, and running my home. So, just for fun, here's a taste of my days this time of year.

(Please note: Although an amazing sleeper, Kalah wakes up more than listed here, I just opted to start at 3:30am...)

  • 3:30am       Baby's hungry... feed.
  • 4:30am       Baby's still up... why are you still up Kalah May?
  • 5:00am       Baby is finally asleep... I'll try to sleep more too.
  • 7:00am       My phone rings. It's a student. Must answer.
  • 7:15am       Get up, make breakfast, make sure Kesha's stuff is ready for school, lay out clothes for Kal.
  • 7:30am       Both girls are up... I try to get myself ready to go out the door (this usually consists of throwing on clothes and making sure my hair isn't in my face. But that's about it.
  • 8:00am       Try to shove breakfast down Kesha's throat while getting her dressed while simultaneously making Kalah happy to keep her from wailing.
  • 8:30am       This morning Arturo drives Kesha to school on his way to pick someone up. However, we typically walk the .5 miles to her school. At this same time I leave in a hired car to pick up a new student and take her to her first day of Spanish classes at the local university. I have left Kalah's Ergo at my mother-in-law's house, which is a big bummer and means carrying Kalah the whole morning in my arms... *face palm*
  • 8:45am       We arrive at the university. I show the student around while we wait for the assistant director to show up (still carrying the baby).
  • 9:00am      We have a brief chat with the assistant director and the new student heads to class. The AD and I trouble shoot another client situation for another 20-30 minutes.
  • 9:30am      Back in the hired car, on my way to pick up two sick students and accompany them to doctors appointments.
  • 9:45am      Pick up sick student #1
  • 10:00am    Pick up sick student #2
  • 10:10am    Get to clinic and wait, wait, wait, wait for the doctor to show up
  • 10:30am    Appointment #1 - I send the first girl to the pharmacy and then home in the hired car with instructions for her to send the car back to the clinic for us.
  • 11:00am    Appointment #2
  • 11:30am    We leave the clinic and there is no car waiting for us. Wait 15 minutes then jump in a cab with sick student #2 to take her home. Then back to the clinic to see if the car has shown up.
  • 12:00pm    Car still hasn't shown. Jump in another taxi to head to the office. The car is waiting at the office... WTH?! Why would he do that? How does he think I'm getting home?! I get mad...
  • 12:30pm     Leave the office on foot to walk the .5 mile to pick up Kesha from school. We also walk back together on foot since we didn't take her stroller to school that AM.
  • 1:00pm      Kesha needs to go to the bathroom and change her clothes from school... at the same time Kalah starts crying because she is hungry...
  • 1:30pm     Arturo has to leave the office and can leave me at home but only if I go now (good choice since I have no stroller and 1 mile is a long way for a tired preschooler to walk).
  • 1:45pm     We get home. I still haven't had lunch. Counting on Kesh napping so I can sit down and eat. It's not happening. I eat bread instead (such a good choice).
  • 2:00pm     Throw Kesh in the tub in an attempt to get her to take a nap. She plays for a good while, but is as wound up as before... I would like her to gift me some of her energy...
  • 3:00pm     I need a nap and try sleeping and ignoring Kesha's constant entrances in to the room to announce things I could care less about in my exhausted state. It doesn't work. I get up.
  • 4:00pm     Kesha is still not napping, my phone is ringing off the hook, I am attempting to respond to urgent emails while soothing my infant and entertaining my tired, yet oddly energetic child. Both girls are screaming. Literally. Screaming. It is obviously not working and I am on the verge of losing it. So we pack up and go to the park.
  • 6:00pm   Arturo has come and gone from the park and Kesha and I pack up to go home and get dinner ready. We get home and I throw things in a pot for tomato soup. While it cooks I lay out Kesha's clothes for tomorrow, sign her school book and repack her bag. Kesh is parked in front of my computer watching Mr. Tumble.
  • 6:30pm    Kesha falls asleep at the table while watching an episode of Mr. Tubmle despite my efforts to keep her awake until bed time. She doesn't sleep long, thank goodness!
  • 7:00pm    Arturo gets home and we have dinner.
  • 7:30pm    I give Kesh another bath. A real bath complete with shampoo and body wash.
  • 8:00pm    Kesh is out and clean. She goes to lie in bed with Arturo. Kalah gets her bath.
  • 9:00pm    Everyone is in bed and most people are asleep... now I can work on my emails...
  • 10:00pm  I'm wondering why I'm up writing this and am about to fall asleep.... I guess most of those emails will have to wait until tomorrow. I think I got the most important ones anyway. Tomorrow I'll have more time... I swear I will!

Good night... at least until Kalah wakes up in a few hours!