Monday, February 23, 2009

Butt, Of Course.

Peeper's bloody poop returned on Friday, and continued, off and on, through yesterday evening.

It's just a tiny amount, really, but any blood is too much when it's coming out of our baby.

When I first saw it, I called her pediatrician's on-call nurse, who said that unless there was a lot of blood (like a tablespoon - it's nowhere even close to that) to just give the office a call Saturday morning to see if a doctor wanted her to come in.

When I called, they said she could wait until Monday or Tuesday (with, again, that "unless there's a lot" caveat) but when I reminded them that she's scheduled for her four-month (!) check up on Wednesday, they said to just wait for that.

Through the day yesterday, though, it became obvious that it's hurting her to poop, although we're not sure if it's hurting in her guts, or in her butt or on her butt.

She suddenly starts crying, though, and there's always poop to be found. I suspect the diaper changing and butt-cleaning process itself might be hurting, too, because she's usually happiest on her changing table, but not right now.

And, a couple of times, when I knew she needed a change (when we got up this morning, and when we got home from some running around), although she wasn't crying at first, as soon as I started to put her down on the table, she started crying.

It was pretty awful to realize that, in just a day or two, she'd learned to associate what's usually one of her favorite past times with pain.

So, this morning, I called and left a message asking if there's anything we can do to ease the pain for her. We tried a little Tylenol last night but I don't know if made any difference.

In case the pain were more external, I asked if I could use some of the numbing spray that I was given in the hospital when she was born.

(I figured if it was allowed to go on my birthin' parts it should be okay for her poopin' parts, but certainly wasn't going to use it without their permission.)

Weeelll, when the nurse called back she said that "the doctor said absolutely don't use that stuff you have" (Well, then, don't I feel like a dumb ass, and an awful parent for even suggesting it. Can we just hit "undo" on that one?) "and that he thinks its likely a milk allergy."

Aw, crap.

What that actually means is a sensitivity to cow's milk proteins, which are in my milk because of the cow's milk products in my diet.

So, of course, the solution (or, really, the test, I suppose) is for me to cut out the dairy products from my diet.

She said that, for now, at least, I don't have to go all-out and read labels and eliminate everything that says "this product contains milk," but I do need to eliminate the "obvious dairy" products, ie milk and cheese.

Yep, cheese.

Have I mentioned that about 90% of my diet is cheese?

Hell, Peeper is made out of mac and cheese from my favorite convenience store!

(And a little bit of chocolate. Okay, a lot of chocolate.)

As luck would have it, we had pretty much no food in the house at the time, dairy or otherwise, so we went to the grocery store this evening and picked up some non-cheesey stuff for me to eat.

It's really quite a challenge, not just because I love cheese and I think that everything's better with a handful of shredded cheese on top, but also because I am supposed to be eating a high-protein diet, but it's very hard to actually cook much of anything these days, (And, by "cook" I mean "make warm in the microwave.") because even if Peeper's happy in her swing long enough for me to fix it (she usually is) she's likely to be back in my lap before I'm done eating, and I'm terrified of the possibility of dropping hot food on her!

So, I got some peanuts (we're hoping that's all taken care of by now!) and some lunchmeat (oh yeah, I'm allowed to eat that again) and some vegan "cheese" ("It Melts!") which I'm a little scared of, but it's worth a try.

I'm so torn between hoping this is what's given her the problem, because that means I have the power to fix it, and hoping that's not it because, well, because I'm an awful mother and a selfish bitch who loves her some cheese.

Of course, if this is the problem, most kids tend to outgrow the sensitivity as they get older, so it's not something that's going to be a problem for her forever and, at any rate, it's only going to be an issue for my diet as long as she's nursing. (Of course, that may be quite a while.)

I do feel kind of shitty about this because, back in early January, when she was having a lot of inconsolable crying episodes that we thought might be gas (Or she was upset, then the crying made her gassy; hard to know which.) one of the possibilities we considered was a dairy sensitivity.

Oh, did I mention that Shrike had a dairy sensitivity as a baby? They had to go through several different formulas before finding one that she could tolerate. It was the one that is, invariably, described by her parents as looking "like mud." Yummmmy!

So, when we got home from Texas, I cut out "obvious dairy" for two or three days, and Peeper's crying episodes pretty much stopped.

That seemed awful quick to have made a difference, though, (I'd read that it could take several days for the proteins to clear my system and then several more to clear Peepers, after she stops getting them in the milk.) and when I tried adding them back, she did not start the crying again, so I figured that wasn't the problem.

(Actually, I really suspect that it was more about being discombobulated and over-stimulated by the travelling and just generally undone by it all, and the gas was a side effect of the crying.)

Then, when this bloody poop thing started, I read about the dairy possibility again and even asked the doctor about it at her appointment last Saturday. She said that, unless I'd suddenly had a lot more dairy than usual, it wasn't likely.

(Um, I'm not sure how I could have "a lot more dairy than usual" but that was good to hear.)

But, sounds like whichever doctor the nurse talked to today does not agree.

So, this is something that we suspected before, and it's something that we could have suspected before she was even conceived, but I was soooo relieved that it didn't seem to be the case a few weeks ago, and continued to eat like cheese was going to be illegal next week.

So, I feel kind of shitty about that.

But, I think the worst part is, the one thing that I know I can do to make it all better when she's unhappy or hurting or just not right?

Nurse her.

And that's what's making her hurt.

I certainly didn't do it on purpose, but I feel like I've been poisoning her, because of something that I've done solely for my own pleasure.

(Yes, cheese brings me pleasure. You got a problem with that?)

So, while I know the dairy proteins are still in me, I feel so conflicted when she's crying and every fiber of my being is telling me to pick her up and nurse her and fix her, but I know that the milk she's getting is just going to make her hurt again later.

So, I feel particularly shitty about that.

But, if this is what's making her hurt, then it's completely within my control to fix it and make her feel better, and how often do you get to say that, right?

So, I'll do this no-dairy thing for a while and we'll see if she gets any happier about her poop, and see what her doctor says about it all on Wednesday.

Wish us all luck.


  1. When you say that it all happened too fast for it too have cleared your system, are you allowing for the fact that your "system" probably "clears" faster because of your gastric bypass? I do not know whether it does or not. Do you?

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