Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting to the Bottom of Things

Those who are paying close attention may remember that, at Peeper's twelve-month checkup, the doctor gave me the green light to add more dairy to our diets and see how it went.

So, I have.

In a big, cheesey, chocolatey way.

I was still avoiding actual straight-up cow's milk - using soy in my coffee, for example - but pretty much eating anything else that I wanted, on the theory that cheese is pretty processed and modified, and there's not that much milk actually in things. Like milk chocolate.

The results were sort of inconclusive.

We've had no bloody poopy, or evidence of intestinal distress or anything like that, but everytime she pooped, her little booty (and its neighboring parts) was turning bright red.

A red that Shrike described thusly: She could lead Santa's sleigh with her crotch.

(That wife of mine does have a way with words, doesn't she?)

When we were dairy-free, she would occassionally get red for a day or so, but now it was happening all the time.

It was definitely poop-related, because if she skipped a day she'd start to clear up, and as soon as she pooped, the next time we changed her, she'd be red again.

Both my logical and my guilty minds (in rare agreement) said that it was the dairy, but my selfish, cheese- and chocolate-loving mind was in denial.

I'd finally decided that, after the holidays, once we were home from Texas, I would go dairy-free again for a while, and see if that made a difference.

But, instead, well, it was the damnedest thing.

After a day or so in Texas, I noticed that she was looking less red. And less and less and less, and by the time we'd been there a few days, her little parts were a beautiful, healthy, normal pink-baby-booty (etc) color - and stayed that way.

So, I started wracking my brain to think of what she and/or I might be consuming at home that we weren't having while we were in Texas.

We were both having lots of dairy, so I knew that wasn't it.

The first thing that came to mind was coffee, or the soy milk that I was putting in it.

Now, typically, I drink three different sorts of coffee - at home, I have regular-ass decaff with chocolate soy milk, at Starbucks it's decaff espresso with sugar-free syrups and soy milk, and at Sheetz (our favoriate convenience store), it's a soy latte with espresso syrup and sugar-free flavor syrups.

The only common denominator there, really, is the soy milk, since sometimes there's not even real coffee in it.

Also, I had a few similar fake-coffees (with coffee-flavored syrup in skim milk) at the Anonyparents' house, and it didn't affect her.

With that in the back of my mind, I went ahead and ordered my usual at Starbucks on the way to the airport Sunday, and then my other usual at Sheetz on the way home from Dr. Tara's on Monday.

After I got home, I thought of one other thing I wasn't having in Texas - sugar-free Koolaid. I wouldn't think that would cause this but on the other hand, who knows what crazy chemicals are in it, so I suppose anything is possible.

In addition to my coffee-with-soy, I also started drinking Koolaid as soon as I got home, and had several glasses over the next couple of days.

By Tuesday, she was bright red.

Which confirmed that she'd not experienced some sort of spontaneous healing that just happened to coincide with our trip.

So, I decided to cut out the coffee, soy and Koolaid and see what happened.

By Wednesday she was looking better, so I decided to try some coffee with cow's milk. I've had that Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, Thursday evening and this evening.

As of the last diaper change, early this evening, she's looking great.

Since I've already got a pitcher all made up, and since it's the less likely of the two suspects, I'm testing the Koolaid first. I've drunk several glasses today, starting after the first diaper change after today's poop.

(I waited until then to confirm that the coffee I'd had earlier was not going to affect her.)

I'm anxiously awaiting the next poop to see what happens.

If we go a couple of days (actually, a couple of poops) with no reaction, I'll have some soy milk and see if that does it.

I hope to have this mystery solved before her fifteen-month checkup on the 27th.


  1. Didn't you drink some sugar-free kool-ade at my house? (FTR, probably not Koolade brand.)

  2. I did. I forgot about that. I really suspect it's the soy, but figured I should check the Koolaid, too. Don't know that one glass would've made a difference, anyway, compared to pitcher after pitcher at home.

  3. If it is the Kool-aid, maybe her butt isn't irritated, maybe it's just dyed red. ;D

  4. Try green Koolaid and see what happens.

  5. That actually crossed my mind, about the dye, but the poop isn't reddish at all, so I think that's probably not it. However, it would be interesting to see what other colors we could turn her!

  6. Half of all babies with milk protein allergies also have soy allergies. They usually grow out of the milk protein allergy by two.
    My son has both, which leaves us with.. Rice milk.

  7. I've read that about dairy/soy. The weird thing, though, is that I switched from dairy to soy and she seemed okay. Now that I'm back on dairy, the soy seems to be a problem.

  8. How about soap? Did you have different bath soap or laundry detergent? Probably it is dietary since it is only when she poops, though.

  9. Oh. Also, my milk's not pink. I'm the only one actually drinking the Koolaid, not her.

  10. Same laundry and bath soap, but I think it has to be dietary, because it only happens after a poop, and only happens in the poop-covered area.

    I've drunk a pitcher of Koolaid in the past 24 hours or so, so I'm thinking her next poop will rule that out. I'll probably wait another poop to be sure though.

    Then, on to the soy milk, which I would almost bet money is going to turn her red.

    Stay tuned!

  11. The milk not red is probably a clue. However, what is irritating her may well not be the dye, if is Koolaid. Could be the flavoring or anything else. When you were a couple of weeks old I had a bladder infection and took pyridium, which turns the urine orange (or bright red in some pH's). You were nursing and the pyridium must have been excreted in the milk, though it was not obvious. You, as a tiny baby, got it and apparently did not absorb it (or partially did so) and your poop turned orange, but urine stayed normal. Fastenated me, as a physiologist who studied membrane transport, etc.

  12. That is fascinating about the pyridium!

  13. One poop, no redness. I'll let her poop one more time with the Koolaid in my system, then we'll test the soy. I'm 99% sure that's going to be the problem.

  14. This is like a great episode of House!

    "On the next episode of 'Peeps Poops' Whozat will finish her investigation and get to the bottom of the baby booty issues. You won't believe how it ends!"


What say you?