Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My fussy baby

Eleanor is having a rough couple days.  Therefore I am having a rough couple days.  It is hard to see her so unhappy.  We've decided her crankiness is definitely gas related.  Her cries are so pitiful and it seems there is little we can do to relieve her pain.  And then a little toot will release and her face returns from a wrinkled-up expression to a solemn state.

In the past month we have had a few of these episodes, but for the last couple days it has been pretty much constant.  She is upset unless she is asleep.  My one go-to method for calming her comes from the Happiest Baby on the Block.  It is amazing how well those methods work.

First we swaddle.
Then we turn on the white noise.

Then we flip her on her side.

Next I lay her on my lap with her head in my hands and shake my legs from side to side making her into a bobble-head. 
The last step is sucking.  But we haven't used a pacifier in this instance because so far we can calm her without it. 

When she is all swaddled up I can tell when a gas bubble is giving her trouble because she starts to squirm and fight her surroundings.  Then we hear that precious little toot and she calms right down.

So for the most part we have figured out how to help her through the pain, but what I can't figure out is how to prevent it.  Since her very first crabby day weeks ago I have been uber-careful about my diet.  I have tried to remove all major allergens and gas-producing foods.  For me this includes: dairy, chocolate, caffeine, citrus, gassy vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli), beans, alcohol, peanuts and gluten.  Of course as I'm typing this list I realize I have made too many exceptions over the last few days.
  • Because of the cookie party I have enjoyed my share of chocolate, gluten and even wine.  
  • Just today I enjoyed a large decaf coffee which does contain some caffeine.  
  • I didn't realize that garlic, cucumbers, onions and peppers were also considered gassy vegetables.
  • I have been eating lentils which are similar to beans.
Other foods that I have read that may cause gas include many spices including cinnamon and chili pepper, both which have been in my diet lately.

This week Eleanor has also developed a bit of a rash that gets worse when we nurse and then seems to get better after a bit of time.  This makes me highly concerned that it may be an allergy to food and not just a natural gassy reaction.  While I don't have any food allergies, Alex has a list-ful.  He is allergic to dairy and most citrus fruits.  So those are the two food items I have been strictly avoiding.  But other potential allergens include:
  • eggs
  • wheat
  • soy 
  • nuts 
  • corn
As I mentioned above I have been doing my best to leave out wheat and peanuts from my diet.  But I substituted peanut butter with almond butter last week and have also been eating quite a few almonds so maybe that is the culprit.  I also eat eggs like they are going out of style these days.  Since I don't eat meat and can't eat dairy, and have been avoiding beans, this is one of my only sources of protein.  But maybe I need to phase it out as well.

Ok, so we have gone through the list of possible culprits causing her rash and gas, but now I think perhaps we are just over-thinking it.  Maybe she is just a gassy baby.  Am I trying too hard?  Or not hard enough?  If I eliminate all allergens from my diet to find out what is hurting her, how will I get my protein? 

We do have an appointment with the pediatrician tomorrow.  I first called the triage nurse and she didn't seem to have any possible solutions for us so I just thought it would be better to take her in and have her checked out.  So while I am anxious to hear from the doctor, I would also love feedback from other mom's.  Any suggestions?

And from non-mom's (or mom's) any suggestions for protein sources that would be allergy-free?  I know I ate meat during pregnancy and I am open to it again (if it is organic and hormone-free and absolutely necessary) but I really just don't have a taste for it anymore.  It is crazy how I once craved it so much while pregnant but now completely avoid it. 

And you are more than welcome to chime in on this: am I just over-reacting and I don't need to worry so much about my diet, or is this a true concern?  What do you think?

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