Monday, 22 June 2015

The beginning

Back in November, when my son was born, I was elated. 

Everyone arrives, with gifts, food and hopeful wishes that he will be a "good baby".

What is a good baby? It's one that contentedly mewls when hungry; one that feeds peacefully and sleeps as though kissed by the breath of angels. 

Well, T was none of these. 

It became swiftly apparent over coffee mornings with NCT pals, whose babies would suckle beatifically at their Madonna-like breast, that my wailing, inconsolable, purple-faced offspring was "difficult". 

And, oh God, he was difficult. 

There was the never ending colic, the on-off, on-off and back again whilst breastfeeding, the failure to ever be put down, or sleep. How he would wake within seconds of being slipped oh-so-quietly into his moses basket. How he would vomit. And vomit. And vomit. How his tiny body would shake and quiver because he was so constipated, and how his poor little tummy would become hard and you could see his discomfort in the days leading up to a poo. Oh, and more vomit. Vomit over patches of vomit on my clothes. Dribbles of vomit I'm ashamed to say I let the dog lick because I was too tired to clean them up. 

Despite all of this, I plodded along. Bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, my husband and I accepted our lot: accepted that this was "just the way he was" and continued mixing gaviscon into sterilised pots to syringe into him at breastfeeds. My respite was the one bottle of bedtime formula that allowed me to get a continuous 3 or 4 hours' sleep before the night onslaught began again. 

We carried on like this until T was 4.5months old. When his weight gain stalled, we finally had our eyes opened that something was up. Something was really up. 

As a doctor, I began researching, turning my diagnostic ear towards books and the internet. And then it clicked: one throw-away comment at the [weekly] GP visits I'd been making. "Sometimes giving up dairy helps," said my GP as I was leaving one day, "Some of these babies have dairy allergies." At the time, I'd not given it much thought, but the more I read, the more it made sense. 

And so we both went dairy fee. 

The change was nothing short of a miracle. 

Within a week, he was a baby transformed. Happy, gurgling, contented, and sleeping. Almost.

And here begins our journey. 

A much happier baby now we're dairy free