Friday, March 8, 2013

Why must cows squirt their teats into everything?

Warning - this post may contain excessive graphic baby poop talk.  Reader discretion is advised.
Oh, hello!  I'm baby Opal!  I'm having a glorious day!  But just for fun, I've decided to start making my diapers a terrifying event for you, and not for stink reasons (because they still just smell like overcooked vanilla pudding)! 
When I was pregnant with Opal, whenever I'd think about which kid she'd most resemble, I would always picture her as a wild, wiry female Woog.  Wolfie is an amazing kid (and I am not one to overuse the word amazing), so it was a pleasant prospect, even though I did kinda hope she'd look a dot more like me (Wolfgang is pure Nic's family in the looks department).  And sure enough, she came out looking an awful lot like Wolfie.
But on the flip side of that thought was the worry that if she did look like Wolfgang, would she end up having the same problems he had with his poop when he was a baby?  At two months old, Wolfie's poop's turned from normal baby mustard to jellied green grass clippings which were sometimes tinged with blood.  I can't remember how often they had blood in them; I only recall seeing it once and having it test positive once.  The green color and texture was what I mainly remember.  Anyway, we ended up having to take him to a bunch of specialists who blamed both oversupply of milk (the ladies can make milk, that's for sure) and sensitivities to food in my diet.  The culprit is usually dairy, so that went first, but shortly after I was forced to avoid soy, beef, nuts, and seafood.  I remember soy being the killer, because that crap is in EVERYTHING.  Nothing ever made it better, and towards the end of Wolfie's first year his weight started veering towards the bottom of the charts, which was scary since Nic and I and Eli were all very fat babies, so we had to supplement with formula.  Today Wolfie is fine as far as we can tell, and his guts are actually somewhat gifted from what we can see, but at the time it was exhausting and scary.
So imagine my feelings when on President's Day (six days after she turned two months old) I open up Opal's diaper and find a few tiny but unmistakable red streaks contained within her usual stinky gift.  Off to the doctor we went.  After a few visits where they said maybe it's something more minor followed by more blood-flecked diapers, they made me go off dairy and make an appointment with a CHOP gastroenterologist.  Going off dairy is a lot harder than I remember it being, but I think I was only off dairy for like a week with Wolfie before seeing the gastro in Florida who made me go off everything else, so I guess I didn't remember it that well.  So I was really nervous the doctor here would end up making me do the same thing, but we had that appointment yesterday and she said it can take up to four weeks for the dairy elimination to take effect and the guts to heal, and it's only been ten or eleven days.  So I'm still only off dairy for now, then we have to mail in a card smeared with poop (lucky mailman) for them to test once it's been four weeks, then we have a follow-up appointment at the beginning of April. 
The doctor really didn't seem very concerned at all since Opal is still gaining weight and apparently lots of babies have this dairy sensitivity and outgrow it (Wolfie obviously did, his diet is 50% cheese at this point), but I'm still worried and feel sad for my poor little girl.  Nobody wants their baby to poop blood, even if it's only a tiny bit!  At least it still LOOKS mostly normal, knock on wood.  I hope this makes her all better!  In the meantime, I'm also avoiding beef since the first two incidences of blood happened after I ingested some beef, and I didn't realize until then that although my diet was redolent with beef five years ago, now I barely ever eat it, so maybe that aggravated Woog since I did eventually have to quit it.  And I skipped soy milk and went straight to rice and almond milk, since dairy-sensitive babies also frequently have soy sensitivities, and I thought maybe if I don't start taking in a bunch of soy in the form of soy milk and just keep it incidental in my diet, maybe I won't have to eventually quit it altogether. 
It's actually snowing today.  It was supposed to snow a lot on Wednesday (tail end of Winter Storm Saturn this time), but it never did, but now it is.  It's not a ton, but it is sticking.  Early March weather is so random here.  I don't remember last year, but I know in early March 2011 when Zeb was a baby it was bone-chilling freezing out, but then I remember two years before that it was in the low seventies the first week of March and we were all wearing short sleeves.
Anyway, if anyone is reading this, keep your fingers crossed and send some positive vibes etc. that Opal is just sensitive to dairy and that she gets all better soon!


  1. Sending good vibes to both the Mannix gals--I'm convinced that cow's milk is the root of all evil (actually trying to go vegan--we can talk).

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. Eve is also totally toddler. Yesterday she designated half of the fireplace as hers and half as Maggie's. Maggie was nowhere is sight, but she rehearsed how she'd act if Maggie got on her turf: "No, Maggie! That's Eve's side!" (full of rage)

  2. Thanks, A! You'll have to share your vegan tips with me. Not that I'm going fully vegan (yet; we'll see what the story is next month), but right now I'm pretty much made of beans and rice and turkey sandwiches. I could use some variety, especially in the dessert department!

    Eve's toddler rage sounds adorable though! Zeb's can be, too, he just needs to turn the volume down a little once in a while. The dude screams 75% of what he says these days!