I swear there needs to be an awards ceremony for surviving the first year of parenting. A special VIP one for parents who have NOT had a normal experience.
Let me start by saying, we are BLESSED! We have a very happy, thriving, healthy, large baby boy who is teaching me more than I ever thought possible about what common household items are dangerous and life threatening. But when I tell you that we have not had a normal first year… I’m NOT lying.
Our son was born and it was AWESOME… for about 24 hours. Then the crying started. Not normal crying, constant shrieking, for hours on end. Painful cries. He would eventually pass out for 30-45 minutes, then be back up screaming. I went to the pediatrician, a lot. Then around 2-3 weeks he started spitting up. Not normal baby spit up, but half of his bottle spit up, every time. The doctor sent us to the ER for an ultrasound to rule out an obstruction (there was none) so he was diagnosed with reflux. Okay. Zantac for that. Elevating every feed, after every feed. very thorough burping, small feeds more frequently. Handled.
Except the screaming didn’t stop. I cried along with him constantly. We, as new parents, were miserable. We loved him, but couldn’t bond. We couldn’t soothe him or make him happy. The crying NEVER stopped, there was NO sleep. We called in reinforcements… My mom, my sister in laws, friends. I called anyone that i felt wouldn’t judge me for being a failure at this mom thing. The pediatricians kept making me feel like a paranoid first time mom. My sister in law realized he wasn’t getting enough to eat (I was trying to breastfeed) so I started supplementing with formula. It seemed to help, maybe a tiny bit, until it didn’t. He had explosive diapers, eczema and congestion. Finally after I was put on Zoloft for my PPD, things cleared a bit and i started searching for answers. God help me, I was going to help my baby.
I saw a GI specialist and within 10 minutes she diagnosed him with severe food intolerance’s and he was reacting to my breast milk and the formula. He had something called MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance). He cannot digest the milk proteins. So we switched to a completely hypoallergenic, elemental formula called Neocate. Within 24 hours we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He was a different baby. He slept for 3 hours straight. He as 9 weeks old. FINALLY we thought we were getting somewhere. Over 6 weeks the new formula transformed our son into a different child.
Rocking him to sleep one night at 13 weeks, I looked down and it hit me in the face, took my breath away and I sobbed. I was staring down at the most beautiful creature to ever exist. I felt love so raw, pure and beautifully painful. I would kill someone over this child. Bonding is the most precious gift God has ever given me.
As the year progressed we dealt with RSV at 4 months, which required a hospital stay for 5 days. I went back to work when he was 6 months old and luckily found amazing daycare that made the transition a lot easier. He thrived being around two other boys and hit milestones fast and furious. He grew like a weed and now at 1 year he is already in 24 month clothing.
As we introduced solid food, we discovered he actually has a very rare form of food allergies called FPIES (Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome). He reacts to multiple food proteins. The reactions are all GI symptoms (vomiting,. diarrhea, stomach discomfort). Luckily, as rare and scary this condition is, HE WILL OUTGROW IT.
SO… where is my tophy? (okay, here he is!)
Here is my Trophy!