Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thank You

Aloha there. It's been awhile. When I stop writing, it means one of two things: I'm so content that I don't have much inspiration to write, or I'm so discontent that I isolate myself and stop writing to avoid processing my thoughts and feelings.

Unfortunately, this has been a case of the latter.

Fortunately, I am on my way back up again.

It happens every year after Halloween. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter how great it is, no matter how excited I am for the holidays, I start feeling mopey, anxious, and depressed. Even living in Florida, it's like my brain senses that our corner of the planet is further away from the sun. If you have never experienced this, the weather having such a profound affect on one's feelings probably sounds absurd. If you do experience seasonal depression, ya feel me. Add a baby having health issues and living far away from family on top of that, and you have a recipe for mental disaster.

Thanksgiving was good, but lonely. We managed to prepare a completely dairy- and soy-free Thanksgiving meal, completely with delicious turkey, sweet potato casserole, corn bread, roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. The past month has been a blur, and we have completely focused all of our time and energy on figuring out what is wrong with our little problem child. Atlas is a rebel through and through, that's for sure. Despite eliminating dairy, soy, and peanuts from my diet, Atlas was still having serious issues that were clearly an indication of a food protein allergy. We ended up switching him to a special formula, which was not fun for either of us. He hates bottles, and I hated refusing to nurse him. The first few days were spent with him going on a hunger strike while tearing at my shirt trying to nurse. Meanwhile, I have been pumping every time he eats to keep my supply up and store the milk in the hopes that we would go back to breastfeeding once I eliminated ALL of the most popular allergens from my diet. Right now, I can't eat dairy, soy, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish.

It has been traumatic, at least for me. I just want some fucking pizza, guys.

Once he started eating the formula, though, we did start to see improvements. He is feeling better physically. He has been generally happy. He has attempted to roll from back to front and started doing the face crawl. For those that don't know, a face crawl is when your baby refuses to use their arms to crawl like a normal baby and decides to push themselves forward using their legs and face on the ground. Real smooth, buddy.  

After our GI appointment today, he said we could try giving him breastmilk again to see how his body reacts. So far, he has latched well, but been kind of fussy. If things go well, we will reintroduce the allergens to see what causes his issues. If he has a bad reaction immediately, we will switch back to the formula, and hopefully by the time he is a year old, he will have outgrown the allergies.

We'll see.

But I really didn't want to come here and talk about bad things. I wanted to update you on Atlas, but I also wanted to say that I wouldn't have made it through the past few months without relying on others for support. Our family has been there for us every step of the way. My friends who already have kids have listened to me and given me advice based on their experiences. Most of my friends don't have kids, but most of them have tried to understand and ask for updates, even when I have been out of touch because I am a zombie and only focusing on Atlas. And the community of new moms I have met through my doula... I can't even begin to explain how helpful they have been. Because of them, I don't feel so alone. Because of them, I feel more confident in my parenting decisions. I don't feel like a failure. And I am constantly reminded to take care of myself, too, which might be the most important thing here.

So thank you, family and friends, for being understanding when Eric and I are out of touch, for caring about Atlas, and for forcing us to get out of the house. And a special thank you to every Starbucks in northern Palm Beach County for hosting friend dates and providing me with a near-daily dose of caffeine in the form of sugary lattes.

Here are just a few recent photos from my phone:


His Thanksgiving outfit: NUTS ABOUT YOU lollllll

Pretty boy

Daddy feeding Atlas

Early morning bottle. This is the first time he ever took a bottle well from me.

The boys

Sometimes he still falls asleep on me

Cutie doing tummy time

Smiley wiggly boy after finishing his bottle

Here it is: The Face Crawl. He started in the middle of the mat facing the giraffe toy.

Practicing sitting!

Just hanging out

All smiles

Trying to roll. Almost there!

No comments:

Post a Comment