Then came the Cow
Ok not a cow, but rather her milk.
Here's the thing....I don't drink cow's milk and I rarely use butter. Years of veganism in my 20s left me with a weird, icky feeling when it comes to drinking the mother's milk of another animal. I'm not judging the milk drinkers--it's fully a personal choice. I really assumed my kids would be milk drinkers too, because kids drink milk right? That said, I do eat cheese, in fact I love cheese. All the cheese. I planned to shower my kiddos with all kinds of rich, stinky, glorious cheese.
Clearly the icky feeling doesn't extend to the products of mother's milk, just the milk. I'm a mystery, what can I say?
The point is, we never have milk in the house so our baby never drank milk. She did, however, eat yogurt. Lots of yogurt. A few times I tried slipping ricotta in and at first she ate it fervently but after too long she started pushing it away. But the yogurt was always a go-to wherever we were. It was the safest way to feed the baby on vacation, we thought.
Have I mentioned that nasty eczema? We were deep in the throngs of battling for her poor skin when I decided to try and get her to drink formula. See, she was a truly breastfed baby. She only took a bottle a handful of times and even then it was hit or miss. Most of the time she just pushed the bottle away and wailed until I magically appeared with the goods. Which meant no babysitters for this mom. No mommy-days. Luckily I didn't really mind. Nursing is temporary so I just nursed.
I started getting worried when she cut four teeth at once followed closely by an additional two teeth. Six teeth. At once. And a baby who seems completed uninterested in weaning. Time to formula supplement and get us both ready for the next phase.
Of course you know I did a bunch of research on the best type of formula, the closest to breastmilk, the most organic. We tried the first brand, the most natural of my choices but possibly the worst tasting. She wouldn't take it. We tried another brand, more commercial, less hippie. She took half a bottle on the first night, then settled in to nurse. I was victorious! Here come date nights and spa days and all the things I couldn't do with a baby attached to my chest all the time!
Yeah. No. The next night she drank a full bottle and promptly puked it all up all over herself and me. And while in her playpen as I tried to peel vomit soaked clothes from my body (at this time I just assumed she had over filled on milk and formula), I looked up to see my wee one covered from ankles to neck in huge hives. I gave her an antihistamine and let her sleep off the reaction while trying to figure out how a kid who eats so much yogurt could possibly be allergic to milk.
***Again, do NOT do what I did. Call 911***
So, turns out her eczema may have been masking the early reactions to dairy which is why we never realized it until it was too late. Testing confirmed a severe anaphylactic allergy to cow's milk protein, among other things.
So...no cheese. No formula. No eggs. The list was growing and, it turns out, so were we. We just didn't know it yet.