TMI warning: there is a lot of poop talk in this post.
This week marks one month since I began a dairy-free diet. Since E was just a few weeks old, she has had constant issues with bloating, gas, and mucousy, discolored poop. After doing some reading, I wondered if she might have a dairy intolerance and I decided to go dairy free temporarily to see if it made a difference.
A week went by and B and I didn’t notice any change. She had anywhere from 7-10 poopy diapers a day and she wailed every time she had a bowel movement. I scoured the internet for pictures of normal baby poop and descriptions of normal baby poop and it was clear to me that E’s poop wasn’t normal. But I’d been dairy free for a week and nothing had changed, so I told B I was giving up on the diet. There had to be some other explanation.
Then, the day after I told B I was going to eat dairy again, I found blood in E’s poop. I called her doctor’s office and spoke with a nurse who told me this is almost always a sign of a food allergy in a baby, and that most of the time dairy is the culprit. She said it could take a month or two for the dairy to clear out of E’s system, and that I needed to keep up the diet for at least one more week and we would reassess if we were still seeing blood a week later.
We didn’t see any more blood, but E’s already-green-tinged poop became green as grass during the days that followed. Per the nurse’s orders, I was giving it another week. But I was discouraged and unconvinced, as I found it hard to believe things would worsen if the dairy was in the process of clearing out of E’s system.
One day last week, I woke up in the morning and realized E hadn’t had a poopy diaper in the middle of the night. Since the day we brought her home from the hospital, this has never happened. That was the first day she stayed home sick from day care, and the entire day she didn’t poop even once. The next day, she pooped only one time. At first I attributed it to her being sick. But she’s been well for a few days now and she’s still had a maximum of one poopy diaper a day. What’s even more remarkable is that she no longer cries out in agony whenever she fills her diaper.
The nurse had mentioned it could take a month to notice an improvement. And here we are, one month dairy free, and E has suddenly gone from pooping up to ten times a day, to doing it just once…if that. It would be an odd coincidence if there was no relation to my change in diet.
At E’s four-month checkup in three weeks, I still plan on asking to have her tested for a dairy allergy. I’d rather know for sure. I hate banking on coincidences. But in the meantime, I’m going to continue my regimen of avoiding cheese (sad face) and eating coconut milk ice cream (happy face…I think it might be better than regular ice cream), and cross my fingers that E’s days of miserable poop are finally over.