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Bear ran out of milk at daycare yesterday.  Actually, she ran out of Lactaid.

In a pinch, my husband, who dropped Bear off and who was already running late, agreed that they could give her regular milk instead.  He did not have time to think about the consequences.

When I picked up Bear, she refused to walk with me.  When I held her, she screamed.  So, I let her walk, while I half-dragged her to the car.  She cried the entire way.  I assumed she was in a bad mood.

On our way home, I attempted to console her by explaining in detail all that we would do once we were there.  We would see Doggie.  Yes, she nodded her head.  We would change her clothes.  Yes, she nodded her head.  We would make dinner.  No nodding.  No eat, she said.  You’re not hungry? I asked.  No eat, she insisted.

At home, she agreed to a warm bath, which she quickly ended because of tummy trouble, and then I propped her up on the couch with her pillows, blanket, babies, and a sippy of Lactaid.

My husband called to say that he would have to stay late at work, and I mentioned that Bear seemed to have a stomach ache.  He cursed and explained why.

We have tried several times to slowly transition Bear back to whole, lactose-containing milk, but each time, she has developed issues fairly quickly.  We don’t dare introduce legumes into her diet, because we know that she will have an allergic reaction, but with intolerances, sometimes, we are a bit more willing to stretch her boundaries.

However, giving her multiple cups of lactose-containing milk in one sitting was not a good idea.  I don’t blame my husband, because he is not well-educated on such matters, but switching cold turkey must have been a shock to her system.  And, it is a good reminder for us that a problem that seems non-existent when well-controlled comes back in a fury when given the chance.

Our new companion


A new friend of mine told me today, “don’t go looking for trouble,” in response to some questions that I was asking about food allergies, since we are frantically trying to educate ourselves on this topic.  

Two days ago, a nurse from Bear’s new pediatrician’s office called with the results of her CAP RAST, a blood test that the pediatrician ordered to give us a better understanding of some foods that Bear might be allergic to, in light of the soy milk debacle.  Although we are still trying to understand what all of this means, as the world of allergies seems to be a great unknown where nothing is black and white, her pediatrician believes that she has an allergy to soy and likely has an allergy to peanuts.  The test results and her reaction to soy necessitate keeping an EpiPen with her at all times.  Until we know more about her allergy, keeping her away from all soy will be quite difficult.  I suggest that you take a look at food labels next time you are in the grocery store.  Soy and its derivatives are in most processed foods.  

I have been living and breathing food allergies for the past several days, and I will not even attempt to share what I’ve learned here.  Frankly, I’m a little weary of it.  

However, I have “met” some wonderful people over at, and they have been more than willing to share their knowledge with me, probably because they remember feeling exactly as I do now.  

When we introduced solid food to Bear, we followed the basic “rules” about solids.  We waited a week after introducing a new food.  We did not give her the big “no-no’s” of nuts, honey, and milk prior to when we were given the OK by her pediatrician.  We still haven’t knowingly given Bear nuts or honey, but I suppose that does not mean that she hasn’t encountered the food in some other way, perhaps prior to birth or through my breastmilk or cross-contamination or at daycare.  Neither my husband nor I have significant food allergies.  We have some family history of some minor food allergies, and I am allergic to certain drugs and a variety of other non-food items, but we were blissfully unaware that this did not really matter.  We had no reason to suspect that Bear would have a major food allergy.  

I feel like we went “looking for trouble” when we gave her soy milk in the first place, since we were concerned that she wasn’t digesting milk well.  Even if we couldn’t have known that we were “looking for trouble,” trouble found us.


I will apologize upfront if this post turns into a gory discussion of poopy.  That is not my intention.  But for about three weeks, Bear has been having strange and frequent bowel movements.  I will spare you the details, but this change coincided with the culmination of her transition to whole cow’s milk.  Once we had stopped nursing and stopped giving her bottles with formula (which was also cow’s milk-based, by the way) and started giving her bottles of only cow’s milk, her trouble started.  And, nearly every time I change her diaper, I see trouble staring back at me.

Last week, I called her pediatrician’s office about my suspicions that Bear may not be tolerating milk well, and after describing Bear’s symptoms to the nurse, who later described them to the doctor, their consensus was that Bear had a virus.  I was told to call back in a few days if things didn’t clear up.

Today – one week later – I called again.  I described the same symptoms to a different nurse, who apparently had another discussion about them with the doctor.  Again, the consensus was that Bear had a virus.  This time, the nurse, who kept referring to Bear as “he,” told me not to worry too much about this, offered the suggestion that I cut back on the amount of milk that I give to “him” and told me to buy a probiotic to help replenish the good bacteria in Bear’s gut that this mystery virus had cleared out.  I did not share with her that I’d had a similar discussion last summer with a nurse in her office about probiotics and that the nurse told me then that Bear’s pediatrician never recommended probiotics.

At nap time, I decided to give Bear a little soy milk to see if she would tolerate it better than cow’s milk, andin hopes that we could go a few hours without a dirty diaper.  She drank down about four ounces and rolled onto her side for a nap, so I carried her to her crib and left her to sleep.

After a few minutes, I heard coughing.  Then, more coughing.  And a few minutes after that, Bear began crying hysterically.  I walked into her room our found her sitting in the corner of her crib covered with white vomit.  She continued coughing and produced strings of thick mucous.  After a bath, I dressed her again – still crying – and she continued coughing up mucous.  She puked again, and then I noticed that her face was covered with a red rash.  She continued coughing and began pulling at her tongue.

I REALLY did not want to call her pediatrician’s office in light of the helpful response that I had received early in the afternoon, but I was concerned that my daughter was having a real allergic reaction, and I was on the verge of putting her into the car and taking her to the hospital.  A different nurse called me back, and I quickly explained the issue, including all that I had been told by the other nurse earlier in the day.  This nurse agreed that it sounded like Bear was having an allergic reaction and asked concerned questions about her possible lactose intolerance as well.  She agreed to call me back after talking with the doctor.

When I received a call back, it was the same nurse but now with a completely different demeanor.   She told me that the doctor said that she had “dealt with the problem this morning” and advised me to try the soy milk again this evening to observe the response (like my daughter is a science experiment).  When I asked if she was certain that I would not be sending my daughter into anaphylactic shock, she tersely answered, “I’m just repeating what the doctor told me.”

I feel badly enough that I inflicted the soy disaster on Bear in the first place, and I am in no mood to do it again tonight.  We did offer her a little (with Benadryl in hand), but she refused to take anything more than a sip.  Smart girl.  Tomorrow, I’ll be taking her in to visit the doctor to see this issue through, and then I’ll be in the market for a new pediatrician.

We were well into our bedtime routine this evening when I discovered that we were nearly out of whole milk and did not have enough to make a full bottle for Bear, my thirteen month-old.  My husband had stepped onto a plane less than 30 minutes earlier – begrudgingly, I might add, as his work was sending him away for several days of depositions – and I found myself wanting to blame him.  If he were here, I could send him to the store for milk for Bear’s bottle.  Since he was not, I was faced with several options.  I could add several ounces of skim milk to the whole milk in her bottle to top her off for the night, or I could put her in the car and take her grocery shopping.

 If Bear were not my first child, I may have been more willing to break those “rules” that they give new parents at pediatrician’s offices.  “Do NOT water-down baby’s bottles” is a cardinal one.  Of course, I well understand the reasoning behind this rule, but it is not as though I were going to dilute formula.  I just wanted to give my semi-toddler a full bottle milk before bed.  I doubted that a few ounces of skim milk on top of several ounces of whole milk would cause Bear any real problems.  But, well…there is still that new parent doubt.  So instead, I opted for Plan B, which in my mind wasn’t necessarily better, but one that would allow me to sleep a little more soundly tonight. 

Bear fussed as I strapped her into her car seat.  She was already dressed in her p.j.’s, and because we also subscribe to the No Blankets Rule, Bear sleeps in long sleeves despite the fact that it is June and already sweltering outside.  I carried my overly-warm and barefooted child into the grocery store and slipped her into the front seat of the cart.  I did not even think about carrying in the cart seat cover…that hideous, overgrown pile of material that Boppy (and others, I’m sure) sells to nervous new parents.  I also made the calculated (and lazy) decision to not wipe down the cart with the antibacterial wipes that the store so graciously supplies it’s germ-wary patrons.  As I reached down to fasten the belt around my little houdini, I discovered that the plastic fastener had been broken off.  Instead of switching carts like a careful mom would do, I resolved to simply keep a hand on my child and pray that she didn’t choose tonight to practice gymnastics.  I simultaneously gave myself a mental “high-five” for my relaxed parenting choice and a mental chastizement for potentially endangering my child by using a defective and germ-laden cart.

I purposefully steered the cart to the refridgerated section of the “Natural Foods” aisle of the store and eyed the three remaining containers of whole milk in my chosen brand, which carries an organic label that likely serves no other purpose beyond a good marketing strategy to get moms to spend more money.   As I grumpily stacked the three milk containers into the cart, I noticed a man standing behind me a little too closely.  When I turned to look at him with a “don’t-mess-with-me-I’m-buying-all-of-this-for-my-hungry-baby” look, I saw that he was grinning.  He gestured knowingly at my daughter.  “I’m here for the soy milk,” he announces.  For his hungry baby.  Of course.  I nod understandingly.  It could be worse.  At least my child is not lactose intolerant.  I wheeled Bear to the checkout counter thankful that he hadn’t wanted my milk but wondering if that daddy knew something that I don’t about milk and if I should be feeding Bear soy milk instead.

 As I set them  onto the counter, Bear began screaming and lunging for the milk cartons.  I did my best to reign her in and watch the increasingly bewildered look on the high school boy who was scanning my purchases.  Bear’s milk-grabbing manuevers and screaming continued, and several other shoppers turned and eyed us disapprovingly.   But at that moment, I didn’t care.  I took my milk and carried Bear to the car with her curly hair flopping in her eyes and hungry tears on her cheeks.  And about thirty minutes later, put a tired, but satisfied, little girl to bed about the same time that her daddy’s plane touched down somewhere else.

Thirteen months into parenthood, and even though I am more relaxed in many ways than I was a year ago, I find everyday that I am still a new mom.


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