Monday, 24 February 2014

Mucosy Stools and Screaming Baby ... Are they related ?

July 26, 2013

My son was born on July 12 and like all newborns do ... the intense crying starts after a couple of weeks or so of being born. I suppose there is varying degrees of crying for new mothers to tolerate. My son's crying was intense and long enough to completely break my heart and send me to tears. It happened at anytime of the day or night. He could be peacefully sleeping and all of a sudden his face would scrunch up as if in pain and he would let out a piercing scream would sound from his beautiful little mouth. I was horrified. At first I thought it was my fault somehow ... Did I not feed him enough? Did I not burp him enough? Does he need another diaper change? Did I not cuddle him enough? Did he not get enough sleep? Am I missing a cue he is trying to communicate to me?

I tried to remedy all the above only to have him screaming in my arms, while I wept silently into his shoulder thinking that I must be the worst mother on the face of the planet.  These episodes carried on for hours. I rocked, bounced, cuddled and kissed him hoping that he would settle and be a happy and peaceful baby ... like most babies should be ... right?

Then ....

With a diaper change this day (July 26), I noticed mucous in his stool. As a paediatric dietitian and knowing about what baby poops should look like, I knew this wasn't a very good sign. It could be nothing, but it could be something.   I have heard that some foods such as garlic, onion, and cabbage could sometimes be very upsetting to babies'  tummies causing fussiness.  I also know that an allergy to cow's milk protein can cause extreme irritability.  If babies are allergic to cow's milk protein, symptoms may include loose stools (possibly containing blood), vomiting, gagging, colic and skin rashes, like eczema. Well, my son had only one symptom out of all of these.

Now with the mucosy stools, I needed to do something and make a change. I was desperate, it was so difficult to hear him cry and scream. I was exclusively nursing at this point and had copious amounts of breastmilk. I decided to avoid milk to drink (not all dairy) and see if his screaming would stop and hopefully normalize his poops. I had no idea what was causing his colic, nor his mucosy stool and I had no idea that this could be an allergy.  I just thought, well...I'll give it a try for a couple of weeks, I have nothing to lose.

As I changed my son's diaper through blurry, teared eyes, I hoped that as easy as it was to take out one simple food, would be as easy to clear up my son's screaming and my never-ending tears once and for all.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Who I am and how I will share my story

Hi! My name is Michelle Gibson and I created this blog to share my experience of nursing my son who has allergic colitis. This blog is not intended to provide nutrition or medical recommendations and/or advice. It is only an outlet to connect and share with others who may be going through the same or similar situation. I also want to share this story with my family and friends so that they can better understand what I have gone through and what I am going through. They have been a tremendous support system and I couldn't have been strong without them. Motherhood alone produces intense emotions that we all experience, and having a baby with a medical condition can throw anyone for a loop. Nurturing an infant with allergic colitis has had me on a roller coaster of emotions several times a day and can range from a spectrum of sadness and anger to relief and happiness. So, I invite you to comment and share any and all of your thoughts and emotions as we go through this journey together.

I am a pediatric dietitian with 10 years of experience. I would consider myself quite knowledgeable in the area of infant nutrition, but of course not a "know it all" in all fields of nutrition and specific population groups.  With my background in infant nutrition I thought I could easily and confidently provide myself with dietary guidance in helping my son's colon heal, well.... I was completely wrong!  With roller coaster emotions combined with sleep deprivation, it was impossible without help to tease and sort out the food culprit that was giving my son bloody stools with every diaper, 7-8 times a day !  I seeked medical help before I was on the downward spiral of being completely frustrated and giving up breastfeeding along with my hopes of nursing my son until he was at least 12 mos of age.

My son is currently 7 mos old, however I am going to blog retrospectively so that I can provide detail of my day to day experiences and share with you all that I did and felt.

Thank you for following and listening to my story !