A Journey of Selflessness
Becoming a parent is an amazing journey. It’s often an exercise of love and compromise, and bring about great change. Feeding your child creates a strong bond and allows your child to feel safe and secure. In this story, we hear about a mother’s selflessness and compromise for the health of her child. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you Amber.
Our challenges began around 5 weeks of age. Harlen would scream, latch and unlatch, arch his back, but still desperately want to nurse. We suspected he had silent acid reflux. So I started to cut out foods from my diet: dairy, chocolate and caffeine. It helped, but didn’t completely stop his symptoms. I took Harlen to a naturopath and cranial sacral massage therapist who recommended I eliminate wheat. I did this right away and all of his symptoms disappeared. A month later, eczema arrived along with rashes and vomiting. I started to make connections with the different foods I was eating by eliminating them one by one (acidic foods, coconuts, nuts, seeds, peaches). Again, we saw a huge improvement! At this point, there was very little I could eat, but Harlen was thriving on my breastmilk.
As a result, we’ve dealt with some low supply issues, because it’s hard for me to consume the calories required to produce enough milk. Thankfully, herbal teas have been phenomenal at boosting my supply enough to get us by. I have had to make incredible sacrifices, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is just something I have had to do. To say it’s worth it doesn’t seem fitting enough. I’ve lost 70 pounds since his birth. I’ve never looked back and honestly, it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Just knowing that my body alone has nurtured this incredible little boy is remarkable. Our bond is stronger than I ever knew it could be and continues to grow every day.
A Story of Concern
Your child’s safety is always a concern. When feeding can hinder that safety it can become very challenging. Thank you Quinn for sharing your journey with allergies and constant worry.
Our daughter had feeding issues from the start. I sought help of a lactation consultant and with the aid of a shield, some encouragement and lots of patience, my daughter Maddi and I got the hang of it. We continued to struggle with latching, feeding and clogged ducts and lots of tears from both of us. I wanted to give up many times, but was encouraged to keep trying and I’m glad I did. We breastfed for 15 months!
It wasn’t until I attempted to wean Maddi off of breastmilk to formula in order to return to work, that we figured out she had multiple allergies (dairy, soy, egg, peanuts/nuts and wheat so far). This has been an incredibly tough road to navigate and not one a lot of people talk about. It’s increasingly more common for kids to have allergies, but at the same time, something no one talks about. You’re treated as if you’ve done something to make your child have acquired them, or, on the contrary, it’s seen as no big deal.
Let me tell you, it is a big deal! We carry an epipen. It’s hard to travel more than 20 minutes away from the hospital in case something happens. We continuously worry about food safety, whether play areas are clean, and whether other people who’ve touched her are free of things that can harm her. We face constant worry that we may feed her something that makes her tummy upset or worse, causes breathing issues. Finding daycare, and leaving her with friends or family is incredibly hard. One mistake could have terrible consequences and we don’t even know how severe her allergies are yet.
We live with the fear that something may happen to our precious little girl and as parents, live with the constant preemptive guilt that we could somehow be the cause (even though we know her allergies are not our fault). Parenting has been wonderful and magical, but for us, it’s also about balancing her safety and allowing her to be a kid for as long as possible.
We now have a better handle on things with the help of our awesome GP, paediatrician and allergist but it’s still a very scary road to be on. We’ve never had an anaphylactic reaction, to which I’m very grateful. People ask all the time if she’ll grow out of them and I know they’re just trying to nice and hopeful, but sometimes it makes me crazy. We now have a better handle on things with the help of our awesome GP, paediatrician and allergist but it’s still a very scary road to be on.