Who Removed My Cheese?

A little bit of my worst nightmare has occured. Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. Callan’s great, we’re good, and life is good.

The bad news? Callan has a dairy allergy. I never wanted to have ‘that kid with the allergy’.

No dairy? This means Mommy gets no dairy. No cheese, no yogurt, no butter, no milk, no Caprese (sigh), limited chocolate, and no creamy dressings. Dairy is in everything. EVERYTHING!

Let me back up. The first sign there was a problem was a bit of blood in his diaper. I’m talking a very small amount but to a new (and probably all) mom, this was scary. We brought him to the doc and she said it could be a dairy allergy, but it was more likely just a bit of blood from “explosive poops.” Sweet, huh? He’s such a boy.

Well, then we just started noticing him getting more and more fussy, acting a bit lethargic, and just not right. Just as we were debating bringing him in, he threw up. This kid had only spit up a very small amount once or twice. So, again, scary mommy moment. We brought him in and the doc talked us through it. There weren’t any glaring signs of what was going on so she told us to watch him closely and notice any changes in his diapers, behavior, eating, etc. The good thing which also made this difficult to discover, is that he was thriving. He’s eating well, gaining weight, and hitting all the milestones.

We left the doctor’s office and went to lunch. At lunch, we looked over at him and milk was coming out his nose. Poor little guy! We immediately brought him back to the doctor. While we were waiting, I changed his diaper. Guess what? More blood.

The doc took me off dairy for three days then said to add it back in and see if we notice any changes. Three days wasn’t long enough for anything to change so I went back off dairy for five days. That’s when we really saw the difference. Still, the only way to make sure that’s what was really going on was to add back in dairy. That lasted just half a day. This time it was obvious.

So, here we are.

This diet change is drastic — not only because of the delicious food items I have to avoid, but because it also changes my food philosophy. My food philosophy is moderation. I eat what I want. Yes, there may be high-fructose corn syrup, flavor additives, fake this, fake that, but, oh well. I just either don’t eat it often or eat it in very small amounts. Just because I post a lot of decadent recipes, doesn’t mean it’s my entire diet. My breakfast and lunches tend to be very light and healthy. Dinner and mostly dessert is where I indulge.

I’m removing a large number of foods I eat on a regular basis. Yes, not all are good for me but some are. I’ll miss my yogurt for a mid-morning snack. Caprese, well, just won’t exist. Pizza, will it even be worth it? Baking? Right now, feels like a distant memory. Cheese board for Dad’s birthday and Father’s Day? Football Sundays? Our upcoming trip to England and the food I won’t be able to eat? I could go on and on.

While I (and Andy) spend a few days being depressed about my limited diet, I’m also going to work on finding a new way to cook. A big challenge will be finding recipes Andy enjoys as well. Of course, he can still eat dairy, but for dinner, besides throwing on a slice of cheese for him, I don’t see myself cooking two different meals. I’ve seen a lot of weird (weird because I don’t use them) ingredients so now is the time to figure them all out. I do know I can search for vegan (though, I can eat eggs) recipes and that should give me a good start.

So here we go. It’s time for us to get all granola-crunchy and start eating tofu, nutritional yeast, almond milk, and soy cheese. I’m trying to look on the bright side. I’ve always joked that if I could take cheese out of my diet, I’d lose 10 pounds. We’ll see. I’ll either lose a bunch of weight from cutting out some high fat sources or gain 10 pounds because I’ll eat a bunch of pre-packaged junk food.

The good news is, there’s a very good chance he could outgrow this. About 75% of babies do. The doc says I shouldn’t try dairy again until he’s 6 months. Ehh. I don’t 100% agree but we’ll see how that goes. I also want to test out how he does with goat or sheep’s milk. From a lot of online research (all expert advice, of course), many kids only have a cow’s milk allergy.

She also said she’ll want us to very slowly introduce new foods to him plus do some allergy testing when he’s a year. Honestly, I think this is a bit extreme but of course, I want to and will do what’s best for him.

Trust me. Anything to see this happy face is completely worth it!

Wish us luck! Do you have any dairy free websites, advice, recipes, etc. for us?

And, whoa! That was a really long post.