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Breastfeeding round 2

Is officially over.

This is something I have mixed feelings about. For one, I’m really happy to be able to eat food again, but it sucks (<— pun?) when you can’t feed your baby the way you would in an ideal world. All in all, I’m thankful that I have the resources and medical help to nourish our baby in a way that will make her feel good and thrive. I’ve learned with kiddos, though, that you can have a plan and expectations of how you’d ideally like things to go, but you also must be flexible and adapt according to baby’s needs and whatever challenges arise. If you’re not flexible, you’ll just end up frustrated 99% of the time. 😉 Those snuggly breastfeeding sessions, even in the middle of the night and I was totally zonked, are something I’ll cherish and already miss. 

So what happened?

Last week, we had an extra tough week with the reflux. So bad that Tom stayed home from a work trip; this is something he hasn’t done in the 10 years I’ve known him. We’ve been to the pediatricians at least once -sometimes as much as 3 times- per week since P was born. At our last appointment, after a night where P cried and vomited nonstop for four hours straight, the doctor gave us a can of Elecare, which is an elemental formula. It’s hypoallergenic, and everything has been broken down to strictly amino acids. The doctor was confident that P’s reflux wasn’t structural and that it was aggravated by an allergy. Her diapers had suggested this for weeks, which is why I started to eliminate foods from my diet. First it was dairy, then eggs, then soy. I also found that she would react after I had nuts, so I started to eliminate those as well, and found myself with basically nothing left to eat. I ate a lot of very bland foods, since spices and certain veggies and fruit can affect reflux babies, too. It was hard, but I figured it was worth it if I could continue to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding

For the first time ever, despite the fact that I only have one working boob, breastfeeding was actually going well. I could feed her from the left, and we’d top her off with the Alimentum formula. She has never really done well with the Alimentum and would have the worst spitup sessions after nights of more formula. This is also when she would choke the most often, which I’ll never get used to. It scares me every.single.time. We switched her meds to Prilosec (she also takes an infant probiotic), which seemed to be helping, but from the diapers, something still wasn’t right.

The pediatrician said that I should give her the Elecare formula and strictly pump for 2 days and see how she reacted. I knew dong this would negatively affect my supply, even though it meant I could finally have a plate of scrambled eggs (my favorite food!). We decided to do it later in the week after the Prilosec had more time to kick in. If Elecare wasn’t the answer, I wanted to be able to breastfeed while we figured out the next move.

The day before we decided to make the switch, P started refusing to breastfeed. She was in so much pain, getting her to eat became a battle. She’d cry in frustration and finally drink a bottle after totally working herself up. So, we took it as a sign and I started pumping only as we switched her to Elecare. The pediatrician said if Elecare was the answer, it would make sense to stop breastfeeding since at this time, we have no idea what she’s allergic to. (They won’t run allergy tests until she’s a year old, but as of now, the ped is saying she’s MSPI. This would explain why the Alimentum bothers her. Even though it’s hypoallergenic, it’s still derived from cow’s dairy, and many MSPI babies will still react to it.) The first night we gave her the Elecare, she went to bed that night without the screaming painful spitup. We were shocked. We’ve had a couple of difficult nights since then, but on the whole, yeah. That’s all I’m saying. (I don’t wait to jinx anything.) We got a prescription, thank goodness, because a can of Elecare is $40 for a 2-3 day supply. 

I’m pumping until I have nothing left, and dropping sessions each few days so I don’t get plugged ducts. Typing that makes me cry, but I’m really happy I was able to give P breastmilk until just under 8 weeks, despite our many challenges. It broke my heart to think about throwing away everything I’m pumping right now, so I’ve been donating it. Knowing that it’s going to women and babies who need the milk makes me feel less sad about having to stop breastfeeding before I was really ready.

Milk

Even though I miss the breastfeeding, I’m still using the bottle feeding sessions as a time to snuggle and slow down. I’m praying that this little lady will keep feeling better and better.

xoxo

Gina

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102 Comments

  1. Jill on December 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I’m so happy to hear things are improving for P. I know this is hard for you, but you are doing, and have done, the best thing for your sweet baby. I love the fact that you are donating your milk. What an amazing way to turn a tough situation into a bright spot for someone else. Happy Holidays to your fam!!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      thank you, jill. hope you’re having a great holiday season, too!

  2. RachelG on December 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    So happy to hear that you’re on the road to recovery with her! You’re doing the best with your situation and I have this feeling (soon to be proven) that that’s what parenthood is all about. <3 <3

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      thank you! i’m so excited for you. soon, right?!

      • RachelG on December 23, 2015 at 2:08 am

        I’ll be 38 weeks on Thursday so we’re in the any day now home stretch. You know you’re getting super close when your doctor and doula appointments are half their normal length and mostly consist of “do you know who/when to call when you think you’re feeling contractions?”. Lol. This will be the longest Christmas break ever. I know you can relate. 🙂

  3. Ali on December 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    You are so brave. Your absolute devotion to your children and their health and happiness pours through your words. You make this world a better place with your deep love. I am sending you, P and the rest of the family all my love and blessings for this time of healing and re-cooperation. <3 <3 <3

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      thank you, friend. i appreciate it so much <3

  4. Amy @ Elephant Eats on December 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    We ended up having to put my son on Elecare as well, and I can totally understand the relief of finally getting to eat real food again!! Enjoy it 🙂 I so wanted to breastfeed for longer than the 3 months I did, but it just wasn’t working- I honestly don’t think it matters at all what you feed your baby as long as they’re getting the right nutrition and are healthy and happy. I also had a freezer full of pumped milk that I was able to donate to a new mom going thru chemo. It definitely made me feel better knowing it wasn’t going to waste and was helping out another mom/baby. So glad P is doing better (fingers crossed!!!).

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      how long did it take before you think the elecare helped? i’m hoping the residual proteins will be out of her system in the next week
      you’re right. donating it makes it seem way less sad
      thank you <3

      • Amy @ Elephant Eats on December 28, 2015 at 6:02 am

        It’s honestly hard to say. His colic seemed to have stopped at almost exactly 3 months old but he was always still so gassy and didn’t nap well. I actually think getting him on the right dose of Pepcid was more what helped….but obviously every baby is different! If she has a true allergy than I think 2-3 wks should help. Hope she’s doing better!

  5. Carly on December 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Poor kiddo.

    I would ask your doctor if her reactions will limit what she can try once she moves to solids, and whether you can do skin testing earlier than one year. My son is allergic to sesame, peanuts, and tree nuts, and we learned that when he had a tiny bite of hummus and within 5 minutes we were on our way to the ER with a screaming swollen baby. He was 9 months old, and we saw an allergist who did blood tests (and he had skin tests when he was just shy of one year old).

    This is a really good resource, even if she outgrows her allergies as she gets older: http://www.foodallergy.org/

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      thank you for the resource and the reminder to ask. it’s definitely a huge concern

  6. Michelle Webster on December 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, mama, I had to do the same foodless diet (seriously…as you know there’s almost nothing but vegan shakeo, sunbutter, and random carbs that are safe to eat) for my little guy as well. I’m so glad you’ve gotten a formula that will help P!!! Seeing the little ones in pain is the worst 🙁

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      it is the worst! sorry to hear you went through it, too

  7. Kristen on December 22, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I can only imagine the extra exhaustion/anxiety/frustration you guys have been dealing with. It is the absolute worst feeling in the world to see your child in pain and discomfort and not really know how to make it better. I’m glad your sweet girl is finding some relief now, it seems. I hope it continues to get better and one day very soon this whole situation will be just a memory. <3

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      oh friend. it’s been a tough go over here.
      thank you- i can’t wait for that day <3
      xoxo

  8. Kristin on December 22, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    You and the other moms on here that donated or are donating your breast milk, BRAVO. Heroes do every day things and I commend you and all the ladies that have done this. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      thank you, kristin <3 that warmed my heart

  9. meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles on December 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I am glad she is starting to feel better. It’s so hard when they aren’t ok and even harder when we are nursing and need to try to figure out how to adjust our milk supply! Ugh, I know isn’t how you wanted it but you are doing everything you can for your baby and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s so challenging to figure out the exact food that could possibly be irritating the nursing babies, I remember eliminating and being afraid of literally everything I ate! For years after the fact, I was still picking cabbage out of my salads, it became a habit.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      yes! even now, i’m like “i can’t have tomato. oh wait, yeah i can.”

  10. Julia on December 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    It’s so hard when feeding your baby has to be different than your expectations and plans. I have been exclusively pumping for my nearly 10 month old since the day she was born, since she is not allowed to feed orally due to aspiration risk. I NEVER intended to pump as my firstborn was an avid nurser and bottle-refuser. All that matters is that our babies are getting full tummies and are growing and happy. So glad things seem to be getting better with P!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      it’s interesting how things work out that way. i told myself i wouldn’t pump this time, because i exclusively pumped with liv for almost 6 months and hated the pump, and here i am doing it again, but for a totally different reason.
      thank you <3

  11. Erin on December 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I’m so sorry for the struggles you have experienced with your baby girl. Stay strong momma! Glad she is finding some relief. Sending hugs for your heart.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      thank you, erin <3

  12. Heather J on December 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Good for you for knowing when to stop. I wanted to breastfeed so badly but was never able to produce enough. We tried at all but eventually my mental health was affected, causing anxiety, insomnia and affected my bonding with baby. I felt like a total failure… But! Everything slowly got so much better when we switched to formula. Hanging on to be when it doesn’t work for both mom and baby just leads to stress. Best of luck in this new phase!

    • Heather J on December 22, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      *Hanging on to BF, that is 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      happy to hear you made the best choice for you, even though it’s so hard at the time. thank you for the luck- i need it 🙂

      • Heather J on December 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        At the time, our doula recommended writing a letter to our baby as a way to mourn the loss of breastfeeding. It really helped me to do so.

        (I also attended a post partum depression support group at the time and took HUGE comfort in the fact that most of those moms couldn’t make breastfeeding work either. And that is ok!)

        I didn’t believe it at the time but as long as baby and mom are happy, healthy and fed, everything is good.

  13. Cara on December 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    You should be SO proud of nursing her for this long with all of your difficulties! Nursing can be so tough because of so many different reasons. I work with moms trying to breastfeed and I always say that you need to do what is best for your own mental health. It makes me sad to think of all the tears you’ve had on this path. I will be praying that sweet girl starts feeling better!!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      thank you, cara <3

  14. Carrie W on December 22, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    So glad things are improving for her. You’ve all been in my thoughts.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      thank you, carrie- we appreciate it

  15. Lorna on December 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Congratulations on being able to bf P for so long, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the new formula goes well and allows her to continue to thrive. It’s so hard to watch our little ones struggle (my son Rhys is 5 weeks), but you are an amazing mama and I’m sure she’ll do great.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      thank you! you’re right- there’s nothing worse than seeing your baby have a hard time and not be able to fix it. congrats to you on your baby <3

  16. Lisa G on December 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Even though you know you’re doing the best thing for your situation, it’s still hard and emotional to stop breastfeeding!! When I decided to stop breastfeeding my baby I was an emotional mess, but it just was not working for us. Hugs and love until you get through it! And way to go donating the extra breast milk!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      thank you <3

  17. Ali G on December 22, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    My babies never reacted badly to breast feeding – thank goodness – but they both had to stop between 4 and 5 months because they weren’t getting enough to eat. My supply couldn’t keep up once we started suplementing so that was then end for us. I was heartbroken with my first and slightly less so, but not much, with my second. In the end, I know it was the best decision for my babies but it still hurt. 9 and 7 years later I don’t think it has scarred either of them! It feels like a lifetime ago.
    Xoxo

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      i’m ready for this part to be a memory, for sure.
      happy to hear you made the best decision for you, but you’re so right about it being painful while you’re going through it.
      xoxo

  18. Colette M. on December 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    If it helps… we used donated breast milk for my 3rd baby. I never produced much milk with my first 2 babies, and when my 3rd was born 3 mo. early, my body wasn’t ready to produce any milk. We fully believe in the benefits of breastmilk, so after the hospital stopped giving her donated breastmilk, my husband and I purchased the milk directly from a milk bank and used that for the remainder of the time she was still in the NICU. Best money we ever spent. Just wanted to share that the breastmilk you’re donating is so appreciated for those of us that couldn’t do it on our own. Thank you!!!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      <3

  19. Emily O'Shea on December 22, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    You are doing the best you can for your baby. You are an awesome mom! I was never breastfed (my mom was a single mom in the 70s and she had to work). I have a masters degree in social work and I think I am pretty darn smart and healthy. You do what’s best for your child in the moment and it doesn’t always mean breastfeeding. I hope she is feeling 100 percent better soon!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      you’re totally right <3 thank you- i hope so, too!
      xoxo

  20. Kate on December 22, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Oh Gina! My heart breaks for your struggles and little P’s pain. I totally understand your sadness but I’m so glad you found something that might help her. You are a wonderful mother and your girls are so lucky to have you.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      thank you- i really appreciate the kind words.
      xoxo

  21. Cassie on December 22, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Good luck, mama. I hope things start to turn around for you, because, my goodness, it sounds like she’s had a hard time of it.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      thank you, i hope so <3 ready for 2016 haha

  22. Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood on December 22, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    My son had MSPI that we identified pretty early (2 weeks) after a lot of crying/spit up/screaming and bloody diapers. Thankfully we saw a little improvement pretty soon after taking out soy and dairy and then once it was completely out of my system (typically 4-6 weeks) he was fine, minus some colic that ended at 3 months-ish. I’m very blessed that we were able to identify it early AND that we were able to just omit it form my diet to end it.
    On the bright side, the vast majority (my doctor told us 99%, but I’m not sure how accurate that is..) of children outgrown MSPI by 12 months if they aren’t continually exposed to it in the first year. Now my 18 month old drinks whole milk smoothies daily with no problem.

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      that makes me hopeful. i really, really hope she outgrows it. i’m scared she’s going to be allergic to everything when we introduce solids, so fingers crossed

  23. Erin M. on December 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    So glad things are looking up! I’m totally impressed that you were able to stick with breastfeeding for so long! Good luck!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      thank you, friend <3

  24. Allison on December 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Going through a similar situation with my little one, currently off dairy and soy. Looking into infant probiotic and wondering what you’ve been using.

    Good luck to you and the little one, hope things continue to improve!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      we give her the klaire labs infant probiotic powder. you can order it online, but i would recommend getting it at whole foods or a health food store (in the cold probiotic section) since it has to be refrigerated
      sorry to hear you’re going through it too, and hope it turns around soon

  25. Fiona on December 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. I struggled with breastfeeding ( my little guy has tongue tie -which was fixed but we were doomed from the beginning) and now I exclusively pump. And as hard as it was to come to the decision to give up breastfeeding -we made it 6 weeks, I knew it had to happen as I wasn’t enjoying motherhood and the stress and anxiety was too much. Know you doing what is best for P and you’re an amazing mama!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      p had tongue tie, too. the peds in the hospital noted it in her chart but never told me! i didn’t really find out about it until i saw a lactation consultant when she was over a week old.
      happy to hear you made the best choice. when it’s affecting mental health, it’s definitely worth a change. sending lots of love to you <3

  26. Jen on December 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I’m so glad things are going better for you guys!

    I hate to bombard you with more advice, but I have to speak up. My son has FPIES. Just keep it in mind once you start solids. It’s not a very common illness (and most kiddos outgrow it), but some of P’s symptoms point to that. I truly hope that’s not the case, though!

    • Jen on December 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm
    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      hey girl,
      how did you determine that he had it? i checked out the link you sent and they said it doesn’t show up on standard allergy tests. you’re right though; a lot of the symptoms are in line with the description (minus the dehydration, thank goodness)

      • Jen on December 23, 2015 at 6:55 am

        He didn’t react to breast milk, so it wasn’t until we introduced solids that he started vomiting to the point where he’d pass out. Our pediatrician referred us to an allergist who thankfully had experience with FPIES. He was tested for traditional food allergies, and those came back negative. Eggs was one of his suspected trigger foods, so she suggested feeding it to him again. We were in the ER with an unconscious baby a few hours later so that’s when she diagnosed FPIES. Unfortunately, it’s one of the diagnoses you can only get once other things have been ruled out. And a lot of allergists aren’t too familiar with it, so it often gets misdiagnosed. Most kiddos outgrow it by age 3 or 4 though!

  27. Roselie on December 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Oh my stars I ‘m so happy P’s feeling better! Fingers crossed she ‘ll be much better soon! 🙂 And it’s so nice of you to donate milk. Keep it up Gina! It’s all going to be better!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      thank you- i’m ready for that to happen <3
      xoxo

  28. Kacie on December 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Can’t imagine what you’ve been going through. Poor, sweet baby girl. I’m glad you’ve figured out something that makes her feel better, but I know how difficult it is to stop breastfeeding. Remember that you are doing what’s best for your baby and she is so lucky to have a mom who works SO hard to make her baby feel better!! Thank you for sharing with us. It was so hard for me when I had to stop bfing, so I really feel for you. Sending prayers that things continue in the right direction <3

  29. Katie @ Live Half Full on December 22, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    This all sounds SO scary and frustrating, but you’re doing the right thing Mama!

    I weaned off breastfeeding this past week and I’m officially done at 8 weeks as well. I did my best and that’s all that matters, even though it did break my heart a little bit.

  30. Tiffany on December 22, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    So glad P is feeling better. My now 2 year old tested positive to numerous foods at 5 1/2 months through skin and blood test (it can be done before 1) after I suspected food allergies. We supplemented with Neocate and he did very well on that. It’s so frustrating and hopefully she starts feeling better soon :).

  31. Courtney on December 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    My now 3.5 year old was an MSPI baby too. The screaming…ohhhh gosh the non stop screaming… He was also put on reflux meds and the intolerance wasn’t discovered til he was about 3 months old when the pediatrician finally tested his poop for microscopic blood. Test turned positive the fastest she had ever seen. He was immediately taken off the hypoallergenic formula and switched to Elecare. Ultimately we ended up on Neocate (same idea as Elecare, just a different company…..no prescription for us though. It wasn’t covered by our insurance ). It does take a couple weeks for their systems to heal so even if Elecare is the answer don’t be surprised or disheartened by those rough patches along the way!! By about age 1.5 my son could tolerate dairy and soy. Now one of his favorite foods is Mac and cheese!!! Sending good thoughts your way. Those early months with my little man were so incredibly difficult and not at all the calm, serene, peaceful, cuddly newborn experience I had expected.

  32. Emily on December 23, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Does tricare pay for elecare? My son was on it a few years ago and we couldn’t get the rx filled. Luckily we had a great gi doctor and ped who loaded us up with samples but we still paid for a ton of it ourselves 🙁 my son tested positive for eggs, nuts, red meat and several other foods at 1 and had an obvious dairy issue but he has since had all over those foods (he is 4 1/2 now) with no reactions! Babies change a lot as they grow so hopefully her allergies are mild.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      they do if it’s the baby’s only source of nutrition. since i had to stop breastfeeding, they will cover it but the ped has to fill out a ton of paperwork.
      so happy to hear that he outgrew the allergies! i hope p does the same. fingers crossed

  33. Irene on December 23, 2015 at 6:02 am

    My daughter was also a very large baby – over 10 pounds at birth, and had very similar issues. I always wondered if being such a big baby contributed to the terrible reflux. She always drank a ton of milk no matter how close together I would space her feedings.The only thing that ever helped really resolved the choking for her was to be quite inclined at night. I swear that rock and play saved our sanity.

    My daughter didn’t develop the traditional diaper symptoms for milk protein sensitivity until a bit later after I’d been breast-feeding for quite a while. She continued to have problems even after I completely cut out dairy and soy and we could never figure out what else she was allergic to. I wonder now if her reflux would have been better if we switched her on to something else earlier. she did well on the Alimentum which was a huge relief for us. It really helped me to know that the doctor thought it was time for us to give up breastfeeding when I was having a hard time with the decision. Have you taken p to a pediatric gastroenterologist? If switching formulas does the trick it might not be necessary but our pediatrician felt it was best for us to see a specialist to discuss our options since our daughter’s issues were so severe.

    We have been pleasantly surprised how well introducing solids has gone so far though we have just now (at a little after a year) tried testing out cheese VERY gradually! hopefully it will be the same for you guys.

  34. Liz on December 23, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Oh gina what a hard road to come down. Poor p too. I hope this new formula is your answer. Im sorry u had to stop bfing so soon but it sounds like u are doing whats best even though its prob a hard thing to accept. Long run should be so much better tho i hope! Hang in there xo.

  35. Kelsey on December 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    My son had similar problems 2 years ago when I was breastfeeding him: reflux, rashes, always crying and spitting up (he also had tongue-tie which we had clipped in the first month). They encouraged me to eliminate foods, too, assuming he had an allergy. Which is so ridiculously hard to do, so I definitely sympathize with you there! Finally at 9 months, we took him to a pediatric allergist and she ran blood work and a skin prick test to determine an allergy. Turns out my son has a peanut and egg allergy. I had 100s of ounces of milk pumped and stored. Thankfully, my neighbor mentioned that her milk had run out and I asked if she wanted all my stored milk. She graciously took it! My son is now 2.5 and has out-grown the egg allergy but still has the peanut allergy. Definitely a scary thing, but praying your family gets some relief and answers soon! I would definitely get a second opinion on allergy testing, it can be done before 1!

  36. LJ on December 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I am sorry things did not turn out anywhere close to what you were hoping for (re breastfeeding). But then again, a healthy baby is the ultimate goal and I am happy things are improving with miss P. It has been scary just reading about it, I can’t even imagine how you have felt. And yet you have been so positive and I have always felt happy when my reader shows a new post from you. You are such an amazing person.

  37. Ali on December 23, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your breastfeeding and reflux story! I have a 4 month old who has reflux and has eaten supplemental formula since day 3 due to my milk production being low. It’s kind of stunning how resistant my family has been to our use of supplements and Zantac. Not that it’s up to them, but having family support would be nice. It’s been so helpful to read about your experiences because you are honest and seem so empowered as a parent to do what you believe is right for your children. It’s helpful to know I am not alone in this! Thank you so much for sharing, I wanted to let you know how helpful it is!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      you are NOT alone! i’m sending lots of love to you. reflux is terrible. i hope your baby is feeling better soon. kudos to you for being his advocate and taking the steps to help him <3

  38. Kelli @ hungry hobby on December 23, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Beautiful and brave story thank you for sharing!

  39. Angel on December 23, 2015 at 11:19 am

    We had similar struggles with reflux and breastfeeding. Reflux sucks!! Hang in there it will get better!!

  40. Lara on December 23, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Before I became a mom I had no idea how emotional and personal breastfeeding would be, particularly when there are issues. My little man also had very severe reflux and it took months to resolve. The memory of trying to feed a baby who is so hungry but also in so much pain is still very intense for me. I am so glad that you have a great medical team on your side. My baby is a silent refluxer (he doesn’t spit up all the way so it just sits in his esophagus and burns) and he was 4 months old before we could figure out what was wrong and get him properly diagnosed. The first pediatrician we saw completely blew us off as overly concerned first-time parents and told us everything was normal and that he was just a fussy baby. At first, we thought she was right and then he just kept getting worse so we had to find another doc. Then it took another 3 months for him to be adequately treated (we had to switch meds a number of times) and for his esophagus to heal. All that to say, I’m so glad you have docs who are addressing her needs early.

    I really feel for you because I remember the intense desperation of trying to breastfeed him when he was really sick. He would eat for a few minutes and then unlatch and just scream. It was so distressing and I felt so helpless. I did a total elimination diet where I took out basically everything (I was eating sweet potatoes/squash and turkey 3x a day) and then added back all the possible allergens slowly. It was a tough process and it turns out his only problem is eggs and even eliminating eggs didn’t really resolve the reflux. I felt like I had done all of that for very little payoff. We just spent months doing anything and everything we could think of to keep us all going.

    I am so glad you have found the right treatment for Penelope. I know the feeling of trying something and finally seeing the relief on your child’s face. I am misty-eyed just thinking about it. But now! Now he is doing great! He is happy and healthy and he sleeps and eats comfortably! It’s amazing. It’s funny to me now, but I really struggled with the idea of putting him on medication. I looked up alternative methods for treating GERD and found all these forum comments that told me not to give him Zantac/Prilosec and that it was terrible for him and that I was hurting my baby etc. etc. I felt so guilty and conflicted. Of course, now that he is well I am so so glad that we did what we needed to do. Maybe some babies would be fine with a different solution but we are doing what is right for him and his happiness and comfort is all I need to reassure me of that. I’m sure you are doing what is right for P as well. I can only imagine how hard it must be to stop breastfeeding now, but I hope that her sweet smiles will reassure you that you are doing the right thing. You and Tom know more than anyone what is right for your baby.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      hi lara,
      thank you so much for the comment. i’m sorry to hear that you’ve been through it so, but happy that you’re on the other side! you’re totally right about the meds. i was on the fence about it while i was googling and read similar things, but i knew we had to try anything to make it better. thankfully, the prilosec seems to be doing the trick. (zantac didn’t work for very long.)
      sending lots of love to you and thank you for the hope! i can’t wait until p really starts to feel better
      xoxo

  41. Chrissy on December 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Happy Holidays, my dear! I have been meaning to respond to your blogs about P’s reflux for quite some time, and after reading this post which hit all too close to home I decided that I truly must write you. My own thirteen month old P, (my daughter Parker), struggled with reflux and a mysterious allergy since birth as well and we went down an extremely similar journey-one that left me exhausted, eating next to nothing, and desperate to do anything to help my little one be the sweet baby I know she was meant to be. We too had to put her on medication, switch her to Prilosec (it truly did end up helping), eliminate nearly all foods, place her on a hypoallergenic formula (we were fortunate that nutramigen worked but we almost were to the Elecare route as well), visit the doctor and GI far too often, put her on a probiotic, and hope she would get better. While I am not writing you to simply wallow in our misery or that which I can only imagine you are going through, I am more reaching out to applaud all that you are doing for your whole family. First and foremost, the sacrifices that you have made to your own diet to help your little one are astounding, and truly helped her continue to thrive! Speaking from experience, you saved your daughter from a scary route of extreme food refusal and fear of eating, something that so many of reflux babies with allergies end up having. That in and of itself is a miracle. On top of that, you give her your all every.single.day. And you give even more to the rest of your family, leaving very little for yourself. This is not easy, but particularly challenging when your baby isn’t comfortable and can’t really show you that the effort you are putting in is worth it. I promise you it is and I also promise you it gets better. I could not believe those who said my daughter would outgrow her reflux issues and it one day would be a distant memory, for when you are in the muck it seems like it will last forever, but I am here to say she will outgrow this and you will feel like a stronger, more bonded, and better version of yourself. My daughter has been off her medicine since about eight months and can even have dairy in moderation now, something I NEVER thought would happen. She also can nap and sleep and eat happily, leaving us all in a much better place. Did her progress move at the pace I wanted? No. Did it inch along to get better? Yes. But the point is that it does.

    Okay. End mommy ramble and rant. Just know you are not alone, you are more than enough, and soon you will see that what you are doing is so much more than enough to make P feel better.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      hi chrissy,
      thank you so much for the amazing comment. it made me cry big fat tears because you totally get it. it is SO hard when you’re in the thick of it, especially when you feel like you’re doing everything and it still isn’t enough because your baby is still in pain. it gives me a lot of hope and some energy to keep trudging along when people say it gets better. i’m definitely ready for it to be a memory, but so thankful to friends like you who have shared your stories, tips and encouragement. i appreciate it so so much <3 lots of love to you and your family.
      xoxo

  42. Laura @Fit Mama Love on December 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Hugs, mama. I hope this solves P’s reflux and she can be more comfortable now. I know it’s not easy even though you know it’s what’s best for her. Have a merry Christmas as a family of four!

  43. Catie Stallings on December 24, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Just came across your website and I wish I had found it earlier. My daughter ( now 10.5 months) was on elecare from months 2-7 because of what they thought was FPIES. I too wanted to breastfeed ( but because she was born prematurely and in the hospital for a little while that was not possible but wanted to at least pump) and the doctors told me that even if I went to eating chicken and apples, she most likely would have still had the reactions she did. She has now been able to tolerate Alimentum for almost 2 months now and can have dairy. I felt so alone because no one I knew had a baby with such severe food allergies and it was hard. You are very lucky to have gotten a prescription, our insurance would not cover it at all ( our pediatrician was amazing during this time and got us some as often as they could) and this is actually a current problem in the United States right now with babies that do have FPIES. I look forward to continue following your website for health tips. Thank you!!!

  44. Marci on December 24, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Hooray and don’t look back! I commented before that we are on neocate formula after basically the same symptoms from dairy and soy issues. Sounds like the formulas are similar. Ours is an amino acid one too that I have to order from a distributor. I can help you find it if necessary. It’s covered by insurance. she will be just fine! Move ahead and don’t look back! Graham is almost 9 months and a happy eater. We will likely introduce dairy soon and whole milk at 1. Reflux is totally gone and we are on no meds. She’ll be fine!

  45. Shaina on December 24, 2015 at 5:18 am

    This makes me sad and oh so happy for you at the same time. I don’t know how you feel, but I can imagine not being able to feed my baby the way I’d like to. I know the stress you’ve been under though and SOMETHING had to give. I’m SO HAPPY Miss P is feeling better. Hopefully you can sleep now. ??

  46. Kim on December 24, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Poor baby and mama. I’m glad to hear things are getting better.

  47. Rose on December 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I’m saddened to read about how severe your baby’s reflux is. Your family has been through the wringer, and I hope this formula gives her relief. You are so strong!!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      thank you, rose <3

  48. Ashley gish on December 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    That is tough stuff mama! Hang in there. So glad baby P is starting to feel better

  49. Allison on December 27, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Gina,

    I’m a long time reader who rarely comments but just wanted to let you know that I am just so impressed with your strength and postitivity with such a difficult situation. You are an amazing mama!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      thank you, allison. i really appreciate <3

  50. Nicole on December 29, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Sorry for the late comment. My son had MSPI and had to be on a medical food formula. I would swing by the pediatric gastro’s office and tgey gave us free samples every few weeks to offset the costs.
    At 18 mos he could tolerate soy milk and 30 mos he did finw with dairy.
    Now, he’s 8 and allergy free!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      that is a great tip. our office has given us 5 cans already since insurance hasn’t gone through yet, and it’s been awesome. so happy to hear that he’s allergy free now! gives me hope 🙂

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