The Naturopath

After taking Mr. O off dairy … I thought I’d won.  We’d had one night of sleeping through the night and I was ecstatic. I felt like a walking zombie and just one night of him sleeping through the night was enough for me … but after a week he was back on more antibiotics for tonsillitis. I knew that I couldn’t figure this one out alone … I called a naturopath. Our first appointment was in March 2011. In was in awe of her vast knowledge base immediately and I felt very overwhelmed. The moment Mr. O walked in the door she talked about him being Celiac or gluten intolerant. She knew it immediately and I knew that there was going to be a lot of work in the future and a lot of learning on my part. She immediately tested him for IgG allergies. His tests came back saying he was intolerant to gluten, peanuts, dairy, citrus, and eggs. I was shocked and I really didn’t know where to turn. But, she was (and still is) an amazing doctor. She told me to take my time in absorbing all this new information, but to get him off these foods. I took two days to organize my plan of attack and then we knocked off all the foods that he was intolerant to. From that moment on, he was a completely different kid.  He stopped banging his head on the floor profusely, the black circles around his eyes disappeared, he never had another cold, tonsillitis or ear infection, he was sleeping MUCH better and most importantly he was SOOOO happy!   Continue reading “The Naturopath”

#2 …. Here she comes!

Miss C was born in October 2010. She was born full term and I had a normal delivery with her. She was … and still is … a beautiful girl! I found out right away that Miss C is a very determined little girl.  She was born at about 7:30 pm and she stayed wide awake until at least 2 or 3 am. I immediately had issues with breastfeeding, just as I had with Mr. O. I had continued to take my thyroid medication throughout my pregnancy and had my levels monitored closely. I tried so hard to exclusively breastfeed with her, but in the first few days she was losing weight and I just had nothing to give her. I started pumping immediately (just as I had done with Mr. O) to try and increase my supply, but I had to supplement with formula for a few days regardless. I remember sitting with her in my arms the night after she was born … in a chair … all night rocking and singing to her … but still she screamed and screamed, just as Oliver had. Both my husband and I cried that first night at home … thinking why again?! So, after that first night Miss C continued to not sleep, but slept slightly better than Mr. O did. He continued to be dairy free, but was still having some issues. I had gone dairy free as well, and felt better … the terrible stomach pains that I often had before, had seemed to disappear with being dairy free. Still I was tempted by delicious ice cream and yogurt and all the yummy things that I missed which contained dairy. So, after Mr. O was in bed, or out of sight, I would cheat … just a little, but enough that it would affect Miss C. Continue reading “#2 …. Here she comes!”

The Next Chapter …

Within a few weeks Mr. O was “better”. His constant diarrhea had stopped,  he was sleeping better and in fact, he’d had a few nights of only being up in the night a few times, instead of the usual five or six times. Life seemed to be getting better for him. I was dealing with my exhaustion, but still felt like there was something more happening with my own body. I decided it was time that I took a trip to the doctor myself. I suggested to the doctor (who wasn’t my family doctor) to have my thyroid levels checked. You see, hypothyroidism runs in my family and both my mother and my grandmother have it. I knew that I was so exhausted and at this point, I felt like I was unable to cope with even the smallest things. I would find myself crying several times a day and I just felt like my life, even thought it was slightly better with Mr. O being “better”, was still so hard to cope with. So, off I went and this particular doctor told me that I probably had a classic case of the baby blues and not to worry, they would go away in time. He didn’t want to do the simple blood test to check my thyroid levels, but I persevered and insisted that he did. He warned me before giving me the paper that 99% of cases like mine were just the baby blues or postpartum depression and that it was silly to be doing this blood work. I went and had the blood work done and I waited. Within two weeks I was called back to his office and he told me …”well, I almost never get to tell women in  your circumstances that you do have hypothyroidism.” I was overjoyed … I mean I had felt like total garbage for so long, I didn’t even know what it was like to feel “normal” again. I wanted to slap him and say “I told you so”, but yeah … I didn’t. I started on my medication that day and felt better slowly. Our family continued on like this for some time … months. I had started Mr. O on fortified rice milk and felt better about the whole calcium thing. We stayed away from dairy completely. Life just went on for us. And so, after several months, we decided that #2 should come along. I mean, we’d had a few nights of decent sleep … and why not? #2 couldn’t be as difficult or as “colicky” as Mr. O ….. boy, were we wrong!

In the Beginning …

Hi! If you’ve come across my website and have stayed to read this much it’s probably because you are living gluten free … or are seriously contemplating it.  I’ve been living  gluten free for almost 2 and a half years now, but my children have been gluten free for longer. You see, I came across this gluten free lifestyle not just on a whim, but because my kid’s lives (one in particular) were turned upside down by all the foods their bodies were trying desperately to digest, but just couldn’t.

Mr. O was born in September 2008. By all accounts, he was healthy and sort of happy. You see, I had the child that was deemed “colicky” by everyone, including my doctor. He slept no more than 2 hours in a row and the first few nights of his life, he was up almost around the clock. He cried and cried and just when I thought he was going to stop, he cried some more. I was trying my best to nurse him, but along with all the stress of having a child that didn’t ever stop crying or sleep for that matter, I was struggling. I was told by my doctor …”It’s okay. Keep going. You’re doing fine.” I continued on, not wanting to be a failure to anyone, including Mr. O and myself. I watched as other Mom’s around me had an easy time (I say easy, but of course I can only see what I see …) breastfeeding. Little did I know that this very trying start to his life was just the beginning.

Mr. O continued to cry and not sleep more than 2 hours well until he was over 18 months old. I continued to struggle with nursing until I decided to end it at 11 months old. I was going back to work and decided to switch him over to whole milk. At the beginning, all seemed fine. He drank the whole milk back like he had been starving for 11 months. I was devastated, but soon realized that if this was what was best for Mr. O, then so be it. After a few weeks, I noticed a change in him. He had chronic diarrhoea and then he began to get sick … first with a constant runny nose and then swollen tonsils and ear infections. Now, if you know me, which you don’t, you’d know that I’m a pretty smart girl. I’m able to put two and two together without too much trouble. So, off I went to my doctor. When I filled her in on my suspicions, that dairy was making him sick, she looked at me as if I was crazy and as if I had three heads. I made the mistake of suggesting to her that maybe I should try and take him off all dairy products to see what happens. Her response was “Absolutely not! He’s a growing boy and he needs his calcium.” I just sat there and didn’t know what to say other than, “okay”. I left her office feeling like a complete idiot. I felt like a failure and I thought, why can’t this just come easy like it seemed to for so many other moms?  Maybe this whole not sleeping more than 2 hours thing, isn’t so bad. Maybe the constant diarrhea that Mr. O had was okay … maybe even normal?!? I got home and I sat down and I looked at my beautiful boy and thought to myself, it’s not supposed to be this hard to be a mommy. I was exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally. Did my doctor know more about my own child than I did? Was she the one up every two hours at night, trying to soothe and comfort this crying, miserable child? No. I decided that enough was enough. I needed to do something and heck, I’d been with him for 13 months now, I must know something about him, right? So, I cut all dairy products out of his diet. My husband supported my decision (I know I’m a lucky girl to have a supportive husband) and so our journey began…