Maiya’s food allergies are starting to become a bit overwhelming. First we started with milk, then soy, then egg, then spicy food, and each time I eliminated something from my diet she seemed to be getting better. As soon as I was confident that she was recovering and soon I would see some normal looking baby poop then surprise-more blood. It has been nine weeks now and I still haven’t figured out exactly what foods bother her. Last week she started having some bad diapers and I figured out that tree nuts are a problem. As soon as I thought we were in the clear, on Friday her diapers were bad again. It took me awhile to figure this one out, because the only thing left on the top 8 highly allergic  foods was wheat and I have been eating that all along and it hasn’t bothered her. After some online searching and going through my food and her poop journals (yes I keep poop journals!) I finally figured out that the culprit was corn. Now that there are so many things affecting Maiya we are getting into the realm of serious food allergies and not some minor inconvenience that she will outgrow. Luckily Maiya’s only symptoms so far have been bloody, mucousy nasty colored poop and sometimes puking. She otherwise is growing at a healthy rate and is a super happy baby. Since she is so happy, it makes me think that I just have to figure out that bad foods and avoid them and everything will be fine. On the other hand, blood in poop is a serious sign and the fact that we keep finding one problem food after another could be a sign that she has serious, multiple food allergies that may affect her long-term.

So here is where most of you are probably thinking “What the hell, Karyn, quit being so stubborn and give that kid some hypo-allergenic formula and be done with it!” Yeah, about that…well for starters I have been told that most hypo-allergenic has corn in it so if corn is bothering her then there goes that idea. Another reason is that if I put her on formula now, not knowing exactly what she is allergic to then we will have to go through this all again in a few months when she starts solid food and risk more severe allergic reactions. Reason number three is that as far as I understand, a food allergy is a result of a weakened immune system and the best way to strengthen Maiya’s immune system is to give her breastmilk.

So just don’t eat corn right? Well as much as a label reading freak I am, it has still been tough to eliminate any food completely. I thought I had gotten all milk out of my diet and recently I realized that there was milk in the Burts Bees Baby lotion I was using on Maiya. I thought I had gotten all soy out and then I realized there was soy in my prenatal vitamin. I stopped using my lotion because it had shea nut butter in it, and when I thought-well at least I can have toasted marshmallows-turns out the first ingredient in marshmallows is corn syrup! All of these things I have realized in the past couple of weeks, so I am hoping that I have finally gotten my diet down to a science and that in a couple more weeks everything will be cleared out of her system and she will start improving.

This has experience has really been testing my strength. I am down to eating oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a turkey pita sandwich for lunch and chicken or salads for dinner. It is all still good food, so I am not doing too bad and eating like this is melting the pregnancy weight off. I think the hardest thing is being around food I can’t have and not being able to even eat a crumb of it. I know most parents say they would do anything to protect and help their kids, but between natural childbirth and this whole situation I am realizing how achingly true it is.  I know now that I would really do ANYTHING for them. I am so lucky that food allergies are the worst of our problems and that we have two happy and healthy kids and I will do whatever it takes to give them the best life possible.