When Kai entered our lives five weeks early, we were not prepared to say the least. All of a sudden, and way too early, we had our beautiful baby boy in our arms, but were grateful that he was so healthy.
While we were in hospital, I wondered whether Kai was showing signs of silent reflux. I mentioned it to our paediatrician, but I tried to pretend I didn’t recognise any of the symptoms of silent reflux. Over the next couple of weeks, the constant screaming, gulping, wheezing and desire to be upright couldn’t be ignored, and we knew something wasn’t right. It was confirmed that Kai did have silent reflux, and he was put onto medication. At the time our paediatrician questioned whether he might also have cows’ milk allergy, but he didn’t have any obvious symptoms, and so we assumed not. We were waiting for the magical day to come where he suddenly had no reflux symptoms and felt better. He improved slightly, but not to the extent we were hoping for. His tummy seemed pretty firm and he always seems to have gut problems. When Kai was about 8 weeks old, we thought something was really wrong. He screamed for about 8 hours on and off, and seemed like he was in pain. It was one of the hardest days of parenthood so far. We knew something was not right and it wasn’t just his reflux.
We had a brilliant nurse come to see us at home to help try and settle Kai, and she suggested some of his patterns could indicate cows’ milk allergy. I pondered the suggestion, but thought we didn’t have any obvious symptoms so it couldn’t possibly be that.
Then the day came that Kai started to show mucous in his stool. I was devastated. I considered this an obvious symptom! I started taking photos at nappy times – gross I know – and called our paediatrician. Sure enough – we needed to go onto a dairy and soy free diet. We trialed a formula with soy and no dairy, and Kai refused to drink some of his bottles. He then started to refuse his bottles altogether and the screaming just kept coming, as he was hungry as well as in pain. The mucous continued, so we then trialed an amino acid formula.
To my amazement he took to the first bottle instantly, and 7 months on, we haven’t looked back. He loves it. The mucous disappeared, and Kai’s tummy, for the first time in a long time, was soft. The 4am grunting that he would do also stopped, as did the wheezing. We were amazed. Our little man started to become a lot happier, and we were seeing a different side to parenthood.
Due to the severity of Kai’s reflux, we were asked to introduce solids early. I finally got the courage at about 5 months to start him on some pear. Initially it wasn’t difficult to avoid soy and dairy, as he was having fruit and vegetable purees. However as he has got older, and more foods have been introduced, we are finding it harder to avoid. We haven’t been able to follow the ‘suggested’ guidelines of weaning, and his cousin who is 6 days younger has been able to have all sorts of food that Kai hasn’t yet had.
Product Label reading has become crucial when I do the shopping. Even simple and easy things such as bread, rusks, yoghurts and biscuits, we’ve had to steer clear of. It has meant being on the hunt for dairy and soy alternatives, which are sometimes available, but it makes things a bit harder. We also make pretty much all of Kai’s food as we know what has gone into it.
We will challenge Kai just after his first birthday on Soy and Dairy, and I have everything crossed that he will tolerate them. So far he hasn’t shown any signs of other food intolerances or allergies, which is such a relief.
He sadly wont get to enjoy a ‘normal’ cake on his first birthday with his little friends and cousin but we might just make sure everyone is eating a dairy and soy free cake for Kai’s big day!
It has definitely been a hard journey, but once it was identified what medications and formula we needed for Kai, our lives, but most importantly Kai’s life really changed. We now have a very happy, healthy and uber cheeky little man who is the light of our lives.
We were amazed. Our little man started to become a lot happier, and we were seeing a different side to parenthood
If you have concerns about your baby’s symptoms or you suspect your child may have an allergy, you should always seek medical advice from your doctor.