The Next Chapter …

Within a few weeks Oliver 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 Oliver. 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 Oliver 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 Oliver 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 Oliver ….. 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.

Oliver 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 Oliver 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 Oliver’s life was just the beginning.

Oliver 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 Oliver, 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 Oliver 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 Oliver 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 Oliver 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…