We had our exciting visit to the big children’s hospital in Oak.land yesterday. We arrived a little early after getting only a little bit lost. I had sniped at my mom, the navigator, a couple of times, and J and I were snappy with one another. I think we were all a bit nervous.
Upon entering the outpatient building we were positively mesmerized by how gorgeous this place was. In the huge lobby, there was a jungle play area with enormous paper mache palm trees. There were huge butterflies and suns and such hanging from the ceiling. There was natural light everywhere. It was magical-looking, even a bit serene.
Three different lovely people helped us find our way to the gastroenterology area. We soon checked in, and before I could get BG’s birthdate down on the forms, we were called back. I filled out forms while J took him to get his vitals (he’s 18 pounds 3 oz. now and 27 inches tall!), and then we sat in the exam room while I nursed him. For our first visit, we were to see a nurse practitioner who would complete a full physical. I guess this was to determine which doctor he would then need to see. We weren’t really prepared to come back, and I honestly didn’t expect to get much out of this except for a mandate for further appointments and tests, which we had planned to ignore.
I’m so glad I was wrong.
A woman peaked into our room while we were waiting and said, “Oops. Wrong room, ” and left. We thought nothing of it and continued to wait, singing to BG to drown out the crying of a child in the room next door. Soon there was a knock at the door, and in came the same woman, whom I assumed was our nurse practitioner. She was in her mid- fifties with razor-cut blonde hair just past her chin. She was wearing a long, likely-handmade funky dress and she wore a small olive canvas bag across her.
She introduced herself to me: “I’m the doctor. I stole you from my nurse. You must be the mom.”
“One of them. I’m the birth mom. She’s his other mom,” I said, referring to J.
“Oh, okay,” she replied, as though we had told her BG’s eyes are blue. She jotted down a note, and then said emphatically, “This baby is the picture of health. He’s fine. But let’s talk about this. What brings you here today?” We told her about the blood and the mucous, about my partial elimination diet. She wrote down her notes, and said, “We see this a lot, and while it’s possible to do a biopsy on his digestive tract to make sure it’s really an allergy, we don’t need to. There’s also hypoallergenic formula. But in my experience, those options aren’t necessary. Unless you’re interested in those measures, let’s talk about some other things we can do.”
Immediately she dismissed the two options we didn’t want to hear about. We were, of course, delighted to hear that we didn’t need to do any invasive tests, that I wasn’t going to be asked to stop breastfeeding (because I wouldn’t). She did tell us the other ailments this could be, but she also explained why she was ruling those out. She also informed us that there are no allergy tests–no blood tests or skin tests–that can be done at this point for food sensitivities of this nature. With all of this information under our hats, she gave us our options for treatment:
1. I could continue with an elimination diet, but I would have to eliminate all the big potential allergens: dairy, soy, eggs, fish, nuts, and wheat.
2. She could prescribe for me pancreatic enzymes to take when I eat. These are meant to break down the proteins of all of the potential allergens when I consume them so that when they pass into the breastmilk, they’re much easier for BG to digest.
3. Do nothing and wait for him to outgrow it.
She really encouraged us to try the enzymes, noting that the true elimination diet doesn’t leave much for me to eat and that it might still not work. We both loved the idea that I might be able to eat what I want and help our baby get better, so we took her up on the offer for a prescription, and I’m filling it today.
Before she left, she told us she didn’t need to see us again but that we could email with any questions. We may have another visit if this hasn’t resolved within his first year, but otherwise, Baby Genius has been declared a perfectly healthy baby who happens to have bloody stools. We walked out of that office feeling so cared for, so much lighter, so relieved that we can move on and put this behind us.
Today I am having cream in my coffee for the first time in months. It’s so very good. So good.
Tomorrow is our baby’s six month birthday. Half a year this boy has been with us. He will be eating avocado for the first time because avocado is the food of the gods, and what better food than the food of the gods for celebrating one’s half birthday?
P.S. The diapering post is in the works–expect it by early next week.