Saturday, July 9, 2011

Until Further Notice...

I'm continuing with the hypoallergenic diet AND I'm off dairy, soy, gluten, eggs and nuts until I stop nursing Sebby. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this reality, wondering how I will be able to eat outside our home without worrying about accidentally ingesting one of the items on our forbidden list and having Sebby get sick as a result.

We saw the Naturopath this week and I was hoping she would give me a nice food re-introduction schedule that I could begin this weekend and that I'd be back to eating a bit more like myself again in no time. Sadly, that was wishful thinking. She told me that it would be best to continue the hypoallergenic diet without re-introducing anything until Sebby's system was better cleared out.

I'll have to admit, I was disappointed. Avoiding the foods that he is allergic to me is difficult enough but this hypoallergenic diet makes it almost impossible to eat out because it is so restrictive. It takes some of the the fun out of socializing and going out when you have to worry so much about every ingredient you are ingesting.

However, I know I am not the first person to follow such a restrictive diet and it isn't all bad news.

Most importantly, this diet is helping Sebby to continue to receive the benefits beings of being breastfed without being exposed the foods he is allergic to. His health is a top priority for me.

 Just look at this adorable smile!

Another benefit is that I am eating more healthy than ever before in my life. Plus, I am developing a more sensitive palate and am discovering new foods! Last week, we had a wonderful lunch with a friend at a vegan restaurant in Toronto. I ordered a delicious salad made with quinoa, lentils, beans and beets. I didn't think I liked beets but turns out they were quite tasty.

I'm looking forward to settling in to our flat in Scotland so I can begin experimenting with some baking and cooking. (Thus far I've had some pretty dismal failures, like this morning's "fluffy" coconut pancakes that were raw in the middle and flat!). I am also hoping to discover a great gluten free or vegan place for our family to enjoy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canada Day Family Fun

We had a wonderful time taking pictures on Canada Day and I wanted to share a few of my favourites here.

At the multicultural Canada Day celebration in Peterborough. Sebby enjoyed dancing to the El Salvadorian & Bollywood music.

Cooling off with Daddy in the backyard kiddie pool.

Looking at the flowers (& Momma) in Ah Mah & Yea Yea's garden.

Playing on the grass with Daddy & Momma.

Lounging on the grass with Momma.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New & Improved

Just look at this face!

It's such a relief to see the eczema on Sebby's face cleared up for the first time in weeks!

We tried to avoid the traditional medical approach (harsh creams with scary possible side effects) but after about 4 weeks of almost constant eczema flare ups, we re-considered. He was especially itchy in the evenings and waking up so frequently to scratch his red, hot, itchy face that I had to sleep beside his tent to hold him down.

We had tried several other things to keep him from scratching but none of them worked. Sock mittens were useless because no sooner as I pull them on, he'd be taking them off with his other hand or mouth. His cocoon wasn't working anymore because he is strong enough to stretch the neck and get his hands out the top. Swaddling wasn't an option because its summer and too much heat aggravates his eczema.

We providentially got an appointment with an allergenist who was booking for November because his daughter was the walk in doctor we saw for a referral. She called in a favour for us and we had an appointment booked within a few days.

We saw him on Monday and he tested Sebby for 11 things and he reacted to peanuts (by far the strongest reaction, a welt appearing almost immediately after the prick), egg whites, wheat and soybeans.

Since Sebby is so young, it is difficult to know if he is truly allergic to these things but the doctor advised me to avoid them if possible. (I didn't tell him that I've been avoiding all of those things and more since beginning a hypoallergenic diet after seeing a naturopath last month). I was thankful to have some hints as to what Sebby may be allergic to but disappointed at the same time. It will be a challenging road ahead with sensitivities to dairy, wheat, eggs and soy.

The doctor also prescribed a protopic .03% cream for Sebby's face and betaderm .1% for his body. He advised us to use the creams sparingly and only until the eczema cleared up then to continue moisturizing like crazy. We felt nervous about using them but were reassured when we learned that the protopic is less harsh than a steroid based cream and will not thin the skin on his face. We decided to give them a try, using them only once a day after a 20 minute swim or soak in the bath.

Amazingly, the skin on his face cleared up almost completely.

No more itch or scratching, a comfortable baby at night and a momma who can sleep in her own bed again!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Little Mover!

We could tell for awhile that Sebby was getting eager to be mobile! He started to really enjoy tummy time and every time we put him on the floor, he would try to move himself towards any interesting thing in his line of vision: toys, magazines, bottles, plastic bags, basically anything and everything.

It has been neat watching him try whatever maneuvers necessary to help him reach his goal. His attempts usually involve lots of arm flapping, leg kicking (like swimming), twisting, push ups and planks. Sometimes he even puts his forehead into the floor to help push himself forward.

Over the past week, he's been working on coordinating his knees and feet so that they line up under his body. Then on Wednesday evening he finally did it! I set him down on the floor in his room with a toy slightly out of reach then turned to tidy up. When I looked back, he was pushing himself up on to both of his knees and inching his way forward to grab his toy! So cool to see him succeed at something he's been working so hard to learn. He still finds it exhausting but we can tell that he is very determined so it likely won't be long until he really masters this skill
It's amazing to think that over the past few weeks he progressed from being able to roll himself around to pushing himself in circles, to moving backwards and now crawling forwards. Look out world, Sebby is on the move!