the return of e

after 2 long, heart-breaking months… my little boy has returned. no, he didn’t go anywhere physically, but he completely stopped eating and became a different baby.

ok, not completely, but this is what his entire day’s food intake consisted of… a small handful (not grownup hands, baby hands) of cereal for breakfast, 2-3 balls of plain rice (about the size of a bottle cap) for lunch, and the same for dinner. for snacks he ate 1 cracker or 1 fruit strip. we offered him tons of stuff throughout the 2 months, but he’d either make a face and run away, try it and spit it out, or just cry. the only thing that kept him going was MILK.

and not that he was a great eater anyway (unlike his big sis who’ll eat anything and eat lots of it), but still, he had an eating routine that just vanished. about 2 months ago, around his 15 month checkup, he stopped eating yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast, soft fruits and veggies for lunch, rice and protein for dinner, and handfuls of yummy snacks in between. at first we said it was bc he was sick. then he was teething. then he was sick again. then teething again. then he wasn’t sick or teeething, but still not eating.

so then i thought (after getting diagnosed with celiac disease a few weeks ago), maybe it wasn’t bc he was just sick or teething. maybe it’s celiac disease. he hadn’t grown or gained much weight at his last checkup. he wasn’t eating but he always had a bloated belly. and his poops were consistently either diarrhea or very soft & runny. it never really firmed up, even after solids. every once in a while, he’d get constipated and then he had little hard pellets. and as an infant, he projectile vomited every week or so and would poop every 5 days. not normal. oh, and he also vomited breast milk, which is why i stopped breast feeding a little before he turned a month. so since birth, he’s had belly problems.

so, after finding out i had celiac disease and that it does run in families, we made an appt with a pediatric gastroenterologist, but it wasn’t for another month. being a mom, i couldn’t stand around and wait while he kept not eating. so i decided to try probiotics with him. they have this great probiotic kefir drink for kids called Lifeway Probugs. i hoped he’d drink it, and he did. at first, bc it was so yummy, he’d drink the entire serving. but after a few days, he slowed down to about 1/2 a serving every day. BUT the result was amazing. he was pooping real, normal poop. no more diarrhea, which only came back on days when he didn’t drink it or only drank very little. and to this day, he’s pooping normal poop. and he started to eat again. maybe his belly was a mess and the probiotics healed it. i don’t know for sure, but i’m a BIG believer in probiotics now and started to drink kefir myself. and it all started with my daughter.

i started giving his big sis chewable probiotics a little after she turned 2 and was taking those chewable multivitamins. she was suffering from these recurring bacterial infections in her private area and backside, where she’d get these nasty, painful pimple-like bumps every 3 to 4 weeks. doctors were baffled, even the immunologist. this went on for several months (5 or more?). no one could help us, and they finally told us to take her to an infectious disease specialist. i wasn’t sure if they’d be able to help, so i took matters into my own hands and figured probiotics might help. since the infections were always where she peed or pooped from, i figured it had to do with her belly. then the interesting part… when we’d forget to give her the probiotics, she immediately got the infections again. even if she missed just 1 or 2 days. after a couple of runs back to the doc for antibiotics and even while we were in VA for vacation, we never forgot again. and she’s been infection-free ever since.

we suspect she may have celiac disease too. she eats well, but a little too well for her age. sometimes we have to tell her to stop bc she eats so much. that was like me. i could eat and eat and eat, and i’m not a big person. i could out-eat lots of guys. and my little c could out-eat many adults. plus the bacterial infections, the eczema (which she’s had since she was a couple of months old), and lately stomach aches. 

i really hope neither of them have celiac disease but it sure would explain a lot. but for now, i’m very happy that e has started to eat again. and both will be eating gluten until their appt, along with their probiotics.

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