Wheat allergies and working

Friday, July 23, 2010

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to http://www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about nursing in special circumstances. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I'm not sure that there is a woman out there who has breastfed who hasn't had "special circumstances." My special circumstances are not at all unusual. My baby had a wheat allergy and then, I went to work full time.

The wheat allergy was concerning. My daughter had colic. Not just the "three hours a day three times a week" colic. My daughter screamed for 8 hours a day for 8 months. Nothing seemed to help and she would just sort of pass out from the screaming at night.

So, when my son started screaming, I started to panic. I tried cutting all sorts of things out of my diet. As a vegetarian, this was kind of tough. My husband seemed to think it was nothing. He would say things like, "why don't you cut out soy, dairy, wheat, tomatoes, and citrus at the same time. Then, you can gradually add one back in. But, you better try it for at least a month to be sure." So, I could basically eat air. I just couldn't do it that way, but I did end up cutting out all those and more for different periods of time. Soy and dairy was hard and my husband kept telling me that I hadn't given it enough time even though I just knew that wasn't the problem.

Finally, I tried wheat exclusively and all of a sudden, he was fine. Such relief!

It really hadn't been that long, but the panic of what I had been through with my daughter was in the front of my mind and it made the time to find out it was wheat so stressful. But, the minute I got rid of wheat, he was just fine. Since then, he has been the happiest, smilingest, gigglingest baby ever. Night and day from my still-rather-intense daughter.

When Orion started to eat food it became obvious that the wheat intolerance was gone. I have decided to put a sign up on my house labeling it as "Cheerio Hall" because Cheerios fall out of Orions pants, shirt, hair, hidden magical places, etc. everywhere. Our house is awash in Cheerios. Any kid that can simply store Cheerios like that can eat wheat just fine.

But, I was still breastfeeding, so I still wasn't eating wheat. Somehow, the fear of the screaming was still keeping me from eating wheat despite all the evidence that it was ok. Now, I eat wheat. I figure at this point, he is okay and I had craved a real sandwich for so long that I just started eating wheat. But, I still don't eat a ton of wheat. I used to eat a lot of bread, but now, I have to remind myself to get bread for the kids. My diet has changed permanently. Kids do that.

In December, I took a full-time job. I love my job, but the transition was hard. I felt like I had to take the position for our family finances. I cried for three weeks straight. Leaving my baby and pumping at work was awful. I missed him so much and I missed my daughter too. I had become so happy to just spend time with my kids.

My work has a pumping room. It has a comfy chair and a pump. Very small. Much less interesting than looking at my baby or watching TV, but I figured I would work it out. It didn't work that way. It seems that everyone in the building who needed to pump needed to do it at the same times. I couldn't ever get in. So, I started pumping in my office.

Thank goodness I had an office. I could shut the door and pump. My pump just stays plugged in under my desk. This cuts pumping time in half because there's no set-up. It's all right there.

Pumping at work kills my back and I have so many days when sneaking in the time is really difficult, but just keeping my milk level up so I can breastfeed Orion is worth it.

One thing I started doing is jiggering my desk so that I can read management books while I pump at work. In this way, I can pump, but also try to learn how to do my job. It all works out and it has become something I actually think of as a positive rather than just a pain.

Like I said in a previous post, breastfeeding has never been easy for me. Orion and I are still not masters at it, but I love it and really believe in it. We both love our time together breastfeeding.

Category: Motherhood
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