No Pampering For You, Mama!

As a busy Mama of two active boys, smack dab in the middle of house construction, busy learning about this new chronic condition my son(s) have, I don’t often have the chance to pamper myself.

So it was a special treat last week sometime when I pulled out an emery board, filed a few of my jagged, scratchy nails, and slathered on some hand cream.  Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that such a simple thing would one day become a luxury!

The pampering moment over, I quickly went back to the work of my life: taking care of my family.

In my last post, I wrote about how I was unsure if Mr. Happy was experiencing transition symptoms to Elecare, or FPIES build symptoms to the Elecare.  I said I had posed the question to the experts in the field, the other FPIES Mama’s on the BabyCenter message board.

They answered.  Am I ever glad they did!

At first, they were talking about how perhaps Mr. Happy ingested something he has a trigger to, and I got the distinct impression they were talking of a baby that eats solid foods.  So I responded with a reminder that my son is still only 12 weeks old, and is not on solid foods yet.

At that point, the answers got more specific: he could have accidentally ingested a crumb from something I ate while holding him, it could be something from our soap, laundry detergent, etc.

Suddenly a lightbulb went off in my head: Mr. Happy is taking after his big brother and is already teething.  EVERYTHING goes in his mouth right now for that reason alone.  Plus, we’ll touch his hands, kiss his hands, and then what happens?  BAM!  Right in his mouth the little hands go!

Well, what could it have been?  What could  we have somehow tainted him with?  I thought and thought and just couldn’t come up with…Oh. My. Gosh.  I think I have it!

What do I think could possibly be causing a reaction in my dear, sweet Mr. Happy?  See for yourself:

At least we know they’re telling the truth about their ingredients!

Please, dear readers, note the bottom of the bottle: “Natural Colloidal Oatmeal”.

OAT. MEAL.

Please indulge me as I remind you that the top FPIES trigger foods are dairy, soy, rice, and OATS.

Head. Slap. Moment.

It’s not definitive.  He may actually be  having build symptoms.  Based on the brilliant advice and deductive skills of the FPIES Mama’s, I will continue to watch Mr. Happy for reactions.  If he gets better and returns to his ‘happy place’ where he was last week, then I can narrow it down to an accidental ingestion of something – probably my hand cream.  If he does NOT get better and continues to react this way, then we may have to consider that he’s a rare FPIES kiddo who reacts to incredibly small corn proteins in elemental formula.

At least I have a clue, now.  And in case you meet me in person, just pretend you don’t notice my chapped, cracked, rough hands.  Apparently I have no safe hand creams to use.  Yet.

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12 Responses to No Pampering For You, Mama!

  1. Pingback: Open Letter to Everyone Who Wants to Touch My Baby - Cradle Rocking Mama

  2. Joy R. says:

    Hey, you probably already know this, because this post is from last summer, but just in case…coconut oil is a great moisturizer! I use it on my baby because I hate all the crazy ingredients lotions have.
    PS I’ve been reading all your posts from the beginning up until now, and I must say you have been through the wringer. I hope things are going better for your family now. Take care!

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Joy! Thanks for reading!

      Yes, coconut oil is a great moisturizer…I was just paranoid last summer that Zac would also react to coconut so I was scared to use it at the time.

      Now, I’m less scared of it and plan to trial him on it someday, so it is back in the running as a moisturizer! Thanks for reminding me of it, though, and I actually did find something that works for me that I plan to share in a post this week.

      Things are just steadily hanging in there for us; it just seems like one step forward, one step back all the time…oh well. Take care and keep in touch!

      • Joy R. says:

        Ah gotcha, I was thinking you were using coconut in your diet (that it was on the “safe” list) but then I realize you were giving it to Jed, instead. And since both boys are allergic to slightly different things…
        sorry, I shouldn’t assume!
        I’m glad you found something that works for you. My hat’s off to you, I can’t imagine having to think so hard about everything!

      • Joy R. says:

        PS…I’m not sure the comments section is the right place to do it, but since you know so much about allergies, I wanted to pick your brain about reflux. I have a 7 week old who seems to me to possibly have reflux, and we’re trialing medication, but I wondered if reflux is often a result of allergies, or just a stand-alone problem? I’m breastfeeding but I’d hate to think I was contributing to the problem with something I’m eating. At the same time, I hate to think of giving up my favorite food group, dairy. Anyway, just wondered your thoughts!

        • Carrie says:

          Well, Joy, I’m not an expert on reflux but here is what I *do* know: our GI has told us that reflux is not a problem – it’s the SYMPTOM of a problem. In other words, reflux typically doesn’t just happen in babies all by itself; it’s caused by something else. Typically it’s a food reaction of some sort, and, sorry to tell you, dairy is one of the bigger culprits. 🙁

          I’ll tell you what I’ve been told in the past: remove dairy for 4 weeks and see what happens. If it improves, you have your answer. If it doesn’t, go get yourself some cheese enchiladas and start over from scratch!

          Removing dairy is trickier than it might seem…you might want to start with just the obvious ones, or you might do like I did and remove ALL dairy – including trace amounts in packaged food – from the start. There’s lots of label reading involved, but the good news is that there are tons of alternatives!

          The reason they suggest 4 weeks, by the way, is because dairy proteins are “stickier” than others (my word, not any medical terminology), meaning they hang around your body for longer than other proteins might. So to be safe, doctors usually recommend 3-4 weeks before deciding whether the dairy elimination is working or not.

          Good luck and I hope your little one feels better soon! Let me know how it goes with the dairy, okay? And feel free to contact me with any other questions; we’ve been dairy free for 3 years now so I’m pretty well practiced at it by now!

          • Joy R. says:

            Thanks for the heads up!
            One more question—I just noticed today what looks like a mucous-y poop…I know you’re a poop expert too! 😉
            Is that sort of confirmation?

          • Carrie says:

            Mucous is fairly normal in breastfed babies poop…at least in small quantities. Our bodies produce mucous all on their own as part of functioning properly. But large, stringy globs of mucous is NOT normal and usually indicates a problem. How was the smell? The color?

        • Joy R. says:

          It seemed like most of the diaper was comprised of stringy globs, but it didn’t have an odor, and was yellow colored like his normal poop is. His poops have been really watery lately too it seems, although I’ve heard that’s normal for breastfed babies too. It just seems like it’s very watery though, I would think it would have a little more substance to it, normally. You know, like the seedy stuff they say is normal.

          • Carrie says:

            Lord, I think I’d keel over in shock if I saw a “normal” poop now! Stringy globs isn’t usually good, but it’s not necessarily bad, either. Could just be excess mucous production from sinus/cold stuff, or some other totally normal thing. Just keep an eye on it for a few days and see if the mucous gets better or worse, or if anything else changes that could be alarming.

            And you might drop dairy for just a few days and see if it makes a quick improvement. 🙁

          • Joy R. says:

            Ah that makes sense, he has had a bit of a runny nose for awhile–getting over a cold. So I bet that’s what it is. I haven’t seen any more like it so far. Maybe it was just a fluke!
            Wouldn’t hurt to try dropping the dairy—I still am having a hard time with that one. With my firstborn I cut just about everything out of my diet for him–no gassy foods like broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, beans, spicy fodds, and so on, and then cut way back on my caffeine, then cut the dairy out which was really hard. I was eating chicken for about every meal, and I think I was pretty unhealthy actually. Anyway it ended up being that it was the medication I was taking that was bothering his tummy, which we found out because he made such a drastic improvement when I weaned him per my pedi’s advice. I then read about the medication (antibiotics) and found that it has tummy side effects in BF babies. Great, thanks a lot! Long story short, I starved myself for no reason, and I really don’t want to do that again. So I’m just going to kind of play it by ear and see how this littlest one does.

  3. Pingback: Tallow Hand Cream - Cradle Rocking Mama

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