In addition to the ubiquitous parental question of "How did you get THAT all the way up THERE?", we have recently been asking LO the following query: "When did you do THAT?" THAT being a copious amount of spit-up. LO is a stealth puker. As soon as you are not looking directly at him, used breast milk and formula makes it reappearance--most often on the shirt you just changed into, the work pants you just spent 30 minutes ironing a crease into, or the adorable outfit you were going to photograph LO in to send out to friends and family to prove you are indeed capable of taking care of a child.
Now, LO has shown himself to be Pukey McVomitstein for many weeks. However, his spit-up has taken a prolific turn over the past few days. While Auntie Tracie was visiting, LO decided to show her his impression of a frat boy. For at least one meal per day, he did the breast-feeding keg stand, then chugged a fifth (of a cup of formula), then lost his cookies, then grinned beatifically at the women looking on at him in horror. Man, that took me back to my college days. Considering that he seemed to be losing nearly all of the formula he was demanding after he had raided Mom's Kitchen, it was fairly clear that he really didn't need the formula. And I thought babies didn't know how to overeat--not even American babies!
Being a with-it, connected mama (albeit one covered in spit-up stains), I took my quandary to the web. According to the ladies on my new mother chat board, I am correct in thinking that LO should not be doing the bulimic ballet every night. Their suggestion: maybe LO has a milk allergy.
Sensitivity to the protein in cow's milk is actually the most common allergy among babies. The formula we have been supplementing with has a cow's milk base. (And if you think about it, it really is very very ODD that human beings eat the food product intended for an immature four-legged mammal with four stomachs.) J actually had a fairly severe dairy allergy as a child--to the point where his doctor told him when he was quite small that he would never be able to eat ice cream again. (I wondered if the man spent his time when not at his practice running over people's dogs and telling children there is no Santa Claus.) J outgrew his allergy, but he still eats his Cheerios dry to this day. So LO has a genetic predisposition to milk allergy.
What this will probably mean is that I will have to give up dairy for a little while, and we will certainly stop supplementing with formula. Stopping the formula is fine by me. I've been carrying around a great deal of guilt for giving my child formula anyway. (Jewish motherhood, you're so comfortable--like an old cardigan that's been passed down through the generations, with a thick guilt lining!) As long as I can get on a better pumping schedule, this should be no problem. But giving up dairy...I eat like a Wisconsin dairy farmer. I drink a lot of milk. I likes me some ice cream. The G/B household is rather cheese intensive. This is going to be hard.
I also can't do a last-hurrah milkshake because that would defeat the whole point of trying to de-pukefy Mr. McVomitstein. It's going to be a very cold turkey.
Now, we don't know for sure that LO is suffering from a dairy allergy. I've put in a call to his pediatrician about getting him diagnosed. But according to my web research (what-oh-what did hysterical parents do for fear-fodder before the internet?), LO fits about half the symptoms of a milk allergy, which would suggest that he's inherited half of J's milk issues and half of my stomach of steel. Hopefully that means that once we've gotten all of the formula out of his system, I'll be able to resume some occasional trips to Steak N Shake.
The next question is what the heck I'm going to do with the gallon of milk, carton of cottage cheese, pint of yogurt, and four packages of cheese currently in the refrigerator. J may take one for the team in terms of the cheese, but he sure as hell isn't going to touch the rest. We don't have room for more than one McVomitstein in this house.