For some reason this morning I felt compelled to take a look back in the blog at what was going on a year ago. I don't know why, specifically, that popped into my head, but perhaps I was trying to subconsciously remind myself that every phase has a challenge, and things just keep moving along and eventually resolve themselves one way or another.
Anyway, when I looked, I discovered that a year ago today was the day I came to terms with stopping breastfeeding and starting Carter on formula. It was such a brutal decision. I had spent the previous two days in tears and by Sunday, when I wrote the year-ago-today blog post, I had decided that my sanity and the ability to feed me family stress-free was just as important as what I was feeding Carter. Ironically, six months later we'd be having a different kind of major dietary change around here, but to this day I'd still rather do the gluten-free thing than dairy-free. Perhaps there's just more gluten-free options, perhaps gluten-free information is more readily available, or perhaps the replacements are much closer to the real thing than fake dairy. I'm sure the hormones and stress of having a new baby didn't help. It was a very difficult decision.
The weaning process went as smoothly as I could have hoped given the accelerated schedule, and a year later we're now officially done with formula. We finally wrapped it up over the weekend after lots of false starts and stops in the past few weeks with the stomach bug and whatever else. I won't miss spending that money, that's for sure. We still have to figure out how to ease him off his milk, which he loves, and introduce more food, but given our rice-heavy menu it's a little challenging at the moment to find single-serve options that work for him. Interestingly, last Friday before I picked up Carter, a couple teachers who have watched him but aren't his main teachers gave him some Multigrain Cheerios. They didn't realize he couldn't eat them because they have rice in them. He came out unscathed, which gives me hope that he might be outgrowing the intolerance already. I'm not ready to test him because I'm guessing we'll have another "oops" along the way (every once in a while something comes up that you'd never think has rice), but it's promising.
As far as Carter today, he seems to be getting a tiny bit better. He's still very impatient and clingy, but in between he seems to be having happier moments. He actually smiled at people at Wegmans today, which hasn't happened in a while. He laughs more and smiles more, but is still not entirely into playing or being out of my arms in general. It's hard to say if he's just improving slowly, or if he's having bad days and good days. I feel bad for him because I don't know what's bothering him. His doctor called today and said that the bloodwork was consistent with a virus, but it was hard to say if it was still present or if it was still working its way out of his system. The Celiac results weren't back yet. On Saturday another doctor said that one part was in and negative, but today our doctor seemed a little more non-committal. She said she wanted to wait a couple more days until those results are in before we make any more decisions about next steps if Carter still isn't feeling well by then. If the Celiac test is indeed negative, the next steps would involve looking into his belly, but I don't know much beyond that. Hopefully he continues to visibly improve and we can just assume he's simply having a tough time recovering from what he had. I just miss my laid-back, sweet, happy baby.
Looking back on the dairy-free experience a year later, it definitely reminds me that every phase has its own difficulties. Problems come and go, but it's pretty rare to be problem-free at any point. So, we'll just take this issue day-by-day and hope that this problem goes away as quickly as it came.