Cows Milk Allergy.
Abdominal pain, Eczma, Congested breathing, reflux/vomiting, sneezing etc. We read the list and it’s everything baby T has. He came off the breast after five weeks, for which he’d been a mixture of breast and formula. Sal had still found the breast feeding uncomfortable, even at 5 weeks in, and he was just too hungry to stay breast alone. The last two weeks have been on pure formula and sadly his symptoms has massively worsened. It’s the allergy and it’s probably why he’s so uncomfortable during and after feeds. It’s heartbreaking to see him so upset when he does try to be happy. He’s always smiling and trying to engage when not in pain.
A few days ago we once again tackled our GP (over the phone) and they’ve prescribed an Extensively Hydrolysed Formula. This is where the Cow’s milk proteins are broken down into simpler forms, making it easier to digest, which is the good news. The bad news is it smells (and probably tastes) awful. It’s smells like someone vomited Horlicks at the dentist. Weird sterile malty badness. Baby T wasn’t massively keen (I can’t say I blame him,) but we and he have persist with it. He’s drinking much better now. The medical blurb I’ve read from the GP reckons a Cow’s milk allergy affects 1 in 20 babies and it can take 2-4 weeks for symptoms to improve once formula is changed. He is still symptomatic a few days in, sadly.
The first few days we put him on the new formula he fought us over every ounce. Sal had taking to bouncing him on the knee during his feed as a distraction and I’d taken to putting Grip Water into it to improve the taste… he loves Grip water. I had read you can use organic, alcohol free, pure vanilla extract to improve the taste / smell. The downside is that it can apparently harbour a sweet taste, making weaning more difficult. So for now we’re persisting with this. He is feeding much better now and requires less distraction / Grip taste additives. The brand was use is Alimentum Similac by Abbott. A Paediatric Dietitian friend of ours recommends the Aptamil Pepti 1 as it’s more palatable, apparently. We considered it but as he’s feeding better I’ve ordered 8 more tubs of the Similac stuff, so we’re kinda committed.
I didn’t actually realise you can buy Extensively Hydrolysed Formula over the counter. The GP prescribed us two tubs of this stuff, so when we eventually located it (5 pharmacies later) we didn’t have to pay for it. Prescriptions are free here in Wales, which is great if you’re from a low income family. I’ve not used the repeat prescription as I don’t think you should get everything for free on the NHS if you can afford to pay for it. That money for my free prescription could have gone to someone else who needs it / can’t afford it. Still, prescription or not, it was bloody hard to locate. Ordered it from an online chemist. It’ll work out at about £120 a month to feed him.
Anyhow, it’s 5 in the morning. I’m sat downstairs in the kitchen with Baby T as he had a mini boot off about half 3. He was fed at 2am but woke up with a small chunder and got quite angry about it. Sal had done the 10pm and 1am feed so I’ve brought time down stairs to settle him. A few quick burps and he’s gone back to sleep. I’m staying down here with him so Sal can sleep. I work twelve and half hour days in the hospital (7am to 7:30pm) so on the nights before work and the whole day I’m at work, Sal does all the feeds and changes. As I’m off today, she is sleeping on. I normally do the early feeds anyway on my days off so she can catch up on sleep, so it’s no real change. He’ll wake anytime now for his next feed. He’s averaging 2.5 to 4 hours between feeds. It’s quite exhausting. I do joke I should have done this when I was twenty and he’s be an adult by now. My twenty year old self would have strongly objected to this idea though.
I’ll cut this off here as Baby T is starting to stir.
This was him in the photo the other day, giving me the unsure about this outfit eye, pre walk. He looks like one of those fancy skydivers.