I'm not even sure how to begin this post that I need to write for the sake of my sanity. When I found out I was pregnant with Therese, I prayed first that I would not miscarry another child. Then I asked God to spare her from epilepsy. Then one more time I went to God to ask that she not have allergies. It is so hard to watch your children suffer. I did not want to watch another child's body be taken over by seizures. I watched as Jack suffered weight loss, bloody diapers, and skin that oozed from infection, feeling powerless and guilty. Guilty for somehow giving them the genes that made them suffer. Guilty because my milk, the supposedly perfect food for my baby, was making my baby sick. The doctors wanted me to put him on formula, but I fought them. I radically changed my diet in the hope that I could keep that wonderful bond between mother and child. For a while, it seemed to work. But as the weeks went by, the symptoms returned and Jack got sicker and began to lose weight. He was not thriving. Finally, after 6 long months of trying to nurse my boy, we started giving him Neocate, a very specialized formula. Within days, the change was remarkable. He no longer looked sickly, he started plumping up and his skin started to heal. Then I felt guilt over being so stubborn and fighting so long. (Though I need to remind myself that Jack fought too. He refused to take the formula for months, only wanting to nurse.)
About three weeks ago, I started to see the tell-tale signs of milk protein allergy in Therese. The red blotchy skin, the blood in her diapers. I have been dairy and soy free for 2 weeks now with no improvement. In fact, her symptoms have only worsened. I took her back to the doctor this week and she said she wanted me to immediately put her on the formula. She referred us to a gastro doctor, who we will see next week. I think the tears in my eyes let her know that I was upset about this, so she said to start pumping my milk and saving it in the off chance that we are dealing with something other than allergies.
Therese did not fight taking the bottle. She just did it. And so did I. And the guilt is back. I gave up so quickly. Is it because I saw Jack suffer too long, or is it because I am so tired? I want so much to just enjoy this time with my new baby, but I am plagued by guilt and anxiety over every little thing. I pray and ask God to take away these feelings.
So, I need some words of wisdom and of comfort. I want to hear that everything is going to be OK.