Sunday, October 25, 2009

Barf City

The first time she threw up, it was helpful. A friend of mine, also with an eight-month-old, was wondering what the difference was between spitting up and throwing up, and Cleo obliged with a textbook example (markedly more forceful, more voluminous and more smelly than spit-up, if you're wondering). My friend went home reassured that her baby had never vomited, and Cleo and I went home with a bit more dirty laundry than we'd gone out with.

The second through fifth times were only helpful in that they convinced Cleo's doctor and parents that she had trouble digesting foods containing soy. But they were mainly stressful, messy, and exhausting for all concerned. She'd be surprised by the first barf, resigned to the second, and get progressively weaker and more pitiful every subsequent time (usually every ten minutes for a couple of hours, depending on how much soy she ate). It was rough for all concerned, but we have refined our baby rehydration techniques, which follow, in case they might be helpful to anyone else:

Ice chips will sometimes be taken when sips of pedialyte are refused; once pedialyte is voluntarily sipped, five swallows every two minutes are a good maximum (more can trigger more vomiting), and once it's been twenty minutes with no vomiting, ten swallows every two minutes, then increase again after another twenty minutes, etc. The relationship between hydration and alertness is direct and dramatic, which is scary when a baby's dehydrated, but quickly reassuring as they start to take fluids again. I hasten to add that this is based on one family's experience with one child, and may or may not be applicable to anyone else. If you find yourself with a dehydrated kid, follow your instincts and go to the doctor or the ER if that's what you feel is necessary.

We had her tested for allergies, and she's not allergic to soy foods, her gut just has a hard enough time digesting them that they get forcefully evicted about two hours after she eats. We've discovered that even small amounts of soy can set her off, and there are small amounts of soy in lots and lots and lots of packaged foods. Soybean oil doesn't have enough soy protein in it to cause her problems, nor does soy sauce (at least in small amounts--we're not doing any more research, thank you very much).

The day care center she goes to two mornings a week provides lunch for the kids, which is great, but they're understandably spooked by anything resembling a food allergy, so they gently recommended that we provide the grain/protein part of lunch for her. This is fine, but they (for good reasons) also ask that all food brought in be vegetarian and nut-free which limits our options a bit. No soy, no meat, and no nuts bring us to beans and cheese and eggs. And eggs bring us to egg whites, which seem to cause problems for Cleo's gut as well (less dramatic, other end, still not so nice), so we're down to beans, egg yolk and cheese, which is why I was delighted that she ate these:

Vegetable Fritters
egg yolk
wheat germ
cooked chopped vegetables
salt and pepper

Mix according to whim and inventory, fry like pancakes, serve to baby.

Other popular lunch items have been:
bean/cheese quesadilla: allowed to cool, cubed.
mac and cheese and peas
white bean puree on pitas
cream cheese sandwich
pasta, red sauce, spinach, generous amounts of cheese
beans, pasta and pesto


Muslim Hippie said...

the title of this post would make an awesome punk rock band name. I've been barfed on so many times, i LOST COUNT. One time i was in a foreign city dressed all in black and covered in white barf for oh about an hour or so( a story I'd rather not delve in0 No allergies though. I guess What I'm trying to say is I hear ya!

Nev said...

I'm surprised you didn't link back to your post about the 4B taxonomy.