August 18, 2014

The Meatball Meets Her Match

So just a few posts ago, I got all braggy about how well Mary was eating and how much she loved food and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Rule #1 of parenting - if something is going well, don't share with the interwebs.

So yeah things have taken a turn in the baby food eating department. I mentioned that Mary threw up after a nap one day (about a month ago). Finn has literally only thrown up once (well twice, but for the same illness - the damn norovirus he got when he was 18 months), so when Mary threw up it was pretty unsettling. She had eaten butternut squash and avocado, but I wasn't sure if it was a bug or something she it, and fortunately it was very short lived. She threw up several times in a row that afternoon and then was fine by evening. She was still happy and nursing well, so I wasn't too panicky. My friend Julie is a nurse and helped alleviate and talk through my concerns.

Then we went on our trip to Wisconsin and our long road trip after and she didn't have much interest in food the whole time we were gone. I figured that may in part be due to travelling, so didn't think much of it. The other problem Mary encountered with food was how constipated it was making her. I was putting prunes in everything, but it wasn't helping much. I even tried prune juice in a bottle and she had no interest in it. Her poop was hard and painful and took a lot of effort for her to get out as it was about the size and consistency of a softened tootsie roll (you're welcome for the visual and for ruining tootsie rolls).

Mary did have a massive poop while we were in Wisconsin, but then nothing for NINE DAYS. I ended up giving her an enema which cleaned her right on out. But she still isn't interested in food with the same enthusiasm and I wonder if she has figured out that eating food = painful poops? Or maybe she just has no room for food since the girl is so backed up! I'm really not sure.

Then last week I gave Mary avocado at lunch and about three hours later we were grocery shopping (fortunately I decided to keep her in the carseat and not wear her in the Ergo) when she vomited. Like massive, projectile vomit. It soaked her, but just dripped in to the carseat which was in the shopping cart. Then it happened again. It was so much that I literally thought it was going to drip through the seat and on to the floor. Fortunately it did not, but I hustled to get out of the store. Mary was content and smiling up at me, but I was still really concerned. I called my sister-in-law on the way home as she has experience with food allergies in her kids and also called my friend Renel whose daughter has had some extremely scary reactions to food. Both agreed that it's good that Mary is still happy and nursing just fine (she hasn't had a reaction to anything I've eaten - knock on wood), but that I should be highly suspicious of the avocado. It seems like such an odd thing to have a reaction to, but I don't plan on giving her any until she's around one just to be on the safe side. My nephew had reaction to zucchini and Renel said bananas were problematic with her daughter - so sometimes the "safe" foods can still be cause for concern.

So now I'm making sure I pop fenugreek regularly to keep my supply up as she is nursing a bit more (to include back to waking up during the night - argh) and am just slowing way down with the baby food. She has been eating sweet potatoes well, but I only offer food about once a day now. I'm also giving her probiotics in the hope that it helps keep her regular, but I did have to give her another enema after she went another week with no poop!

I realize that this is one of the loveliest posts I've written and I hope that you read it just in time for dinner!

Meatball Mary seems to have met her match with avocado, but fortunately she's happy and healthy . . . and still deliciously chunky. I mean there are tan lines in her rolls for crying out loud.



  1. Barf freaks me out, so I don't blame you. Coco has been spittier than Zuzu was, which has me worried even though I KNOW babies spit up and it's normal. I hope that avocado is the culprit (because that's an easy fix). And yeah, it definitely doesn't look like Mary is lacking in the nutrition department!

  2. That last pictures slays me. I love Mary. Barf and poop and whatever you throw my way won't change that. Or tootsie rolls, thankfully. ;) Luckily I spend my days changing lots of poop still (Grrrr, Benjamin).

    Claire both puked avocado and banana. WEIRD. As those were the two I was most excited to get in her belly because Benjamin loves both and avocado has all those awesome good fats. And I almost always have those two in the house... and of course they are easy to smash with a fork in a bind.

    But yeah, puke. I'm with you there. Not with you on the poop issue, but I would be equally apprehensive in your shoes. Breastmilk is clearly working for the girl and I just hope you're not stressing.

    Odd dealing with another child who is different when you are expecting one thing, huh? But I use the word "hard" very loosely because, OMG these girls are incredible.

  3. I love her tan lines. So precious and delicious.

    And I lol'd at the tootsie roll reference. *gaG*

    Piper is the complete opposite of G. I couldn't shovel food in G's mouth fast enough and Piper has been * very * slow to take it, preferring boobs 100:1. Frustrating, but they'll get it eventually. I hope.

    Constipation is the WORST for a baby though. Piper is a toot machine in the morning, so I know she's cleaning her pipes (ha!) out then but I get nervous if I haven't seen poop in a couple of hours. :/

    Hoping the avocados were just not delicious and she will take to food (and pooping!) like the champ she is. :)

  4. That picture is so perfect. I wish I could adequately describe the urge I get to just squeeze her! Hopefully that doesn't come across too weird.

  5. My friend's kid is VERY allergic to avocado so it's not unheard of!

  6. My daughter (almost 3) got stopped up when I started solids (nursed her exclusively till 6 mnths) at 6 mnths and then got stopped up again when she stopped nursing at 13 mnths. We ended up going the enema route after other options weren't working quick enough. Anyway, sounds similar.

    Vomiting is scary!

    Also the pediatrician at the time surprised me by saying that carrots and sweet potatoes, as well as bananas which I did know that one, can constipate. Just to give a heads up, this tendency to slow down (trying to say this with some discretion on the web) has continued. Keep pushing prunes or other things, we do dried apricots but Mary obviously is too young, because I am thankful my daughter thinks those things are tasty. Also I totally think Mary can put it together that eating food caused her belly to hurt therefore she is avoiding for awhile. No worries though, she will get interested soon enough.. Again though, I, like you, would be worried about food allergies.

  7. Where I don't have a ton of experience with a puking child, I could write a book on constipation in infants and size, consistency and frequencies of poo's.

    Theo's only barfing experience thus far was about a month ago... after Daniel fed him lunch (or, overfed in my opinion) which included yogurt and granola that had whole sunflower seeds intact. We loaded him up in the car after lunch and headed downtown. When we got to some side streets (with lots of speed bumps) Theo started coughing... oddly. And then he vomited gently down him chest. I saw in his mirror, I was horrified, we pulled over, and I rushed to unstrap him, and he projectile vomited all over me, the back seat, himself, everywhere. And the yogurt? You could image the smell! But it was a puke and rally situation, and he was fine all day with no fever and no change in temperament. I'm boiling it down to the overload of yogurt and too many fully intact seeds that were too heavy for his little system to digest. I spent the afternoon dissembling the Britax covered in barf, and cleaning it out to the best of my ability. There were whole slimy sunflower seeds wedged in every nook and cranny of that car seat. GAG!!

    I'll do another comment about Theo's poo's as I've gotta run right now... and really, Mary's poo's sound SO EXACTLY similar to what Theo went through with solids, I want to get right in there about it when I have more time!!

  8. We started Theo on avocado at 5 months old, and that was the first time in his life that he actually went more than 24 hours without pooping. He kind of got backed up.. going every other day with a much firmer consistency than before solids... and then we gave him sweet potato about 3 weeks into solids, and it blew out his diaper (well, almost!). After that, he didn't poo for 7 days!! I freaked out! I logged all his intake and poo's moving forward. I even went back to exclusive BF'ing around 6.5 months because I hated that 3-4 days would pass with no poops! But even in getting back to just breast milk, the firm and infrequent poo's didn't stop. We would over load this kid with fruits... but yes, some fruits even back babies up. Banana's being a hit and miss one. If really REALLY ripe (almost black) they can act as a laxative, but if yellow with no brown at all, they would severely constipate. Kiwi oddly backed Theo up too... but that might just be him.

    At around the age that Mary is right now, I used to have to take his diaper off... do bicycle motions with his legs, and hum really low, and even making deep "oooooooo" sounds. I'd even take a warm wash cloth and wipe it over his bottom to active and stimulate him to poop. I looked like a crazy earth mama trying to put her kid in a trace....but it worked. Theo would get all flush and start bearing down, and my god... 4-6 inch adult size logs would make their way out! (you're SO welcome for the visual!). I felt so relieved when he would poop like that. Like, finally >>I<< could relax! He would go days with what we called "poo farts", where when changing his diapers we would find little mini m&m type flex of poo in his cheeks... and that's it. FOR DAYS! So he was obviously trying to move his bowels, but he wouldn't go in his diaper when they were so hard. We didn't even feed him anything that would back him up (ie, excessive protein or starch)... his bowels just didn't ever mature into moving frequent soft stool. (Although, we had a greek yogurt run that was "x2 the protein" and it REALLY backed him up!!)

    Apricots and nectarine worked the best for us. (I couldn't ever find any straight prune juice without any added sugar or perseverates - so we skipped that route). Plumes were OK too. We used fresh organic for all, and pureed and froze. So any time more than 2 days went by with no poo, we'd melt a few tablespoons in with his dinner or whatever. But this earth mama humming bicycle thing....I did it for 3-4 months straight. No lie. If I didn't, he'd leave poo farts, or those tootsie roll little nuggets for days on end. (continued...)

  9. Around 10-11 or so months, Theo lost ALL patience with laying on the change table and me coaxing his poops out with humming and leg work outs... so I had to let him be. And he kinda started pooping regularly ... but they were ALWAYS firm. Dried out playdough would be considered "soft" for him, and we'd be relieved to get one hockey puck poo a day (that's what we called them as they'd so cleanly be sitting in his diaper, perfectly round and smashed to look like a little hockey puck!).

    Theo is a GOOD eater, so it was always to unnerving to see so little poo when I know he'd be taking in so many calories - especially when so many of those calories were fruits! And only about a month ago did we start getting regular soft poo's from him. Daniel researched a bit, and decided to give ground flax seed meal a try. We did 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of it in his oatmeal in the morning, and it took about a week to get into his system... but now he's doing 2 poo's a day (usually) and they're like kraft peanut butter consistency, or like pumpkin pie filling (hmm, what else can I ruin..? ha!). And what I'm most happiest about is that he doesn't strain anymore. I used to hear him grunting and pushing in a corner somewhere (after he started walking), and I'd find him red faced and upset. And I'd change his diaper, and a tiny silver dollar ball amount would be wedged in his cheeks. Poor guy.

    I'm sorry Mary has been so barfy. Vomiting freaks me out and I cant help but be horrified that they're ill and poisoned. But I'm with you on the constipation. And at nearly 16 months with Theo, we are just now getting to a point of regular soft poops. :(

  10. Vomit scares me. There was an egg incident that reins supreme as the "scary vomitting incident" of 2013. I think you are being prudent and I loved reading how you gained comfort from Renel and Julie. These kids, they keep us on our toes but you aren't alone in figuring it out.

  11. Oh poor Mary and mama. It can be so scary sometimes when you don't know what's going on! I guess the good thing is avacado can be easily eliminated from diet if it continues to be a problem. I went through a stage in the past year or two where it seemed like avocado really hurt my stomach so I gave up on it, and only in the past few weeks have tried it again in small amounts. Maybe I missed it but does she do okay with bananas? I've actually heard from some moms with kids who have reactions to both bananas and avocados. (Even if not I know they're binding which doesn't help poor Mary's case!) I've learned that it also helps to know food families with allergies/intolerance and knowing what to avoid. Like I'm intolerant to garlic and onions, but I didn't know until recently that they were part of the allium family of vegetables (including chives, scallions, shallots, leeks etc) and it turns out that all of them do bother me to some extent. I have no clue what family the avocado is part of, but it might be worth some research. Good luck mama... :(

  12. Also, Ethan's dairy issues are more an intolerance than allergy, but he had similar symptoms once...if something doesn't seem right, definitely go with your gut. We know a kid with with a severe allergy to rice/wheat products, and her mom said it's a very common symptom to have almost immediate projectile vomiting until it's eliminated (and then the kid is completely fine). They found out the first time she tried rice cereal--projectile for 4 hours, then fine. And it happened every time. She's 3 now and doing perfectly fine on her restricted diet. Depending on the trigger, there may not be much you can do testing wise under age 3, but it's definitely worth finding out if her reaction is that serious!