Living like Zombies

One month into having our second son, Dylan, and my husband and I are moving about the house like the latest ‘Walking Dead’ episode. Surviving on barely 5 hours of sleep each night, never turning off the light until at least 1am we feel barely human. In fact, we are acting like zombies in all facets of our lives. Our world has once again been turned upside down and we feel totally out of control.

In desperation, I turn once again to the Internet in search of answers for this never-ending colic that has gripped baby Dylan and zapped every ounce of happiness from his body and ours. Searching, scanning, looking for anything else that we can try to alleviate his pain and daily suffering. After what was hours I came across a line that would dramatically change events – ‘colic-type symptoms can sometimes actually be caused by lactose intolerance in infants’. Lactose intolerance? Dairy? There it was, staring at me in the text…perhaps Dylan was lactose intolerant! I immediately rang the doctor and asked if this could be the cause of his symptoms. Yes, it could! I was advised to remove dairy from my own diet and wait two weeks for it to be totally removed from my system before breastfeeding again. In the meantime, I could try a soy formula and see if there was any improvement.

Anthony raced off to the chemist to get some formula while I excitedly crossed all fingers and toes that this would be the answer we were looking for. We both watched Dylan with hesitation as he gurgled down his first bottle of non breast milk and waited for the usual pained crying to begin. Would it help?

No. Sadly it did not. Again I got back on the phone and described to the doctor that his pain was not as lengthy as usual but he was still exhibiting colic-type symptoms after feeding. ‘It could be the soy’ I was told, ‘sometimes infants that are lactose intolerant are also soy intolerant’. Are you kidding me?

Anthony raced back off to the chemist again and this time returned with a non-soy, lactose intolerant formula for newborns. It did in fact contain dairy, but was manufactured so that it was in a much more easily digestible format for babies. We both watched Dylan once more as he guzzled through his second-ever bottle of formula. Please god in heaven, make this work!

And like the sun’s rays bursting through dark, heavy clouds we had ourselves our first family miracle. No colic! Dylan finished the bottle and rolled over onto his side and went to sleep. Amazing. He slept for 8 hours straight. Peace. Quiet. Calm.

Of course we spent that whole 8 hours checking on him constantly to make sure he was still breathing, so unusual was this event in his tiny life. At last, we had found an answer and a reason. Were it not for a zombie, sleep-deprived first-time mother searching for answers we may very well have kept up with this painful situation for many more weeks. I’m so glad I listened to my ‘mothers intuition’ and pushed for answers. Little did I know then how much I would come to rely on my intuition, the Internet and pushing for answers over the years to come. Our journey with Autism, ADHD and anxiety had barely begun…

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