August 25, 2015

The Reason I Am On A Dairy-Free Diet

I was so excited to celebrate the Breastfeeding Awareness Month, oh yes, I am a proud breastfeeding mom here! I already thought of a few titles for my post about breastfeeding until just few days after, I had to stop nursing. I told myself I'd write about one no matter what, and at least before August ends. Now, my story's twisted a bit due to uncontrollable events.

THE STORY
Age: 22 days [3 weeks]
Since three weeks of age, my little one had bloody nappies for eight consecutive day, at least twice a day I should say. Her pediatrician thought it was due to the hormones because I was breastfeeding. So, I wasn't bothered that much. My daughter was happy and gaining weight anyway. I started Googling for causes though and read a few alarming causes - from oversupply (I have abundant milk supply, I tell you, I made like 800oz in 6 weeks), milk allergy to colonoscopy.

Age: 31 days [exactly 1 month]
On our second visit to her pediatrician due to this issue [that was on the eight day], the pedia took a fresh sample of her stool to check for infection or bacteria. The results came negative by the way. I was not advised to do anything but schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist. I was not told anything about dairy-free diet but I stopped eating ice cream and yogurt after Googling about it.

Age: 32 days
Day after our visit, our pedia called the GI and she said the GI recommended that we should formula-feed her with Nutramigen immediately. At lunch time, my husband went home with a small can of Nutramigen. It looks like a sample size but it costs approximately $25. She tried Nutramigen for one and a half days and I got so frustrated because she doesn't drink much [10oz for the whole day?!?] and she just kept on crying. My husband even needed to work-from-home due to this. It was really a stressful day. By the next day, my little darling looked so restless and she doesn't even have the energy to play anymore. Very sad and alarming sight for me as a mother. Oh, I also cried because I miss breastfeeding her already even if it's only been half day since she was on formula. And honestly, I was so mad at the pediatrician for making me to do abruptly. I thought she'd say try milk-free diet first.

Note: There was a noticeable less amount of blood.

Age: 34 days
The pediatrician called again and said she spoke with an allergist for a 'third opinion'. She also told my husband if he can pickup samples of Elecare from that allergist. The pediatrician told us she needs to see my baby that same day before she goes on a 2-week vacation. And whoah, she lost 6oz in less than 2 days!!! So, my little darling took Elecare for the next few days and I was advised by the allergist to be on a dairy-free diet. It was easier for her to take the formula but still, she's not drinking much, it was less than 20oz a day. I read it should be at least 24oz for her age.

Note: There were still a few dots of blood but not as much as during the first eight days when she's had mucousy strings at least twice a day.

Age: 38 days
After being roughly 5 days on Elecare, I can't take the crying and feeding issues any longer so I called the allergist [the pediatrician was on leave and told me if I have questions about breastfeeding her again, then I'll have to call the allergist]. I told them I already started the milk-free diet and if I can resume breastfeeding because she's not drinking much. This time, she's not gaining weight, she's starting to cough and her nose is already congested! Can't take much of this scene anymore. Fortunately and thank God, the allergist responded with "you can and you should continue to breastfeeding but only if you are on a dairy-free diet". Oh my good Lord, I was soooo happy to finally hear someone who 'prefers' breastfeeding. I excitedly started to give her a bottle of breastmilk, she finished 2oz in less than 10minutes! Compared with the formula where she most of the time tries to drink 1oz in 1hour! Seriously that long.

Age: 46 days
She's had episodes of tiny strings of blood and a few dots here there. I noticed she might be allergic to soy too. Saw the sudden appearance of blood after eating tofu. I tried again after a few days to eat grilled pork with soy sauce, and she's had an episode again. Even salad dressing with soybean oil I guess. So I discarded a few dressings already and now I am left with one.

Age: 50 days
THANK YOU, LORD! For the first time in forever, this was the day she's had 'clean' poop for the whole day! I am so glad and hoped it would be like this forever!

Age: 51 days
I guess I was just given a day, because she's had two episodes again. I am now thinking it might be a particular seed [or vinegar if that's possible?], because the only different thing I ate was the salad lite honey mustard dressing with some kind of seed. Now I don't know what dressing to use anymore or if I ever want some in my salad again. *Sigh* Anyway, after two weeks of resuming breastfeeding, my paranoia never left me. I still keep on Googling for articles concerning this matter. I always end up reading a favorite which was sent by a friend. This article somehow leaves me worry-free, at least for a few minutes. I also read that it may take 2-3 weeks before the protein is totally out of my system. I am almost in my third week of dairy-free diet and soy-free diet started just two (2) days ago.

Today, my little one's 52 days old and she seems to be happier than ever. It was a bit hard to put back her weight but she's getting heavier at least that's what me and my husband thought. I'd have to use the weighing scale later. Her diaper size went up to Size 2 just yesterday! She's eating and sleeping well, she's playing and cooing... though she's cranky in the late afternoon until around 9-10PM. Good thing her dad's here by the time to help me out. It's definitely less stressful when breastfeeding. Plus, the bond is priceless!

To those dairy-free moms out there due to the same reason, we'll get through this! This can't be forever!

DISCLAIMER
This was based on my own experience and I do not advise anyone to do the same. You should contact your own practitioner if you experience a similar case.

August 22, 2015

A Helpful Tip For Parents and College Students + Giveaway

It's school time once again and for some parents with college students, it might be a little bit harder especially if the 'kids' will be residing out of state. I am not sure if you know already but Staples offer a Mail and Ship thing where you can send packages to your college-goers nationwide. 
Staples #Back2SchoolHQ
Staples Mail and Ship
Staples is making it easy for students to move into their new living space with a wide selection of moving and packing supplies. They also offer UPS service desks for easy shipping and convenient package drop off seven days a week. I just went to Staples last night to ask about the sizes of the boxes and I was glad to know they also provide a flat-rate shipping, the weight doesn't matter! The type of delivery does matters, they provide regular and express. The latter costs a bit more of course. But you don't have to worry because they gave me a tip, you can use coupons for shipping too! I know right, I thought coupons only apply to grocery items. They also accept competitor coupons in case you have some. I just learned about that last night and I got a little bit excited. And look at that, I have a proof to show from our Saturday paper. :)
Staples UPS Coupon
Other Staples Mail and Ship Promo
I do not have a college student but a family member is going back to school next month - my husband! :) Oh yes, and even though he's going to an online class, he definitely still need a few back-to-school materials. I'll be going to Staples before the month ends to shop some items he need and I'll update this post with photos. I'm pretty sure he'll need more USB, notepads and pens, or an ink cartridge maybe? Until then, let me share with you some other tips from CollegeMagazine.com to help make college move-in day easy:
  • Make a Checklist. Packing for college doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right move-in list, you'll be living like a king or queen on campus with all your must-have necessities.
  • Get Your Boxes Early. Move in day has organizational disaster written all over it. Don’t let it sneak up on you. Whether you’re schlepping or shipping your room, box it up. Staples even bundles the boxes for you. Start out with an 8 pack of SmoothMove medium sized boxes. Then pick up a wardrobe box to save you the tedium of transferring your entire closet hanger by hanger. For packing ninjas, the Bankers Box SmoothMove Kraft Moving Box doesn’t even need tape—it’s magic. As a mentioned awhile ago, they Staples offer shipping based on how fast it needs to get to the destination.
  • Get Label Crazy. There are various designs and color you can match according to their favorites. Your bathroom supplies box and late-night snack box look identical. You think you’ll remember what went where, but you won’t. Cue the labels. And if you’re shipping your boxes, you can label and ship all at once at Staples.
Students going away to college can also find ways to personalize their space with the latest trends in dorm design and essentials, such as mini fridges, microwaves, décor and storage cubes at Staples.com/backtoschool. Staples Copy & Print Center can personalize products to create one-of-a-kind décor with custom photo canvases, photo panels, phone covers and more.
Staples $300 Back To School Giveaway
With that being said, it is time to bring on the giveaway! Mom Buzz Media bloggers have partnered with Staples to bring you this $300 gift card Multi-Winner giveaway! 5 lucky readers will each get a gift card from Staples! One will get a $100 gift card and the other 4 will get $50 gift cards!
Good Luck!

DISCLAIMER
This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media. I received promotional items to assist with my post and promotions. This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media website and is Facebook compliant. 5 winners will be chosen at random and emailed. These winners will have 24 hours to resspond or a new winner will have to be chosen. US Residents only please. Ends 11:59 CST on 8/27.

August 20, 2015

Flavored Iced Coffee Is Indeed an International Delight!

I am a coffee-lover. I drink a cup at least once a day, particularly in the morning. And do I need to add that I was a previous barista at a well-known coffee shop? Oh yes! Make it mild, bold, robust, I'd take a sip! 

During the summer months where I am somehow limited in drinking hot coffee due to the humid weather, I used to just put ice on my cup and I just add more sugar and creamer to make it tastier. I guess it's no longer a hassle because iced coffees are now readily available in the market! I need not 'test' the taste of my drink anymore because I can just buy a ready-made which is definitely more delicious than my homemade cups. LOL.
I think I also influenced my husband to be a coffee-addict like me because he was the one who finished the whole box of International Delight Iced Coffee. He even said he needs more, take note, need and not want. LOL. Well, what can I do, I have two (2) 80-cent coupons so I guess I'll let him try the other flavors which are Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato and also because I can't take dairy anymore. By the way, I just realized they also come in "Light" flavor, good news for those of you who are in some kind of diet. My, I just wish I can try the Caramel Macchiato!!! But I have to wait for at least a year. Whew!

Anyway, my husband said this specific flavor is not that creamy but it is strong and it gives him a kick. That's his reason for wanting to buy some more. He said he can drink it at the office so he'll have more energy and he won't be sleepy! Haha! And he said since it's iced coffee, it's always better with a lot of ice or make it super cold at least.

If you want to learn more about their the other iced coffee flavors, you can visit their website here. They are also giving away coupons if you sign up, plus they have other promotions in their site, I know because I just visited it. I just don't know how long it's going to last so go ahead and sign up for offers! :)

DISCLOSURE
I received a sample of the product mentioned above but was not required to make a review of it. Everything was based on my honest opinion of the product.