I hope this is in the right forum; if not feel free to move it. Here's my story:
My youngest (4th baby) will be 6 months old in a couple of days. From the very day he was born he was fussy at regular intervals after feedings (like at 45 minutes from the start of the feeding, and again 45 minutes later, etc). I suspected he might have a problem similar to one of his brothers: allergic colitis. Sure enough, at one week of age the baby started having mucus in his stools and sometimes bits of blood. When we went through this with my other son who had it, I tried EVERYTHING I could think of: elimination dieting, antibiotics, probiotics, etc. Finally when he was 7 months old I put him on Neocate at the suggestion of the GI doctor. The GI said he had allergic colitis and that it was not a TRUE allergy (meaning it's just physiological) and he would outgrow it whether I exposed him to "problem foods" or not. But I was tired of the crying so I weaned him. I never regretted it. He was so happy and 2 weeks after weaning I got pregnant (so I figured my son's problems were used for good by God in that He gave us another child out of it). This baby has had allergic colitis symptoms AND silent reflux symptoms. We did try a round of Zantac but it didn't really help. I did a month-long diet where I 100% avoided a list of 15 foods. His symptoms did not go away completely, though he did do much worse once I put dairy back in my diet at the end of that month. During that month his particularly fussy days had no rhyme or reason to them; I could not pinpoint what was causing them. My husband and I suspect it's just super immature digestive system. Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance was suggested to me MANY times, but I was already only feeding one side per feeding (have always done that with all my kids, and 2 of my kids were fine) and my breasts were nice and soft after feedings. Anyway, on March 15th we decided to put the baby on Neocate, at the age of 4 1/2 months old. I figured i had given it a really good shot, considering I had told myself after going through everything with my first son that if I had another "allergic colitis" baby I would not go through all that again, and would just skip to the Neocate. Well, I realized that this is a different baby and I had to at least TRY some things. Unlike last time I weaned early, this time I have not had a peace that it was the right thing to do. We are trying to wait before getting pregnant again, so I'm at this strange place in my life where, for the first time in 6 years, I'm not pregnant OR nursing. Oh, and when my oldest son turned 1 we started trying cow's milk and all the other foods he hadn't been eating because of his "problems", and guess what? He had completely outgrown the problem and had NO problems whatsoever. Which tells me his system matured sometime BEFORE he turned 1. So, here I am wondering if I should keep my milk supply going, and let my baby try it once in a while, and if he seems to do well, then go back to nursing him. The problem is, the last time I pumped was on March 26th, and today is April 26th. Yesterday I wanted to try to nurse the baby just to see what would happen, and he DID latch on for a few seconds, then pulled away and wanted nothing to do with it. Turns out the few drops of milk that are there are SALTY! Today I went out and bought a double electric pump, some Fenugreek and some Alfalfa. I have decided I would like to try to get my milk back. Unfortunately I cannot have a "nurse-in" and have the baby help me get the milk back, because: 1. He's refusing to try because of the taste right now, and 2. Last time he nursed he was very upset afterwards, so I told my husband I would get the supply back and then let the baby try it only once in a while. I have pumped 4 times so far today with the double pump, for 15-20 minutes at a time. I have gotten about a teaspoon of milk total for all those sessions. Besides concerns about my supply being almost gone, I'm so worried he won't want to latch on and nurse when we try again. Do you think he'll be willing once there's actually enough of the sweet milk in there? Should I trick him by putting formula on my nipple or even some pears (the one solid food he eats so far)? How do you get a 6-month-old to latch on when they don't WANT to? And because of the reasons listed above, I can't use a SNS to stimulate production and/or keep him latching. Plus I can't spend anymore money right now!
I guess I'd like to here some advice and encouragement. I think my husband thinks I'm crazy for wanting to do this, but I told him it doesn't hurt anyone for me to have a milk supply back. And who knows, we might actually save some money on formula if I can go back to nursing! It just doesn't make any sense to me that my child can have a condition which requires weaning to fix. It's not like it's a true allergy. Yes, he is thriving on the Neocate. But, he's fussy enough from teething and from constipation that I figure, he's going to cry anyway, why not put him back on breastmilk?
My husband is concerned that constant irritation of the digestive system could lead to cancer later on in life. I told him I think that breastmilk, while it might irritate the baby, would also provide protective qualitites that formula can't. Right???
Most of all, I am taking each pumping session as an opportunity to pray. I have spent so much time and energy on what I should be doing. That's I with a big capital I! Maybe I just need to sit back and trust that God will heal the baby's digestive system, or mature it quickly, or adjust the quality of my milk, or whatever it takes. I'm praying my milk supply will rebound completely. Fortunately I've never had an issue with low supply so I am hoping that it comes back quickly.
Anyone been where I am and have stories to share? I'm especially interested in hearing if anyone else's baby was diagnosed with allergic colitis, and what you did about it.