Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Days 2-5 - WOOF!

So day 1 felt oh so manageable and exciting and then Ellie and I woke up the next morning feeling like a truck had hit us. I was nauseous all that day and Ellie was a WRECK. Unconsolable crying, telling me her tummy hurt, etc. etc. I could barely get it together to make soup. Oy. Thank goodness Ian had returned home from his business trip on Day 1 and was able to take Ellie for a few hours the afternoon of Day 2 so I could lay down and try not to throw up.

One of the things I find fascinating about all of this is that I came to SCD and then GAPS having "no health issues" of my own. I was "perfectly healthy." But the reality is that my gut health was in bad shape, and then I passed that bad ecology on to my babe, who manifested much worse symptoms than I ever had. Her issues have included over her short 21 months on Earth: reflux, failure to thrive, a gazillion food allergies/intolerances, stomach cramping, aversion to eating and some symptoms of dyspraxia, which I had never even heard of until I read the GAPS book. But when I look back on things, I did actually have quite a few health issues - they were just minor and chronic and typically not something you'd go to the doctor for. But as I'm seeing those symptoms fall away through SCD and now GAPS I can see how truly unhealthy I was. I've lost weight, my cycle is much more regular that it used to be (it took me two years to conceive Ellie), I rarely have trouble with PMS or cramps anymore (I used to be bedridden for a day every time I got my period) and the minor reflux I used to be annoyed by at bedtime is gone. So hurrah for health!

Ellie has been extremely fussy since starting the diet but I feel like the fussiness is gradually decreasing every day. Yesterday in our food/symptoms journal I wrote that she was having spurts where she was the fussiest I've seen her and then periods where she's been the happiest and most playful I've seen her. So I'm hoping we'll keep seeing the balance tip toward fun and playful!

The hardest time of day is night and morning. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, our bodies detox overnight and through the morning til about 10 a.m. Ellie has always been an awful sleeper and she is waking frequently in the night, telling me her tummy hurts. She nurses and goes back down, which tells me she's not having a food reaction, because when that's happening she can't go back down after nursing. In the past four days she's been waking an average of 3 times a night, which means I'm not getting more than 2 or maybe 3 hours of sleep in a row. Exhausting. By morning we are both a cranky mess and I've been feeling morning-sickness-type nauseousness after we get up. My response to that is normally to get something in my stomach right away, but I'm trying to follow the advice to let your body detox until 10 (we usually make it til 9).  I find if I just sit down and drink some water it passes and I'm able to get up and make soup.

One of the most confusing things for me about the GAPS intro is how to know when to move on. Before we started Intro, Ian and I sat down and laid out a roadmap of how we would move through the stages. We said we'd move on from one stage to another when Ellie had: slept through the night for three nights, woken up happy and not told us her tummy had hurt for three days. Hahahaha. This is feeling like an unrealistic goal right now. We are getting sick of soup and I am itching to move on. I don't want to rush too fast, but I also see my baby girl getting a little skinnier and it's making me want to advance. Ellie is allergic to eggs so I am especially anxious about adding egg yolks in Stage 2. I have some duck eggs sitting in the fridge. I'm hoping those will go over better than chicken eggs have in the past. I plan to add some veggies to try to make soup acceptable for another day or two before making any big changes.

Taking a deep breath, and going one minute at a time...


  1. Hi Annie--

    If you reread GAPS Guide and Dr. Natasha's FAQs you will be reassured that you don't have to wait for major advances to move through the stages. Just keep adding a food, a preparation, or a supplement (start those after stage 3) every 3-4 days or so. Dr. N carefully lays out how to intro something you are nervous about (a tiny amount, with the soup--sometimes just the tip of a knife full!) You may be surprised at how well it will go. You only stop or skip something if you have a real reaction, or you know the reactions are anaphylactic in nature (that's in the GAPS book, and the FAQs too, I think)

    So find the next thing and have a Happy Moving On Day! And make sure you are adding fat to every bowl of soup...


  2. Annie, I think you should eat as soon as you get up and are hungry, especially since you are nursing. I know Dr. Natasha says to wait to eat until 10am but it is also hard on your adrenals to get too hungry, plus you are nursing. Also, I just wanted to make sure that you know Dr. Natasha says a nursing mom shouldn't do intro? I can understand your desire to do it as it seems it might be worth it what with Ellie's tummy issues. But just keep that in mind if you decide to go to full GAPS, you can do intro at a later time.

  3. Hi Justine and Starlene - Thanks for the feedback! We have moved on to egg yolks today - a very scary but exciting new step. Hoping it goes well.

    Starlene - I made the decision to do Intro after careful consideration, and knowing that Dr. Natasha does not recommend it. I made this decision for several reasons: 1) I cannot eat many of the foods on Full GAPS without making Ellie ill, including eggs, cheese, legumes, baked nut goods, dried fruit, peanut butter, etc. So we BOTH need to work up to these foods together. And 2) I am confident that Ellie is getting lots and lots of nutrition elsewhere. She is a good eater now and could certainly survive without breastmilk at this point - it's just an added dietary bonus for her and more about comfort and bonding at this age (in my opinion).

  4. Hey Annie!! GO YOU!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for publishing your journey! I know I am still at the beginning of your archive, but I have a few questions...

    My six month old son has severe food intolerances... The side effects are severe exzema, reflux (excessive spit up) stomach cramping, and sleep disruption. He is super sensitive - all through my breastmilk. We've been on the full GAPS diet for about six weeks... BUT, we can't have nuts, dairy, eggs, avocado, or coconut due to his reactions.

    Should I just buck up and do intro? I am really worried bc he really is not on many solids. I try to get him to have solids 3 times each day - usually 4ish oz of homemade chicken broth each day, as well as pureed boiled carrots or peas mixed with the broth. He nurses 4-6 times/day, as well as during the night if he's reacting to something.

    What are your thoughts?

    Like you, I really had no signs of sickness myself - excepting constipation.

    Ahh! So weird I am discussing this online.

    ANYWAY, any and all insight is appreciated. If easier, you are welcome to email me. Analise.Hess at Gmail.com.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    - Analise

  5. Hey Analise! It does feel weird at first to discuss this stuff online, but it beats doing it alone!

    Doing GAPS w/out nuts, dairy, eggs, avocado or coconut is rough. I've done that, but only for a couple of weeks. You eat a LOT of meat!

    It's tough to say what I'd do in your situation. On one hand, I'd say definitely don't do intro while your little one is still relying so heavily on your breastmilk. I experienced a dip in supply along with some weight loss during Intro. I wasn't too too worried about it because my daughter is older and eating three good-sized meals and two snacks a day. She does nurse a lot, but a big part of that is just about comfort, connection and habit at this point.

    On the other hand, I'd say that what you're doing right now with your restrictions is pretty damn close to Intro. So why not just go through the steps and see if it can help you identify what foods are and aren't working for you and your son.

    Ugh. That's a tough call. If you've been on GAPS for six weeks and your son is still really symptomatic obviously there's still something wrong. Another thing to look at is cross-contamination, making sure your whole house is free of the allergenic foods, especially dairy and gluten.

    I hope this is at least a little helpful. Good luck with your decision mama!


  6. I AM SOOOOO GLAD I FOUND THIS! My 10 month old was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic. I too am having a hard time finding people trying to heal their sick nurslings. Which is exactly what I googled to find you. I have been googling for weeks now, since our August 9th DX.

    It looks like I have some catching up to do on your quest, but I will be bouncing questions off you for sure.

    Like do I need to start him back off at Square one since we are only a few months into solids, and put myself on Full GAPS while I try to heal him?

    I am so desperate I have even joined a Type1GAPS yahoo group. HAHA

    twolf84 @ digitex . net

  7. Hi Tiffany -

    I'm so sorry it took me so long to see this comment! We were traveling and I took a blogging break. I am so glad you found this too! I hope reading about our journey has provided some encouragement.

    I usually refrain from offering advice since I barely know what I'm doing, let alone what others should do! I have no experience with diabetes. One thing I will offer is that we were really lost on GAPS until I started working with a nutritionist. GAPS - as prescribed - didn't work well for my daughter and it wasn't until we worked with a nutritionist and realized my daughter was not able to digest fats well that we really started on the road to recovery. So my main advice is to get help!!!

    Feel free to bounce more questions off me anytime, even if you just need encouragement.