Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finally ready to start

The thing that's interesting to me about patiently plotting out a big change and making small steps to prepare for it, is that by the time it's time to make the change you can feel completely ready. In the past I've been the type to jump quickly into big changes - completely unprepared - and then find myself overwhelmed. The past three weeks of preparation for starting the GAPS intro have had me feeling anxious and then suddenly today I feel totally ready. Amazing!

I think my biggest anxiety about starting GAPS is that we will be hungry. We came to SCD in part because Ellie was labeled "failure to thrive." She was below the third percentile for her weight and falling. Her weight started dropping when she was about 10 months old - the same time we introduced dairy and soy, both of which we quickly discovered she was intolerant to.

Over the next eight months the weight situation got worse and worse, which was incredibly frightening. I felt at a total loss for how to fix the situation, and was told by her GI that I should stop nursing her and start feeding formula. Thankfully she had a horrible reaction to the formula sample the GI gave us and we never looked back. I know now that nursing is the best thing for kiddos with gut issues and the corn syrup in formula would have made her bacterial imbalance even worse.

When we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in January, Ellie's body responded immediately. I took her in for a weight check two weeks into the diet and was shocked to see that she had gained a tremendous amount of weight. (Tremendous for a tiny 18-month-old, that is.) Yesterday I took her in for another weight check and she had gained one pound and one ounce in just a month. Amazing! So since starting the SCD she has gone from below the third percentile to the 10th!!!

But any mama who's dealt with failure to thrive knows what I mean when I say the fear of your baby being hungry or not getting enough food can loom large even after the baby's health begins to recover. I have been so scared of going on a diet that - at the beginning - is just soup! Broth, soup, broth, soup and more of what Ellie calls "broth juice." I've read Gut and the Psychology Syndrome and I totally get the science and logic behind the intro diet, but I've still felt scared.

Funny how sometimes life conspires to give you what you need at just the right moment.

Today I went to lunch at a new friend's house (we met today). Her whole family is on the GAPS diet and it was so exciting to see their house in action. The kitchen had soup bubbling on the stove, yogurt dripping in a colander, sausages sizzling in a pan. There were children playing and running and laughing and most certainly not starving. So I left lunch feeling bouyant, optimistic and ready to go.

The adventure begins tomorrow!

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