Saturday, April 16, 2011

Getting ready to start

I am writing my first blog post at 12:30 a.m. because the yogurt I'm making for my daughter will be done fermenting at 1 a.m. and this is the kind of thing you find yourself doing when your kiddo is on GAPS. Well, technically we aren't on the GAPS diet - not yet. We've been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for the past 96 days (yes, I'm counting) and we're about to transition to the GAPS diet. What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and what is the GAPS diet, you may ask. This is a questions I'll be much more successful answering when I haven't been awake for 20 hours.

I felt compelled to start this blog as a response to how isolating all of this can feel. Having a sick baby is confusing and isolating, to say the least. Then, when the baby doesn't grow out of the "colic" but just develops more confusing and ambiguous health problems, the isolation gets worse. Then, in order to address the health issues, you go on a series of crazy diets in order to make the baby better ... well, you get where I'm headed. Now we find ourselves in a place where we can't eat at restaurants - we can barely eat at the grandparents' house. SCD and GAPS are intense commitments and intense experiences. But they are ultimately transformative experiences - at least I'm clinging to the hope that we'll have the transformative experience many others report having.

Another reason I decided to start to this blog is because I am nursing my little GAPSter, something I've come to find is fairly rare. At least I think it's rare. In all my online SCD/GAPS networking, I've yet to find another nursing mama who is doing the diet simply because it is what their nursing child needs to improve their health. It feels like a crazy thing to do, and some people have told me that in not so many words. But it's the right thing to do for my baby. We're in this together. As Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride explains in the GAPS book, babies with GAPS syndrome have severely screwed up gut flora, and we get our gut flora from our mamas at birth. So I figure if I got Ellie into this mess, I'm going to get her out.

GAPS begins sometime this week. Haven't decided if it will be tomorrow or Thursday or some day in between. And I'll be writing about the experience here.


  1. Hey Annie,

    Great blog!! Thanks for sharing all of this.

    Our stories have a lot of overlap. Like you, I started the diet only for my son's sake, and was still nursing him at the time (3.25 years old). His early reaction to fruit was similar to your daughter's. And so on!

    I'm excited about what will be happening for you both!


  2. Oh Annie, I can so relate to not even being able to eat at the grandparents'! They just didn't get it, even when my daughter was so sick she had repeated (like 15!) blood transfusions. I had to protect her from my step-mom, who kept saying that she deserves a treat (crappy ice-cream, cookies...)

    Good for you for being such a strong and focused warrior mama! You and your daughter will thrive (and the friends and family may be mystified or amazed, but it doesn't really matter)

    I can't wait to see how it all unfolds for you!

  3. Oh Annie, Thanks for your wonderful blog. I too started gaps because of my son. He got mouth thrush when he was a tiny new born so I started learning about candida and then probiotics and thenI found gaps. It feels like such an amazing journey now. We have been doing full gaps since and now my son is 10 1/2 months. I look forward to seeing how things unfold for you both. Nursing and doing gaps seems so hard sometimes but its also incredibly motivating and oh so rewarding.


  4. Wheee! Comments on my blog! So excited!

    gapsmomof3 - Good for you for finding GAPS so early on! I heard about SCD when my daughter was 18 months old and I was like - how did I not find out about this until now!?! Look forward to hearing more feedback about your experiences.

    Justine - Thanks for calling me a "warrior mama" - I consider that the highest compliment. :) The grandparents thing is tough. My parents make a tremendous effort, but Ellie is allergic to citrus so even dishes washed with lemon detergent can make her sick. It's tough to balance and I am now the crazy lady rinsing off dishes at other people's houses...

    Baden - so happy that you found my blog! It's so interesting that you started GAPS for your little one too. It's amazing how going on GAPS can reveal that we have our own health stuff to deal with. Your blog is such a source of information an inspiration. Thanks for everything you do!

  5. Just wanted to say hi, I'm another of the bloggers doing intro with Baden. I think it is wonderful that you are doing this hard work for your daughter. Do you know that Dr. Natasha says that your body is producing antibodies through your milk that are helping her deal with her gut flora? I wanted to tell you that in case you are wanting to continue nursing, but wondering if you should stop. Dr. Natasha says babies often become worse after weaning, so if you are both content in your nursing relationship feel confident that you are doing the right thing to continue nursing while you are helping her gut flora to get better.

  6. Hi Starlene! Yes, I am aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, especially for a kiddo with GAPS issues. Good thing I stuck with it through some rough times! Thanks for the support!

  7. "So I figure if I got Ellie into this mess, I'm going to get her out."

    How loving! I am starting in January for my whole family (husband, 2.5yo son, 8mo daughter, and me) and my baby has as many symptoms as my I feel the same way as you. I know I will benefit, but it was not my issues driving the thought of GAPS. Being late November 2011, I look forward to reading your other posts to see how things progress.

  8. Oh boy and I hear you on sticking out breastfeeding through tough times. Short nursing, refusal to nurse, low weight gain, lowered supply, discovered tongue and lip tie, lots of tears and screaming on her part and tears on my part. I couldn't have given up bc of the importance of breastfeeding, but many would have.

  9. Hi Alicia!

    I'm glad you found this blog - I hope it is helpful as you prepare to start your journey. We've been through lots of ups and downs (as I'm sure you will experience) and having some support and a feeling that you're not alone is priceless. Breastfeeding on GAPS is hard, but so worth it! It meant a lot to me to be able to wean because *we* were ready, and for no other reason.


  10. I'm so so happy I was linked here from the gaps guide website! I'm still nursing my 21 month old son and as his addiction to 'white' foods worsens the fact that he's nursing is the only thing keeping me from worrying myself sick over his poor nutrition. I'm so happy that I've found someone else in a similar boat, its very nice to not be alone (though I've made so many unconventional choices in the last few years that I am getting used to it).

    We're very lucky in that our issues are relatively minor: stubborn eczema on his tummy, early cavities, and poor sleep quality (very restless). My husband has a VERY difficult time believing that a diet change will have any effect on these symptoms and an even harder time believing that removal of the offending foods will result in a child eager to eat real food. However, he knows that nutrition is something that I spend a lot of time reading about and he trusts me so he's willing to let me try it out so long as I'm willing to keep taking the munchkin in for regular checkups. Deal.

    Now that I've discovered gaps, intuitively, emotionally and intellectually I KNOW this is what my son needs to be the human he was meant to be without the hurdles of poor diet thrown in. I've ordered both the gaps guide and the original book and I can't wait too start.

    Of course, I'm pretty sure it won't hurt my husband or I either!


  11. Hi Erin - Welcome! I hope you find our journey informative - we've been on this diet for 13 months now so we've BEEN THERE! Good luck with your launch into GAPS and trust yourself, mama!

  12. "So I figure if I got Ellie into this mess, I'm going to get her out. " Awesome. I can relate. Been getting some weird his on my blog lately and now I know why. go GAP! We would love to have you join us!

    1. Hi Nichole,

      Glad you found me! Thanks for the invitation, but we do not adhere to GAPS anymore. We are still grain-free, sugar-free (to many things to list-free!) but ultimately GAPS as it is intended to be practiced just didn't work for Ellie. We're winging it now :)