Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 12: What a mess

Ellie and I were both a wreck again today. It's frustrating when it takes me days to figure out where something went wrong. I think in this case it's probably the carrot juice we introduced yesterday. I'm not sure if it was "too detoxifying" or if it was simply too much sugar too soon. But Ellie was a cranky, needy mess all day today - telling me her tummy hurt over and over - and is now refusing to go to sleep once again. (Ian took over baby duty - thank God for that.)

Last night bedtime took 2.5 hours and before I rip all my hair out and run away from home I have to remind myself that it used to be like that every single night of the week and that overall, things have been better than those bad old days lately. I lost my temper with Ellie this morning (yelling at a young child who is hurting makes me feel like a serious jerk) - which is an indication to me that the juice is a problem because of the sugar.

Setbacks like this are so incredibly hard. I feel so defeated when I'm dedicating every ounce of my energy to feed us the right foods and to get something wrong that was supposed to be just fine. Ian is questioning that GAPS is the right choice and feels that in general Ellie has been doing worse on GAPS. I'm not far behind him. But the trouble is that we've both read the book and we know that GAPS Syndrome fits Ellie to the T. We've tried every other diet and therapy that made any possible sense and we ended up here because it is - for lack of a kinder term - the end of the road for us.

Eliminations diets and the GAPS diet are a constantly shifting picture and I am making adjustments almost every day. What happens if we take the carrot juice out? What happens if I pull the egg yolks? Did it make a difference that the stock was made out of tap water rather than filtered? Is it really possible for 2 Tbsp. of carrot juice to make a person this sick? Did she eat too much fat today? Not enough? Was the yogurt not really a problem? Even though Dr. Natasha says practically everybody can tolerate sauerkraut juice, what if Ellie can't? If she can't have kraut juice or yogurt - what probiotic can she have? These are the thoughts that spin around my head all day and all night long. It's a puzzle I've been trying to piece together since we discovered she was intolerant to dairy and soy a year ago (followed by many more foods). Why is my child still sick? Will I ever get her healthy? Why can't she just "grow out of" her allergies and reflux like her doctors said she would? Questions that nobody has the answers to ... but that I can't keep from asking.


  1. Hang in there, Annie. It will get better. What I love about GAPS is that this diet heals and there is an end to it. For some that might mean full GAPS forever, but I'm realizing it's not so bad. I feel bad because I let my toddler have way too many rice noodles yesterday. I just didn't have enough veggies cooked for him and we ate supper at 7pm which is way too late. My almost 7 year old didn't like supper (again) and I refused to make him anything else. DH is snacking on M&Ms and I want to smack him!! Sigh... take a breath. It's another day!
    Love your blog.

  2. hi again annie. yes as magda said hang in there. it seems much healing, GAPS included, is a case of worse before better. I feel for you - it has been so frustrating over the years trying to find answers but it must be that much more frustrating and painful when it is your little one that has the bigger health puzzle. I had been doing Nourishing Traditions, cut out gluten and casein (wow what a difference that made!) and sugar for a little while before I was pregnant - Louie (2 now) doesn't seem too bad and I had given him infant probiotics in his first year. I (we) came to full GAPS just under a year ago and it was definitely a case of worse before better. But it also felt and feels like the final piece of the puzzle and a long-term solution for true health rather than just getting by with a limited diet forever. But I did notice that when I felt really bad with die-off (or now also still if I take too much probiotic too or something) that that is when Louie's sleep was/is at its most terrible and there was more crying and fussiness etc. - think it must be something to do with the breastmilk at those times but figure breastmilk is still the best option longterm and want Louie largely to self wean when he's ready so I carried on. Hope things get easier for you soon.

  3. Magda and Julia - Thanks so much for the encouragement. I am so glad I started this blog so I can hear from tough mamas like you who are doing this too! We are just taking a break from trying anything new today and letting whatever went wrong work it's way out of our systems and starting over again tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me that healing often involves "worse before better." :)

  4. Hi Annie, I just started reading your blog! We started GAPS about 3 weeks ago. I started Full GAPS because I'm still nursing my 9 month old son. My husband went through intro though. I'm curious what made you decide to do Intro while breastfeeding? Is it because you were doing SCD beforehand?

    I'm glad to have your blog to read and am hoping Ellie starts showing permanent and positive signs of improvement soon for you!

  5. Hi Russellbug - So glad you found this blog - I'm so happy to be connecting with nursing mamas doing GAPS.

    It's an excellent question - why am I doing intro with Ellie when Dr. N says not to? I should probably write a whole post about this, but here's an answer I wrote when someone else asked me this question recently:

    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).

  6. This is very late, but in my reading, a nursing mama doing intro is ok when baby is predominantly eating food and supplementing with breastmilk. And, as various GAPS "know-it-alls" :) have said, many times, you need to make it work and tweak it to fit your family.