Marko had a wonderful day Friday. He nursed like a champ, smiled pretty much the whole day, and hardly even fussed. From Thursday afternoon to the middle of Saturday morning, he was just perfect. I had tried a number of things those couple of days, from cutting out all dairy to eating oatmeal (supposed to increase milk supply) to working on our latch. Since the change was so instant and dramatic, I credited the techniques I'd been using to bring him to the breast. I went back to having cereal and milk for breakfast and didn't worry about anything else.
However, by mid-morning on Saturday, the good times were over. And by Sunday evening, we were back in the "absolutely no nursing" zone. I noticed a few things, including a slow let-down on my part (but only sometimes, and it might be triggered by the stress of him screaming at me ... hard to tell cause and effect) and a lot of spitting up on his part. When he was a newborn, he almost never spit up, but the amount he spits up has been slowly increasing for awhile. On Sunday he spit up quite a bit. I figured it might be because he is rolling around so much, but on the other hand, it does bring up the reflux question again.
Today I was thinking about all this while deciding what to have for breakfast: raisin bran with milk (which was what I wanted) or oatmeal (which I am not crazy about)? I remember hearing that 50% of reflux cases are improved by the mother cutting out casein, the protein in cows' milk. So I chose oatmeal, and furthermore have decided to do a few days' trial where I cut out cows' milk and see how I do.
So far, here's what I've got:
Baby has nursed fine the past couple of times and seems happy at the moment. Not much to go on, but it's a start. If I don't see improvement in a week or so, I'll probably give it up.
Because here's the thing: I love dairy. A lot. My favorite foods are ice cream, butter, sour cream, yogurt, and chocolate milk. Oh, and cheese ... all cheese ... all the time. If milk were alcohol, I would definitely I have to admit that I have a problem. When I make chocolate chip cookies, it's all I can do not to eat them once I get to the butter-and-sugar stage, and leave the rest of the ingredients out. When I make roux for a soup, I always just want to eat the roux. It's bad. At the moment I eat a lot of fat, because baby needs fat and so I crave it inordinately, but the only fat I really like is butterfat. I could eat butter straight, but who ever ate beef tallow straight? Olive oil is okay, but it doesn't really hit the spot the same way.
So I'm looking for ideas. I'm making rice milk at the moment, although I'm quite aware it's lowfat and not going to satisfy my butter craving. To start you off, I offer one milk-substitution recipe, which I am quite proud of having invented when John was on an elimination diet.
Cream-free cream sauce for soup & pasta
1 tablespoon fat, preferably a solid fat: chicken fat, beef tallow, lard, shortening, coconut oil, or ghee (clarified butter -- contains no lactose or casein)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup liquid: stock, wine, or a mixture of both -- it should be strongly flavored to match your soup
Melt the fat over medium heat. I used chicken fat when I invented it, and haven't tried anything else (though I may try ghee). Mix in flour to make a roux. Make sure the flour is totally incorporated. I sometimes brown the roux a bit; if you do this you will have a darker sauce. Then add the liquid, a little at a time, whisking after each addition and cooking a bit until you see no lumps before you add more. Stop when it's the consistency you like -- it thickens a little as it cooks.
Add this to soups calling for cream, or use as a base for a cream sauce over pasta. (My award-winning (i.e. both John and I like it) sauce for noodles is this cream sauce with onions, garlic, and chicken.)
Any other ideas? I would like recipes that contain some fat if possible. I don't generally eat soy; I don't care for it and I don't think it's all that healthy. But I'm not vegetarian or vegan, so meat is fine. So are eggs, which will probably be my salvation as I try to get by on this budget. However, I would love to hear your favorite nondairy recipe, whatever it is!