So now I suspect that my precious, perfect baby boy is allergic to dairy.
Even though I can't tolerate dairy, I still cheat once in a while. Not often, and I don't fret much over hidden dairy in processed foods like bread. Big doses make me notice the discomfort, but everything takes the "worth it" test -- "Is pizza worth the discomfort?" No; "Is that chocolate brownie worth the discomfort?" Yes. Cheese always loses, chocolate always wins. My friends have probably noticed my hypocrisy, because they try to protect me from dairy and once in a while it's a wasted effort (but I do appreciate the thoughtfulness!).
Now, after a Thanksgiving weekend binge on cinnamon rolls with lots of gooey icing and three regular Sbux mochas, the baby has a red rash on his face that won't go away. It's almost a circle around his mouth and doesn't seem to itch him. But it is bright and angry and scaly, and it keeps flaring up after I have eaten something with dairy -- including pastry, fruit and cereal bars, my own chicken pot pie in which I used 50/50 Butter Blend Smart Balance, and Chocolate-dipped Peppermint Joe-Joes (damn!). Just cutting back hasn't helped much. Since my last known exposure, I have been very careful and this morning the rash is much better. It pains me to see my baby boy reacting to something, to think that we may be dealing with a long-term problem. I hope not.
Oh, and the rash is not the only symptom. Around the same time he transformed from a sweet, happy baby boy to a SHRIEKING banshee. He doesn't normally fuss much, but he tells us with whining when he is wet or tired or hungry. But after the rash started, those discomforts became HUGE ORDEALS that would set him off, reaching decibels that surely could not be measured, rattling my brain and piercing my eardrums. I'm not exaggerating. Really, the shrieking was that bad for about a week. It's better now. Actually, the shrieking is almost gone too. Strange coincidence, eh. I doubt it.
My gut tells me that dairy is the problem. The family, the pediatrician, some friends are not convinced. I guess time will tell.
In the meantime, I will be reading labels more carefully and declining what previously might have tempted me. I apologize in advance for becoming picky!