When I was pregnant with Eloise, my body stopped tolerating dairy. If I had any at all, I got a migraine headache that would not quit. It was painful to eliminate it from my diet, but I stopped eating it as soon as I made the connection, and the headaches stopped, too. After birth, I was able to have it again without the headaches coming on, yet it took us nearly six months to realize that Eloise had a dairy allergy herself. The poor girl had been miserable for so long at that point, and my renewed dairy consumption was the culprit. I felt awful about it. Her first six months of life were truly hard on us all.
Saying goodbye to dairy cold turkey for a second time was no fun, but not nearly as bad as watching our babe struggle through tummy issues and insomnia night after night, month after month. I only wish we’d cracked the code far sooner.
Three years later, Eloise is still dairy free. I’ve been eating in solidarity with her from the time we discovered her allergy, and we’ve both benefitted from a lack of dairy in our lives.
This time around, pregnancy has been surprising in many ways, but one of the things that gets me the most is the crazy number of times I’ve craved dairy. A total 180 from my last experience, I was really hesitant to give in to the craving at first. I thought I might get sick like before, and I hated the idea of eating it when Eloise can’t. Being the DF duo in the house has worked out just fine for a long time, but not now.
This morning, I snuck a piece of cheese in the kitchen so Eloise wouldn’t see me eat it. She notices everything, and I can’t blame her. The other night at dinner she asked if other little girls could have dairy, and answering that question was actually really hard for me. I hate for her to feel left out, and I don’t want to leave her hanging on the DF front.
There’s something different about this baby though, and he or she wants cheese. What’s a mama to do?
Hesitant to begin feeling the repercussions of dairy again myself, I’ve eased into the notion that maybe baby needs something that only dairy can offer. High fat? Some protein I wouldn’t find elsewhere? I can’t bring myself to jump back into regular milk and yogurt and such, but cheese and ice cream (hello, toasty summer!) have become a completely different story.
Baby #3 keeps my on my toes in so many ways, and is largely a big mystery to me. My desire for dairy is just another one of those things to chalk up to pregnancy and to realize will likely shift again once baby is here. I keep telling myself it’s to afford us another strong, healthy kiddo like the other two have been. I pray that’s exactly the case.
It’s been a tad hard to shed guilt each time Jason and I have ice cream from our favorite local spot after the kids are in bed, or after I’ve tucked a slice of cheese under other things on my plate when I’m sitting down next to Eloise at the table. But I’m going against all previous wisdom and bowing to the whim of my pregnant body–the one that’s capable of knowing what this baby needs and communicating that clearly.
I’m not binge eating ice cream or downing gallons of milk at bedtime, but I’ll admit cheese feels a little like an old friend, and I haven’t hated craving it a little here and there. It’s nice to have pregnancy take me in the direction of a food craving this time around, instead of another food aversion. So far, dairy, coffee and eggs have made their way onto the “aversions that stick post-pregnancy” list. I wouldn’t be all too excited about adding anything new to the off limits column.
Cheese is a beautiful thing in moderation, my friends. And if it’s good enough for baby in these last weeks of pregnancy, it’s good enough for me, too 😉
86ing dairy free mama status around here (for just a little while anyway),