For those who have noted my recent lack of posting/emailing them/calling, I regret to inform you that I have learned a new lesson the hard way.
Being a parent is hard! I won’t bore you with the whining that any parent can tell you (so tired, no time for anything else). The last few days have been the hardest- I’m second-guessing myself at every turn. Some sources say to feed her 8-12 times daily; others say as few as six. Some say to let her cry; others say never. Pacifier? No pacifier? Will this blanket accidentally smother her? Are the carseat straps tight enough but without hurting her? It’s an information overload and everything I do is considered right by at least one source…and dead wrong by at least one more. But the big issue is that Ainsley’s allergic to something I’m eating and I have to slowly eliminate everything to figure out the cause. First was dairy; I’d been limiting my dairy intake from the day of her birth, so it was just one more step to completely stop (goodbye, delicious butter and cream, I shall miss you). Now it’s soy, too, and if that doesn’t work, all citrus.
Dairy had been a major protein source throughout my pregnancy; losing soy meant losing my new main protein source. I was depressed. I’d been so proud of my healthful low-to-no meat diet, and I simply couldn’t be sure Ainsley had enough of the right nutrients with no dairy or soy. I called a friend who’s been vegetarian for 19 years and vegan for five. I begged for advice on what to eat. He gave me some great ideas, but also helped me feel comfortable with the fact I might have to just eat some meat and get over myself already.
Seriously, I am fine with eating some meat if it means that we can fix this food allergy problem and if it means Ainsley and I have enough protein. I was just so proud of my dietary changes and it felt like backsliding at first. Being a total vegetarian is not something I thought I’d ever accomplish, but I was proud of how far I’d come, from meat-centric fatty dinners to healthful fruits, grains, and vegetables at the core of most meals. But nothing trumps doing the right thing for Ainsley so I will have a little animal protein more often. I was only eating fish, but I can’t eat too much due to mercury, …it’s all tiring and easy to overthink.
Well, you see the point. Oh, and enjoy the latest baby picture.