We began transitioning Ellie onto the home made almond milk. The allergist wanted me to transition over the period of a month, while the nutritionist wanted me to start introducing new foods right away, and those two things did not match. I decided that if the corn formula was not good for her, we needed to transition faster than a month. Her nutrition depended on it, so within 4 days we had her on 100% almond milk. It was not going well. Her intake was down dramatically, and about every 3rd or 4th bottle she was vomiting. I think that if I was on 100% almond milk, I would vomit, too.
By Wednesday of that week I began to be seriously concerned for dehydration. I couldn't tell if her clumsiness and lethargic behavior was due to reaction, die off, or just plain lack of food. It was also the first day we had to take her out of the house. We had plans to take Moriah to the SF Academy of Sciences homeschool day, and she was looking forward to it tremendously. We packed up two thermoses of hot almond milk, and headed out, just like we would do for formula.
The day went OK, though her intake was low as usual. Her daily 50-60 ounces was down to about 25, and this day was no different. Late that afternoon we headed home, and she was hungry. She quickly downed a bottle in the car, and then suddenly as we entered the foothills during rush hour traffic, she began vomiting. She projectile vomited so hard that she was having trouble breathing, and she wasn't stopping. Jason crossed four lanes of traffic to stop on the shoulder, and I barely had enough room to open the door. I jumped out, grabbed her out of her seat, and held her upside down, up the hill we were next to, as she continued to heave. This was scary enough that for the first time her 5 year old sister verbalized 'Mommy I am sad for Ellie too!'.
What in the world? I was puzzled. We cleaned up as best we could and piled back in for the remainder of the ride home. I grabbed the thermos and smelled. It was rancid. Stupid, stupid mommy! It never even occurred to me that the almond milk would store differently and needed to be refrigerated and not hot. And in my head I knew - she was so used to eating things that hurt her tummy or that tasted nasty, she just ate it. The whole bottle. 8 ounces of rancid almond milk.
By the time we got home, got cleaned up, and got the kids into bed, I was exhausted. I found myself on my knees in the bedroom once more, looking for wisdom and direction. And the mommy guilt was horrific.
We had just finished day four of only almond milk. Her body was thinning, and her skin was changing. She was groggy, clumsy and lethargic, but her eyes were brighter and less dull. The results were confusing, and no doctor could give me direction. I had to rely on my mommy instincts, what information I had been able to piece together, and pray for direction from the God who made her. At this point what I knew was that the almond milk was perhaps better than the formula, but not enough to sustain her. And I was convinced some of what I was seeing was a 'die off' effect in her intestines, making her sicker.
I made the decision to try hemp next. Following GAPs guidelines, I made a paste of the hemp protein powder I had purchased, and applied it to her wrist while she slept. I covered it with a bandaid, and went to bed.