Lock up your almond butter….

Jackson newborn Marvel blanket

Here is our blessing hanging out in his awesome Marvel blanket! (made my my super sweet cousin!)

First things first: Thank you all for your sweet comments on Jackson’s birth story! It was an amazing experience that I’m already so glad I wrote out, it’s already becoming a tad blurry so I’m glad I can look back and read it…. or make Jackson read it some day when he’s being a stinker. 😉

Off to the doctor I go...

I recently went back to the doctor for my 6 week check up. This is the check up where most women get the ‘A-Okay’ from their doctor to resume life as normal and are told that they are good to go to be themselves again. Hooray! Right? ….Wrong.

I went into the appointment a tad nervous. I wasn’t quite mentally ready to go back to the doctor for myself.However, I do think that six weeks is ENTIRELY TOO LONG to wait to go back to the doctor to make sure things are oaky.  My appointment was with my regular OBGYN. I do wish that this appointment would have been with the doctor that delivered Jackson, was there for the birth, did the cutting, and preformed the reconstruction and such. He has the background knowledge. Oh well.

Into the doctor I went. He was kind and said he heard my birth experience was great and that I did get to go without medication, just like I wanted. His nurse gave me a high-5. HAHA! 🙂 Totally made me smile! Then, he went through the laundry list of questions:

  • Postpartum depression? ……NOPE! Horray, I was scared out of my mind that I was going to be affected by postpartum depression.  I was scared that I was going to feel super sad—- I waited for it to hit. It never did!
  • How was I adjusting to life as a mom? ….I feel blessed. End of story.
  • Was I resuming normal activity? ……I was completely ‘mad-as-heck’ at how long it took me to be able to run again.  I ran just days before he was born and tried to run about two weeks after I had him: complete joke. It felt like important parts of me were falling out when I ran about three steps. FAIL! I was able to run about four weeks after though. 🙂
  • Are you  having any PAIN? ……{oh crap, here is the question I was not looking forward to} Yes, I am still in pain. I still hurt.

It turns out my answer to that last question isn’t normal. Having pain like I’m having 6 weeks after delivery is not normal. The doctor informed me that I am not okay, I have some pretty extensive nerve damage.  What?! Extensive nerve damage.

What I'm not supposed to be in pain?!

What!? I’m supposed to be past the pain?!

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Something was right and I, to some extent, knew it. I heard Kath write in her blog that she was excited to ride a bike soon. I replied to that post of hers by saying that, “you couldn’t pay me enough money to hop on a bike!” (and I’d had Jackson a fair amount of time before she had Maze.) No way, no how, could I even THINK of riding a bike!

Doctor say Whaaaaaaat?!

Yes, there is a medical name for my issue but I’m just not going to go into it. He gave me a prescription, list of things to do, AND a list of foods I can no longer eat.

I grabbed the list of foods not to eat and about had a heart attack! Here are a few of the things I can no longer eat:

  • Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Nuts— all of them!
  • Nut butters— all of them too! 😦 and I love me some almond butter! 
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • lemons & limes
  • Beans— all of them as well!
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach

**Note:The list is just a little bit longer but I only put on the foods that hit me the hardest. **

Would you like a list of my favorite foods?!? Wait, it’s pretty much the EXACT same list!!!!  I was just given the news that I’m not ‘okay’ and now I can’t eat any of my favorite foods. I’m pretty sure that the ONLY things missing from that list are wine & oatmeal. I had to go grocery shopping after the doctor and I *swear* the doctor stole my grocery list and put each and every item I had on the list of foods I can no longer eat….. I wanted to break down in the doctors office and start to throw a complete fit or cry. All I could do was look at him blankly, laugh, and say “I don’t know what I’m going to do….. I eat a lot of nuts.” He looked back at me, said that didn’t sound good, and laughed.

How am I going to feed my baby?

I just stood there reading the list and trying to rack my brain trying to figure out how to feed my baby and myself. I’m a breastfeeding mother that lives on protein from many of the foods on the list. How on earth was I going to feed myself so that I could feed my baby?! I was genuinely confused. I was already struggling with making sure I was eating enough to make enough breast milk. I was relying very heavily on almonds, almond butter, peanut butter, cheese, and greek yogurt to get enough protein and healthy fat to make good breast milk. How am I going to figure this out. I felt like I was in calculus class all over again, given an equation and problem that I simply couldn’t figure out how to make work.

How am I going to ROCK with this news?!

The doctor told me that he couldn’t stop me from eating all of those things- but it was recommended.So, I made a deal with myself. My “healing plan” is about 4 weeks long. I have to call back in 4 weeks to see if I’m better.  If I’m still showing signs of significant nerve damage I’ll be shipped off to a specialist for surgery. Till then, I have to follow this plan. BUMMER!   ….My deal was that I would take the medication, use the perscription, and follow the to do list— except the food part. Then, if I wasn’t showing signs of progress half way through, I would heed his advice and not let those foods pass my lips. Well, here we are at half way through the “healing plan” and……..

I’m not any better.

Crud. Unless I want to have surgery, I better give this a try. So, I have to throw myself  fully into a new way of thinking. For the past two weeks, I’ve been avoiding relying them on my sole nutrition to make healthy breast milk but not avoiding them COMPLETELY. I have to make the switch, no matter how hard it is going to be.

I am truly inspired by my blog friend, Maryea who blogs over at  happyhealthymama.comShe is working her way through breastfeeding while dealing with her son’s food allergies/intolerances. She is still making healthy choices for her family even with these bumps in the road. Maryea doesn’t let it stop her from feeding her baby or herself. I have admired her from the beginning for the lengths she has gone to to create healthy food & healthy breast milk. You rock, Maryea. I hope she knows that she is truly an inspiration.

So, here is what I WILL be eating: oatmeal, eggs, chicken breasts, avocados, soy milk, carrots, protein shakes, and ummmmmm maybe some bread. This.is.hard. I have spent the last six years of my life trying to find the healthiest food and eat them. Turns out this healthy food is not helping my body heal. This confuses me.  Oh well—– Doctor’s orders.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put a lock on my almond butter, peanut butter, almonds, yogurt, chocolate, beans, and all the other things I like to eat…

**IMPORTANT NOTE** I am in NO WAY complaining about what I am going through with this nerve damage issue.  I remember one year ago taking off to go to the doctor all.the.time, feeling at a loss, discouraged, and giving myself shots to try to get to where I am at; to have a healthy blessing in our arms.  I would not change a SINGLE thing. Not one single thing. I am simply sharing part of my journey called life. Thanks!

Question: Have you ever had to abandon a healthy behavior because it wasn’t helping you?


20 responses to “Lock up your almond butter….

  1. So sorry to hear about your medical troubles. I took your “offlimits foods” and came up with alternatives for you… hope this helps a bit!

    Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt –> coconut, soy, or almond varieties
    Chocolate –> carob!
    Coffee –> Dandy Blend (like coffee, but made with dandelion root)
    Nuts –> seeds! flax, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin
    Nut butters –> seed butters! Sunflower, sesame (tahini), pumpkin
    Berries –> apples, kiwis, banana, pineapple, melons
    Grapes –> see fruits above
    lemons & limes –> oranges
    Beans –> lentils, edamame (soy beans)?
    Celery –> green onions
    Eggplant –> artichokes
    Sweet potatoes –> yams? plantains? white potatoes?
    Spinach –> kale, arugula

    Good luck!

  2. Oh no! Sorry to hear that the recovery has been slower than normal! Hope things work out. 🙂

  3. Oh no Julie! I’m in shock that all of those healthy foods are triggers for your nerves! Such a blow. But it looks like you’ve found some great healthy alternatives. Can you eat seeds? You could sub your almond butter for sunflower seed butter. Hang in there and I hope you heel quickly!

  4. I’m so sorry you’re having pain 😦 : (

    But I’m also confused about what the diet will do? Is it supposed to promote healing or so something more drastic? I haven’t heard of such a link of food to the nether regions!

  5. Oh bummer. Hoping you heal quickly. Looks like the above commenter has a great list for you!

  6. Wow, Julie. What a shock. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I know how frustrating being food-restricted can be. Like Kath, I’m totally confused on the food/nerve healing connection. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I hope however it works, it does work for you and you can get rid of the pain.

    I have to comment on your little cutie. Sooooo adorable!!!

    Thanks for mentioning me and my blog and your kind words. I think you need to make yourself some sunflower seed butter. 🙂

  7. Oh Julie, I’m so, so sorry to hear about your nerve damage 😦 How horrible to be in pain while trying to take care of a new baby! I’m so sorry! As you know, i’m right there with you when it comes to changing the way you eat! I’m off of dairy too and since I was eating greek yogurt every day, I’ve found that Amande yogurt (made from almond milk) is pretty good! It’s definitely hard to get the protein though but Nugo bars (they have some that are GF and DF) have 10 grams which is pretty good! I’ll be praying for your recovery and for no need for surgery!

  8. First off, award for cutest baby picture in the history of ever goes to you!!! Second off, I am so so so sorry to hear about your nerve damage! I know that you are super strong, though, and will have these weeks fly by. It will make all your favorite foods THAT much better when you are able to have them again! You will be in my prayers, I bet baby Jackson will be cheering you on, as well 🙂

  9. Wow, girl, what a hard thing to hear! I have my 6 week check next week and I’m a little nervous because I’m not feeling 100% physically, either – suuuper sensitive! We’ll see what happens.

    Can you do lentils? Seeds instead of nuts? Other greens beside spinach?

    Sending prayers your way! & Jackson is absolutely beauuutiful!

  10. Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear about all of this! I know it will be tough, but you can do it. Plus, your little boy is adorable, so of course it is worth it. Sending prayers your way!

  11. Oh no nut butters?! Oh man I’d go crazy! I am so sorry to hear this, at least they figured out there was problem and can hopefully get you feeling better soon!!! Your little one is so adorable by the way, so at least he’s worth the pain 🙂

  12. I’m so sorry that you are going through this right now! I would be sad to cut out all of those foods too! Hopefully it’ll work within a few weeks, and then you can get back to feeling like yourself!

  13. Just stumbled across your blog, first off let me extend my sympathy for your pain and congratulations for your adorable bundle of joy! Eliminating food you love is horrible and mentally exhausting…but I wanted to throw my two cents in about trying coconut milk (canned, Native Forest Full Fat = no BPA) and avocado to help with getting enough healthy fats, plus they can help you feel more satisfied.

    Good Luck!

  14. I’m so sorry about your nerve damage — that is definitely not fun. Though I’m sure the dietary restrictions from the doctor is harder to accept and want to comprehend. I know I would be in the same place if I had to avoid all of those. 😦 Can you have seeds and edamame (soy-beans)? If you can, you can make those nut butters without the nuts. You can also try making a chocolate pudding using carob powder and avocado. You might enjoy that. 🙂

  15. sorry about your pain, can you ever eat the foods again or is it good to avoid for good for your body?

  16. Ah that really stinks. But think of it as you have to take care of yourself to take care of your son. I thought having gestational diabetes would be so hard, giving up SO many foods. But I knew it was for the health of my baby so that made it not just necessary, but easy. Hopefully you will be healed and back to eating nut butter in no time!

  17. Sorry to hear about this. That list seems like foods people SHOULD be eating, so it’s a bummer you aren’t supposed to eat them. What about quinoa, tofu, or mushrooms? As a breastfeeding mother of 12 months and 1 week (still going!), I would just advise eating anything you can. Heck, even cake turns into milk. : )

  18. I’m a lurker, love your blog!! – so, so sorry to hear about this pain. I do not have nerve pain in that particular part of my body but do in other parts, and people who don’t experience it can’t imagine the agony – like fire and a hot knife all rolled into one. Can we please have an update? How are you feeling?

  19. Sorry you’re going through this! I understand the feeling though. My 2.5 year old has food allergies to dairy, peanuts, wheat and eggs (I didn’t eat these while breastfeeding him after we found out about the allergies, so I understand what you’re going through). Now my 11 week old may have dairy issues, so I’m off dairy for a bit to see if that’s it. Hang in there…it’s so frustrating and disappointing when you have to give up your favorite foods!

  20. Pingback: Making milk is a superpower! ||{healthy lactation cookies}|| | Spinach and Sprinkles

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