CMPA babies| no milk? No problem…Right?

Getting a Diagnosis:

When my baby was screaming after every breastfeed and coming out in a rash, a CMPA (that’s a cow milk protein allergy.) wasn’t something I had even heard of, never mind considered.

To give you a bit of a back story, I didn’t have a great labour and my little boy didn’t have the best start.
He wasn’t breathing when he was born and spent some time in the INCU. BUT we are very lucky and it could have been a lot worse. To begin with, he was in the unit because of the birth but then he just started throwing up his NG tube feeds. (he was having formula as I was very ill and not able to be with him.)
Long story short, I began breastfeeding and after a while, Max started showing signs of improvement and they let us go home. (THANK GOD.)

What I later realised is that I had no dairy at all during my time in the hospital and when I got home, I started eating normally again. Looking back it seems so obvious as after being home a few days is when my little one started getting all the symptoms of CMPA.

Max came out in the most horrific rash, his skin was dry skin, he would lift his legs up, arch his back and grunt in pain. He would also scream and vomit after feeding. This was all to spite the fact he was a very calm baby the rest of the time. He would fuss endlessly at the boob and I had no idea what to do or what was wrong. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say having a poorly baby and not knowing is the worst feeling in the world.

The rash was awful, I felt so sorry for my little bean.

The doctors diagnosed Max with eczema and told me he had colic. After another week or so there were still no improvements, We actually had a very negative experience with this particular doctor surgery, who proceeded to tell me I was just “a worrying new mum, I was overprotective and that was all that was wrong.”

The flare-ups looked so sore, I was determined for answers.
(This particular doctor also said this a few months later and max actually ended up being sent to the hospital with a recession in his breathing, but that’s a story for another time.)

Back to the story at hand, It was this time when I found out a CMPA existed. One of my partners work colleagues told him about it, as her child had similar symptoms as cow’s milk protein from your food, can be transferred through breast milk.

I cut milk completely out my diet. Low and behold after about 2 weeks max started to significantly improve. I went to my doctors for yet another visit and suggested this and told him about the improvements but they refused to refer me to a dietician and told me to drink milk and that I could make us both poorly, I left feeling terrible.

I started eating and drinking milk again and Max flared up. I knew this had to be a CMPA at this point, and refused to give up.

This is when I spoke to my health visitor who was wonderful, gentle and listened to everything.
We cut out dairy for a second time and when she saw Max’s improvement she referred us straight to the dietician.

Max at 5-month-old was FINALLY diagnosed with a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy to the relief of me and his dad.

Max Now,

We are now dairy-free and since max has not had a flare-up and is a healthy happy little boy.
I would love to share more about by Dairy-free weaning, my experiences with a CMPA baby and hopefully our experiences with joining the milk ladder in the future.

I wanted to share this experience to tell other mothers not to give up if you feel like something is wrong and to keep trying no matter how silly you feel.
We got this and we know our babies.

Let me know your experiences in the comments, and open up the convosation about CMPA!

-Toots x

Toon Me|

This isn’t really a post to do with any of my other content, and so far on this blog everything seems to have been rather random and miscellaneous.
But, I saw this TOONME challenge going around and thought I would give it a go.

If you don’t know or are not in the loop the challenge is simple.
Draw half a picture of yourself in your own style.

I still have a very wobbly hand when digitally drawing as I don’t have a graphics tablet and actually use my phone.
So, Here is my attempt:

Day 1: Something you are looking forward to this year.

For some of these daily blog challenges I am worried what to write about but this one is an EASY choice.

“Something you are looking forward to this year.”

This year I am looking forward to getting married. Yes, that’s right. Wedding bells at the ready.

I am getting bethrothed my long term partner-in-crime and father of my child, Daniel.
We have been together since I was 17 (I’m now 26) and we have been engaged since 2017. So let’s just say it’s about time. As cliche as it sounds, he is my best friend in the whole world and I cannot wait to be his wife.

We are getting married in August 2020 and there is still ALOT of organising to do but we are getting married in the most dreamy venue – The Old Barn at The South Causey.

image by Sean Elliott
Image by Sean Elliott

It is the most dreamy venue in beamish valley and was just the perfect backdrop for marrying the love of my life. All the details are not in place yet ( I might even write a few posts about the details after the day has passed) but I am sure it is going to be a perfect day.

So, without a doubt the thing I am looking forward to this year is becoming a wife.

– Toots x


Butterfly World | Happy Birthday, Dan.

Not your regular type of blog post, but this week it was my wonderful husband – to – be’s 27th birthday. So, we went on a little day trip about an hour away from home to visit ‘Butterfly World’. My partner took the day off work and we embarked on the family outing to see some Lepidoptera and explore the nearby, Preston Museum.

I personally would not recommend this activity for an 8 month old as he did try and squash the butterflies with no mercy and it did prove to be quite the work out on our part. (Luckily, no butterflies got harmed during this outing 🤣). However, he did watch them flying around and it was lovely to see him interacting with nature. Butterfly world is 100% somewhere I would love to come back to when Max is older, as it will be a great educational trip to teach him about the life cycle of a butterfly!

Anyways, it was a wonderful, sunshine – filled day and it was great to spend some quality time as a family. So I thought I would share a couple of photos from our day. Let me know in the comments if you have ever visited Butterfly world and your thoughts!

– Toots. x


So you might be wondering why I want to write about animals as well as my life as a parent.
Firstly, Animals are a massive part of my life and to write a blog about my life without including animals in it would not be very ‘On Brand’ .

I’m not a source of all knowledge, I know that. BUT I do know a thing or two about animals and would like to share that with people, make a couple of care guides based on my experiences and share my passion for the animal industry with others. 

I grew up around so many weird and wonderful animals so it seems strange to think that my first choice in career wasn’t an Animal based one and that I actually didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be for such a long time. I spent years trying to figure it out, but looking back now it all seems so obvious.

One of my earliest memories is collecting caterpillars in various jam jars and tubs with my younger sister in my Nan’s back garden dreaming of them becoming a cocoon and then realising them as beautiful butterflies, but that dream was never fulfilled because caterpillars need air holes, which is something I learnt the hard way . (But we all need to start somewhere, right?)

There she is, The myth, The maverick, The caterpillar murderer.

As I got older I stopped being a serial caterpillar murderer but continued to spend my time around animals, we had an allotment and I would pride myself on helping my nan look after our chickens and rabbits, covered and mud with straw in my hair, a musky scent in the air I should have known then I wasn’t destined to have an office job, but I didn’t and the little girl, grew up, got a dead end job, and lived an average working life, the end.
or that’s what i thought at least.

When I turned 20 and I finally started my way on the path to working with animals I finally thought “Hey i could totally do this animal thing and give it a shot” and I did.

I worked hard and totally did that animal thing, completing my Level 3 at college and making my way to beginning my degree, how the hell I did that I do not know. It was an eye opening, challenging 4 years of volunteering and studying but I did it, Sis.
Ya gal now has a degree in Animal Management and is now working in a Veterinary hospital.

I just want somewhere to log my journey into hopefully pursuing my dreams, to help inform people on conservation and hopefully share my passion with the 7 people who will probably read this.  (Shout out to my Nan).


30 Day Blog/Writing Challenge.

Since I left university in the Summer of 2018 I haven’t written a. single. thing.

My Mac has sat in the corner gathering dust (metaphorically, as I am a massive fan of The Sims). The feeling of not having a creative output has been draining me to say the least.

I mainly want to start writing about things I enjoy and that are personal to me and my lifestyle. I am an Animal Management graduate and I love talking all things animal and I am also a new mother so would love to chat about the trials and tribulations of being new to the world of parenthood. Maybe even chuck in some swing dancing, the world is our oyster, kids.

I have no inspiration to write, but I kind of miss it. When I came across a writing challenge, I thought “well why not challenge myself to be a little bit more creative in my everyday life”. As much as it is a little bit of a cringe way to get into blogging at least it’s the start of some kind of content.

But, A lot of the challenges I came across were questionable to say the least, so i’ve mashed up a few of the ones I saw to be a bit more realistic, so feel free to use the one i have created below and add the tag #toots30daychallenge so I can see your take on it. I would love to read others takes on this writing challenge and hopefully it will inspire a few others to start writing too!

I also would like to add, I will also be posting one “day” each week. So that I have a bit more flexibility and I’m more likely to stick to the challenge. ( I do have an 8 month old after all.)

So without further ado, here is the content for the Toots’ 30 Day Writing Challenge .

– Day 1: Something you are looking forward to this year.

– Day 2: Something you regret not doing last year.

– Day 3: 10 likes and dislike .

– Day 4: something that excites you and fills you with joy.

– Day 5: Daily routine.

– Day 6: Discuss some of the things on your bucket list.

– Day 7: Discuss your favourite movie and why it is so special to you.

– Day 8: What’s in your makeup bag?

– Day 9: Hobbies and Interests.

– Day 10: If you could have one job in the world what would it be?

– Day 11: A spontaneous moment in your life that turned out to be amazing.

– Day 12: Write a letter to yourself in the future.

– Day 13: How you deal with success and failure.

– Day 14: Outfit you wore today.

– Day 15: Things that make you happy.

– Day 16: Share your most recent holiday photos.

– Day 17: create a how-to post.

– Day 18: favourite recipe

– Day 19: Favourite place you have visited.

– Day 20: What tattoos do you have and there meaning.

– Day 21: 10 facts about yourself.

– Day 22: A book you love and why?

– Day 23: What lessons do you want your children to learn from you?

– Day 24: Bullet your entire day.

– Day 25: what you eat.

– Day 26: review an item you recently tried.

– Day 27: where would you like to be in 10 years.

– Day 28: A moment in which you where most satisfied with your life.

– Day 29: What’s in your Bag?

– Day 30: How have you changed in the last 2 years?

Good Luck – Toots x

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