As a mom, all I want is to protect my baby from anything that could cause her harm. I hate for anything to ever hurt my lil sweetpea and cause her any pain. Having to hold her while she gets shots or have tests done in the hospital breaks my heart and I usually end up in tears as well. Her appointment with the allergy specialist last week was no exception; having to watch my baby girl go through that testing was enough to last a lifetime…unfortunately we will probably have to get her tested within another year 🙁
We always suspected that Abby had possible food allergies, I just always hoped it was more of an intolerance than an actual allergy. When she was born we started her out on regular formula and after a few weeks we noticed she seemed to have trouble with it. She always had gas and always seemed upset like her poor little tummy was hurting. Plus her face would always be so red and splotchy. After a visit with her pediatrician, we were advised to try her on the soy based formula and see if that helped any. After a few days of the soy we noticed that she was still having trouble and was still breaking out plus now she constipated. Another trip to the pediatrician and my baby was put on Nutramigen. This formula seemed to do the trick and we were told to keep her on it for the time being.
At Abby’s six month well child appointment we discussed trying to go take her back towards the regular formula and we were give the soy formula to try once again. Trying the soy formula ended up being a total nightmare. It made my baby so sick, projectile vomiting and an upset tummy…I think we actually threw the sheets and her onesie from that day away (it was an old set of sheets for the bed in the guest room). When I called to speak with a nurse I was actually told to try the formula again!?! Ummm sorry but no, my child was horribly sick and I was not going to do that to her again. Back on the Nutramigen she went and that was the end of trying to change her formula.
As Abby got closer to turning a year old we were advised to introduce things to her a tiny bit at a time to see if a reaction occurred. A tiny bit of milk here, a few pieces of cheese there just to see if she showed signs of an allergic reaction. The thing was…one day we could give her shredded cheese and she was fine, absolutely no kind of break out. Two days later we could give her cheese again and she would break out all over her face. The same thing happened with milk, ice cream, and other certain foods. We know that at a year old is when most little ones switch from formula to milk but we didn’t see that as being possible for Abby. When we went in for her one year check up we mentioned all of the reactions to her pedi and the decision was made to send her to an allergy specialist. For the time being she would simply stay on her formula and we could introduce foods as we had been, keeping close watch for any break outs.
Her appointment finally arrived and let me tell you, I was so nervous! I had no idea what to except and that bothered me quite a bit. We spoke with the doctor for a bit and then it was time for the testing. The nurse had hubby hold Abby in his lap and I stood beside her with an army of her stuffed animals to try and help keep her calm. Once the first set of testing was poked onto her back she lost it and so did I. To stand there and listen to my baby scream and cry and watch her jerk in pain killed me and I ended up crying as well. This was definitely not something I wanted to ever go through again yet I know eventually they will retest her 🙁
Hubby held Abby as we waited for the testing to complete, we stood there and watched as four red bumps/areas formed on her back and knew that she had some kind of allergies, we just weren’t sure which ones. The doctor came back in and he even seemed surprised. Abby is allergic to milk, egg and soy! We suspected the soy after the reaction she had to the formula but I was really hoping she just had a milk intolerance instead of an allergy….and the egg allergy completely took us by surprise. We had no idea! Abby had her flu shots last fall and had no kind of reaction and normally they say that if you have an egg allergy you can’t get the flu shot.
Suddenly it seemed like I had so much being given to me in the form of paperwork, food lists, information being told to us, new prescriptions being written out, etc. I was floored…overwhelmed…what in the world was I going to feed my daughter? I’m a horrible cook as it is and now suddenly I had to learn to cook all of Abby’s foods and with special ingredients. We left the office in almost a state of shock and with a million questions. I don’t even know when we are supposed to take Abby off her formula now or what we should give her when we do. Abby is to the point that all she wants is table food and I suddenly realized how limited her choices are right now. When we went grocery shopping the other day, everything that came to mind to get her ended up having at least one of her food allergies in the ingredients.
We definitely have a new way of looking at things and will be changing up our menu quite a bit. I now read the labels on everything, I take longer making the menu/grocery list, and I try to think of new foods to introduce her to that she can have. I know it will take some getting use to but I know we will get the hang of it. Right now, grocery shopping is almost a nightmare simply because we are still so clueless when it comes to what to give her. A quick trip to the store to grab things to cook for dinner now becomes an hour of wading the stores, reading labels and searching for something…anything to get Abby for a quick dinner. I was honestly almost in tears tonight while trying to find her something, I know I was just overwhelmed but it felt like there was nothing to choose from. We were running late and actually preparing a meal was out of the question but so was simply grabbing a quick little toddler meal to warm in the microwave since all of those contain ingredients she can’t have. We are hoping to speak with the nutritionist this week to get a better idea of how to proceed with things, when and what to introduce to take the place of the formula, things like that.
The hardest part has been not having many to talk with about this. I don’t know many around here and I especially don’t know many that have little ones with food allergies. For the first time ever, my sister isn’t much help. She’s never had to think twice about giving my niece milk or mac & cheese or ice cream. I have always turned to her for advice and suggestions but this time, I’m on my own. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of bloggers that have really helped me out and given me so much helpful advice, suggestions and pointed me in the direction of useful websites and blogs. If any of you that happen to stumble upon my post have any advice or happen to have little ones of your own that have food allergies I would love to hear from you! 🙂