The day I became an “Allergy Mom”

Allergy mom

When I started this blog before Noah was born I fully intended on using it as a way of remembering milestones, highlighting special memories, etc. Given that I haven’t written a single post in over a year, clearly I failed. But, I did live in the moment through everything this past year, so I won’t be toooo hard on myself. Soo incredibly much has changed this last year. We’ve watched our baby become a toddler, we’ve moved to our forever home, we’ve dealt with the death of my mom, gone on vacations, and dealt with severe allergy diagnoses. The last one is my reason for wanting to start blogging again. I need an outlet for dealing with the emotions for being an allergy mom. 

Three months ago, April 20, 2015 is a day that rocked our world and changed our parenting and lives forever. David and I just got home from our first adult vacation since Noah was born- Key West for my best friend Stef’s wedding! We took the next day off work to spend with Noah. That evening we decided to try peanut butter for the first time- something I was soo looking forward to, as I personally could live off of PB. It’s probably one of my favorite things in the entire world. So, I couldn’t wait to introduce my man to the good stuff. Well, seconds after a pea sized taste hit his mouth he was gagging. So I immediately put him in his high chair and gave him some milk as I assumed it was just due to the PB being too thick. Well, a minute later he was vomiting, and starting to scratch his face. So, naturally I picked him up and tried to comfort him. Then, things got scary. He was struggling to breathe and gasping for air. David took one look at his swollen face and realized we either needed to head to the ER or call 911. The latter won. David was on the phone with 911 while I was in the background screaming, “hurry! he can’t breathe!” I’ve never been so terrified in my life.

Five minutes later the EMT showed up, took his vitals, hooked him up to a breathing machine and loaded us into the ambulance. David followed behind us, and the drive was a total blur. They gave him benedryl in the ambulance, but not epinephrine. In hindsight, I am pissed at this approach, and still don’t understand why an epi wasn’t given immediately. Now that I know so much more about anaphylaxis I realize the severity of the situation and know that my son was literally minutes from death. But, I digress. As soon as we arrived at the hospital, the dr. took one look and ordered an epi pen ASAP. Thankfully, within a few minutes David arrived and our son was breathing much better, and the swelling was going down. We stayed for a few hours to be monitored, all while Noah cuddled me tight. David and I immediately started researching and quickly realized how serious this all was. But, we thanked God that our boy was going to be okay.  

allergy mom
The aftermath
I’ve known people with food allergies, but never knew how serious they can be. It was totally eyeopening. After getting home late that evening, we put Noah to bed, and threw any/everything away with peanuts anywhere on the label. We took lysol to everything in our kitchen, and checked to make sure he was breathing every five minutes. The next day we immediately made an appointment with a local allergist. I remember thinking “peanuts are in everything these days, this is going to be so hard.” Little did I know things were only going to get worse.

We did blood work to test for the other common allergens (soy, eggs, wheat, treenuts, etc.). Two weeks later, we got the news that everything was positive. Of course he would be allergic to everything. Subsequently we tested for milk, also positive. I wanted to cry. And I have cried, many times over his allergies. It all started to make sense though, as Noah has struggled with eczema his whole life; behind his knees, his elbows, neck, etc. The poor kid is always itching. I felt serious mom guilt for a while after putting two and two together. Why did I never try eliminating things from my diet while breastfeeding? Why did I never do more research on eczema? Could I have prevented this? But, instead of dwelling we just had to tackle it and find ways to deal, which we have. In coming posts I’ll focus on ways we’ve changed our lifestyle, etc. to deal with Noah’s allergies, and how we as parents have handled everything.

At the end of the day, we were bound to found out about his allergies, and as scary as it was, I thank God it happened the way it did. It happened under our watch, David and I were both home (I think I would have passed out and/or died had David not been there), and we were able to get to the hospital quickly. Clearly epi should have been administered sooner, but our boy is safe and that’s what matters at the end of the day. I’ve really been trying to focus on the positive, like knowing that we can manage his allergies, and some parents are not as lucky. We have an otherwise healthy kid, and that’s something to be thankful for! God gave us this boy for a reason, allergies and all!

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