food allergies

Our Food Allergy Story Part 1

Bodie, my oldest was born on October 23, 2013. As you know, the day you become a mother changes you and possibly the course of the rest of your life.

I had a normal pregnancy with Bodie. He was a tad stubborn so the doctor had me induced on the morning of the 23rd. Everything went great and 15 hours later I had a newborn baby boy in my arms.

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Bodie was the typical newborn and slept like and angel the first three days of life. He nursed like a champ and besides the sore breasts, breastfeeding went well. Bodie barely made a fuss those first few days and we thought we had hit the jackpot of all jackpots with a peaceful, good sleeper. Then Day 4 hit and he DID NOT STOP FUSSING. EVER. Whether he was crying or grunting, there was always a fuss. By 6pm at night he had moved on to blood curdling screams that went on for at least 2 hours. Usually 3. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! I cannot tell you how many times I googled, ‘how to tell when your baby has colic?’. The doctor told me to limit my dairy. I did. Kind of. Bodie spit up a lot so we gave him acid reflux medication every day. Unless Bodie was nursing, he was fussing. During witching hour, Bodie refused to nurse.

One month after Bodie was born, my mom came into town and we had a day out. Brunch, Lunch and Pizza for dinner. At every single meal, I had dairy…even though I was supposed to be limiting. The next day, Bodie screamed for 12 hours straight. Most of his body was red. Looking back at this, I should have taken him to the hospital. He was clearly having his first allergic reaction. My mom and I took turns trying to console him. We took him for a car ride. I went to my room to cry on my own multiple times while mom comforted Bodie. It was one of the worst days of my life. My stomach churns thinking about that day. Finally, at 9pm that night, we both collapsed in exhaustion in my bed. The next day, he was better but still fussy.

I continued to limit my dairy and Bodie continued to fuss. By two months Bodie had severe eczema on his cheeks and the creases of his elbow. We tried every soap and cream out there and it never went away or improved. He wore mittens so that he wouldn’t irritate it as he constantly wanted to scratch.

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Bodie is 4 months in the above picture. Some days his eczema was bad and some days it wasn’t. By 6 months, we were starting to introduce solid foods. We introduced some soft fruits and vegetables as we had decided to go the baby led weaning route. Then I introduced greek yogurt and this is what happened….

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We immediately decided it was time to see an allergist. There we found he was allergic to dairy and egg. From that point on I eliminated this completely from my diet. To say we were overwhelmed with this diagnosis would be an understatement. I had to start reading every label to make sure I wasn’t eating any dairy or egg. It’s amazing how many things contain these items. Or they say ‘may contain’ which may be the most infuriating two words.

After eliminating dairy and egg from my diet Bodie’s eczema improved and almost went away completely. We now had to start worrying about whether or not Bodie was getting enough calcium and good fat? It was all one giant puzzle.

At about 10 months, Bodie had some hummus. He had hummus before with no issue but this time he broke into hives again. I read the label and the only thing that stood out was that it was made in a facility that processes nuts. So we went back to the allergist and he tested positive for an allergy to all nuts. This is where I SHOULD HAVE gotten a second opinion, Bodie had never actually had any nut of any kind and yet he should have. He should have been exposed at 6 months. This allergist did a panel for all allergens and it came back that he was allergic to wheat as well. Again, another moment I wish I had done things differently. Bodie had been eating plenty of wheat with no issue. There is such thing as a false positive. Why didn’t we retest?

The 6 weeks that Bodie didn’t have wheat, he improved. His skin was better, his behavior was better and he had more of an appetite. We went to another allergist and he said that if there has been no physical reaction to wheat then we should start giving it to him again. I questioned him and explained the improvements I had been seeing. He insisted I was likely at risk for giving him a wheat allergy by eliminating and that I should add it back into his diet immediately. With some relief and hesitancy, I did.

Then there was the persistent coughing that developed by the time he was 2. Every time he got a cold, he would cough so often that he would usually throw up or not sleep for a few days because of it. To be continued…..

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