It’s been a little while since our last post. Life is busy as you all know!
Last week we experienced our first, of probably many, emergencies. I’ve learned that nothing will really prepare you for parenthood because every baby/mother/father is different and last week was a perfect example of that. Sure you can read books, search the Internet, talk to other parents and so forth, but it really comes down to making the best decisions (usually going with your gut instincts) under the current circumstances.
Last week we started at our new daycare. I am so happy with this decision and Charlotte has been having a great time. I’m a proud mama when I hear her caregiver tell me how happy and good she always is.
Last week was also the first time she has been given formula. We’ve always provided formula as a back-up when she’s been at daycare (and some at home just in case). She’s still exclusively breastfed and eating purees now. Last Thursday I was at work and received a call from our caregiver that Charlotte was having a reaction. She had given Charlotte some formula with her oatmeal instead of the breast milk and said that her whole face started turning red, her eyes were watering, her lower lip swelled and she vomited twice.
These are those moments you dread, but know are bound to happen sometime. I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.
She asked what I wanted to do. I had no idea! I’m a new parent! I asked how she was doing and she stated that she was ok, but definitely uncomfortable. I told her I was going to call the doctor and see what we needed to do. I set up an appointment at the doctor and picked up some Benadryl on the way to daycare as they said to give her a little (P.S. – If you have kids and don’t have this, I recommend you get some on hand – NOW!).
I went to the daycare and while she was red in the face and her lip was swelled, she seemed okay and was smiling and talking. I gave her some medicine and a bottle and we headed to the doctor. It was difficult to determine what is was because she only broke out on her face. It wasn’t really hives except for her lip, but the vomiting had me worried that it was something she ingested. Luckily her tongue and throat were fine and we were given some soy based formula. They called the allergist and left a message to see about next steps.
When we got home they had left a message that they wanted us to go see the allergist and have some testing as they weren’t sure what is was. We had also started the oatmeal last week and while she had it on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, it may not have shown up immediately. They also stated it could have been something viral and that those types of reactions can be from a virus. And since I was recently sick, that would make sense if I passed something along.
Anyway, we set up an appointment for Monday (this past Monday) afternoon and until then was instructed to lay off dairy (ugh), oatmeal and formula. So that’s what we did.
We had the appointment and they wanted to do a scratch test on her back, but because she has eczema and it was flaring up, we weren’t able to. So we had to go to pathology and do blood work. I was stunned. She hardly cried at all! Only a couple of seconds when they loosened the tourniquet. What a brave little girl!
They tested her blood for milk, oats, dust and dogs. The dust and dogs because of her eczema to see if that may be triggering her flare ups. The milk and oats because that’s what she ate before her reaction.
And today we received the results. Dogs and dust were negative. Oats was 2.67 which means that she probably isn’t allergic, but we’ll need to give her a little and wait 15 minutes to see if anything happens just to make sure. And then the whammy. Positive for milk allergy (not to be mistaken for a milk intolerance). It was over 100. I had no idea what that number meant until I looked it up. So it’s not a good number. This was mostly bad news, but good in the way that we now knew this information and can avoid more reactions. Like I said, her reaction wasn’t good, but it could have been a lot worse!
So what’s the plan? We were given a prescription on Monday for EpiPens (just in case) as well as a food allergy plan which details when to use medicine like Benadryl and when to use the EpiPen. I’ll provide these to daycare and also keep them at home. We were given the names of some very expensive formula’s that she should be good with and was told to obviously keep away from milk and all foods that contain the milk protein. So we’ll need to check labels and ensure it’s clear – even baked goods. Because I’m still breastfeeding, I have to watch my dairy intake. I had definitely cut back while breastfeeding but had never completely eliminated, so they said as long as I don’t increase what I’ve been doing, it should be fine. This is hard because I LOVE cheese and ice cream and everything that’s bad. So I guess this is the diet I wasn’t really planning on!
We will have to continue testing over the next few years to see if she outgrows it, which I hope she does. They’ll start by trying baked milk – I’m assuming that means baked goods with milk in them to see if she reacts. They say that if she can tolerate that, there’s a good chance she’ll outgrow the allergy.
They also stated not to give her eggs until age 2 and peanuts until age 3. We do have a family history of food allergies on my side of the family to eggs (grandfather and older brother) and to legumes (younger brother). She has eczema as well, which seems to have a higher likelihood for food allergies.
So all in all, it’s been a busy week. I’m so glad we found out this information although the outcome wasn’t what I wanted, but we’ll work through it like we do with everything. It’s definitely put on a little more stress on me in the breastfeeding department but it’s also what’s best for her. I’m just a little sick of the 3-hour schedule I’ve been on since she was born.
But at the end of the day, through everything so far, she is still the happiest little baby! And that’s what I’m thankful for.
P.S. – This is an old photo. I need to take more as her hair is crazy now!