If you have read some of my earlier posts, you know that we recently had our second child, another girl. She is 5 weeks old today and unfortunately, this week, we welcomed her into the food allergy community. We knew that given our family history, she would be more prone to having allergies, but that didn't fully prepare us to hear her diagnosis. Right now, we know that she has a milk protein allergy, and we are praying that that's it.
Two weeks ago, our sweet girl developed a very intense and angry diaper rash. It was unlike any diaper rash I had seen before and we ended up having to get her on a topical antibiotic to clear things up. Even with medication, after 10 days of use, it wasn't completely gone. This was the first red flag. I was exclusively breastfeeding and I couldn't help but think that something in my diet was the culprit. During this time she also continually became fussier. At her one month check up I arrived armed with questions about signs of food allergies in breastfed infants. I already felt in my gut that something wasn't right. I just knew. That said, because there were no other signs yet, and because we did not have an official diagnosis, I felt as though I was making it up! Every time I shared my concerns with my husband and other family members, I felt like a crazy, paranoid, food allergy mom (or at least that's what I feared other people were thinking of me!). I second-guessed myself and thought that maybe I was reading into things too much. Well, our little girl decided to confirm her allergy for us the day after her one month check up when she woke up with hives and noticeable mucus in her diaper. We were able to get in for a same-day appointment and upon further examination, it was determined that she also had trace amounts of blood in her stool. There was no longer any question.
First, I cried, and felt sorry for all of us. I couldn't help it. I wasn't surprised, and in fact, in a way, I almost expected it. I hate to say that but it's the truth. But now we forge on, hope she outgrows it, count our blessings and recognize once again how strong our little family is. Things are already starting to get back to normal and it has only been a few days since we found out.
Over the past several weeks, I have learned that I should always trust my gut. In doing so, I was able to be proactive in seeking medical attention for the symptoms that surfaced in my daughter. The result was that we got her diagnosed pretty quickly and have already completely eradicated milk protein from her diet. Her diaper rash is better, the hives are completely gone, as is the mucus and blood in her stool.
Parents of food allergic children are often labeled as paranoid and over-protective. As parents of food allergic children, we have to trust our gut, regardless of what other people might think. In doing so, we protect our children, and doing that is the most monumental job every parent has.
Here are our sweet, strong, resilient little girls.