Flashback: The Day Josie Became My Allergic Child

February 5, 2015:

It was a normal day in our home. I was sitting, pumping while Josie was sitting on the couch next to me, playing with her toys. She seemed so interested in what I was eating. “This child has yet to be interested in any food”, I thought. Every single time I’d attempt to feed her she would refuse it. She couldn’t even tolerate a simple glass jar of baby food. She’d vomit it back up an hour later.

So when I finished pumping, I decided to shove a tiny piece of my egg bake into her mouth and, well, the rest was history…

What I managed to push into her mouth was itty bitty teeny tiny bit. I honestly didn’t even think I got any in her mouth or that she swallowed any…

But she did…

Here was my post on Facebook that day:

“I’m at the Pediatrics. Josie had a severe allergic reaction. It was either eggs or feta cheese. It was a super tiny teeny little bit that made it inside her mouth. (My egg whites, spinach and feta bake). She immediately got red and itchy around the mouth and looked like little bites. And then she threw up and went poop. Within 45 minutes she was red all over and screaming. I almost took her to the ER. Now I’m here. I’m a mess. What did I do? Has anyone experienced this!? I never want to feed her foods ever again.”
While at the pedi, she started to desat. They had a lot of trouble getting a reading on her and when they finally did it was really low. Super low. 80%. She was pale in the lips and tips of her fingers/toes. I had no idea what was going on. But looking back now, she should have, without hesitation, been given Epi from that doctor! She had all the symptoms (not just TWO). But had I known then what I know now, things would have went a lot different that day. We spent 4 hours in that office while they monitored her oxygen.
That was the day I became Josie’s advocate. When I stopped trusting any and all doctors and what they had to say or prescribe. That was the day I turned into her hyper-vigilant, anxiety stricken mother. Her protector. Forever. This day changed both of our lives. It changed our family. It changed everything. Because little did I know then, that she’d be allergic to so much more…
Here is a photo of her before they sent us home. She was still very lethargic and red. But not nearly as red as she was when we got there 4 hours prior. She was full of vomit and completely exhausted. Josie was never one to cuddle up into my neck like that. But she was scared…this was the first for her.
(Side note: she totally looks like Juliette here, right?)
After that was all said and done, I scheduled allergy testing to be done. A swallow evaluation. A barium swallow, a GI consult. An EGD was recommended on my 10 month old (what????-absolutely not happening on my watch!), a nutritionist, a speech therapist and an allergy and immunology physician.
I was going into this blind. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. Most of these consults were a big waste of time. Until we discovered that her lack of eating/interest in food was basically because she knew it was poison to her. Smart girl. Terrible mommy. I should have known better. Especially to give 2 of the top 8 allergens together at once (for real, Stacy?!).
Just like today, when she was skin tested back then, her skin only took seconds to react. They didn’t even have to wait the full time to see if “maybe” there was a reaction. It was, without a doubt, positive. And this is what I posted on Facebook that day:
March 25, 2015:
“Sad momma here. My poor baby is allergic to dairy, eggs and casein (so far).”
And this journey and struggle continues. This was only the beginning. SO much more has happened since that day.
Screw you, food allergies!!!

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It’s Too Hot to be Inside…

But it’s too hard to handle this toddler outside on my own while I’m 33 weeks pregnant and told to “rest” and “don’t do anything”. It’s so much easier said than done. Especially when you’re chasing a toddler around who must have her way or the world is completely and utterly over. I’m uncomfortably pregnant and over it. I’m over the horrible sleep. I’m over the lack of energy. I’m over being tired. I’m seriously over being pregnant. And I’d be perfectly okay if this was the last pregnancy I’ve had to go through. Terrible twos are so much harder than I imagined. And Bobby being away for several weeks at a time while I handle this all on my own is much more difficult. Now just add an infant in four weeks…oh Lord, please help me.

Well anyways, we’ve been getting her outside as much as we can. It’s hot out here, guys! It’s like 100 degree everyday and some days it feels even hotter.

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Josie: Things I Don’t Want to Forget

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The way you say “One more time!” when you want more of something. More coconut, more books to read or to be tickled more.

The way you say you’re sorry. “I sorry daddy, me sorry”.

The way we ask you if you want something and this whiny “surrrrrrrre” comes out.

The way you say “Thank you mommy, thank you daddy.” You certainly know when to┬ásay thank you.

You’ve started these awful, terrible, uncontrollable tantrums. And it’s absolutely draining. Although you had a good month of at least one daily, it’s been about a week since you’ve had a serious meltdown like you’ve had in the past month.

When we ask you if you want something (and you clearly don’t) and you say “NO! PLEASE!” and then scream, yell or throw yourself to the floor. Not sure where this came from but it’s so hard not to laugh.

When I give you a bath and you request “Row Row” or “Sunshine”. And how you always sing the very last when I finish “Sunshine away…”.

How you count. It’s so adorable and funny! “one, two, three, one, two!” You often skip your four and nine. But you know 1-13 and can say it, it just depends on the situation or what mood you’re in.

When you find something on the floor and think it’s a “fuzzy” and say it over and over again “fuzzy, fuzzy!” and walk to us and give it to us.

When you see a bug, any bug it’s a spider! “Biter! Biter!”

How daddy loves it when you say yellow and I love how you say purple. You know it too.

How you carry around your two Minnie Mouses and Daisy figurines.

I love how you love to color and draw.

How you say grapes…”geeps, geeps!”

How you say apple “ahhhh-ple”.

How you walk into our bedroom in the morning and say “uh oh, where daddy go?” and I tell you he’s at work. Then you say “why?”

How awesome you did transitioning to your toddler bed. No issues, no problems. You boycotted nap a few times that week but you slept all night and only came into our room a few times and fell asleep with us.

How you have to grab all your blankets when you get out of bed.

When you wake up in the morning and stand next to our bed as we’re sleeping and just wait for us to wake up…even if it means standing there for 5 minutes. You’re so adorable.

How you point to my belly and say “there’s a baby in there!”

There is so much. So much Josie, to take in and love about you. You are truly an amazing little girl. My first born. My little love. My princess. My diva. My monster. I love you to the moon and back, always. In just a few weeks, we will bring your sister into this home. I really hope and pray you love her truly and deeply. But just remember, you will always be my baby girl. Always.