When I was pregnant in 2017, I made sure I did everything I was able to so that my first baby would be healthy and safe due to my “advanced maternal age“. I ate healthy and I ingested the correct calories per day. I also stayed physically active and taught group fitness classes until I was about 32 weeks into my pregnancy. The only thing I didn’t consider were allergies, particularly food allergies, because I didn’t grow up with them nor did I know anyone who struggled with them. My husband actually has a food allergy to blue crabs, but I really didn’t think that would affect our daughter.
In late January 2018, my daughter was born a few days before my 40 weeks expected date. After 3 hours of active labor, my daughter was vaginally delivered at 8 lbs. & 1 oz, and 20 inches.
After 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding, I remember when my daughter’s pediatrician told me that I had to stop breastfeeding my daughter. It was Friday, May 11, 2018, right before Mother’s Day. Since I already gave up dairy, my daughter was still reacting to something in my milk. Also, her skin had severe eczema and she wasn’t gaining any weight. Thankfully, my daughter started gaining more weight when she started drinking the soy formula that the pediatrician recommended.
Here are some pictures from Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018. My mother was staying with us so she spend some time and help out with her first grandchild. It was a special weekend for all of us!
When we finally went to the doctor’s appointment with her allergist after a two month wait, my husband and I have learned so much about food allergies. And my daughter’s allergist informed me that she had a 50% chance of developing allergies when one parent has a family history of hay fever or allergies. So that is how my daughter ended up with her food allergies to dairy, peanuts, eggs, and now some fish.
The good thing is that we now know how to manage the food allergies and her eczema. I won’t post any pictures of my daughter when she started developing allergies during the 3-5 months of her life. Her skin looked pretty bad and I would sometimes cry to myself because I had no clue what to do to help my daughter! But nowadays, you would not believe me that she suffered with severe infantile ezcema, even if you saw my daughter’s Before and After pictures! Her skin in now flawless! She does occasionally experience some dry eczema spots, which pop up during when the weather changes, but overall, her skin is healthy!
Now we keep learning about food allergies as we get her tested every six months through skin pricks and blood serum testing. My daughter’s allergist is confident that she will outgrow the dairy and eggs allergies in a few years. This is a huge relief because do you know how many foods contain milk and eggs? Or, did you know that people who have severe food allergies can still experience anaphylaxis if the allergen has been manufactured on the same equipment? My daughter sometimes reacts to these foods manufactured on the same equipment that has processed ingredients with dairy, eggs, and peanuts.
It has been a struggle, but I have learned how to check food labels even more now. Also, I am THAT MOM, who asks millions of questions when we eat out, because she has had a food allergy reaction that occurred after the server did not disclose a milk ingredient in a dish. My daughter has been to the local children’s emergency department for a total of three times as of date, and one of the incidences was from eating out! So we are definitely careful when we go out to eat or order take-out. We usually order vegan dishes for her, inform the server about her severe food allergies to note for the chef, and I ask all the questions!