We all get down on ourselves. We are tired. We look at the to do list and get overwhelmed. With a new school year starting I have been so emotional. Seeing my baby grow-up and walk into his first day of PreK really hit me hard. He was so happy and excited and I lost it as I was leaving the drop off line. Teaching him has been my job until today. Granted he has been going to school since he was 10 months old but now it’s different. It is real school with a drop off and pick up, packed lunch, a cafeteria, recess and all new faces.
He beams a smile and waves good bye, excited for his new adventure. Meanwhile, baby brother and I lose our shit in the car on the way home. (Yes I’m driving. I know I should not use a phone while moving a motor vehicle.) also I’m an ugly crier and turn the volume down 😩😢😭
I felt so happy, sad, proud and afraid all at the same time as I drove away. Will he be ok? Will he make a friend? Will he eat his food? Will someone bully him? Will he even think about me? Did I do a good job?
So do my emotional episodes mean I have a mental issue? Yes! It is called being a parent! We are all losing our shit at some point. It’s called having a heart beating in your chest. Life is made of peaks and valleys, happy times and sad times. It is not just in parenting. There are ups and downs in marriages, work, friendships and hell even the economy. Point is that we all experience things differently. The only person who can judge us is The Lord.
Yes I know my life is not over because my baby started PreK. I know, trust me I’m getting over it as I find myself writing this post, because I haven’t had a moments peace in 3 weeks since summer camp ended. But, I just care about my child and I want him to be happy, healthy, thrive and glow. I have been praying for him to have a good day and get in the car with a smile on his face full of stories.
When you question yourself as a parent it is a natural thing. It means you care. I struggle with my confidence as a mom and then other days I am like “Hell Ya I am a kick ass mom.” “Pound it dog! Booya! and Holler!”
So here it is the first day of school and as I stare at my to do list, laundry, calendar etc. All I want to do is take a shower and a nap before I go get in the HORENDOUS pick up line 30 minutes before I’m charged a $14 fee.
I know things change. I knew this was happening but actually living it is hard for me. All the new rules, my baby being so independent and being on time is really hard for me LOL. BUT it is good! We thrive in a routine so I am happy that I am being challenged to change. I know its not the end of the world but I do know I’m going to miss this.
I’m gonna want these hard ass F^&* days back. When no one eats what I make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When no one listens to me to stop splashing and flooding the bathroom. When I need to kiss the boo boos. When my baby crawls up in my lap and says “Mama hold you.” When the boys no longer let me dress them alike. And when we have rainy days cuddling and doing absolutely nothing and they let me kiss their heads and smell their hair.
Trust me I am taking note to cherish this time. We don’t get a lot of time on this Earth so we have to make each day count. But damn it is hard to be a parent in todays world.
For now I tell myself.. The monograms can wait. The perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner cannot be made everyday. The organizing, the cleaning and everything I keep talking about will have to wait.
As “THEY” say “The days are long, but the years are quick.” As I see the calendar fill up I have to stop and think these are the days I will miss. But for today I will sit and write my babies a letter telling them how much I love them. I will take a shower. I will lie down and day dream in my quiet bedroom. The greatest gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones is time. Unapologetically I will proudly give myself sometime “Because If Mommy Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.”
Since pickup this afternoon he had a great day, made a new friend and learned a song. We had a special afternoon snack, played trains and he helped me cook dinner. After slaving away on dinner, it hits, here comes the meltdown. “I don’t want to eat it! Yuck!” As he’s screaming crying and running around the house losing his exhausted mind. Meanwhile baby brudder is enjoying his special allergy free (gluten, oat, egg, dairy, nut free) lasagna and breaks out in hives.
Daddy walks thru the door as I’m finishing baby boys bath and dosage of Benadryl. Big boy still whining and saying “eating dinner is so hard and I’m not tired.” I look around at the dishes piled high, laundry covering both couches, toys, cups, trains, Chex and blueberries all over the rug…
There’s my exit. I poured myself a glass of wine and I’m hiding out in the bathtub right now adding this to the post.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, shit is still gonna happen. Just depends if you are gonna pick it up, move on or just sit and cry about said shit. I’m gonna leave this one to daddy.
Just Happy Mommy
My editor was not able to correct all my grammar, run on sentences and cussing. Once again if you don’t like my blog don’t read it 😁🖕🏻💋🍷
A lot of family and friends wonder what does someone with this many allergies eat? Well at first not that much. A very simple, strict and repetitive meal schedule. Slowly we trying new things that “state” they are safe but I am always weary.
This is what works for us. I’m not an allergist. I’m hoping this list can help other moms or people navigate their food allergies. Cooking and cross contamination are also very serious! Washing pans, cups, utensils etc is important.
Slowly we have started to eliminate the “bombs” in our house. Obviously we are a nut free home. Snacks and other crackers that contain 3-4 of the allergens are what we consider “bombs.” One example is cheese crackers, they have wheat, milk, egg, cheese etc. So when he has one of these its BAD! We have to be very aware and careful if we let our older son have something we are trying to avoid. (like cheese and chocolate milk are very hard.) Not only do we have to keep the house safe for our baby, our older son is like many kids and can be quite a picky and specific eater. We pick our battles. The great news is that our 4 year old is on top of it and knows what is safe and what is not. What big brother doesn’t like to tell their little brother “No!”??? LOL
Also just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s Gluten or NUT free! We say that he’s a combo of paleo and a MEGAN a meat eating vegan LOL. Allergy free or allergy friendly means it doesn’t contain any of the top 8 allergens.
Free from wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish.
Some are also made without casein, potato, sesame & sulfites.
Here are some of the brands and foods that we often eat. You can get them at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Amazon or websites. I have included links. On some sites you can enter your zip code and see which stores carry their items.
Enjoy life Foods Enjoy Life Foods
Thankfully he enjoys any and all fruits, vegetables and proteins!!!
He lives on these pouches (read labels some can say contains milk or wheat when you don’t think they do) these are his favorites
He eats anywhere from 4 to 8 pouches of fruits and veggies a day plus a cut up fruit and vegetable at every meal. LOTS of real fresh food. You name it he likes it. Strawberries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, apples, green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes etc.
(We have NOT found a gluten/oat free pasta that does NOT cause his eczema to flare up so we just don’t do pasta.)
Again he eats a fruit and vegetable at every meal.
These are just a few that I know work for us and our child. Please feel free to comment below with more ideas and suggestions. Again I am not a dietician or an allergist. I am just a mom trying to navigate this life called motherhood and help my children eat healthy foods.
What do you think of when you read those words? Food Challenges
Do you think of an eating contest? A diet? Allergies? Picky eating? Sadness?
As a mom of a child with food allergies it is a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s easier and then it can be harder.
Our little angel is starting to notice, understand and get upset that he is eating different food from those around him. When GiGi comes to visit we usually go out to eat which is dangerous to begin with. She and big brother chose to go to Hideaway Pizza, a family favorite! When the food arrived he looked around at his plate and then at all the pizza on the table. He reached for bubba pizza and we all yelled “NO!!!” His little bottom lip folded over and tears started streaming down his face. He is beginning to notice. He says “I try it.” “Peeez!” Looking at me with such a sad and confused look, it made me hug him tight, carry him away from the table, and burst into tears myself.
It’s happening. We have been pushing it and we need to stop taking him places that are unsafe. This sucks because it starting to get harder and more cruel. We have to make a change but it is so hard. Once you see your baby in pain you want to protect them at all cost. Going to restaurants is an easy go to for all people and Mom’s are no different. So it’s a little more complicated when your child can’t order anything.
Since it’s summertime and we have lots of celebrations, the allergies are at the top of my mind. Bubba and I make special allergy free food and treats so he can participate and feel included. We found out that shaved ice is allergy free!!! (be sure to ask.) Squints and YaYa.
Easy & common things you don’t think twice about until you are a parent of a child with extreme allergies include: cheese sticks, yogurt, Cheerios, pizza, cake, cupcakes, cookies, chicken nuggets, gold fish, and peanut anything etc.
We really do NOT expect anything to change or for anyone to make crazy accommodations for us. This is the world we live in. It’s up to us to protect and teach our kids what is safe for them. But should that include not taking them places out of fear? NO! He just started at a little nursery school and we love it. They take his allergies very seriously and I feel he is safe, comfortable and happy there.
Anytime he has something in his hand that is not safe we used to scream “NO!!!!” Out of fear and now it scares him to tears. We are trying to be calm and say “no baby that will make you sick,” I reminded him that he can’t have those treats or he will get sick and have to go to the hospital. He says “k.”
Food is a big deal in American culture. Sometimes we affiliate it with family, celebrations and even love. When I think “ok I can do this,” then I slip and think,” but I want pizza, ranch, cheeseburger, or queso or a donut.” All terrible food choices I know, but man they are delicious and cheap. I love the idea of becoming paleo and vegan but seriously the execution in Oklahoma is hard and expensive! Yes I am complaining. It’s really F-Ing hard when you can’t have wheat, oats, eggs, dairy or nuts. I go to 3-4 different stores to get all the things we need and like. But I’m starting to not mind as much it’s the new normal.
Today I saw new items from one of the safe brands he can have.
I was so excited I called my mom and almost burst into tears. Sounds absolutely ridiculous but I have been waiting for this brands pizza crust and brownie mix to come to Oklahoma for 10 months. They are “Allergy-Friendly”
This is huge! It’s the little things in life that matter and being able to let him experience them not only brings him joy but all of us as well. When I showed him and big brother all the new “safe” foods bubba said “oh mama that makes my heart go up!!” As he beams his smile and hugs me tight. He is so protective, aware and helpful when it comes to baby brothers food and safety. For that, I thank God. When baby sees his food boxes he is thrilled, claps, smiles and says “Yay!!” It’s the little things that matter.
Of course we hope and pray he will outgrow some of these allergies. But how will we know?
Needless to say I was afraid to take him to get his skin tests. He was scared but he did amazing! I’m so proud of him! He’s mama’s tough, beautiful boy! Please read the next posts for more photos, videos and recipes.
Teaching him that things will hurt him and make him sick is crucial to this process. Empowering him to know he is feeding his body with the best food possible is important for his self esteem. Remember he is only 20 months so our allergy journey has just begun.
We aren’t promised tomorrow or next week or even next year.
Plans make me happy and plans make me cringe.
“So what’s your plan?”
We have been hearing this question for a majority of our lives.
“Where do you plan to go to college?”
“What’s your plan after college?”
“Where do you plan to live?”
“Do you plan on getting married?”
“Do you plan on having kids?”
“Do you have a retirement plan?”
“Health care plan?”
And it all comes full circle again when you are a mom… “Where are your kids going to school? What’s your plan?” We all have a calendar full of activities, events, parties and obligations.
I always had a plan. I was a go getter as long as I could get sleep and some cocktails. As a young journalist you take any job you can get in tv. Then you fake it till you make it. In my case the job was assignment editor. What you ask? Exactly. Think of it like the air traffic controller of a newsroom. You don’t care about them until they F$&@ up or until you have to fill in for them. Basically you plan the news for a living. I made it my plan to master this position and I ended up making it my bitch! RIP deuce desk
I knew I was going to get married at 25 and I did. I wanted to have kids at the exact same ages my mom did 29, 32, and I did. Who knows maybe we will have #3 in 5 years hubby LOL! He’s done I’m still open to the plan. I knew I wanted to be a mommy and raise my family in Tulsa. Always liked the idea of moving away but it’s never gonna happen.
So Here’s the deal. Plans are bullshit. We plan and plan and then plan the plan. Since becoming a mom I have started to sometimes loathe plans. Simple example, kids get sick. Can’t plan that. Although I can usually predict it because we will have some BIG plans it could potentially ruin. Case and point this week. We are leaving for the beach at the end of this week. We have planned this for months and it is a much needed getaway for all.
Come on robbers hope you like stealing dishes in the sink, clothes from old navy and mountains of laundry. My husband always says I should not post that we are out of town for fear we get robbed. But I say the most valuable things we have is our kids and yes we are taking them to the beach too! It’s a family vaycay.
Our little boy has a compromised immune system (for any new readers) and has extreme allergies to food and the environment. So today I took him to see our sweet pediatrician because he has been coughing and breathing rapidly, congested and feverish. We decided since we are leaving town and our deposit is NON refundable, we better check everything off the list.
So we took chest X-rays, nasal swab for flu and throat swab for strep. NO fever, no flu, no strep. Chest X-ray not so good. She called it fluffy. Possibly the start of pneumonia. If you have never experienced a child getting a chest X-ray it is like a mid evil torture device. The tears stream and baby cries mommy until it’s over. As a mom this is one of the worst sounds.
This evening daddy comes home with a bag full of drugs (costing more than my car payment) and we begin our new plan. Our new normal. I will be administrating breathing treatments everyday even after he is done being sick and finished the antibiotics.
A mother never plans for her baby to be sick. A baby who is sick has got to be the saddest and most painful thing. And for a mom who helplessly tells them it’s going to be ok and begging to God to help her child or take their place, it is exhausting.
I see this in my own mother. She shows so much grace and strength while helping me and telling me it will be ok. All the while I know her aching heart yearns for her baby girl to get better. Your baby is your baby. Whether they are 18 months or 31 years they are still your baby after all. Our health is our wealth.
Please click below to learn more about food allergies.
As people we are taught to follow a plan. We thrive on plans. We have safety plans.We have goals. We have agendas. We have tasks, events, celebrations and expectations and obligations.
I kinda hate the saying “it’s always something.” It comforted me until recently. I know we all have pain, triumphs, struggles and things going on. But when someone says “it’s always something,” isn’t that just a nice way of saying tough shit move on?!? Or am I my usual sensitive Sally?!?
I think I have fallen short on some of my promises I made in my first blog posts. I promise to keep it real. Well here’s the real deal I can’t do it all. I can’t be a super me! Everyday I try to get up and be the super mom and a super wife and super friend and super daughter and super sister.
Thing is I’m exhausted and need to realize over and over that
I am enough.
Just me being me.
I can’t plan for everything that gets thrown in my way.
I really admire other moms and bloggers who really have their shit together. Pretty Instagram pictures, lighting, poses and real posts. I have ideas and try, but fail miserably.
I want to keep hustling my blog, my brand and make extra money for my family. That’s why I took this picture tonight. If you can’t plan your posts to promote yourself and your business then do it all in one. I’m a wife, mommy, writer, hustler and swag lover! I hope this makes you chuckle 😂 links below
Like I planned on posting about my 60 day beach body reveal well here is the reveal!
I didn’t change shit and I look the same. Chips and salsa erryday! Mommy pops, donuts, smoothies and currently a big bowl of spaghetti! 😂😂😂🍷🌮🌶🍩🍝
I wanted to do a cute pinteresty post about how to perfectly pack the family for a beach vacation. At this point we will be lucky if we get to go. I’ve gotten this far… I love this plan from Pinterest and
I use this saying all the time and almost everyone knows what it means but I decided to look it up anyway.
A common experience of living in apartment-style housing in New York City, and other large cities, during the manufacturing boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Apartments were built, similar in design, with the bedrooms located directly above and underneath one another. Thus, it was normal to hear a neighbor removing their shoes in the apartment above. As one shoe made a sound hitting the floor, the expectation for the other shoe to make a similar sound was created.
wait for the other shoe to drop
(idiomatic) To defer action or decision until another matter is finished or resolved.
(idiomatic) To await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one that is not desirable
It’s kinda like when you got your shit together and have a moment of “yep it’s going too good”. The anticipation of what happens is waiting for the next shoe to drop.
I am superstitious. I get it from my Papa. I know there is no such thing, but still my mind will say, “Dammit! I jinxed myself.”
I have lots of examples of this so, please let me indulge you.
The last few days I have had my super mom cape on and kicking ass at mom life!
Friday the boys and I had a friend over to try out some new lip gloss. It’s called lip sense and I thought ok what the hell. I love me a good lipgloss! It was so cool and we had a blast. The boys loved her and I love my new everyday color called first love. It doesn’t come off, it’s all natural and I am so excited I got it today! Find her on Facebook Kiss Proof Kisses and tell her you saw it on Just happy mommy 😘💄💋
This is with NO makeup. My before, then after lip color, then with gloss and still perfect even after swim lessons!
Then Saturday we had my cousins wedding which was lovely and great to see my cousins.
Then Sunday we relaxed and went shopping at trader joes OMG obsessed and so happy they have one in Tulsa now. I waited a month but it was still a zoo! My mom and I ran over to Nordstrom rack and old navy to get some cute beach gear for our trip in 24 days! Bow chic a bow wow! Holler ED vaycay 2016!
Yesterday Our AC was broken so a sweet friend helped me out (shout out to said friend,) and a repair man was there in less than an hour! Boom! Then I had to take my son to school, then take the baby to my moms, then off to the dentist to get 4 fillings. OUCH! Back to pick up the baby, then pickup at school then off to SAMs to get a few things, go thru the car wash oh ya and clean, vacuum and mop my house all before 6:30pm when friends were arriving for my first wrap party! Finally got in bed by 10pm. Booya!
Just Happy Mommy It Works
So today feeling pretty proud of all I had accomplished, I had a pep in my step. We made it out the door to school and then to visit my BFF, drop off some yummy food and stare at her beautiful week old baby girl. Of course we had some coffee talk. (In the mike Myers voice). It was a perfect morning!
Then little man and I went to my parents’ to go for a walk. My mom is my soulmate. We are there for one another and know each other better than ourselves. I told her, after bitching about something, “But you know what? We are healthy. We haven’t had to use an epipen in a while.” And as soon as I said it, I thought “MFer! I should not have said that for fear of jinxing my streak of good luck with no allergy attacks!” After our walk, little man had some red bumps on his face and he was rubbing his eyes. I immediately thought there it is. The other shoe dropped. He’s going to have a reaction. (Also just to note: this is where he had his first anaphylactic reaction so I’m on high alert.) We washed his swollen face off and I got him some Benadryl and decided to get him home and give him steroids. I called my husband, who was home for lunch, and he had the medicine ready as soon as I screeched in the doorway.
I left my parent’s house just praying to God to keep my baby safe. I kept reaching my hand back into his car seat so he would grab my fingers with his little hand. I would shake them and then he would squeeze my finger back. We did this the entire ride home. For anyone in a health or dangerous situation car rides are hell and seem like every brake light is another breath taken for granted.
We are home now, and he is sleeping. I have the monitor on full blast. I walk in to watch him breathing every few minutes. I overreacted this time. The last couple times I have been so calm and just gave him Benadryl and a bath. But today I thought “OK, bitch nuts, it’s on. We have been too lucky, and Since I got cocky with saying no epipens, it was on.” I am so thankful that he is OK and just very congested.
I am almost certain it is something outside. This time of year, in Oklahoma especially, allergies are at the all time high. When I was at the TV station, I remember that Tulsa is one of the worst cities in the US for asthma and allergies. I love living in green country but, I hate seeing my baby struggle to breath and my big boy getting shiners under his eyes from the high pollen count.
Anyway, we think we got our shit together, and then we don’t. Sometimes the shoe drops, and sometimes it doesn’t. But the knowing things are too good to be true and the anticipation of knowing something will go wrong in the future is what causes me anxiety. I for one have to force myself to live for today. I cannot control what happens. God is in control, and I have to trust in Him to take care of me, my babies, and my loved ones. Good things happen and bad things happen. Life isn’t fair and it’s all about perspective and being thankful.
Seeing my friend’s new baby girl this morning and having a few minutes to talk, just us girls, just us moms, is a gift I cherish.
I always check FB and Instagram when the boys are napping or having quiet time, and a sweet friend of mine posted this on my timeline. Why being a mom is just enough
Tears streamed down my face as I read this. It was just what I needed. Me taking care of my boys and giving them the time, love and attention they need and deserve is enough. They make my world go round.
We survived swim lessons and both boys loved it except for this one comment. I was running after little brother while big bro had his lesson. He was ready to jump in! A mom watching me run back and forth says “this is when you lose the baby weight.”
Ummmm I’m sorry what?!?! I thought “Wtf lady?! ” I wanted to say “Oh I’ve already lost my baby weight and guess what I’m going to Wendy’s after this bitch!” I Obvi didn’t say that but you bet your sweet ass I got a spicy chicken sandwich! Insert Wendy’s ad here
So Im hanging up my proverbial super mom cape tonight. Wednesday is our no plans, no pants, PJ day, and I intend to enjoy it fully and completely with my little humans.
Stop and think about what you ate today… Cereal? Oatmeal? Eggs? Protein shake? Sandwich? Soup? Quesadilla? Chips? Yep can’t have any of that…
As many of you know our little nugget has severe, life threatening food allergies. He is allergic to wheat, oats, eggs, dairy and peanuts. His reactions are hives, breathing problems and anaphylaxis. They are brought on through contact with the air, skin and ingestion. We are all learning this new way of life and most people do NOT realize the affects and tolls it takes on a family. I do not post this to get sympathy but to bring this to light. Food allergies are real and affecting more and more people.
I did not misspell fair on accident. FARE stands for Food Allergy Research & Education. Over the last few months I have been doing extensive research and educating myself about food allergies and this is the best source of hope for him and our family. FARE is a non profit organization that works towards advancing a cure and funds the Food Allergy Resource Initiative. Some of the statistics are alarming and the stories of these families are heartbreaking and inspiring.
Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.
This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom.
The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year.
While progress has been made, this potentially life-threatening disease has no cure.”
Let that sink in for a minute. That is just astounding to me.
As a new mom I admit being annoyed and rolling my eyes at the new rules at our older son’s school. No homemade treats. NO nut policy. Everything had to be store bought, cut up and washed in the classroom. The extensive rules and guidelines that once inconvenienced me are now at the forefront of my mind as a parent to a child who could die if exposed or ingests trigger foods.
Like many of you growing up I do not remember knowing many people with food allergies. I recall an email my dad sent me before I was a mom. Its something like how did we survive the 70’s and 80’s? We ate white bread, butter, white sugar, water from the hose, bologna and cheese and soda pop. Hey I love me a good butter and sugar sandwich! Martin Lawrence standup! Mama gonna work it out! LOL
“So why are food allergies on the rise?
According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.
Researchers are trying to discover why food allergies are on the rise in developed countries worldwide, and to learn more about the impact of the disease in developing nations.
As a mother you obviously never want to harm or hurt your child but with food allergies you feel like its your fault. It started early on with my breastmilk. He had terrible eczema, rashes, bloody mucus stools, gas and severe discomfort passing stools. So I changed my diet, no dairy, no nuts! My supply dropped and we started to introduce bottles and supplement with formula. We had gone down this same road with our first son so I was not surprised. We tried all the expensive formulas until some friends told us just go straight to Neocate. Thankfully that worked and he was ok. Once I started introducing him to his first foods was when I new something wasn’t right. He projectile vomited and was lethargic after his first introduction to baby’s first cereal and oatmeal. Call it God’s grace and mother’s intuition but I never gave him any direct dairy, eggs or any nut butter. But it started to get more complicated when he would have reactions to fruit and veggie pouches that contained wheat, oats, milk and others even if there was a trace of the ingredient. It was not until 9 months that we had his blood tested for food allergies. He broke out in hives from eating spaghetti with red sauce.
The results were tough to swallow. Sorry I could NOT resist that pun. The scale is 0-6, 6 being the highest. These are his Allergy Lab Results:
Class 5 very high positive
Class 4 very high positive
Class 3 high positive
Class 2 moderate
Class 1 low positive
Now that we know what he can eat I prepare EVERY SINGLE meal for him and go to the grocery at least twice a week. He is underweight but he is happy. He loves food and being outside. It is a scary thing to be allergic to food and even the world around you.
Food Allergy Reactions & Anaphylaxis
Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.
A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that food allergies result in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18.
In the last 6 months we have taken our sweet boy to the ER twice, once by ambulance. He has been in the Pediatric ICU not to mention countless doctor visits and trips to the allergist.
We went to the fair the night before his first birthday with some friends. We left him in the stroller and did NOT let him out or eat anything new. Our older son LOVED it he rode rides and ate tons of sugar. At 11pm I woke up because I heard something on the monitor. My baby wasn’t crying but he was sitting up. I went in to check on him and he was struggling to breath and gasping for air. When he tried to cry all that came out was a horrible barking cough. Needless to say that is one of the worst sounds a mother can hear.
I immediately called 911. I got out the epipen thinking maybe he had a reaction to something in the air at the fair. Waiting on the fire and ambulance to arrive was the longest 6 minutes of my life. Talking to the dispatcher he suggested to follow our action plan and give him the epipen. Daddy was holding him and when I went to give it to him in a state of shock, panic and fear and it went the wrong way, thru my thumb! Yep I stabbed myself with an epipen! @#$% Screaming from pain, shock and adrenaline I was cussing like a sailor and out of my head.
The paramedics finally arrived and we loaded him into the ambulance in his car seat and administered an albuterol breathing treatment. Walking into the ER I saw the same doctor that had helped us just weeks before. I was so thankful to see a familiar face and someone who knew our history. They monitored him, did x-rays and an epinephrine treatment and after 3 hours they decided he needed to be admitted into the pediatric ICU. As we were taken to our room the clock struck midnight and our baby boy turned one year old.
Watching the nurses taking vials of blood and giving him an IV was one of the saddest moments daddy and I have experienced. He was screaming, crying, coughing, and looking at me to help him and all we could do was cry with him. I held him, slept with him in the crib and never left his side. He was traumatized to say the least. Thankfully we had an amazing team of nurses and doctors and an overflowing amount of love, prayers and support from family, friends and social media. We only had to stay 2 nights and continue his treatment at home. I hardly left his side that week. The doctors said it was not allergy induced but something still told me that the air at the fair and all the food and smoke from the midway had something to do with it. About a month later we would find out that he does in fact have airborne reactions to food.
Babies are resilient, parents are not.
Knowing how to react to a reaction is just the beginning.
We are blessed to have this beautiful child who lights up the world, yet he is cursed with these allergies. I pray for him constantly and for strength to continue to help him lead a healthy and safe life. I wake up several times a night and I am on high alert. Just when you think you have got it down, he has another reaction and it is so hard to watch. We cannot take him to certain restaurants anymore for fear of a reaction. So NO Starbucks, Mexican, hibachi, ice cream, or anyplace that has a smelly or steamy environment. And because it is mean to eat all the foods he cannot have in front of him. When we do go to a restaurant I alway bring his food with us. I think next time I will ask the waitress bring it out to him when our meal comes out so that he feels included. We choose not to send him to school, daycare or MOD because I am not ready to trust anyone.
People may say these are extreme measures and they are. Once you witness your child in distress, struggle to breath, stab them with an epipen, ride in an ambulance, and help 4 nurses hold him down and watch them stick his little body over and over with needles, kicking, screaming, crying and looking deep into your eyes saying “help me Mommy,” you take extreme measures and DO NOT apologize for it.
With these struggles comes great triumph. Some days I feel so exhausted and my nerves are shot, but I know that I am a strong, bad ass mom because I can deal with this despite how f-ing hard it is. God has been testing me in different ways to prepare me for this part of my journey. I will not fail Him or my family but these changes are rocking my world. I go back and forth with “everything is going to be ok” and then other days I don’t think it will. My baby doesn’t know he is missing out. He doesn’t realize that he is different. But I do. I am sensitive for him. The simple things we all take for granted. I want him to be able to have a piece of pizza at a sleepover or a cupcake at at birthday party.
We are all having to learn a new life to protect him. We will stop at nothing to protect the ones we love. People say oh well he will grow out of them. Well maybe yes and maybe no. It is not like we will get an email someday saying he is no longer allergic to certain foods. We will have to continue on and challenge him as he gets older. Everyone says they want a healthy child and I know how important health is and how we take it for granted. No my child does not have cancer but the world around him can kill him. We have to educate people and bring awareness to the epidemic that is food allergies.
I challenge anyone to try and eat like our son. It sucks! It is so hard, frustrating and expensive! Eat dairy free, gluten free, egg free & nut free for one day. See if you can do it.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Thank you so much to our family and friends. Thank you to other allergy moms who have listened to me cry and given me hope. Finally I must thank the Lord for everything He has given us. Even though I do not understand the path I have to trust Him and remain Just Happy Mommy.