Raising A Child With Allergies… The Truth

Waiting in the car for Benadryl to kick in, after a play date accident involving dairy cross contamination

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, but have refrained for several reasons. I don’t want people to think that I have forgotten how lucky I am that my baby boy is here, allergies and all. I also don’t want to come across as resentful towards families who don’t have to deal with this particular struggle. And I want to be clear that I know I’m not the only mom in the world who is struggling, With that said, sometimes it is just important to talk about the real life struggles. Maybe one day other moms will find this post and be encouraged by knowing they are not alone.

Now on to the truth telling.

Randsom is my only child. Over the course of his first year of life, we discovered that he is allergic to egg, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, pet dander, and certain grasses. I still remember the first time he experienced an allergic reaction. I had broken a yogurt melt in half and given him a piece to try. It only took a minute before the skin around his mouth started to swell. He was only 7 months old at the time. I’m not going to go into all of the details about discovering the rest of his allergies, but I will spend some time sharing my fears.

These past few months have been really hard. I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember, but this has brought on a new wave of fear that I never knew I could experience. It was easy to brush off the allergies when Randsom was younger, he wasn’t moving around and getting into everything. He never really liked to put things in his mouth, and he was never upset if we would eat and didn’t share. Now that he is older, I am realizing just how difficult this is going to be, possibly for the rest of his life. I read labels multiple times in the store, then again before I use the item, and I still fear that I missed something after I’ve given the item to Randsom. I will stay up at night and sit by his crib after he has tried a new food, because I’m afraid he will stop breathing. I carry epi-pens, bottles of benadryl, and Zyrtec in every bag I own. Lately I have found myself skipping play dates, and dreading going to church because he breaks out in hives almost every time we are around other children. I am constantly wondering what has been spilled on the floor or what other people have eaten without washing their hands after. Its exhausting.

I feel defeated and scared. I worry that Randsom will grow up to be resentful of how different he is from other kids. Sometimes I think its my fault, that my body just wasn’t prepared to grow healthy children, or that I could have done things differently when I was pregnant. I have been angry at God for allowing all of these things to happen to my baby.

I don’t have any encouraging words to end with. I haven’t gotten to a place where I am understanding or content. But I do know I’m not alone. I know there are many other moms who understand what I’m feeling. So this is an open letter to any moms going through the same thing. Give me a call. We can hug, cry and try to figure this stuff out together.

-Mommy Little

Life Update

     Grant started applying for graduate collages last year. He spent several months traveling for interviews and he was accepted to several great schools! He spent a lot of time trying to decide where he wanted to attend. In the end, Grant decided he wanted to attend Washington State University for veterinary medicine. I am so thrilled that he will be fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. Grant is so smart and kind, I know that he will be dedicated to his field and the people that he works with.
     When we first got married, Grant was still attending UNO and working on his under graduate degree. I knew that his goal was to be accepted to a vet school, and that there were not any located in Nebraska. I never doubted his ability to get into a school, but everything seemed so far into the future and I didn’t spend any time thinking about moving away from home.
     Now we will be moving across the country (a 23 hour dive to be exact) in less than 4 months, and the reality is finally starting to sink in. I have lived in Nebraska for the majority of my life, all of my family and friends are here. I am not well traveled and consider myself a homebody; I know that this will be hard for me. We are starting to look for houses, and movers, and thinking about packing up all our belongings, and it’s very overwhelming. I have a tendency to ignore my feelings and just keep going, but I‘m going to make a confession now: I’m anxious and scared and dragging my feet a little.
     It will be difficult for me to say good bye. Stepping out of my comfort zone is not my favorite thing to do. I know that I will be tested in more ways than I can imagine, but that I will also grow in faith. This is our next adventure in life and I won’t be taking it alone. Thankfully, I am madly in love with Grant and know I will follow him anywhere he decides to take me. I know that home is wherever he and Randsom are. We will also be adding another member to our family before we make our trip, a furry member to be exact. He is an Australian Sheppard puppy we have named Maverick.  
     It is going to be a crazy adventure, especially the trip to Washington! We will be driving for several days with a puppy, a baby, and a crazy lady who has to pee every 15 minutes (me).

I guess it’s time to start preparing for the madness!