When I first started Mum to a monster it was a way to write down how I felt. I must admit I did struggle at first as I didn’t know how to write down how I felt about allergies. You will find a few early posts about J’s allergies but they are poorly written in my opinion. I struggled to get the right words out of my mouth . I have started and deleted this post so many times and with so many different titles. Now I feel that I am able to write about J’s allergies. Luckily now that J is nearly 2 he seems to have outgrown them all. It is probably because of this that I feel able to write about it.
If you have read my post newborn days you will know how much I struggled adapting to parenthood. This was only made worse when J was 4 months old and we found out he actually had a milk allergy. I put so much pressure on myself to breastfeed, then when we ‘only’ managed two weeks of heartbreak and exhaustion , expressing and cup feeding. When I found out J was allergic to milk this only made me feel even more of a failure. In my head I was thinking not only is breast milk better but I have been poisoning J with formula, I’m not anti formula, just when your allergic to it !.
I wrote about J’s symptoms in this post about preparing for our hospital visit. Looking back at it seems so long ago. I do believe that wasn’t originally took seriously as I was only young and looked younger. In later appointments my mum actually came with us to put her point across about he it wasn’t normal baby problems. One of the many Doctors visit came after a bad night and this wasn’t even one of the worse nights we have had. After another case of Spotty baby it became another guessing game of what had caused it. As I was dealing with PND as well I was constantly fighting with voices in my head doubting everything I could think of. I can remember recently wondering whether J actually was allergic to milk or if it was ‘just’ reflux. However that is self-doubt again, I was looking through my photos stored on Dropbox and I came across several photos documenting rashes and bowel movements. It was obvious looking back at these that it was an allergy but again its the PND making me doubt myself. It doesn’t help that when you have a child with an allergy you come across a lot of people with the narrow-minded view that ‘a little wont hurt’ This use to drive me insane as J suffered with Dairy,soya, banana and coconut allergies , I believe that people didn’t take this as seriously as say a nut allergy. Also because J wasn’t Anaphylactic I don’t think people realised how serious and upsetting and painful it was. I was a nervous wreck every time I went shopping or out for a meal with him. In all honesty if he was ANA I don’t think I could have left the house. I seriously have so much admiration for those parents dealing with Epi pens and such like.
One worry that I had was that if J didn’t grow out of his allergies how would he get on at school , would they look after him, would they expect him to look after his own food at such a young age. It was hard enough supervising him at playgroups around food that there was no way I could trust a school. Again as I have said he has luckily grown out of his allergies now. He still has a bottle of oat milk at night but he does have the occasional bit of normal milk , he mainly pinches my breakfast of me now. I could probably give him a full bottle of milk now however I still don’t want to risk it.
I suppose that I am writing this to tell people they are not alone at dealing with allergies and although it doesn’t always feel like it at times there is always support out there. I personally found this Facebook group helpful, not only for dairy allergies but soya and others. I have since discovered #PNDHOUR on twitter run by the amazing Rosey which offers support for those suffering with depression. Also if you are dealing with allergies it may not be lifelong and hopefully like J they will outgrown them.
Pleas let me know if you have any experiences with allergies