Excuse the distorted long alien looking arms. I had to make an appointment with the allergist. I’ve had a number of incidents with a few foods that made me question if I have developed food allergies. I’m almost 39 years old, how am I now developing allergies? OSMOSIS! It has to be. I am some freak, that through the process of carrying 4 very allergic babies, with their daddy’s allergic dna that has absorbed into my system somehow tweaking my dna causing me to now be allergic as well. That has to be it. The reaction that sent me to the phone to make the appointment was a full blown coughing, tight throat, tight chest, scared the pants off me, 4 benadryl worth, Nathan with epi in hand ready, anaphylactic reaction. The reaction, i thought, was caused by onion.
So I went in this morning by myself. We marked about 35 foods to to test. The following came back positive: almond, banana, casein (a protein found in cows milk), crab, halibut, oyster, scallops, soybean.
Here’s something interesting. My positive prick only welted up a tiny bit. Therefore, my reactive foods were tiny as well. However, the reactive food are considered huge allergens eventhough they were small because the positive was small as well. My kids always welt up huge as does their positive.
I was advised to stay away from all types of fin and shell fish. Stay clear of tree nuts. Two foods i highly suspect and keep having reactions to are garlic and onion. We are going to do blood work on all the positives plus onion and garlic. I’ll have those results in a few weeks. The allergist jokingly asked, and in a way told me I should get scoped for EoE. She said its very odd for these things to come up. If it was one or 2, that would be normal. She said it would make a lot more sense why our kids have the disease at the far end of the horrible spectrum.
I’m going to be honest, this scares the pants off me. I did not enjoy the reaction I had when Nathan almost jabbed me with the epi pen. I don’t want to actually LIVE the allergy life. Let alone EoE. I guess to lead my kids in a positive manner through life, what better way than to be experiencing it myself, right?
I may be done having babies, but I want to share some tips on what I learned having gone through 4 pregnancies. Each one being very different from each other. I started in my 20’s and ended with my last pregnancy being labeled a geriatric pregnancy. Three were uncomplicated, while the last one was on the high risk end. I traveled, I moved to different states, 3 of my pregnancies I packed up and unloaded a house, I wrangled toddlers and all while far from family and friends. I’m not a doctor and I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, but these are just some things that may help you get through your pregnancy.
- Morning sickness may or may not happen. I covered the whole board with this one, from barely noticeable to so sick and dizzy I couldn’t stand it. I used seabands. They really helped relieve the nauseated feeling. I also recommend that even though you feel like you’re about to toss your cookies, force yourself to eat a little protein like a handful of almonds and a few crackers. Having something in your belly does help. If you come to a point where you’re losing weight, you can’t function and your doctor wants you to take something, please do your research. Anything that goes in your mouth may go right into baby as well. Are you aware there is a list of A, B or C medications that rank from safe to unsafe for baby while pregnant? One drug often used for morning sickness is Zofran. You can find information about possible side effects while using this drug during pregnancy here.
- Once you’re over the morning sickness think about what you’re eating. I made the mistake with my first pregnancy treating it like a free pass to eat what ever I wanted. It takes 9 months to gain weight and it will take 9 months to get it back off. Remember though, the second 9 months after birth you’re also raising a tiny human. Trying to focus on yourself, diet and exercise aren’t really easily done with a newborn. I’m not saying you can’t indulge, just don’t go over board. You do need a few hundred extra calories for baby, not an entire pizza and pint of ice creams worth. Make sure you’re getting a well rounded diet of fresh veggies, fruits, proteins and grains while keeping the fats to a minimum.
- Be active. Keep your body moving. Go for walks. Work in the garden. Clean your house top to bottom. Many woman who have a regular exercise regimen can keep it through most of their pregnancy. You aren’t going to hurt the baby if you go for a jog. If your body is use to jogging and your doctor gives you the thumbs up then go for it! Picture an egg in a mason jar full of water. If you shake it, the egg doesn’t break, same situation in your belly. Baby is just fine in there. By staying active you’ll feel better overall and it will also make getting rid of baby weight afterwards so much easier.
- Keep a journal. Keep it beside your bed and make some notes every day or so of what’s been going on with your body. How you feel. When you felt baby move. When is baby most active. Foods that don’t agree with you. Just fun things that will help you with your next possible pregnancy and it will be enjoyable for your kids to read when they’re grown expecting their own babies. Kids are curious about mom and what all she’s gone through for them.
- Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. You need it. You won’t be getting much once little junior comes along. Your body needs sleep to recovery daily from growing a person. Let me make that clear, YOU ARE GROWING A PERSON, it takes a lot of energy. If you’re so exhausted to the point that you’re falling asleep at your desk you may want to check with your doctor and make sure you’re not anemic. A few extra hours of sleep each night should suffice if all is well.
- Get the details in order. Before your pregnancy due date is at the door step make sure and find out all the details with your hospital and insurance. This will save a lot of hassle instead of making yourself crazy while delivering a baby. Know what you need to do for the insurance company. Visit the hospital maternity ward. Don’t let there be any surprises on babies birthday! You want to be able to focus on baby, not the fact that your husband forgot to give the insurance a heads up that you’re in labor and admitted. Also, have a birth plan ready. Know what your options are for having baby, water birth, standard old fashioned delivery, pain meds, dark room and no people, bright room and your 5 closest friends. You don’t want anything to ruin the special day so know the details before it’s too late.
- Things are going to happen to your body. Don’t go searching the web for answers and don’t get on question and answer forums. You will scare the pants off yourself. Just call the nurse line and ask her. If needed she’ll get you in asap to see the doctor. She will know from your description what is going on. You are not the first person that has ever called with this problem and she will know if it’s urgent or not. That numb feeling in your leg, normal. Back pain, normal. Hip feels like it’s about to fall out of the socket, normal. Things going on down there, normal. You can’t sleep laying down because your heartburn is so bad, normal. Pregnancy can be rough on us. I assure you though it’s probably normal, just call the nurse.
- What if there’s something wrong with baby. In my last pregnancy I had single umbilical artery. Which means there is only one single umbilical artery in the umbilical cord. It is a common abnormality. However, in 25% of these types of pregnancies it can mean that baby has other abnormalities. Sometimes life threatening. Some babies will have heart problems. We never did any of the in depth prenatal testing with any of our babies. I didn’t do any further testing with this baby either aside from an in depth ultra sound and some extra doctor visits to keep a close eye on my blood pressure. Which, for the record, I am not sure how it wasn’t sky high with this pregnancy having one kiddo with a brand new feeding tube then a second one got hers while I was pregnant. I believe it was my ability to always keep calm. Try not to stress out. Know that everything is in God’s hands. If something comes up during an ultra sound that doesn’t quite seem right with baby, I advise you to gather every single bit of information from the doctor about what’s going on. Do some research. Know the facts about what’s going on. Share with friends and family and have support. Often talking about it can help relieve a lot of stress.
- Do something for yourself. I don’t just mean go get your toes done. I mean really do something for yourself. Everything in your life is about to change. You won’t be caring for yourself and your husband anymore. There will be a new guy in town and he will steal the show, along with every selfish moment you use to have to your self. Take a mini vaca if you can. Do things you’ve wanted to do like go to a music concert, drive to that antique village and shop all day, head to your best friends for a girls night. Do something for you. You may have someone else attached to your chest for the next year so take advantage of the YOU time you have left. I’m not trying to make that sound negative, I’m just saying from experience there isn’t much “me” time anymore. Although I don’t miss “me” time, other moms may.
I hope some of this helps get you through. Maybe there’s a nugget of information in here you hadn’t thought of before. It’s just some main pointers I wanted to share from the start to the end. Enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can. It’s a very special time in your life when you have super powers to grow a human! You’ll never experience anything like it again.
Oh! I do have one more:
10. If allergies run in your family here’s what I found out by experimentation. Because of Nathan’s allergies I avoided nuts and fish with Charlie’s pregnancy and nursing. At age 3 I fed Charlie peanut butter for approximately 6 months before he ever broke out in hives. He is currently allergic to all nuts and shellfish. He tests positive to shellfish but can eat shrimp just fine. He can eat also fin fish. With Gage’s pregnancy I ate peanut butter, but no fish. Same during nursing. Gage is extremely allergic to all nuts and can eat some fin fish, but not all, such as salmon. Salmon causes an asthmatic reaction. With Tinleigh I ate both nuts and fish. Tinleigh just tested positive to nuts with her last allergy test a few months ago. She has never eaten a nut because she wasn’t 3 before she got her button. Tinleigh has eaten fish with no problem. I honestly don’t remember what her test shows to shellfish but she can’t eat it anyways because of the EoE. With Layton I attempted to eat nuts and fish while pregnant. I became allergic to both. Today I can eat peanut butter, but a tree nut will make my mouth become itchy. I have tried fish and my throat swelled along with an itchy mouth. I had a scallop while I was pregnant and had the same reaction, haven’t tried shellfish since. This week I am going to the allergist. I may be some freak mom that because I have carried 4 very allergic kids, they have caused me to become allergic to things. Crazy right? As for Layton she does not test positive to fish or nuts. However, she really hasn’t had exposure to those things and won’t until she is 3. Time will tell. So with that said, should you avoid nuts and fish or does it even make a difference? I’m going to say eat what you want. I don’t think you can prevent it. Same goes with nursing. Some reports even say earlier exposure may reduce their risk of having an allergy. Who knows. Let’s just pray for a cure for allergies and EoE!