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The Mask of a little boy

Well I think it is about time that I share something with you all that I know has been affecting lots of people now a days. It one of those things that no one ever really talks about before becoming a parent until it happens to someone you know. It’s called allergies! Didn’t think I was going to say that did ya?
I can not believe how many people that I have actually had conversations with that their children have food allergies. I don’t remember hearing so much about it years ago. Maybe once in a while you would hear of the child at school or camp sitting there by themselves because they were the only one that had a food allergy, and most of the time it was peanuts. That’s why it was called the "peanut – free" table.
Anyway, on to our story…..

Our baby boy Zayn was just shy of 2 months old when he broke out with a rash from head to toe. I called the pediatrician multiple times and they never seemed that concerned, but if you saw my little guy you would have felt so bad for him. We brought him in several times to only be told that it was eczema. I didn’t want to use steroids on his little tiny body.
As time went on it was something that we just needed to except that he just had bad eczema and that all we could do was wait it out.
We began using everything "dye – free" including bath washes and laundry detergent. I actually hated it because I wanted my baby to smell like a baby and he really didn’t.
He constantly had a rash all over his face. Almost like he had on a mask. It would get so bad that at times it would ooze and get infected. I was almost starting to feel embarrassed that some would think that he was just not clean or something. I remember going to the pharmacy because at one point it got infected and the woman at the pharmacy commented saying "oh poor baby, I hope he is going to be ok". Talk about a jab. I had to say to her "that’s why we are here". I recall another time when I was standing at the register and Zayn started to cry and so I picked him up out of his stroller and thank God he had a hoodie on because I was literally hiding his checks so no one would even look at him. (I know… but it was not how I wanted people to see my baby). My heart would break and it was a very emotional and stressful feeling. My anxiety would overcome me just thinking about him having another flare up and how I was going to help him heal.
I began an elimination diet and began to eat Paleo. We even tried do salt baths and breastmilk lotions because I had heard that would help also. Although he was still reacting to something that I couldn’t figure out. I did question the pediatrician a couple times about nuts and she didn’t think that would have anything to do with it. I knew something still was lurking. Well turns out it most certainly did along with eggs. Those were the last two things that I cut out of my diet.

As time went on I keep pressing the issue of getting his blood drawn for allergy testing. So at 6 months we found out that he was allergic to soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, egg white, egg yolk, and all dairy!! Yikes!!! I was breastfeeding and I felt horrible that I thought I was poisoning my son.

So I eliminated all of that in that time and began doing more research on my own. (anyone that knows me, knows that I will research anything)! I also began taking a probiotic and giving him one as well. I knew that eczema comes from gut healing and so do allergies. I found out that against what doctors will tell you about bathing too much, his skin actually craved the hydration from the water. He began to clear up and I could finally see that adorable little boy and his beautiful cheeks once again. It was crazy though because I needed to be watching everything that I was eating but knew that infant formula wasn’t the answer as it is milk based or soy based.
By the time he was 8 months old he saw a pediatric allergist at Boston Children’s Hospital to have some skin testing and figure out a plan of action. Sure enough everything was positive.
At 10 months he went back for a follow up and was tested again for wheat (due to a reaction and being the lowest positive before), sesame, sunflower, and banana and was tested positive for each and every one of those on top of the others!

So here we stand at almost 11 months old and he hasn’t had any major flare ups lately, but his diet is very restricted. Although he is a healthy 23lbs at not even quite 11 months! Basically we eat a very healthy with a lot of fruits and veggies and have to be very creative!

Here’s Zayn a happy little guy at 10 months old! Cleared up and Mommy being creative with brown rice flour pancakes with apples and cinnamon!

So what have I learned so far in this journey with Zayn?….
1.) it can be very overwhelming as a parent to not know what is going on with your child and feeling like you are alone.
2.) do your own research
3.) it’s not so bad to eat healthy
4.) how many children are affected with food allergies
5.) how to get creative with food
Stay tuned for some recipes that we use that are allergy free!!!

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