Motherhood took a scary turn in month 9. The lessons I learned revolved around child safety. Zac became a very fast crawler and cruising the furniture. Child proofing had begun! We started to cover up our electrical plugs, blocked off the stairs with a baby gate, and placed bumpers around tables and shelving with sharp corners. Her pediatrician recommended we crawl on the floor every so often to see what she sees to avoid any potential injuries and remove any inedible objects from the ground. Who doesn't love a good crawl?!
- Halter top + bloomers | Telegraph Ave Shop
One of the other measures we took with child safety was lowering Zac's crib mattress. She is now pretty tall for her age (standing at about 29inches) and is no stranger to pulling up to stand. I didn't feel overwhelmed taking any of these safety measures. We knew child-proofing was important, and although we were dreading it, we were prepared. But there was one thing we weren't fully prepared for. That thing is peanuts.
We found out the hard way that Zachary has a peanut allergy. In a nutshell (no pun intended), we were at her pediatricians office for a non-urgent office visit. I made an appointment because Zac's eczema was getting out of control. Her face was super dry, red, flaky, and bleeding from scratching. It started to weep clear fluid and chasing the cause was making my life really hard. Some days she's flawless, and other days she's extremely flared up. I tried eliminating things from my diet (because I'm breastfeeding) and eliminating things from hers. I kept going back and forth with certain food and it was becoming exhausting playing this guessing game. She had been on antihistamines night and day since she was 5 months old, so I was hoping for an answer.
Her doctor decided to do an allergy panel and asked me if I had tried peanuts yet. He had asked me to do this at her 6-month appointment for early introduction since she was already higher risk because of this ongoing eczema. I told him that I didn't feel comfortable doing it at home, but that I brought a single pack of peanut butter to try close to the office. He laughed and said, "that's fine." Lunchtime rolled around and we decided to eat first and try the peanut butter while we were still close to the office before heading out to the other lab. After lunch I put a tiny bit of the PB on my pinky finger and introduced it to Zac. I put it on her bottom lip and she licked it up. She smiled when she tasted it, but seconds later she began to scratch her chin. I decided that we should start heading back to the office as quickly as possible just in case she got more itchy. When I put her in the car seat her face was turning red and swollen and she was scratching harder and harder. The drive was less than 5 minutes (literally in the same shopping center) and when we got to the parking structure her face had looked like it was stung by a swarm of bees. I decided to just run her inside. Once I was in the office they could see through the window what was happening and started prepping medication. At this point her face was so swollen her eyes were shut. Her doctor jumped out of another visit to assess her but she was already projectile vomiting. He laid her down and injected her with an Epipen. Although I'm sure this happens all the time, and yes I'm a nurse, but it didn't make it any easier to watch. It was hella scary! They gave her Benadryl and Claritin and waited until she was stable. About 30 minutes later she was looking so much better. They told us to have her rest, so we headed home. Her swelling in her face had gone down a bit. As we were approaching our house I noticed weird looking hives around her armpits and thighs. She didn't have this at the office. I lifted her shirt and her body was covered in hives and was very warm to the touch. I got anxious so as I tried calling the office back but the line was busy so we just drove back. As soon as we got there, they realized that her reaction was really strong and the Epipen wasn't enough as that bit of peanut butter was too much for her system. They ended up giving her more Benadryl and started her on Prednisone (a steroid). She was to take this medication for the next 6 days. We made sure to stay at the doctors office until we were certain she wasn't still trying to fight off the allergy.
When we got home, she was exhausted but happy again. What a relief! This whole experience took up a lot of the next several weeks. They ended up doing a blood test and found that she was also allergic to eggs, almonds, soy, wheat, milk, and dog (dander/saliva/urine or all of the above). After doing some research I saw that blood tests aren't always accurate, especially since she had not even been exposed yet to all of those things, so we were referred to an allergist. A prick test confirmed the peanut, soy, wheat, and almond allergy, but it looks like there's hope for the eggs! Currently we are just waiting on results to see if we can challenge a baked food item with egg and hopefully begin immunotherapy for the other stuff. She'll continue to take oral antihistamines for now and I've pretty much learned her allergic reaction cues. I found that it's the way she scratches that let's me know something is going on. I look for that gesture anytime she begins a new food. Although she won't be able to indulge in a piece of cake, a fluffy donut, a pint of ice cream, an almond croissant, or the occasional thai fried tofu, I feel a sense of relief knowing that at the very least, she doesn't know what she's missing! I will spend my life finding her the yummiest alternatives and eat all that weird hippie stuff until these allergies all get figured out. For now, I'll embrace my little Paleo/Vegan-like baby girl <3
Besides baby proofing, allergies, and doctors appointment, the past couple months have been ridiculously busy. Between swim class, birthdays, holidays, her first modeling gig, and laundry, the 10th month has been a blast. Sure it was full of teething, a fussy, grumpy girl, sleepless nights and so on, but it was also filled with laughter, trying all kinds of solid food, learning the gestures to Itsy Bitsy Spider, and saying words like "banana" and "uh-oh!", and waving hi and bye at everything. We've been having so much fun! As the countdown to 1 begins, we are enjoying every moment of this life in the hood. #parenthood.
Aaaaand here's what we've been up to:
- Dress | Zara
- Bow | Wunderkin Co