Nine Months More

The First Bite

A cold, wet Sunday. We were feeling lazy and deprived of our old life. We bundled up AJ, packed too much into the baby bag and headed into town. Sundays were once spent idling through stores, having long coffees, late lunches and had an incredible sense of lightness. We dared to feel that again.

The pram came out, AJ went in, blankets snuggled him up like a bear and off we wandered. AJ was in awe of all the lights. We were in awe of him. Just maybe, life was coming back again.

Without intention we found ourselves at Max Brenner and thought a hot chocolate would be a perfect way to end our afternoon. The smell of sweet, thick chocolate was overwhelming. We ordered our hug mugs, our thick waffles and strawberries and settled in. Hubby couldn’t wait to give AJ a taste of the froth from his hot chocolate. A tiny taste. The smallest of dips into the froth. AJ loved it. We gave him more.

Before I could even scoop up the tiny waffle balls at the bottom of my hot chocolate, AJ was screaming. His face was bright red and he was hollering. Scratching, red, frustrated and insane. We were both stunned. Shocked. This came out of nowhere. To others sitting around us, we must have looked crazy. One screaming baby is his pram, and two parents just staring at him, dumbfounded. What had happened to our perfect afternoon?

I pulled him out of the pram, maybe he was too hot? So I uncovered him and tried to cool him off. Still screaming. Maybe he was hungry? Out came the boob and I tried to get him to feed. Still screaming. Maybe he needed to burp? Up onto Hubby’s shoulder, trying to pat out a burp. Still screaming. Maybe he was tired? Back in the pram, let’s try and walk him to sleep. He settled ever so slightly.

We walked back to the car and thought that going home was best. All buckled in and only five minutes down the road and the screaming started up again. We had to pull over. Something was very wrong. It was Flemington Road and we were across from the Royal Children’s Hospital. Neither one of us thought to go in. I snuggled him again, fed him and he seemed content to only whimper the rest of the way home.

hug mug, max brenner, allergies

He cried and whined and scratched and itched for the next few days. We tried gripe water, paw paw cream, warm baths, cold baths and everything in between. It wasn’t anything obvious. The books were useless, my mum and mother in-law were all out of ideas. Off to the GP.

The visit to the GP was the start of a very long journey. A journey we are still on to this very day. AJ had allergies. AJ had eczema.

My battle as a mother, trying to help my son, in a place where I felt alone and isolated, is one I want to share. I want to share the anguish of soaking his night-time romper in warm water, dripping wet and putting it on AJ – so he could sleep and not scratch. And how that actually worked! I want to share the anguish of cutting out wheat, rice, eggs, soy, all dairy and nuts from his diet (and mine!). I want to share how AJ is now 5 and he doesn’t eat. I want to share how we are all still learning.

  • Eczema is so tough for little ones. I had it and my younger brother had it badly. I found cutting out sugar helped as did drinking lots of water and taking fish oil. I feel for you. X

  • Sophie Allen

    Oh no! We have struggles with Salicylate intolerance, and eczema, but nothing that required any major solutions.

    We have a low salicylate diet, which cuts out many preservatives, additive, colourings, flavourings.

  • Oh awful. poor little guy so tough. crazy how that just happened like that in max brenner. interested to see how you are learning through it all. you sound like an exceptional mum who is doing everything for her child.

  • This is the stuff that they never tell you. You think you know how your life will be with children, but no-one tells you about the unexpected – the PND, the reflux, the allergies, the gastro, the aversion to car travel. This must have been so scary for you. My younger child had mild eczema and asthma, but thankfully has grown out of it. Big hugs for you all…

    • AJ’s allergies still sacre me today
      We are on a long road with this
      Yes, def. the “stuff” no one tells you

  • Krystle Sky

    Oh no!! How horrible. Both our boys get excema, only mildly though. I’ve found the only thing to stop it is to eliminate whatever the trigger is. For our boys it’s strawberries and tomatoes mainly, and it’s a shame they’re both foods they love.

    It’s so heartbreaking as a mum when they’re sick or unhappy about something. Hope you get it sorted soon and get some relief 🙂 Take care!

  • Oh no how heartbreaking! I hope that you can manage his condition, this parent thing is such a steep learning curve.

  • Oh your poor little man. Allergies are rife in my family, luckily the little man grew out of his allergy to casein and now is just sensitive to it like me – it means we can get away with a little but an average amount makes us sick. My mum is severely allergic to wheat, gluten, yeast & cows milk, along with a whole host of other things like chilli corriander & more her diet is a nightmare and some days she gives up and eats what she likes and suffers for it with nasty blisters. I feel for your little man

  • TeganMC

    How hard it must have been for you to see your little guy in pain and there was nothing you could do. A friend of mine’s son is allergic to soy, milk and beef protein. I’m in awe of how much she does for her son.

  • Tara@the-gilded-life

    Oh you poor things!

    A wise friend said to me today that you can tell a mum really loves her kids if she puts up with rice milk for them (she had to give up dairy and soy for her 2 babies too).

    I look forward to hearing and reading more of your journey.

  • mumabulous

    Friends of ours have a little boy who suffered severe food allergies. For a while he could not have dairy,wheat or eggs. Nuts were potentially lethal. They struggled to feed him. At one stage his skin was turning orange because he only ate sweet potato. Fortunately most of his allergies resolved themselves, except for the peanut one. I can only hope the same happens for AJ.

    • i sympathise with only eating one thing
      that is how it works for AJ
      he is so petrified of a reaction, he only eats “safe” food

  • My second child has a casein intolerance, and it took us five years of tummy pains, broken nights and an unhappy litte girl to work out what was wrong.
    Such a horrid feeling. 🙁

  • Alicia O’Brien

    Thanks for sharing, a battle it must be. I hope things get better for AJ and you.

  • Bossymummy

    I thought this was going to be a lovely post about sharing moments, then it was interrupted – Urghh! I am sorry you had to struggle through this, but you are wonderful for sharing so others in your position know they are not alone x

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