Our oldest son, Buddy who is almost 3, has several severe life-threatening food allergies. His little body cannot tolerate any dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc) or eggs.
We first discovered his dairy allergy when he was 8 months old. Actually we knew something was wrong way before then but had no idea what it was. He was a very difficult, unhappy baby. He would scream and scream and we couldn’t console him. He would not nurse, so I pumped every 3 hours around the clock and we bottle fed him my milk. We started trying to feed him solids (mainly fruits and veggies) around 6 months but he wasn’t very interested.
When he was 8 months old, my Mother-in-law who kept him everyday while I was teaching had him try a few bites of blueberry pomegranate yogurt. He loved it! Within seconds though he started reacting. He started vomiting, getting red hives all over his body, face, lips, tongue started swelling and his throat started closing. My Father-in-law told me he had never driven so fast as he did taking Buddy to the emergency room.
Thankfully, my Father-in-law is an ER nurse and knew exactly what was going on when it first started. Buddy was taken directly back and given a high dose of steroids to stop his throat from closing and his breathing to calm. We were in the ER several hours while they monitored Buddy until all that was left were a few hives on his stomach. We also had to give him more steroids that night to make sure it was all out of his system.
After this very real, scary, life-threatening day my husband and I thanked God for saving our little baby boy because he could have taken him home to be with Him. We then realized that this was going to be something we needed to know more about. We immediately called Buddy’s pediatrician and she had us come in to get blood work done on the main ingredients in the yogurt he ate. This blood work revealed that Buddy was severely allergic to dairy. We also realized that while he wasn’t nursing, he was drinking the milk I was producing which had dairy in it, which then in turn explained why he was such an unhappy baby. His poor tummy hurt all the time!
Buddy’s pediatrician recommended and referred us to the best Allergist in our city (or we think so), although we couldn’t get in to see him until 2 months after Buddy’s reaction. This seemed like a very, very long time because we were unsure what to feed Buddy and I didn’t want to keep giving him my milk that was causing his tummy to hurt. I ended up taking all dairy out of my diet for several months and Buddy was much happier. When we finally got in to see the Allergist he told us we needed to avoid all dairy and to read every ingredient in anything we give Buddy to eat. Also, to read every ingredient every time we buy something because the manufactures will change what they put in their products periodically. Before leaving Buddy had more blood work to see how severe his dairy allergy was and what else he might be allergic to. We discovered then that he was also allergic to eggs.
After much debate, we ended up finally giving him Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula (when he was 11 months old) until he was 2 years old and for the past year he has been drinking Pacific Natural Foods – All Natural Vanilla Hemp Milk, which he loves! Buddy is a very happy, smart, little boy who loves being outside! We thank God daily for the precious gift he has given us and continue to pray that Buddy’s allergies disappear!
It was this event that started our journey toward homesteading and DIY projects. Sure this lifestyle may be trendy and fun, at times, but we are doing most of it to create a safe and healthy environment so our boys can thrive.