Monday, July 12, 2010

Sick Baby and Peanut Allergy

I think the picture says it all. We've had a rough couple of weeks. Last Monday I got sick with a 24 hour stomach bug. Actually, we were coming off a week of camp and somehow me, Meghan, Michael, my mom, and our friend Lauren all got it. Yuck!

I was better and ready for work on Tuesday, when we had a change in plans. I was feeding Salem breakfast and she seemed more hungry than usual. Thinking I'd give her some protein to fill her up, I offered her small pieces of bread with a little bit of natural peanut butter on it. I believe my exact thoughts were "oh, yay! That's right. Salem is 1 now, so I can give her peanut butter." Peanut butter ranks up there with chocolate on my list. I think I had peanut butter in some form every single day I was pregnant. Apparently Salem got too much of it in utero, because now it turns out she's allergic!! Within minutes of handling the peanut butter toast, her face, trunk, arms, and eyes were all broken out and red. Chuck panicked a bit (not an altogether bad thing, considering the potential for a severe reaction), and called the pediatrician, getting an appointment for an hour later. We decided to just load her up and take her on over there right then since it's about a 20 minute drive and we figured they'd take us early if we got there early. On the way out the door though, Chuck saw Salem in the light and realized the rash was getting worse quickly, so he made the decision to take her to the emergency room. I finished getting ready for work and followed behind. It turned out that she got better fairly quickly and only needed a dose of infant Benedryl and she was okay. But he took her on to the pediatrician's office anyway and they got us set up with an allergist.

Our appointment was this past Friday and I figured they would just do a consult, but they ended up doing a skin prick test on her back to test for several different allergies. The only things that showed up as a problem were peanuts and cod (the fish). They're not concerned about the cod, as we don't eat much fish, but the peanuts are a big deal. I think I'm a little bit in denial about the whole thing. I mean, for me, peanut butter is it's own food group!! The doctor reassured me that me eating large quantities of peanut butter during pregnancy was not to blame for Salem's allergies, but it's hard to think it's not at least somewhat related. Who knows. For now, we have to keep her away from peanuts and peanut butter and those random items that state they were made in a factory that processes peanuts too. Good thing I'm a good label-reader already. Our plan is to have her tested with the blood test in six months to check the level of severity. The doc also said that one out of five kids grow out of a peanut allergy, so here's to hoping she's the one kid.

After that ordeal with the skin pricks, Salem turned into quite the cranky child. I don't know if it's related or if she picked up some kind of bug at the doctor's office (or somewhere else...), but she's had a fever of around 99-100 for two days and diarrhea too. This is when I get frustrated that kids don't come with manuals...part of me wanted to see if the fever would go away on it's own and do it's thing, but she was just miserable so I gave her some infant ibuprofen since the pediatrician suggested that over tylenol. Unfortuately, it didn't do much, so we had to resort back to the tylenol and that seemed to help. She's been clingy but finally went down for the night.

In new Salem development news:
  • She signs "more" regularly, but also uses it to mean "hungry"
  • She is learning "cheese", "banana", and "berry" (her favorite foods)
  • She knows "milk" and still loves to nurse
  • She made her up own sign by making her lips into a "fishy face" but we're not sure what it means. It's obvious she's trying to communicate something specific, but we're not sure what. Chuck thinks she means "toy" when she does it. It's neat to see that she's realizing that each word has a sign. Can't wait to see what else she comes up with!
  • She waves "bye" now. Took her awhile to catch on, but she's got it now
  • She's FINALLY sleeping a lot better. Once we got her to learn how to put herself to sleep and got her a cozy blanket or two to cuddle with in the crib, she's done much better. As two previously very sleep deprived parents, we are grateful and wish we'd done the sleep training deal A LOT and learn.
  • She is understanding so much more now. She follows instructions and can bring me things and follow instructions to some degree. She knows what "no" means.
  • She's started into the clingy phase where she holds onto my pant legs but hasn't started screaming when I leave her yet...hoping we'll skip over that phase.
  • She had her first sleepover at Noni's house (my mom). We had dinner and went to a baseball game last night with some friends and she kept her all night. Of course Salem wasn't feeling well, so she didn't sleep through the night, but otherwise she did great. My mom is so good with's a huge blessing to have her around and so involved in Salem's life!! Plus we were grateful to have our first uninterrupted night of sleep in 13 months. It had been WAY too long!

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