Today, we throw it back to last December and early January right after TJ’s anaphylactic reaction. Here is one of my first blog posts. It gives a perfect account of what was going on during that time…
DECEMBER 26, 2014-JANUARY 8, 2015
Quite frankly, I was in a major funk these days. I was putting all my energy into still being my happy self in front of my son; however, I was an absolute mess when he was not around. A lot happened during these two weeks…
We took my son to have allergy testing through blood work. We saw an excellent guy who was able to get a lot of blood. When these results came back, it was confirmed that now my son was allergic to OAT and BARLEY in addition to the skin tested allergens of WHEAT, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, DAIRY, and EGGS. Therefore, I cut out the few items that I was eating that contained oat and barley.
I also realized that my favorite non-dairy creamer for my coffee was not dairy free so I cut it out. I cried…
I then realized that I should not be eating tootsie roll lollipops everyday like I had been doing when I pumped. (It was my treat twice a day…I never liked chocolate much before being pregnant.) However, it contains milk so I cut these out too and yes, I cried again…It sounds silly what I was crying about. I think I just kept feeling like more and more food that I enjoyed were being taken away. And even worse, I felt like I had been hurting my son for so many months and had no clue. (While no one can confirm this, I truly hope and pray that I helped him during those 7.5 months of breastfeeding before my elimination diet started.
I met with Nutritionist #1. She basically told me that I may have celiacs disease which I definitely do not. However, I kindly took all of her materials and thanked her for her advice. She did tell me that I could eat goat cheese so I stopped and bought some on the way home. However, my son’s allergist soon told me that was NOT the case. As I threw out the goat cheese, I cried again…
I met with an orthopedic for a severe pain in my left thumb/wrist. I had read about what I thought I had, “Mommy Thumb.” Sure enough, the doctor confirmed this and told me that I needed a cortisone shot in the area. A few days after the shot, the pain went away for three weeks. But, then came back even worse.
I found a lump on my right breast. I freaked out. I went to my gynecologists’ office twice about it and called four times. Yes, I do sound crazy and I am sure that they thought I was too. At the first visit, I was told it was a torn muscle. Then, a day later as the pain got worse, the doctor told me that it was a clogged milk duct and called in a medication for me if it got infected. However, I never went to get it. Lots of massaging, pumping, and nursing did the job.
During these two weeks, I was definitely depressed. I truly thought that everything was falling apart, that I had messed up everything, and that there was nothing that I could do to fix it. I had an intense sense of impending doom. Since I have experienced a couple times in my life where I suffered from depression and anxiety, I knew that this was what it was. However, I needed to stop it. I had to for my son. I had to take care of myself for him. I just couldn’t figure out how to do this. One day I caught myself obsessing over how much I was eating, measuring and remeasuring my food. While I had never stopped counting calories and measuring food, I had not limited myself in close to 20 years. I recognized some of these behaviors that I was doing as the start of an eating problem again. Yet, I could not stop. My life seemed to be out of my control and this was one thing that I could control. I was losing a couple more pounds with this elimination diet. I probably needed to add more daily calories because of the way that my body was metabolizing this rather healthy elimination diet. In fact, I was having dizzy spells too.
Because of a lingering cold, I went to my actual doctor and had blood work done to make sure that I was not deficient in any areas. I was falling apart quicker than I could catch myself. Yet, I felt like I was doing something right. Even if I was failing at everything else, I made my son smile on…
Looking back to that early entry, it is evident how overwhelming anxiety and stress can be. I do believe that following my son’s initial allergic reaction, I suffered some post traumatic stress. I remember feeling like I was not fit to be a mother and feeling beyond guilty as to why I ever thought I was. However, I continued to pray for strength because I could not do this alone.
It was through those prayers that I was reminded one morning of why I initially even decided that I was ready to be a mom…
Before my son, I loved my life of spending time with my husband, my job and tutoring until late, traveling to gorgeous beaches when we wanted, Saturday afternoon wine tastings, dinners out, hanging out with friends, and other events that revolved around wine. I felt that I wasn’t ready to be a mom… yet knew I wanted kids. Therefore, after 3.5 years of being married, I prayed that God would send me a sign that it was time. I was so scared to take that leap on my own especially since I had seen and heard how relationships became got a lot more difficult after kids. I was afraid of this…I was afraid of change.
After several months of no signs and not feeling any differently, while driving to my last tutoring session of the evening, I started to think about what it would be like to have a child. In that exact moment, I saw a beautiful deer crossing the road right in front me. Stopping to let her go, I then noticed that two tiny fawns trotted right along her side.
While I had seen plenty of deer in my life, this was by far one of the most remarkable moments because of its perfect timing. It was then that I knew I was more than ready to take this leap into motherhood. It was in that exact moment I knew I had forever changed.
God’s work in my life always astonishes me. During that morning of praying for strength, he reminded me of that very deer and her fawns. It was then that I knew everything was going to be more than okay and that maybe it was not about holding on for dear life. Instead, maybe I needed to let go and trust that God’s grace would be there opening my eyes to see wings I never knew existed.
To conclude but only for now, as I was packing up my belongings at school this past Tuesday, I noticed that my window was open. As I walked over to close it, I noticed a giant leaf sitting on the sill. Just when I was going to push this outside, I noticed that I was mistaken. It was a large praying mantis. In all of my life, I have only seen one of these beautifully unique creatures and that was during my childhood. While I do not yet know the meaning of this, I once again believe it symbolizes that something amazing is up ahead for us.
With all of this, my smiles have been turned to genuine as I continue to join my son in smiling on…
Do believe in signs? If so, was there ever a time when one of these signs transformed you?
“If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life but it wasn’t mine…”
– “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave