I wasn't going to post about this until tomorrow, but I figured it's my blo-og, I'll post when I want to! Post when I want to!
Ahem. Sorry. I'm feeling a little loopy this morning. I didn't get much sleep last night. X was up at 11:30, 2 and then for good just before 6 a.m. This was his how he spent most of his first 12 months, but lately, especially since we moved him into Sawyer's room, he's slept beautifully.
Last night was not a surprise, however.
He is currently wearing a 48-hour allergy test patch. Little tin chambers are filled with different potentially allergic foods, and then are stuck to his back by a large piece of hypoallergenic tape. The substances soak into his skin, and if he's allergic, the T-Cells will react and cause the skin under the offending tin(s) to welt and itch. But the process takes awhile, which is why it's a 48-hour test.
I will spare you the links to pictures of reactions I found. They're frightening!
This is different than a standard skin-prick test, where tiny amounts of potential allergens enter via a tiny scratch in the skin. If you're allergic, your histamines will react (IgE cells) and you'll get an itchy welt within about 20 minutes. He will have that test Wednesday.
The best explanation I could find that I actually understood about the differences between these tests was here. Scroll down to Question 4. I don't know what EE is, but the tests are explained using smaller words than the other sites!
X's patch contains: eggs, wheat, soy, milk, oats, beef, chicken, rice, corn and something that starts with letter "p." Pork, maybe? It's not peanuts, as those cause an IgE reaction and will be tested via the scratch test.
Of course I was very concerned that he'll react and his back will be all itchy for two days. He won't sleep. I won't sleep. We'll both be grumpy. Which is why I'm freaked out he was up twice last night. He MUST be reacting. Right? RIGHT?!?!
If you take off the patch too early, the test will have to be repeated. And there's nothing you can do about the itchiness. How do you explain to a 13 month-old that this is all for a good cause? I mean, look at that little face!
I interrogated the nurse before she put the patch on. She said she'd never had a parent call and say their chid wouldn't stop crying and they had to rip the patch off. Even those babies who react to EVERYthing.
And frankly, I want to know. X's pediatrician is concerned that he's not gaining much weight, even though he's reaching all his milestones, looks great and is incredibly active. We need to introduce more foods. But I don't want to give him something that's going to give him a tummy ache.
Plus, the weaning thing? It's got to happen. First, though, I need to find something safe to wean him onto, and he's not at all interested in rice milk.
I hope to have answers tomorrow. We just have to get through one more night.
In the meantime, I will do what I do best - beat the crap out of myself. My first two kids were breastmilk-sensitive and were switched to hypoallergenic formula. And they did great. Outgrew everything by a year. Except for Sawyer's peanut/treenut allergy, which was detected at 10 months (I've already killed myself over that, since I ate peanut butter practically every day of my pregnancy).
X is the only one I was able to nurse all the way through, and if he ends up being the most sensitive... well, now I've hopped on the Crazy Train. Should I have weaned him at two months like I did with Sage? Was I inadvertently introducing allergens through my breastmilk, despite my very strict diet? Would he have been better off with the specialized formula? I thought breastmilk was supposed to help prevent allergies? And since I seem to have some weird variety that my kids can't tolerate, maybe it was a sign I shouldn't be nursing at all!
And around and around I go. As a friend pointed out on Facebook this morning, if I HAD put him on the formula and he'd had allergy issues, then I would've regretted weaning.
Truth is, there are no answers. We all do the the best we can. No one really understands why allergies happen. I'm sure it's impossible to explain how I could have three babies who all had the very rare breastmilk allergy.
The funny thing? I don't even have X's results yet! Yet this is how my mind works. Full steam ahead.
Mom guilt. Not sure there's a chapter on that in What to Expect when you're Expecting or whatever books we read while pregnant.