our sweet Emilia.

Hi. My name is Alison and I have FOUR kids now 🙂

I hadn’t logged on to WordPress since my last post 2 years ago almost. Time has flown and we have been blessed with yet another amazing child. Our fourth, and final babe was born in June of 2017.

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Emilia Elizabeth. A perfect 8.3 pounds. She came on her due date and came out with a wink and smile, showing off her adorable dimple. A red head I might add. Four kids and the only ginger. I sat there counting fingers and toes the night she was born. Like every other one of my babies. Thanking God for their perfect little bodies and health. I wondered like most mothers how I could get so lucky. What I would do If something were wrong. Surely I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Surely I was given healthy children because I wasn’t capable of the emotional side effects of a non healthy child. I will forever praise my in-laws for their parenting, personal, marital coping skills while going through my husbands Cancer when he was 10. I still will never be able to understand the level of anxiety, fear, love that they dealt with on a daily basis. The mind block and ,mind SET you have to have. Compartmentalizing your life just to get through a day. All of this brings me to today. What compelled me to write a blog post after nearly 2 years?

My husband and I used to joke around when I was pregnant and say how calm, easy and “go-with-the-flow” she would be. She was a fourth child, there for she would have to be easy. We thought. We imagined her personality being sweet, calm, quiet, friendly, everyone’s friend. When we picked her name, we even found a website that listed those same qualities. We knew it would fit. She would be the light in the room. Make everyone happy and be a lover. When she was born she fit right into our expectations. I wasn’t expecting her fiery red hair..that was new 🙂 Having my last baby never sleep, ever, I was delighted to have her start sleeping 5-6 hours the night we brought her home. She really was our perfect little baby. That was until week 2. Colic set in. Or so we thought. Whatever Colic may be, Doctors don’t really even know. She was screaming, SCREAMING bloody murder far more than the text book 3 hours, 3 days a week for 3 weeks. It was an all day event. We literally couldn’t leave our house. She would scream in the car, she would scream wherever we were. No consoling. I had 3 other kids on summer break and we couldn’t leave our home. The first 3 months of her life were absolutely exhausting. I couldn’t find the good in anything. I was exhausted, bitter, angry, short tempered and not myself. It was hard to see who she was or who she was becoming because it was masked by crying and neediness. This breaks my heart. Knowing what I know now, looking back. My sweet baby had no other way of communicating what was wrong or how she was feeling. My oldest, who is now 11, had a milk protein allergy as a baby. He couldn’t handle my breast milk and by age 6 months I switched him to Neutramagin and he was 100% improved. Colic gone, pooping normal. Happy baby. At age 1 year he was successfully on whole milk. Emilia was sensitive to everything. Everything made her gassy, she started only pooping once every 7-10 days. I took her to 3 pediatricians. I ended up educating 2 of them on things I had tried that even they didn’t know of. I felt hopeless and frustrated. I was offered no help. If another doctor told me “Oh, they are babies and they cry. Colic sure isn’t fun” I was going to punch them. My baby was in pain and I couldn’t help her. Our parents wouldn’t watch her because they were scared of her. She refused a bottle and screamed. WHO would want to?

Slowly as 3 months approached we began to notice some improvements in her crying. It wasn’t ALL day. She was still extremely needy, but not as colicky. I tried cutting out some known items from my diet for breastfeeding but honestly couldn’t tell a difference. I decided I was DONE breastfeeding since I had basically been doing it for 3.5 years now and tried formula. NOPE.  She wouldn’t even get a drop in her mouth. 6 bottles, 3 different formulas. NOPE. So that was out. She was gaining weight normally and starting to get happier. We got a referral to a GI specialist and was put on an appointment list for 6 months from then.

And then it became time to try out solids. She was 5.5 months. It was my moms birthday dinner at home and we were so excited to try out Organic baby oatmeal. Not sure why I tried that instead of Rice cereal..but it looked good. Instead of thawing out some of my breast milk I thought it would be easier to use  some Neutramagin formula to mix with it since it was in the cupboard. Hopefully fill her little tummy up some more. (Note- she had stopped sleeping good at 3 months. She now sleeps in hour increments cue eye roll.) We all sat down, put her in her high chair and she ate like a champ! She loved it. Thank goodness. I was so happy she was actually showing interest in food. She hadn’t up until then. She ate quite a large portion of the oatmeal mixture I made. After dinner we did bath time like usual, pj’s, nursed and then off to bed. At this point she was sleeping about 3 hours initially and then up every hour or so the rest of the night. Usually screaming from stomach pain, gas and farting. I usually have to massage her belly in the middle of the night. After she had been asleep exactly ONE hour after I put her down I saw her squirming and crying. I was so frustrated. I went in and put the bink back in and walked out. She continued to stir and cry. It had been EXACTLY 2 hours since she ate. my husband and I laid down to go to bed when I heard her choke. I got up immediately (she is still in our room) and started panicking. She was vomiting HEAVILY. I flipped her over and patted her back as she threw up all the oatmeal. Covered the entire crib. It didn’t stop. She kept heaving. Her eyes would bug out and she was struggling to heave and throw up. It was not baby spit up, it was not projectile vomiting. It was full on adult style vomiting. I panicked and switched the light on and ran to the bathroom. My mom was in the living room sleeping and we all huddled around her in the bathroom. She was exhausted and scared. She had no fever, I knew it wasn’t the flu. She hadn’t been exposed. No one else was sick. I thought of the oatmeal. I knew it had to be something with that. She continued to vomit every 10 minutes for 4 hours. All that was left was Bile. We almost went to the ER. She became cold, lethargic and almost non responsive. Being my fourth kid I didn’t want to run to the ER for no reason or be “that” mom. I should have. She slept that night on my chest as I was TERRIFIED. In my life I had never heard of nor seen a baby throw up that way. I was on my phone all night googling.

6 month old. Oatmeal. Vomiting. Surely something or someone has blogged about this. And I was right. Here began our F.P.I.E.S journey.

I had never heard of this before. I began reading a blog post that sounded exactly like the one you are reading. I thought “OMG this is my child” I read the bit about the first FPIES reaction. It was what happened to Emilia. I knew it. Everything I read further and further seemed so spot on.

FPIES (pronounced: F-pies) is a severe delayed food allergy reaction in the gastrointestinal system (the gut), it is understood to be a T-cell mediated (Non-IgE immune) response in which food is considered a toxin to the body.

Shock. What I didn’t know what was happening to my tiny baby at that time, was that she was going into shock. Her body thinks any and all food/milk protein is a toxin and rejects it. She vomits until she goes into shock with lethargy, low blood pressure and body temperature and unresponsiveness

I called her pediatrician the next morning and left a message stating what had happened. She wanted to get an upper GI. She immediately was thinking a block in her upper GI. Again, don’t ask me how, I knew this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t explain the type of traumatic vomiting that she had done to anyone. They assumed threw up once and done. I researched pediatric GI clinic in our area to try and get in sooner. I got in to a ARNP at a local PGI. I went in, explained “my story” he listened. I brought up FPIES. He had never heard of it before. He googled it and said he was 90% sure she didn’t have that. I trusted what he thought and said and let it go. He ordered a Celiac panel and food allergy testing. I sat there and restrained my 6 month old while they poked around to find a tiny vein. They weren’t able to get “enough” out for the food allergy tests so I would have to go back. A week went by and they wouldn’t give me results of the Celiac on the phone. As nice as the ARNP was, I didn’t feel he was knowledgeable enough to treat my baby. I scheduled with the Doctor. He had 20 plus years at Marybridge Hospital as a Pediatric GI Dr. I explained “my story” again. Though, this time I did not tell him that I thought it was FPIES. He kept smiling at me as I spoke. I stopped and apologized for having an hour long story of my child’s life. I was desperate for someone to understand. For someone to tell me what was wrong with my child.  He could tell. He said ” I know exactly what is wrong with your daughter.” He said is so matter of fact. I said “YOU DO?”

“Your daughter has FPIES.” I started cry laughing and said how I had come to that conclusion myself. I was crying because I was so incredibly happy to have a diagnosis. I was soooooo happy to hear someone knew what was wrong. Because that’s the first step. I had to immediately stop all foods for her. Nothing. Not a single thing other than my own breast milk. I had to eliminate all top 8 allergies form my own diet. No Dairy, no eggs, nuts, soy. Literally nothing. I went home and researched the CRAP out of it. I started crying again. It wasn’t good. Not a good thing at all. There are support groups for this specific syndrome. My anxiety grew by the second until I put down my phone and just stopped.

Another annoying fact about my husband and I. We used to joke around about kids with food allergies. We had never experienced it in our lives before. We would get frustrated when a note was sent home for one of the kids classes that they couldn’t have nuts in their class. We thought it was a lifestyle choice their parents were choosing for them, not a life or death situation. It was an inconvenience in our lives. I am so sorry mommas. I apologize for my naivety. My own daughter cannot eat. Like, she can’t have anything or she might go into shock. We have to start food trials in a couple weeks with her allergist. I fear I might need Xanax to get through them. We trial one specific food for 9 days. If she passes it is considered a “safe” food. She will/can have a vomit to shock reaction from any of the foods in which we will have to go straight to the ER. The fear of Failure to Thrive is very near to us now as she can’t have anything other than breast milk. She cannot have formula either. She can have a special kind called Neocate and that’s running $50 a can. If she will take it.

Now that I have eliminated everything from my diet, literally, she is HAPPY. No more massaging her tummy in the middle of the night. No more gas. She still doesn’t sleep, still doesn’t poop normal but her personality is what we projected on her those 6 months ago. She is hilarious, smart, so funny and so feisty. There are still days she breaks out into a full body rash. I go crazy trying to figure out what I ate that gave her a reaction. I will never know. But we know what’s going on, we know the steps to take to start this long, exhausting, scary journey.

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I have only told close family and friends about our discovery. I didn’t want to be “that” mom that was over sharing about their child’s food allergies. I finally got over myself and realized that by writing this..I could help another mom googling at 2 am trying to figure out what is wrong with their child. I could post this on my personal facebook and MAYBE a friend has experience with this and could help. I am spreading the word about FPIES because it’s terrifying and not well known. In the meantime Emilia is currently lighting up every room, making people laugh, smiling from ear to ear. She truly has brought SO MUCH INCREDIBLE joy to my family. She is the little being we didn’t know we needed and I am so so happy she is ours.

 

If you made it to the end of this blog thank you. From the bottom of my “momma” heart thank you.

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What it feels like.

What it feels like to:

BE A MOM OF 3. Well it feels exhausting, tiring, joyful, tearful, heart is going to burst out of my chest with love, hair is going to fall out from stress, dirty, hilarious and most of all, AMAZING.

Yes, I have been gone some time now. In fact I believe too long. This blog was started to help get all my thoughts, emotions and love of writing out..and I haven’t been able to in a long while. I can talk and text about all my feelings but for some reason when I find a quiet moment to actually sit down and write it out..I feel good. I feel validated by myself I suppose. That all the hard days and good days all mean something because I can put them into a more beautiful picture with words.

So I had a baby, another baby 🙂 The birth story was quite boring…all went blessedly well and he was perfect. He IS perfect. The little human Brent and I created was 7 lbs 14 oz and 19.5 inches long. He decided to come out “sunny side up” which made it quite difficult for momma to push out. But like I said, it all went well. He is now 7 weeks old and I can barely type that out without choking back the tears. UGH. It happens so fast you barely get to experience it! He has shown so much personality in these few weeks it is incredible. Smiling, cooing, laughing and interacting with each member of our -not so little anymore- family. Liam and Henley have been so amazing with him I could not have imagined it going any smoother! Of course at the beginning we had a few little jealousy issues with them but it was not directed towards the baby, which I was thankful for. They both know they are loved and I have tried taking the split spare seconds throughout the day I have to spend that one on one time with them.

-break- baby is crying. Creative flow SQUASHED. 

There have been many many MANY sleepless nights so far, lots of gassyness (baby of course), a few mean words shed between a tired mom and dad AND lots of yelling at kids that of course went no where. I’m spreading the truth people..not just all the glamour 🙂 I do have to say though, this has been a MUCH easier transition from no kid to 1 kid and 1 kid to 2. I feel so much more prepared. Like the pee coming at me in the middle of the night isn’t as bad when you have another diaper ready to go. And the way to get a baby to calm down is obviously to walk around the house in circles 60 times and whatever you do-for the love of God- DO NOT SIT DOWN.  The first week was emotional. Not just because we were so happy to finally meet our little one, but because every hormone in my body was ripping out of me. Don’t look at me, I’m so fat, I can’t handle all this noise, I love you, you don’t do anything around here. Emotions so confusing my family needed a neck brace. Including the dog. But my favorite “swing” was at the end of the first week. I was sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby while my family was at the dinner table eating dinner. Nothing was going on too crazy but I was experiencing anxiety (the wonderful world of hormones). I told Brent and he was like “honey, everything is fine, we are all OK. And though I knew this I still could feel my heart beating out of my chest. He went upstairs to get the older kids in bed and when he came back downstairs I was bawling, staring at my 1 week old little boy. Brent looked horrified. I said “I just love him so much.” My heart definitely grew one trillion times with the birth of Luca. Like they say, you can’t imagine a life without them in it now. It’s like they have had a place in your heart since before you even knew they were a possibility.

I feel I have adjusted pretty darn well. Especially since the kids got out of school for summer break not 2 weeks after I had a newborn baby. YIKES. Craziness has commenced. The feeling I am not entertaining my kids every day and nourishing their brains every second has kicked in. NOPE, I am over here like “Cereal is downstairs if you want to eat breakfast and you can pull a chair up to the fridge if you really need that milk.” They have learned to accept this and rely more on each other, which isn’t such a bad thing anyways.

what does it feel like to finally feel complete and have so much love in my life?  Triumphant.

  •   full of pride at victory: displaying or feeling great pride in having achieved a victory    

This little family of mine is my victory. And I do take great pride in all my ups and downs and screaming and crying and loving and awing.

<I also tale great pride in the fact that half of this post was completed using one hand and a squirmy baby on my lap>

I WIN 🙂 

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The Lesson’s I’ve Learned…

It has been a SUMMER. It has been a wonderful 3 months of being a stay at home mom filled with laughing, crying, yelling and contemplation. I feel like the same person…but different. I have learned so much this summer and am so thankful to have gotten the chance to re-discover who my kids really are as people.

1st lessonOnce you start staying home with your kids..they become ridiculously attached to you. Because I have always worked..and they have needed to be in daycare, they were always OK with leaving me. When I needed a sitter..they would go wherever I chose and be happy. NOW, heaven forbid mom wants to have an hour or two away from them. It started off with screaming and crying and “WHY ARE YOU LEAVING US?!” no mom guilt there, at all. I was so confused. Then it occurred to me they have actually gotten attached to me. They rely on me, they trust me..their mom. I am the one now who they run to with the scraped knee, the bad dream, the excitement of figuring something out. THIS is why I chose to stay home..to build that trust and relationship with them…for them to need me.

2nd lessonPatience really is a virtue. Good heaven’s have I had to practice this. Prior to SAHM they were in 2 different classrooms all day long and then when they did get home.. Liam usually was hanging out with his friends. They didn’t spend too much time together. Well..3 months later I think they have barely spent 2 hours apart. It has been difficult. On one hand they are best friends, on the other hand they hate each other.  Henley discovered the art of clawing people..namely Liam. When she gets mad at him..she digs her little, multi colored nails in his arms. UGH. I have tried to create separate, quality time away from each other these past few weeks which totally helped. Now with back to school starting- insert screaming for joy- They will get the time apart they need to be an individual and have their OWN friends again. While I am on this lesson…I do have to say I now totally understand why mom’s were so excited for back to school. I used to think it was because they were excited for their kids..NO. They were excited for themselves. 

3rd LessonOh, I have a husband?! Yes, ’tis true. I feel like I have neglected the hubby prior to my SAHM gig. Those 430 wake up calls never gave me the opportunity to watch a movie, have a conversation or do ANYTHING passed 8 pm. It has been so incredibly fun staying up late, chit chatting, watching movies, TV shows and even having a night life! I am a 26 year old again! Woo hoo! A large thank you to all of the family and friends who have been so helpful in watching the kids for us when we wanted a grown-up night away! Brent and I have been able to enjoy a lake house in Chelan, Seattle nights, a few dinners and quiet time after 9 pm in our own home..it has been great! Finally starting to feel the balance of things…

4th Lesson–  Family is everything. The kids and I have gotten to spend some pretty awesome time with all of our family and friends these past 3 months. From joining our Aunt at her lake house for some swim time to family reunion’s on Vashon island. We spent a week in Wenatchee with family which was such a wonderful thing I could share with my kids. For them to see where I used to spend my time as a child and to create memories.

5th Lesson- I CAN cook?! Yes, It is kind of true. Brent has blessed me with the challenge of trying to cook more…He knows I am capable and is trying to help teach me to try new things. I have gotten a tad bit creative and mostly everything I have done has been good! 🙂 Turning in to the school year now…we are going to create a food board and try to stick with meal plans. I said.. “You mean I can’t make chicken nuggets and french fries every night?”

So the sun is starting to fade, the night is coming sooner and we are getting closer to HOLIDAY SEASON! Oh what fun I shall have with Pinterest and being a SAHM during the holiday’s!

I hope to start writing at least every other day through the school year..since I now have 2 and 1/2 hours to myself once Henley starts school this week! 1150330_791033176456_1045425578_n

#whatisamomsupposedtofeellike

I really want to talk about- the not talked about things. Lately I have been feeling a bit down on myself. I feel like I can speak for (hopefully) most moms out there when I say: I never feel like I am doing good enough. I see other moms out there taking their children to parks, camping, hotels, airplane rides almost on the daily and it makes me feel like I too should be doing those things. 

My day usually consists of this: I wake up when my kids wake up..no alarm, After 20 years of wake-ups I thought I owed it to myself to let myself just sleep. Once I’m up..still in pajamas..I meander downstairs and make breakfast and of course my coffee. I will take the coffee into the office and start facebooking- usually selling stuff- or ya know what? just plain old stalking. Now this on occasion will make me feel like I am being a “bad” mom. I sit and think “well, other mom’s are probably making their children vegan, organic, gourmet meals and singing to them while they eat their food so the tone of the day will be set for them.” That’s just NOT going to happen. After a couple screaming episodes and teeth biting sessions..the kids are upstairs getting ready. Now this is where I decide which road to take.

to go-out or not to go-out, that is the question. 

Me talking to myself in my mind again “other mom’s are probably going to be taking their kids to the zoo or some amazing park today, you should do something too if you want your kids to turn out good.” Well eff that. 

So I sit on the couch for a moment. In between folding laundry, picking up the trail of toys, shoes, clothes, and I instagram. Dammit. She beat me to it…

[WE BUILT OUR OWN TENTS WITH TWIGS WE FOUND ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND ARE EATING OUR HOMEMADE PICNIC LUNCHES WITH VEGAN AND ORGANIC FOODS TO NOURISH MY CHILD’S HEALTH- HAPPY TUESDAY 🙂 #lovemykids #bestmommyeva #mykidsareawesome ]

This is always what happens. So as I should be feeling pretty damn good that I actually fed my children and am doing household chores, I don’t. I feel bad that I too am not nourishing my child’s health or imagination.

Is it so wrong to just want your children to play with themselves in the back yard and imagine they are in Africa in the rain forest having an awesome adventure everyday?? Shoot. I was an only child until I was almost 10 years old. You think my parents entertained me every second of the day? Or took me to some amazing undiscovered spot of Washington every week? Or even fed me somewhat organic PB&J’s? The answer is NO, no they did not. And I think I am pretty nourished mentally, just fine. 

{as I am writing this my sons walks in and says in a very whiney voice “I just want to go the lake, why can’t we do ANYTHING.”} He played the entire day with his best friend. I am such a HORRIBLE mother. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am so tired of feeling like I am less of a mother just because my IG pictures aren’t AMAZING every day. I don’t have the money to take my children to some exotic park, science center, zoo, aquarium every day of the week to keep them entertained. I also, don’t feel bad about trying to teach my kids how to use their imagination to play, like we all grew up doing. 

My husband and I actually had to sit the kids down and teach them what it meant to use their imagination. Liam was like “what do you mean hide out in the back yard with these camouflage clothes on and pretend there is someone trying to attack me?” and Hen was all like “No mom, there is not any tea in this cup and my doll is definitely not going to be able to drink this, she’s not real and there is nothing in there.” 

I hope I am not the only woman out there who feels constantly defeated by mom blogs, Facebook, IG and other forms of social networking. Who cares what other moms are doing, I want to start feeling empowered about the things I do with MY children. I can teach them amazing things about this world without even leaving my house. I challenge all you moms to try and teach your children the fundamentals of childhood before adventuring out. It’s much harder to teach them to sit down for just a bloody second to learn how to play a board game or a puzzle.

It’s ok to stay home and clean your house and not go anywhere..it’s ok to not be perfect. 

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Children and Sun burns

Just thought I would take a second to talk about 2 things on my mind right now. My wonderful children are upstairs “cleaning” up their mess and I just got the “OH MY GOD MOM” outcry of frustration from my almost 7 year old. Seriously.

Liam: “Hey mom, I have a compromise for you. ” 

Me: “Oh really, what’s that”

Liam: “We can say we cleaned the upstairs, but we really don’t.”

Hen: “YA!! That’s good Liam”

This is what I have been dealing with today. Part of my SAHM thing was to teach my children responsibility. Thus, cleaning up after their own messes. 

They both just came downstairs and said “done.” OK, well I will just go take a little gander upstairs then to see what a fine job you did. All of a sudden, fleeting little footsteps dart out in front of me up the stairs. “DON’T COME UP YET!” I go upstairs to find not one thing had been cleaned up. I then made the decision to say that if they lie again they will go to their rooms for the rest of the night. Cue the “oh my god mom!” from Liam. 

kids, pshhh. 

 

SECOND on my mind. My incredible sunburn. We went to the lake today..I sunscreened the children, like a good mother does…but not myself. UGH. OWE. I look like the Coppertone little girl at the moment. Nix the dog pulling down my underwear. I will use this brief blog to say that….COCONUT OIL will be my skin’s best friend tonight and tomorrow. I’ve been using the Trader Joe’s brand and it works amazing things on my skin. One more healthy skin item for this bad burn..Aloe Vera Gel..but this realllly good kind I got as a sample from a facial I received. I will post a link below. Also, if there is anyone who would appreciate a coconut oil how to or post on the VARIOUS things you can do with it, or how to use it..just let me know 🙂

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http://www.set-n-me-free.com/ -link to buy the aloe gel that is OUT of this world