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Food Challenge (7/6/16)

The allergist did give us good newsat our last appointment – Keegan tested negative for an allergy to baked egg. So, he recommended we do a food challenge at Children’s Hospital. Keegan’s food challenge was July 6, 2016. The allergist provided a recipe for me to cook some baked egg muffins. It was a pretty easy recipe to follow. I tried the muffins and they were fine, but not great. We get there and they talk us through the whole process. We sign off and make sure we understand everything. After about 1 ½ hours, they administer the first “dose.” The dose was ¼ of the first muffin. He scarfed it down. No rash, no hives – nothing. He’s his happy, smiling self! Woo hoo! Dose 2 is give 15 minutes later. Before dose 3 he was getting a little less playful, but it was close to nap time, so I shrugged it off. Dose 3 comes. He was less eager to eat it. Maybe he was getting full?? Now he’s really crabby… I hold him in my lap and just sit with him. Then, he throws up a tiny amount. The nurse isn’t too concerned at this point because it was such a tiny amount – it didn’t stay tiny very long. Within five minutes he started projectile vomiting all over me, while crying because he’s so uncomfortable. I feel awful. The RN doesn’t think we need to do an epi, and instead just gives him some anti-nausea meds and lets me just rock him. I held him for a while and he napped – lightly. Then, maybe ½ hour later he woke up and threw up again. I handed him to mark so I could try to wipe off. That’s when his diarrhea started – all over Mark’s pants. We change his diaper, within minutes there’s more. And more a little bit later. Finally, he seems more comfortable and he naps for 1 ½ hours while I rock him. At this point, we’re almost out of diapers because we weren’t expecting to go through five in four hours, but we did. Children’s gave us another five or so to get us through. About three hours after he started feeling bad, he starts to feel better. He’s laughing, playing, and acting more like himself. They’re still monitoring him, but it looks like we’ll be able to go home in an hour or so. We’re playing in the playroom basically just waiting for an ok to take him home when the RN comes and asks to talk to us.

 

She has talked to our allergist, and he recommends we administer an epipen right away. Mark and I were extremely hesitant – why would we do this now when he’s finally feeling better? If this was going to help, why didn’t we do it three hours ago?!? She says she agrees with our doctor and that we should give the epipen. Mark and I had a ton of questions starting with the fact that earlier she had told us an epipen doesn’t usually work against any gastro related symptoms – which are all he’s had at this point. She doesn’t really answer and just says she thinks we should give the epipen. I keep asking why now when he’s doing better, and why not earlier? She didn’t really have a response again and kept just encouraging the epipen. Now, don’t get me wrong, if the epipen is going to make him feel better and the benefits outweigh the risks – yes, let’s do it. However, at this point, we were about to leave. They were telling us he was doing great, but our allergist, who hasn’t even seen him says we should do an epipen, so the RN just flips her opinion?? I was not happy – at this point I was crying because I don’t what to do. So, we buckle and just let them do the epi. They give him the shot, he cries of course, but I’m holding him and he stops pretty quickly after. Then, within a couple minutes, he turned so pale and looked completely out of it. I call in the nurse and she says that’s a normal, common side effect of the epi. My poor baby… I’m not nice and courteous anymore – these people can tell I’m pissed and am ready to leave. That’s when they tell us we have to stay another four hours for monitoring after an epipen is administered. Whatever – we’ll stay because if it’s about his safety, we don’t have a choice – we can stick it out another four hours. Before we left, the RN comes back in and I’m sure she can tell I’m not excited to see her. She tells me we made the right choice, but that she only recommended the epipen because our allergist recommended it. Duh. I had asked her that earlier and she didn’t respond and just said, “We recommend you give the epipen.” All in all, it was an awful day. I made the mistake of putting my poor boy through this food challenge when he can’t talk and tell me how he’s feeling. I know we’ll have to do food challenges in the future, but I will absolutely be waiting until he can tell me how he’s feeling as he’s being tested before we do another one. I’ll also be talking to a new allergist before we do.

 

After the food challenge we decided we definitely needed to talk to another allergist. I reached out to Mayo Clinic and set up an appointment for him – we’re eager to meet with them and see what they recommend. His Mayo appointment 9/1/16! I’m excited to get another opinion from a very trusted clinic – I hope they can answer my questions, including my questions about how to introduce foods to baby 2 – since Keegan has food allergies, there’s a greater chance baby 2 will also have food allergies, so we’ll have to be careful.

 

Also – we had a weird incident. Keegan was tested for a lot of possible allergens. He tested negative for all except egg, dairy, and peanut. But, we gave him Cream of Wheat – containing no milk, egg, or peanut, just containing wheat and walnut. He has wheat all the time and doesn’t have any issues. But, we soon after he started eating the Cream of Wheat, he developed a rash around his mouth. We assume this is from the walnut, even though he tested negative for walnut. I’m cutting that from any food for him until we talk to the allergist about that at his September appointment. Luckily, Walnut is a lot easier to avoid than the other allergens he’s allergic to. But, to be extra cautious, I’m going to avoid all nuts (other than almond because he drinks almond milk all the time without an issue) until his appointment as well. Here’s hoping we get some good answers in September.

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Food Allergies

Where to start with this rollercoaster… I’ll keep it high level… We found out when Keegan was around 9 months old that he has some food allergies. I tried to start supplementing with formula when Keegan was 6-7 months old. We gave him some formula, and he kept pushing the bottle away. Within a couple seconds, he had a rash around his mouth. We called the nurse line and they told us just to try again in a couple days. We tried again – same thing happened. I talked to our pediatrician, and he recommended we talk to an allergist. Keegan went in and had some blood tests done at the Park Nicollet allergist. It didn’t go well. The doctor gave us good information, but the lab tests were awful. The nurse told me to ask for someone who was very experienced drawing blood from babies, so I did. She assured me that whoever was going to take his blood would be very experienced. That was not the case. He sat in my lap while they did the draw. He instantly started crying when she poked him the first (OF MANY) times. She missed, missed again, missed again, missed yet again, then finally got a vein. He’s hysterical at this point. I’m holding him looking at this woman and thinking about how badly I want to pounce out of this chair and tackle her. However, I keep my composure for my son’s sake. Finally – it’s over. I hold him for a couple minutes until he calms down. Mark and I get him situated in the stroller and are walking out, when she comes running after us… she missed a test and has to do a re-draw for one more vial. I asked her if she was f-ing serious. She apologized, but said yes. I said fine, but she wasn’t going to do it. She went and got another person to do the draw. She found the vein on the first shot, and the whole thing took about 10 seconds. He cried, but it was at least quick. Then, we got the hell outta there! 

About 2-3 days later we got a call from the allergist – the test results were in. Keegan tested as being allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Everything else came back negative. I wasn’t surprised by the dairy, but eggs and peanuts weren’t expected. I’d given him peanut butter in small amounts a couple of times already with no issues. The allergist let us know we needed epipens and re-testing in about 6 months. Of course, this wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to dig in deeper. We got him epipens for the diaper bag, home, and daycare. Which is awesome since they’re about $530 per set. It’s recommended that you always have a two pack in case the first dose starts to wear off before the ambulance arrives. Obviously, we didn’t really have a choice, so we ordered the ones we needed. Personally, I think it’s a crime that people have to pay this much for epipens because there’s a monopoly on them. I’m incredibly thankful the medicine is available, but so sad at how much it costs. In Canada – it’s less than ½ the price.

 

Mark and I talked about it, and decided to take him to the Allergy Specialists. It’s been an ok experience. The doctor has done a lot more testing and answered a lot of questions, but I disagree with how frequently he wants us to use an epipen. Basically, if we see Keegan ingest anything either dairy or egg (but not peanut?!?), we give him an epi shot. I understand his reasoning here – most of the time, when people die of anaphylactic shock, it’s because they do not get an epipen earlier enough, so better safe than sorry. And, when the child isn’t old enough to talk and tell us how he’s feeling, it’s better to give the shot, then to wonder if he’s having symptoms we can’t see. So I really do understand the reasoning. But, every reaction my son had to date was either a small rash or one hive. He has always continued smiling, laughing, playing, running, etc. So I just don’t know if it’s the right option for him. Next up, we’re going to try a food challenge.

Walnut!

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Summer So Far (7/2016)

What else is new with us?

Not much! We’re just enjoying our time together as much as possible, and totally loving this family thing. Our life has changed so much since Keegan came into it, and I cannot believe how much for the better it is. I knew I would love being a mom, I just really didn’t, and couldn’t, comprehend the amount of love I would have for my son, and how much my love could grow for my husband. We can’t wait to add another baby boy to our herd!

 

Keegan is saying quite a few words now – his favorites being: bubbles, uh oh, Ash, and ball. He is also going through a huge Mickey Mouse crush right now, which is stinking adorable. And, our little baby is learning to swim! He started swimming lessons in June at Foss Swim School in Maple Grove.

 

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Father’s Day (6/19/16)

We had a busy, wonderful Father’s Day weekend! We started the weekend by going up to Spooner. Saturday morning we went to the Dairy Breakfast (seems odd to me now that we brought our dairy allergy son to a dairy breakfast… more on that later) and Keegan got to see a bunch of the animals and play around on the farm. It was really busy. Grandma Katie was working with a couple of Mark’s cousins, so we got the best pancakes of course – haha. The breakfast was really good, I just wish Keegan could have had some. I was able to get him some ham since it was roasted in cooker all by itself – no dairy involved. He loved that. After the dairy breakfast, we headed over to Burnett Dairy’s Dairy Days. June is Dairy month in Wisconsin – hence all the dairy activities. We go to Burnett Dairy a lot – they really do have the best cheese anywhere. If you’re ever in the Grantsburg area, make sure to stop. We had some cheese curds, bought some other cheese, and Keegan got a balloon and dairy-free gift bag! It had a coloring book and a couple toys in it. It was a win for all of us.


 

We got back to the house and relaxed for a little bit before heading to Joe’s wedding (Mark’s step-cousin). The wedding was really nice. It ended up be blazing hot out right as the ceremony started, and after about 10-15 minutes Keegan was starting to get a little loud… so, I brought him into the truck to sit with me in the air conditioning. It was a much needed break from outside. Keegan loved being able to run around outside while we ate Pizza Hut (yep – that was dinner – it was awesome. I wish all weddings had pizza hut cater!). We of course had a separate dinner we brought for him, knowing he probably couldn’t have what was being served at the wedding. It was still pretty hot out, so my little man was pretty sweaty and dirty. Exactly how a little boy should be in the summer.

 We actually drove home after the wedding so we could wake up at home Father’s Day morning. Being pregnant, I drove since Mark was taking in the wedding festivities – haha. We got home and crashed. It was a long day, and it was nice to be in bed. The next morning I gave Mark his present – a Duluth Trading company bundle. It included five pairs of Armachillo Boxers (he hadn’t used these before, and they’re his absolute favorite now – being a mechanic and working in hot, summer conditions, he has said these boxers have seriously changed his life!), they’re pricey, but worth it, and some Dry on the Fly shorts (he loves the shorts too – says they’re the most comfortable shorts he’s ever worn… guess I might have to buy him the Dry on the Fly pants for his birthday!). I’m so glad he liked his presents to much – I usually try really hard to give people great presents, and it’s especially important to me that Mark always likes his presents since I love him so damn much. He opened his card from Keegan – it was made at daycare. So cute – “Yoda Best Dad” using his footprint. Love!


Keegan being a total little boy at the wedding!
After Mark opened his presents, we headed over to Hudson (North Hudson – very close to Stillwater) to meet some of my family for Brunch at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse. We met my dad, Cheryl, Spencer, Lacy, and Boston there for lunch. It was good to see my dad and brother on Father’s Day so we could all celebrate by eating a bunch of meat together lol. Of course, I wasn’t sure what Keegan would be able to eat there, so I packed him up a sandwich, which he ate like a champ when we got there. I also snuck him a little brisket since that was clearly allergen free. Thank goodness. Boston was a little hellion and Spencer was getting pretty tired of trying to contain him – the joys of a 2 ½ year old boy haha! I took him and played some video games for a while, then Mark brought them over to the pool table. The boys are so cute together – I love it. 


After brunch we took a couple pictures and headed back to the cities. Before going straight home, we decided to stop down at the Old Spaghetti Factory parking lot to re-make a picture of Mark and Keegan from last year. Almost exactly 12 months later (12 months, 13 days later). We’re enormous Vikings fans, so we’ve been paying close attention to our new stadium being built. The first picture was taken June 6, 2015 when the stadium was just starting to take a shape. The second picture was taken June 19 – one month before the grand opening of the new stadium. Gives me chills. My little baby has grown so much in the last 12 months – makes me so sad and happy at the same time. So has my stadium!


Of course, we also had to capture the annual “DAD” pictures!! These were done a little later than Father’s Day, but close enough!

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First Haircut (6/8/16)

Our good friend Jen gave Keegan his first haircut on March 16, 2016 for the first time. He did very well, especially considering he seemed a little scared of the comb and scissors. She was super-fast and did a great job. When Keegan was done, I also got my haircut – new mom do! It was just getting too long, especially since Keegan loves to pull on it so much! His first haircut wasn’t too excited – just had to trim the little pieces that were hanging over his eyes and ears.

Less than three months later (June 8, 2016), we brought him back to Jen for his first “real” haircut. It was a little hard for me to watch this time. It was like, all of the sudden, my tiny baby turned into a big toddler. He did so good – he let Jen use the clippers and everything. He was a little unsure, but he was pretty calm. It’s amazing how much a haircut can change a little boy – I mean… look at this before and after!!!

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Pink or Blue?!? (6/2/16)

On June 2nd we went in for our anatomy scan. I was eager to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl, but mostly I was just so nervous about whether or not our baby looked healthy. They did all of the measurements and stayed pretty quiet, as usual. She was very nice though and answered all 704 of my questions. She could tell I was nervous and started walking me through every piece of it, telling me everything was normal as she progressed. Then, as she was zooming in for the money shot, I was paying close attention. I didn’t see any boy parts between the legs, and instantly I was sad – It’s a girl… I wanted a boy. But then, she moved the wand a little, and HELLO! It’s a boy! I gasped and Mark was like, “What?!?” She said, “Oh – you saw it… those are boys parts.” Mark was thrilled – he walked Keegan up to the screen and said, “That’s your future competition.” Ha. It’s funny… I was instantly happy it was a boy, then I was sad… maybe I kind of wanted a girl. I’ve always imagined myself as a boy mom, but I think I’d really enjoy having a little girl, too. Maybe someday…. The tech finished up, and she told me everything looked great and she had all the pictures she needed. Mark took Keegan to daycare and he went to work. I had to wait for my appointment with Dr. Schultz. This all went well. She didn’t have the final report from the radiologist, but she said everything looked good from the one page summary. And that was about all we talked about at that appointment. 

The next day I received an email that said the radiologist couldn’t get a good look at the feet or upper lip, so I had to schedule another ultrasound to get more pictures. Ugh… of course I was immediately worried something was wrong. Dr. Schultz reassured me that there wasn’t any indication of a problem, just that the images weren’t good enough to rule anything out. Earlier in my pregnancy, I had decided to do the NT test, and the results were 1 in >10,000, so I was optimistic, but still worried. Luckily, I had another ultrasound a week later (that was such a long week… constant worrying) and the radiologist confirmed that the feet and lip both looked normal. Phew. I could rest easy for a little bit. Well not really, since I’m just a terrible worrier, but at least I know the odds are in our favor, and my little boy looks great!

I had to share the news with my co-workers of course!

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Mother’s Day (5/8/16)

Mother’s Day was a really good day. First off, Mark got up with Keegan and I slept in until 9:30!! I can’t remember the last time I slept that long. It was glorious. I woke up to Mark and Keegan coming in the bedroom with freshly picked lilac (my absolute favorite) and a card. We had a very relaxed day – Mark changed all of the diapers, and I mostly relaxed all day. The card Mark got me had coupons in it. At first I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a present, but then as I read the coupons, I realized how nice it would be. My favorite of the coupons were: (1) Mark will wake up with Keegan both days on the weekend – can only be used once/month; (2) Mark will change a dirty diaper; and (3) Mark will choose dinner. If you know Mark, choosing dinner is seriously a struggle for him. I don’t know why, but it is. There are a lot of other coupons too that will come in handy, especially since most don’t expire until Mother’s Day 2017, and we’ll have two babies by then – bahahaha… I’ll call this a Mother’s Day win. Lastly, I finished the night doing my favorite thing… rocking my baby boy to sleep after reading him “Iove You Forever.” I read him that book last year on Mother’s Day – cried again of course – and I’ll read it to both my kids next year.

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