The day you died in my arms

Last updated on November 19th, 2023 at 12:29 am

*Disclaimer, emotional post warning. I have been contemplating whether or not to share this post that has been in my drafts for over a year. No one wants to write about things that hurt but in the process of writing and now finishing this post finally, I want to make people aware more than anything. I am not looking for pity but sharing this experience only to pass on information that could happen to you, or if there are other parents out there that struggle with their child having severe allergies they can relate to it. It’s a whole new world of parenting an allergy child, I promise you. We are here to support each other.

Tuesday, June 12th 11:35 AM.

Yes, I remember the very minute it happened to you. You were happily kicking your feet in your highchair, sat between the fridge and the kitchen island, where you always sat. Lunch time was fun for us, just you and me. I would put on music and eat standing at the kitchen island next to you while I offered yummy first tastes to you in your highchair. You were weaning. 

I remember feeling a little excited that it was going to be your very first bite of peanut butter and jelly sandwich that day. An American classic and favorite among kids. One I grew up on myself and loved. I never even thought for a second what it would do to you as I spread the peanut butter on one side and the jelly on the other. It was strawberry, my favorite and I was hoping it was going to be yours too. I cut the sandwich into tiny squares to offer them to you.

Daddy walked in from work to grab his wallet he left on the counter and grab a bite for lunch. He just walked into the back room to turn on Bloomberg for the daily stock market updates.

I never had the chance to turn on our music.

I casually handed you one square to try and turned to put the peanut butter and jelly back in the fridge. You happily grabbed it from me and put it to your mouth. It took you a second to lick it and see what it tasted like. I waited for a smile to confirm it was your new favorite too.

At first you just started gagging as if the cream peanut butter was stuck on your tongue and you weren’t used to the texture. It’s a sound most babies make while weaning and learning to control their gag reflexes. But it only lasted a second and you started coughing, gasping, your eyes rolled in the back of your head. I froze and could faintly hear the sound of Daddy’s work shoes running into the kitchen towards you. I quickly wiped as much of it out of your mouth as I could as you continued to vomit. We knew we needed to get you to the hospital immediately. We didn’t call 999 as we lived next door to the hospital. I didn’t know whether to hold you or buckle you in your car seat but I knew Daddy would need to drive fast as possible so I buckled you quickly and jumped in next to you with tears rolling down my face. 

The car ride to the hospital was the longest car ride of my life. Two corners before we entered the hospital car park you went unconscious. I remembering screaming so hard, in my head and out loud for you. I ripped you out of your car seat and I held you as tight as possible screaming to Daddy to hurry. I thought you were dead.

I saw the sign for A&E and I jumped out of the car still moving with you limp in my arms. I shoved past an elderly man with a cane or a coat rack, unsure and ignored the reception desk and ran straight through the double doors screaming for a doctor and that I think you were in anaphylactic shock. A doctor to the right of me, moved faster than I had ever seen anyone move and gave you a shot that made you gasp and me cry out in relief. My baby was alive. He saved my son.

Daddy followed through the double doors soon after and you were hooked to all sorts of monitors and they were having to give you medicine injections regularly as the peanut butter you digested kept attacking your system over and over. The hives immediately showed their ugly face all over your entire body. They were in your eyes and mouth. It seemed like hours after I heard you take that breathe again that I realized I was still holding mine.  The day you died in my arms peanut allergy

You were laying on the hospital bed and I could hear the monitor beeping telling me your heart was working, your lungs were breathing and you were going to be ok. The nurse walked out to get you something and I broke down in Daddy’s arms, crying uncontrollably. The emotions of it all finally catching up to me that I had almost lost you. 

You were moved to a bigger children’s hospital. I didn’t sleep for two nights sat next to you making sure you were still breathing. The hives continued to come out over the next day and it was clear you had a deadly allergic reaction to peanut butter. I wasn’t allowed to lay with you as you were hooked to machines in a baby crib so I had to watch you threw bars. It hurt so much that I couldn’t just cuddle up next to you and let you know how sorry I was for causing you this pain. 

The day you died in my arms peanut allergy

The hospital staff were amazing with you but they weren’t so keen on a distraught mommy. I knew nothing about food or ingredients and worried how I would keep you safe. They handed me pamphlets on allergies and sent us home. I called ahead to Daddy and had him throw out everything that even said traces of nuts on it. The car seat needed to be replaced before I was putting you back in it as you had vomited peanut butter on it. I was scared of anything touching you. I was scared to touch anything else in fear of transporting it to you. I spent the next six weeks petrified to leave the house with you. What if someone ate a peanut butter sandwich and touched you. I was sent home with an epi pen that just made the whole thing more real and more scary. I was paranoid about everything I fed you for months. 

You were back to being a happy, healthy bouncing baby boy. You didn’t realize what had almost happened to you. What did happen to you. Your life continued on as normal in your eyes. But I was changed forever. 

The day you died in my arms peanut allergy

When something like this happens, the unexpected, it changes you in different ways. I find it hard to talk about this day, a day that has turned me into a paranoid mother by standards. Those that have children with severe allergies can relate I know now after years of being one what it’s like. I can’t take my son anywhere without the anxiety of this day flooding back even after four years. Kids parties make me sweat and if you know me I never sweat. I don’t let anyone else be in control of my son’s meals (school now an exception that took me months to prepare for and still scares me) but I was the only one to ever feed him while he was growing up. Ironic since it was my fault he experienced anaphylactic shock in the first place. I fear every day that I will get a call from the school that he has ate something he shouldn’t and something worse has happened. His allergy list is now a mile long. I have learned how to parent a different way than I do with my daughter who has no allergies. It’s a completely different life taking care of a child with allergies. You don’t just have to protect them from bumps and scrapes but every person they come into contact with is a risk. Everyone around you could potentially harm him. The toys others have played with could have traces of something that will harm him. It’s a never ending circle of paranoia.

I have had to become a pro at reading labels and seeing signs of him struggling if he ate something not right. I have to pay more attention to him than I do my daughter especially when we are out and about for the day if there is food around. I have no idea how to stop panicking over him every time he isn’t with me. I hate having to tell every parent at school about him just so they can help watch out for him too. He is now getting to the age where I can explain things and he can help me watch out too but I am still so scared. 

I have nightmares about my son going into anaphylactic shock again and again. I am jumpy when the phone rings during school hours petrified it’s them calling. I hope that as years go by it gets less but I also worry if I get more relaxed about it that’s when it will happen. I always make sure all our epi pens are in reach, up to date and we know how to use them as well as our friends and extended family.

I sometimes get angry and wish I would have known more about allergies and dangers of food when I was weaning him. Nuts and eggs included as these are the two we have had issues with the most. I was clueless, a new parent just wanting to share her love for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A sandwich I will never touch again. If you think your child may have an allergy get them checked. I didn’t know it but my son had baby eczema badly, and baby asthma, I was told this can be a warning sign they may have food allergies. Not saying all baby’s with either of these do but just to be aware of the possibility and have them checked out. Better safe than sorry.

There is nothing scarier than seeing your child go blue, seeing them choke and gasp for air knowing you can’t do anything for them. The pain that rips threw your body, the tightening in your throat in chest as you hold your breathe until they breathe again themselves. It’s something that changes you, stays with you forever. If my experience can help but one parent be cautious about food allergies while weaning than it was worth reliving it to share with you. 

 

 

160 thoughts on “The day you died in my arms”

  1. Oh Jenny! My heart was in my mouth reading this… Bless you. We are well familiar with the fear surrounding a child. Heidi has a heart condition which means that some standard bugs (like chicken pox) could be lethal for her. I spent the first year of her life wrapping her up in cotton wool, keeping her away from danger, but that’s no life, is it? I’m learning I have to let go and trust other people with her too, but it us SO HARD. So much of what you wrote resonated. Thinking of you and your lovely boy.xxx

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    • Thanks Claire that means a lot. We definitely aren’t alone in our isolated fears of bubble wrapping them are we? Bless you for having to deal with such scary risks too. It’s hard not to want to keep them home forever just to be safe. B has only been in school for a few months and it scares me so much. I want to sit at his desk and tell no one to touch him.

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  2. Oh. my. goodness. The hairs on the back of my neck have gone up by reading this. You poor poor thing. Obviously you’ve read my post on D being critically unwell so I completely sympathise with you and know exactly what you mean about it changing you as a person. It is an experience you never get over you just learn to live with it. Well done on having the courage to share your story, I’m sure it will highlight a few warnings to parents.
    xxxx

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    • I hope so Collette, it was a big decision but one I wanted to share as I will be writing a lot more about allergies in kids and recipes for kids with allergies so I wanted to share my story. You are so right it is something you learn to live with. Thank you for your kind words.

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    • Thanks Morgana, you are kind. I am glad to give light to maybe new parents that don’t think about watching for allergies while they are weaning like I didn’t. Or those that have children with allergies can know they are not alone in those isolated feelings.

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    • Yes exactly we are lucky we live so close. I hate to think otherwise. But I want to help spread the word out there that even with no allergies on either side we still need to be careful while weaning. There are more allergies out more than ever in young kids these days. Thanks for reading Chloe.

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  3. I am so sorry this happened to you! I can’t imagine the fear and guilt. I have worked with so many children with food allergies and have seen it first hand. It is such a scary thing! So thankful your son is alright and now can help tell others what he is allergic to!
    Xo,
    Carole

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    • Thanks Carole. It is frightening but I am trying to make more aware and then provide recipes and things to know and handle if your child has friends coming over that has allergies so they don’t have to panic either. I want to help people be aware.

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  4. I read that with my heart in my mouth too. Poor B and poor you and hubby too. That must have been absolutely terrifying to deal with. It wasn’t your fault though hun, don’t ever think that, you were just giving him something to eat. No one ever knows what little ones could be allergic to until they try it. It must be a nightmare making sure he doesn’t come into contact with anything he isn’t allowed.

    I know I didn’t used to have my daughter’s best friend over because she was pretty much allergic to everything and I was frightened I’d do something wrong and she’d end up seriously ill, luckily my mum stepped in and had her over instead so they didn’t miss out playing together. I’d have loved to have learned more about allergies and have some recipes I could have made when they were younger so your idea for sharing recipes and info is great as it would help so many people. x

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    • That’s one of the main reasons I have shared my story and shared my experience because there isn’t enough information out and I have found myself not letting him have play dates elsewhere because of it. But I want to provide the information so people like you can not fear of the have a child playing over with allergy and know what to do. It’s all about awareness.

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    • Thanks Kim. Yes I just wish as a new parent I had been prepared for possible allergies. It’s just something you don’t think of and prepare yourself when weaning. I just hope it gets easier.

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      • Jenny, it does get a LOT easier, believe it or not. I had a very similar experience with my son, who ended up having lots of allergies. He is now 8, and attends the same Montessori school he has attended since he was 2 1/2. It is one of only a few places where I feel he is completely safe. Everyone is trained to use an epi-pen, and is very aware of food allergies because of my son. I do have many friends, however, who completely “get it,” and at whose houses he’d be safe too. He can also read labels himself now, and does a great job of keeping himself safe. You can start empowering your son when he is young, and that will stay with him. Before my son turned 3, he could already recite the long list of his allergens. I also belong to a great Facebook group called Terrific Kids with Food Allergies. We have a couple of thousand members, who really do support each other. You can ask them anything and get great help or advice. Please feel free to join us. I wish you luck in your journey, and want you to know that it does get better. πŸ™‚

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        • OH thank you ever ever SOOO MUCH for your lovely comment. I will join for sure. I am glad to hear it gets easier. B is just learning to read so a lot of his learning up next will be labels and to tell and ask people about what’s in his food. School is the one place even though I am weary that I do trust to feed him besides myself so far. I just want to share my story so others are mindful and aware of the possibilities.

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  5. Oh love. Ben had a mild egg allergy at the same age. Like you I had no idea that it was a possibility linked to his eczema and that I should avoid it till he was older. Luckily for Ben he only came out in hives on his hands and face where the egg had touched, he wasn’t sick nor did he suffer any breathing difficulties. He has since been tested and luckily for him he has grown out of it.

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    • Oh I am so glad for you Colette. B is also allergic to egg and it’s not an easy one it’s in everything it seems. I think there needs to be more awareness with the amount of little ones now having allergies.

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  6. Oh gosh Jenny! This must have been such a terrifying ordeal for you and your husband to go through! You weren’t to know and you shouldn’t blame yourself. This is such a great post to raise awareness though; so glad you have shared your story.

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    • Thanks Laura, I have had a lot of mom’s at school asking me about it and saying I should write more about how to have kids visit your kids if they have allergies as they are all petrified as much as I am to have him come for a playdate. But I think there should be more information out there to make us all feel secure about it. I am hoping to do just that.

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  7. What a terrifying ordeal. I cried reading this. My daughter has multiple food, environmental and drug allergies and I am thankful every day that they are not anaphylactic. My daughter was covered in hives on and off for the first 12 months of her life and was even allergic to my milk as a newborn. We still attend 3 monthly appointments and she is scheduled for an ENT operation next week to try and relieve her symptoms. Although different I identify with wanting to keep them at home in a bubble, that is all I want to do and even send packed lunches to school since she started in September. I still haven’t tried my youngest on some things and she is 1 on Monday. How do you manage it?
    I think you are right in that the awareness and help and support for mothers and families of children with allergies is hit and miss. It’s a different life for us and it sounds like you are doing great. Thank you for sharing and sorry you, your son and family had to go through such an awful experience. x

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    • Thanks lovely. I wish you all the best in her operation and hope it helps her. It’s not easy and its definitely a lot different in parenting my own child. I am the same I have not given MM the things that have affected B as I am so scared she too will be the same. I can never go through that again, ever. I am trying to change the awareness and help educate even parents that don’t have a allergy child because they one day have a friend like B wanting to come play with them and wont because they don’t want that put on them. It’s a tough one.

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  8. Oh my god, this made me cry. How absolutely awful for you! You are such a brave Mummy who knew exactly what to do and that saved your Sons life! Thank you for sharing this, it’s made me feel more aware of things like food allergies. Sending you the biggest of hugs! I can’t imagine how you must have felt at the time. xxxx

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    • Thanks Alex. It has taken me four years to tell my story but my mom made a valid point if I keep in all inside and don’t share it I might not help bring more awareness too it. That’s my mission this year to really educate others from free from recipes to how to have an allergy child in your home. So many parents at the school have asked me this one. They are just as scared as I am to have B come play.

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    • OH I am so sorry to make you cry. Not my intentions. I don’t think when we become parents and start the weaning process that allergies are ever at the forefront of our minds. Especially when we have no allergies known on my side or Daddy’s side. I am hoping to raise more awareness in weaning and being cautious and maybe some signs to look for as well as so many free from recipes coming up.

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    • It was all fate that he came home and knew right away something wasn’t right and got us to the hospital. I wish there was more awareness when you become a first time parent on food allergies signs like eczema or asthma to look out for. I knew none of this. I am hoping to share my story and bring more awareness to the seriousness of it and share some free from amazing recipes that we love so much trying to make his life as normal as possible.

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  9. My gosh I read this with tears in my eyes and I think I was holding my breath too. I can’t imagine. Just a few days ago I did the same as you, made a peanut butter sandwich and gave the tiny squares to my baby. Gosh it must be so hard for you all. I had no idea. You’re an amazing Mummy Jenny x

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  10. Oh Jenny! My goodness me,I could barely breathe as I read this. I cannot imagine how horrendous this must have been for you but I am so, so glad that he is OK. Allergies are so dangerous and I don’t think we really realise that unless something like this happens to us or someone we love. In Italy last year my body went crazy with an allergic reaction to a virus. I’ve never known anything like it. I was covered in layers of hives for days, my legs, arms and lips swelled and I just thank my lucky stars that the day before we flew, I went to A&E here because my throat swelled up and they gave me lots of steroids which kicked in just as my reaction was becoming very severe. I can honestly say I never thought anything like that would happen to me. It was terrifying. So to think and hear of your little boy going through that (and you) made me a little teary eyed. Because the fear I can relate to. And as for that happening to your beautiful child, my goodness me. It chills the blood. Thank you so much for writing such a brilliant, honest and emotive post. It will most certainly help people be more aware of how serious and potentially deadly allergies can be. Much love x

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    • Oh my goodness Katie that is truly an awful experience so scary and I can’t imagine it happening to me but the pain you describe and the scared feelings I am sure my son felt and I just am glad both Mr P and I were there together to at least make him know we are there while they saved his life. Support and comfort but you feel helpless being on the other side of it. I can’t imagine to experience it as an adult. Luckily B will never remind that awful day but you do and that must be scary. Bless you. I just hope it helps others be more aware and cautious to food allergies in children.

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  11. Oh my gosh how scary this must have been! My daughter suffers allergies too weirdly to peas and lentils which I did not even know was possible. I can totally relate to having to be vigilant when eating out / at school etc. My daughter is 13 now and knows what foods to avoid and thankfully manages to avoid them xx

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  12. Such a brave post to write Jenny as it must have hurt and brought back such awful memories writing it. Hopefully it will help raise awareness of severe allergies. It must have been so scary. Mads stopped breathing when she was a week old and the way you described driving to the hospital is exactly the same as what happened to us, we didn’t even put her in the car seat though. And running into A and E and just screaming at the reception desk. It seriously is so similar. It was the worst experience of my life. x

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    • It never leaves you does it? It’s that distant horrible feeling of the chest tightening and pure panic to help your little baby be ok. I am so glad Mads is ok and never has had another episode how frightful darling. I just hope by sharing our story that others will be more aware and I want to help raise food allergy awareness in children this year. This was just a stepping stone to share why I am so passionate to help educate others.

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  13. Oh Jenny. My heart was in my mouth reading this and I had tears in my eyes. How horrendous. Poor little guy! I know you’ve touched on his allergies before but to experience something like this… There are no words. Sending love x

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    • Thanks Donna. I just hope by sharing our story others will be more aware and cautious with children and food allergies. It’s a different life that I have had to learn to live but one that many do and we just don’t know it. It’s becoming more common these days and I think there should be more awareness about it.

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  14. Oh Jenny. My heart was in my mouth reading this and I had tears in my eyes. How horrendous. Poor little guy! I know you’ve touched on his allergies before but to experience something like this… There are no words. Sending love x

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  15. Wow. I can’t imagine what you went through and still go through each and every day. You’re a strong mama! Your son is so lucky to have you looking out for him. I had to call 911 for my son at just 2 weeks old…I too will never forget that vivid moment. My son seems to have very sensitive skin/eczema already…I wonder if I need to watch out for allergies too. Thanks for sharing your emotional story.

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    • I only share my story so those that are weaning can be mindful and more cautious. Something we don’t really think about especially if there is no known allergies in the family like us. I am not saying every child with eczema or skin sensitivity will have but its’ high percentage of those that have allergies had these so they are sometimes related. I would just be careful and slowly offering new things especially things that are more likely for food allergies like nuts, eggs, fish, etc.. You can get lists of ones to be cautious online I will be sharing more soon.

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  16. Oh gosh Jenny, that sounds terrifying and I was choked up and scared for you reading that. Nut allergies are so scary. My husbands nephew has it and the level of attention needed is crazy. Even food that may possibly have touched or been in the vicinity of nuts is off limits. And stuff like school bake cakes are scary. Big hugs to you all xx

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    • Yes we definitely have to always be on guard in public at all times. It’s hard but you live that kind of life everyday it’s your normal but many aren’t aware and I am trying to bring more awareness by sharing my experience.

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  17. Oh my goodness, what a horrific thing to go through! We’ll soon be weaning Master J and this is a definitely reminder for me to re-learn what order I’m supposed to give foods and not go too quickly.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    • Yes I am hoping by sharing my experience it will make others aware not scared but just cautious in what they first give their babies and to be prepared for what could happen not that you can prepare for it. I just had no idea to even be mindful wasn’t even in the back of my mind.

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  18. It must have been so awful for you Jenny, I can’t imagine! It’s great that you have written this post though because you’re right, it’s something there’s not enough awareness of. I’m just about to start weaning with Gabe and I’ll definitely be watching what I’m giving him.

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    • If I can get just one or two parents about to weaning to be cautious and watchful and maybe save a life through my own experience it is worth every tear I shed trying to share this post. I am hoping to bring a lot more awareness over the next year for this.

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    • I am sorry I know it was a little extreme but there was no way else to describe what I felt and went through in this situation than that. I am hoping to bring more awareness to weaning and allergies in kids through my story and experience.

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  19. Oh my gosh lovely! That must have totally and utterly terrifying! My daughter suffered from Febrele Convulsions when she was just over one and again at 18mths. And it was one of the scariest things I have been through. Travelling in an ambulance with your baby is just awful. Lots of love. And so glad there was a happy ending xxx

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    • Thanks Emma. Oh my goodness that must have been so scary for you. It’s so hard feeling helpless next to them. It does stay with you forever that feeling but so happy they both had a good outcome. The unexpected is scary.

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  20. Big hugs Jenny for writing about this, remember the day like it was last week and how worried we all were for you and him. I can’t begin to imagine what you were going through on the day. It’s so hard to see our babies poorly and wanting to take it all away. Hoping by writing it down and getting it out there you can start to heal a bit form the awful experience and keep being the amazing mummy that you are x

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    • Oh gosh I remember typing to you lovely lot throughout the night all night. You all were there for me at such a hard time. Thank you so much for that. I am forever grateful for the support and love. I just hope by sharing my story others will be more cautious to food allergies while weaning and of possible ones of their children’s friends. It’s not something to think about until it happens and it’s scary for sure. If our experience helps one parent be more aware than it was worth sharing.

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  21. Oh jenny, this is truly horrendous. Daisy has an egg allergy and has had several reactions. It started off as hives around her face & mouth when tiny but luckily we happened to have some piriton in & gave it to her. Due to a mess up with her test they told me it was inconclusive so to just try her with small amounts. This resolved in her struggling to breathe. Recently she is reacting to foods she used to be able to eat. It’s a nightmare and so far I’ve not left her with anyone else. This could have so easily been us. Thanks for sharing xx

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    • Yes the egg thing is a nightmare as it’s in everything. B is allergic to eggs too. For some they grow out of the egg allergy by four years old so it can get better for others like B it gets worse and worse. It’s just about being aware and cautious and that’s what I hope my post will do.

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  22. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for you and I honestly don’t know what to say other than I am sending you a huge hug and all my love, I only recently found your blog after you kindly followed me on bloglovin and I saw you had a blog and have been reading posts over the last few days and you seem like such a lovely person and a great mummy too, it must be so awful to go through something like that and me telling you not to beat yourself up probably won’t help but I hope you won’t do, freak horrible things happen that we have no control of and you seem like a fabulous mummy. This has probably come out as a lot of mumbled rubbish but hopefully you’ll know what I’m trying to say, lots of love darling and huge hugs xxxxx

    Zoe β™₯ MammafulZo

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  23. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for you and I honestly don’t know what to say other than I am sending you a huge hug and all my love, I only recently found your blog after you kindly followed me on bloglovin and I saw you had a blog and have been reading posts over the last few days and you seem like such a lovely person and a great mummy too, it must be so awful to go through something like that and me telling you not to beat yourself up probably won’t help but I hope you won’t do, freak horrible things happen that we have no control of and you seem like a fabulous mummy. This has probably come out as a lot of mumbled rubbish but hopefully you’ll know what I’m trying to say, lots of love darling and huge hugs xxxxx

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  24. What a brave post to write, I felt like I was living it with you, tears in my eyes. My friend is severely allergic to nuts and I hate it when we board a plane and the stewardess makes an announcement asking people if they have brought nuts on the plane to not open them, as just being airborne in close proximity can affect her. The amount of people I hear moaning about not being able to eat their duty free peanut m&m’s, it makes me mad. There should be more awareness, thank you having the courage to share your experience. You will always worry about your son, even when he’s a man, that’s the love of a mummy. X

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    • Oh yes I have had full out fights with people on the plane as that’s us too! I always offer to buy them whatever they want on the al a carte to replace their free peanuts or m&m that they want to digest. Some people just don’t get it.

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  25. Jenny thank you for being so brave and pressing publish on this scary, emotional post because it’s through posts like this, sharing difficult experiences that we’d rather forget that we can raise awareness and help others know they’re not alone. Had tears in my eyes and my heart in my mouth the whole way through. Huge hugs xx

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    • Thanks Michelle, so true it’s been in draft form over a year and it was the hardest decision to open myself to talk about this painful day to share with everyone because I do want to help raise awareness to those that aren’t mindful and to those that experience it everyday too that they are not alone. It does feel like you are very alone in always being the paranoid mother at school functions etc I hate it but I have to protect him. I hope to spread the word so people understand that mother that may be over protecting their child in public or school.

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  26. Oh Jenny, what a horrific ordeal you all went through. It is so brave of you to write this and relive what must have been the worst experience of your lives. I am so thankful that you acted quickly and your son survived. He is so gorgeous, love him.

    My sister is very allergic to peanuts and nuts in general and, believe it or not, my mum went through an almost identical experience to you when she was about 14 months old.

    Bless you and your lovely boy xx

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    • Thanks Amy. It will haunt me forever but I am trying to turn it on it’s head and take all those emotions and help raise more awareness for severe allergies in young ones. I hope my story does just that. I can’t ever think what if I hadn’t got him there it makes you sick with it. But we are learning every day new ways to protect and cope with his allergies.

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  27. I’m in floods of tears after reading this!! My husband had a nut allergy and one of my sons has multiple allergies.
    In a strange was I was lucky my husband had an allergy as we were vidulant because of this.
    We have had reactions but nothing in this scale and I can only ever imagine what you and your husband must have been through.

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    • Thanks Emma. It was horrific but I had to finally share my story in hopes that other new parents like us will be careful, mindful of the possibilities. We have no allergies on either side of any family member so it took us by more than surprise. It’s a learning curve everyday as more get added to his list. I want to help spread awareness of how common allergies in children are becoming and to be careful. Not to scare anyone just become more aware all around.

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  28. Thanks for sharing this. Our experience was similar, but he did not lose consciousness… And I wasn’t there.

    I feel like throwing up, crying, collapsing to the ground every time I think about it.

    And it wasn’t even close to your experience.

    Thanks for sharing and spreading awareness.

    Reply
    • Oh it still hurts no matter how it happened darling. Knowing your little one went through that is pain strictly hard to swallow or forget. I just wish there was a way they could detect it without parents and kids having to experience it this way.

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  29. Very scary. We were lucky. We gave our son a peanut butter sandwich and he wouldn’t eat it. He pushed it away, but he touched his face with his fingers and broke out in a rash where the peanut butter touched his face. That happened twice and I knew something was wrong. My brothers son almost died after eating peanuts so I connected the two and took my son in for testing. He is high on the charts for peanut allergy. We were very lucky he didn’t eat the sandwich or he might not be here right now. I’m very glad your son is alive and well. It is a tough world for people with food allergies.

    Reply
    • Oh no bless you what an experience too though and it’s so smart of you to connect the two and be aware and mindful. This is what I hope to do with my story is just make more people connect the dots like you did if they see the slightest symptom or at least have it in the back of their mind that it can happen just to be cautious. So hard to deal with peanut allergies.

      Reply
  30. So glad your son made it through that horrific experience. Mine was similar with my son, who is now 12. I have a younger daughter also with no allergies. So many similarities in stories. Wishing you safety and good health.

    Reply
    • Thanks Alex, its tough when you have to put so much more attention to one child and parent them differently in that way with allergies. It really does change things more than people realize. I am trying to raise more awareness in allergies in children especially while weaning. It’s an horrific experience for sure.

      Reply
  31. Thank you for sharing,my infant has severe food allergy,found out at 6 months old the very scary way also.Its high anxiety to control her environment,and even what others are eating,restaurants,etc. kearning as we go and research and educating helps,never ever go anywhere without epipen jr

    Reply
    • Oh yes I think I have bought so many extra epi pens so I am never without one in reach. It really is a different way of parenting in that sense you always have to be mindful of yourself, your child and others. It’s very high anxiety but we are not alone even though we feel like it there are so many allergy moms and dads and I hope to rally us together to raise awareness.

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  32. I cried as I read this, as your story was so much like ours. Thank you for sharing. This journey as an allergy mama is tough, but it is good to know we are not alone. It gets, not easier, but more routine. My son’s one episode. Of anaphylaxis happened 6 years ago, and I still cringe when the phone rings during school hours. But my vigilance has kept him safe, as will yours. Hats off to all the allergy mums and dads! Thank you again for sharing your story, while difficult to read, I probably needed to revisit that night…to keep me ever vigilant.

    Reply
    • Oh thank you so much for your amazing comment Kim. So true and writing it made me go around and make sure we all knew where the epi pens are and how to use them and more mindful as sometimes when all is well that’s when it catches us off guard. I am glad my story can help others feel not alone and help raise awareness of allergies in children.

      Reply
  33. Thank you for posting. My grandson is severely allergic to peanuts, eggs and dairy. We had a life threatening scare when he was 18 months old. I feel your pain and have seen my daughter go through what you describe.

    Reply
    • It’s so hard to see them in so much pain and to not freak out as much as you are freaking out in the moment in your head you need to be there for them it’s such a pull on your heart and body trying to save them. I know and can relate. Bless you I wish there was an easier way to find out and know about allergies in children. Surely technology they can come up with something to test or detected it earlier. So hard. Big hugs.

      Reply
  34. My son is now 6 and is deathly allergic to peanuts and we have had numerous “scares” …not to that extent but now hes at an age where even when i give him something new he will ask me ….”does that have peanuts mom”

    I have given him sunflower butter as an alternative but even with that…..it look sust like peanut butter so im still deathly afraid

    Reply
    • Oh bless you I don’t wish it upon any other parent. I am so sorry it’s tough to constantly be mindful. I can’t wait until B is a little older and can start help me watch out. Good for your little one to be careful. We eat a lot of WOWBUTTER in this house but it smells, looks exactly like peanut butter so I won’t let B have it as I don’t want him to get confused because he is so young he might mistake it when he is out and think well mommy gives it. So until he is a little older we won’t let him try it just yet. It is so scary. Big hugs to you and your little one on your allergy journey its definitely a different one then I imagined.

      Reply
  35. I saw myself and my son in that post. He had a similar reaction to peanut butter at the same age. He is 8 now, healthy and active and learning to live life with allergies to peanut, tree nut and sesame that he will probably not grow out of. As for me, I am a changed person, always a bit on the fearful and paranoid side, reluctant to take vacations or go to restaurants. I am still the mom lurking in the back of birthday parties with the book in hand (I can’t trust parents who don’t have kids with allergies! :() That being said we have moved from the US to SE Asia and have been fine, probably due to in some small part to my paranoia! I wonder sometimes how I would parent without this allergy but its impossible to imagine. Sometimes I miss my old self! I always tell my son when he is feeling a bit sorry that he can’t have some strange candy that the others are eating (I always have something better in my bag!) that everyone has a something- some are not good at reading, some have problems at home or something you can’t see, and that this is his and he can manage it. Inside though, I am crying sometimes. Keep it up sister and thanks for the post.

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  36. I totally understand what you are living. I have been where you are. My son is now almost 29 yrs old. He has lived his life with many many food allergies. We spent many days and nights at the hospital not knowing how the outcome would be. I remember one day my husband driving us to the ER and me jumping out of the car with a lifeless baby in my arms and running into an ER and throwing him at a nurse screaming for help because he was not breathing. It seemed almost everything I fed him he would have an allergic reaction to. He also had asthma, that remains with him to this day, as do many of the food allergies. He under went many allergy test and it became easier to list what he was not allergic to than to list what he was allergic to. I tried to keep him in my room at night so I could hear him breathe but he wanted his own room and his own bed. I spent many nights outside his room just listening to him breathe. Eventually I trained myself to hear his breathing from my room and would awake with any slight change in the sound of his breathing because anything could set off an asthma attack, food or weather. He has learned what he can eat and what to stay away from. He knows the early signs of environmental allergic reactions and keeps his medications close. He does live a wonderful productive life, he is married and has 3 children of his own. Although the doctor and hospital runs have lessened over time they still happen on occasion. Just know you are not in this alone. But as you stated, raising a child with allergies is a lot different that raising one that does have allergies. I have two other children who are grown that do not have allergies, so I also know both aspects. You will always have a very special bond with your little boy.
    Cassie

    Reply
  37. I’m sorry you had to go through such a horrific experience, and am glad your son came through okay! My mother went through something terrifyingly similar just before my own first birthday–I outgrew that egg allergy by age 3 but my anaphylactic tree nut allergy is with me to this day.

    But please give yourself some credit, Mama. If you’d known more about allergies before giving your son peanut, you’d have done what? Few people go to an allergist before starting to feed their child, and even fewer allergists will perform tests to give a green light to foods–you’d wind up with a lot of false positives that way, and more kids with even more restricted diets (and unnecessarily so.) Plus, there’s increasing evidence that delayed introduction of foods makes a child more likely to develop an allergy, not less. His allergies are not your fault.

    I knew all about allergies by virtue of having them myself–in fact, I knew that put my kids in the higher risk category–but I was still faced with the challenge of finding out what my infant sons could eat. After hearing my mom’s story of my first reaction to egg, I made sure I introduced egg (and other allergenic foods) on weekends so my husband would be home too, but that was about the extent of my preparations. I hadn’t purchased any liquid Benadryl, and wouldn’t have known the infant dose if I had (since they say not to use until age 2 or something on the box.) The one thing I did have was my own EpiPen, and if my older son had developed any severe symptoms I would not have hesitated to use my own on him. But when he broke out after his own first bites of egg, I was almost as clueless as everybody else. “Now what?”

    My older son (now 7 1/2) is a pretty good self-advocate, but my younger son hasn’t had as much practice, which worries me. But we do what we have to do, and keep teaching them every day. “Vigilance Without Paranoia” is my motto. Before I had kids, I hardly gave it a conscience thought anymore, it was all reflex. Caring for small children is, of course, another matter.

    I made it into my 30s. Your son will too.

    Reply
    • Oh my goodness thank you for your comment and story too. It helps hearing I can be vigilant without being the paranoid freak on the playground. The things we label ourselves. It’s just about being prepared for things like this. I think as common is it is becoming every public place in first air should have an adult and children epi pen and I also think when weaning our babies we should be taught and aware to always have piriton on hand, try new foods with parnters at home and know the quickest routes or emergency numbers to call before we start feeding our little ones. Even an epi pen sent home with every new parent at their 6 month check up when weaning starts could save lives. B survived but I know many sadly that haven’t.It’s hard to know where that fine line is of over preparation and not prepared at all. Eeek I am so glad you made into your 30s and feel like you have lived a great life inspite of it. I often wonder will B feel normal or always segregated at school for things due to allergies.

      Reply
  38. This must have been so terrifying, my heart was in my mouth all through reading this. We’ve been very lucky with Marianna, touch wood, in that she has the constitution of a rhino, but those first few weeks in hospital had already made their impact and made us both really paranoid with her. You just want to protect them from everything. x

    Reply
    • You do and I guess that’s one of the hardest things in parenting we want to bubble wrap them and keep them safe and healthy as possible. Sometimes life has it’s challenges for us to beat. It’s not easy but it’s just learning how to cope and deal with it for us as his allergies are never ending. I hope as he gets older it gets easier.

      Reply
  39. Gosh Jenny how lucky that you live so close to the hospital and the doctor responded so quickly. I never realised how bad his allergies were. What an awful scary experience for you all and you are so brave for sharing your story. Hugs xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Tracey for your kind words and support. It’s not been the easiest learning how to be a allergy parent but we are coping and getting to learn more and more everyday. I hope our story helps raise awareness for food allergies in children.

      Reply
  40. This article took me back to my multiple food allergic daughters first official anaphylactic reaction when she was nearly 2. I clearly remember trying to clean her tongue to get the peanut butter off it. She had no further reactions for around 6 years. She is 13 now and in her first year of high school. We have had many more reactions in the last 5 years – the last a mild one last weekend. E has always eaten from her own lunch box, and only buys premade food if it is in a sealed bag or from somewhere we know is safe for her (but last weekends mild reaction shows that even those places cant be completely trusted). I dont think the worry ever goes away, the only thing you can do is trust them to know the right thing to do when (not if) the next reaction occurs.

    Reply
  41. Thank god this story ended happily with your small man alive. I know what its like to live with allergies. I read everything I buy as I have ceoliac disease. we have separate shelves for mums food and you have to sterlise your hands before you touch anything. So far my children show no signs.

    Reply
  42. Oh my goodness Jenny, I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying that must have been and how scary the responsible of making sure he doesn’t have anything that has been into contact with peanuts must continue to be. I think it’s fab that you are raising awareness of it xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Jess I hope that it at least gets shared and spread so people will be mindful of the potential of food allergies and the severity of them in children.

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  43. Well done you for sharing this. My boys don’t have allergies but I have a friend that’s little boys is allergic to eggs, nuts, beans and a lot more and she is amazing at reading labels. She is struggling with the school about his allergies as they aren’t taking them seriously and don’t realise they are life threatening! Your boys is lucky to have a mummy like you xx

    Reply
    • Yeah it’s really hard when people don’t understand the severity of allergies and the potential hazards. It’s so scary when they don’t get it because you want to protect them the very best way and you hope others will help do the same. Not easy to get them to understand it all. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  44. Oh Jenny. I can totally totally relate to this. When I was weaning the twins, Bertie had a similar reaction β€” although not quite as severe β€” to eggs. We ended up going to hospital in the back of an ambulance β€” with blue lights flashing β€” and I’ve never been so frightened in my entire life.

    Fortunately he didn’t go into anaphylactic shock, but the doctors warned that this might happen the next time.

    Seeing your child struggling for breath and frightened is terrifying for a parent. I was terrified.

    Bless you for writing this post β€” fingers crossed it will help another mother, later down the line.

    Reply
    • I really hope it will help someone or make someone else help raise awareness with me. There is just not enough information out there to deal with it all and know what to do and how to do it. It comes out of nowhere. It’s the worse thing to experience ever bless you. Glad Bertie is ok. Bless. Big hugs it’s something you never forget.

      Reply
  45. Even though I have heard this before I just balled my eyes out reading that Jenny. So terrifying! You are an exceptional Mother though and I think you make things as normal as possible for B. Well done for sharing xoxo

    Reply
    • Thank you Lauren and I am so sorry I made you cry. It’s hard because you know him too and know all about it. I do try to make his life feel as normal as possible. I hope he feels the same when he is older.

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  46. Oh my god! That is terrifying and thank good you guys lived so close to the hospital! I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been! So good to share and raise awareness. Sending love xx

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  47. Oh Jenny, I knew he had allergies but I had no idea you have been through this! You have totally opened my eyes and my heart breaks for what you went through, I can’t even imagine how scary that was and I totally see how difficult it must be even now to relax. Thank goodness you were so close to a hospital. Don’t ever think it was your fault, it could so easily happen to any of us but you have defintily made me think twice about how serious allergies can be xxx

    Reply
    • It’s hard when there just isn’t enough information and awareness out there so those that don’t have an allergy child is hard to understand the severity of it and the paranoia you feel makes you feel insane sometimes. I am glad that I shared if it helps even one parent/child.

      Reply
  48. I read this and my skin prickled as I read that the dr moved quicker than you had ever seen an injected your son. Thank goodness you live so close to the hospital.
    As a nanny, my charges had a friend who used to come for tea who had a deadly list of allergies and who was often covered in wet wraps for his skin.
    I used to be so nervous as the family loved peanut butter and as it wasn’t my home, I never knew 100% that there was no trace. I used to clean the kitchen like crazy and watch nervously as he ate the tea I cooked even though I knew it had none of the foods in that he couldn’t eat.
    His mother must have been so brave to let him come

    Reply
    • It’s not an easy thing to leave your allergy child with someone else. I have never even let me husband be in charge of his food. When he started school it was another learned experience and round of paranoia but we are coping. It must be hard when it’s someone else’s child too because you both are trying hard just to make their life normal happy and easy but safe.

      Reply
    • Thanks no you don’t. It’s never at the forefront of our minds is it? When it happens you feel alone and frightened of everything to come. I hope I never have to experience again and that my story will help others be mindful and cautious because it can happen to anyone at anytime.

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  49. My goodness, you have just described life in my house! I am so so sorry that you have had to experience this too!

    I know exactly what it is like to witness this, I have willed my son back from 3 anaphylactic responses, and he now has 8 severe ana inducing allergies, and a further 10 serious ones confirmed. That coughing sound, reading that made my blood run cold. It’s not a sound you can really describe, but you know when you hear it that it’s a total ‘oh god’ moment!

    Life is most definitely tough, and the fear of never knowing when the next reaction may strike is one that literally changes you forever. Epi pens, antihistamines and inhalers become your best friends! If you ever need a listening ear, support, recipes or simply a chat with someone else who totally gets it, I am always here, any time!

    I send you big big hugs from one allergy mum to another and fingers crossed your little one stays reaction free! xxx

    Reply
  50. Thank you for sharing what must have been a really traumatic experience, very brave of you to write this and I’m so glad your little man was ok, thank god there was a quick thinking Dr on hand. Just started weaning our baby girl and am petrified of allergic reactions as her daddy is allergic to nuts and bananas as well as having asthma and eczema. I have felt that advice in weaning books and from health visitors has been a bit blase ie just saying to look out for rashes etc rather than info on how to deal with a serious reaction and whether to avoid certain foods altogether just in case. Blogs like yours are an emotional read but crucial for spreading awareness, so thanks again x

    Reply
    • It definitely it a tricky life full of paranoia but one you learn to live and be on the ball of everything at every moment. I always worry its the moment I relax that something bad will happen again. I hope our story bring a little cautious to the world in food allergies in children.

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  51. Oh my goodness, this gave me chills – I cannot even imagine how awful it’s been for you. I had no idea you’d been through any of this xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Gill for reading. I want to help raise awareness of food allergies in children by sharing my story. Hoping more will be mindful and cautious when weaning.

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  52. This had me in absolute tears. You are very brave to write it and relive it. My daughter has allergies and went in to anaphylactic shock when she was 8 months old. It was the most awful day. I totally get the worry about other people preparing food, I am currently terrified of my little lady starting nursery because of it. Beautifully written and hopefully it will help others to understand how dangerous allergies can be xx

    Reply
    • I was the same about nursery I had to go to a nut free nursery that catered for other allergies too. They were so helpful and let me go through the entire kitchen before my son started. Nurserys are mindful and educated so it helped me but I was a paranoid wreck for a few months of first starting. But it gets easier when everyone is on the same page.

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  53. Thank you for sharing. I must admit I cried. My son had several allergies from birth till he was 2. I was a paranoid wreck for him and he wasn’t anaphlaxic. He suffer badly with hives and stomach problems. I cannot even imagine how much worse it is to need an epi pen. I think unless you have been around allergies you don’t understand how serious they can be.

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading Alyssa. So sorry you can relate it’s awful being an allergy parent always on the edge reading labels and asking questions. I was the same paranoid wreck and most days I still am. I think there really needs to be more awareness like you said if you don’t have an allergy child you have no idea how serious it is. My mom had no clue at first and I really had to let her live a moment in it before she got how serious it was.

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  54. Wow, Jenny…what an utterly terrifying experience. You guys acted so fast and so lucky living next to a hospital and the Dr working so fast on his feet too. Your poor little guy and poor you guys for going through it all too. I am so pleased you are all OK now. xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Debs it’s something I wish I could forget but it lives with us and keeps us mindful of how careful we have to be with our little one and it always makes me more aware of other children and not to ever expect they can have anything you offer them if they are in your care. Food allergies are becoming way more common in children and babies now and we need to be more mindful more than ever.

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  55. Oh Jenny, even though I knew your little boy recovered I found myself holding my breath and felt teary for you. What a terrifying experience. Nut allergy is so serious, well done for writing about it to show how vigilant parents need to be. Lots of love sweetpea xxx

    Reply
    • Thanks Leigh for the love and support. It wasn’t easy sharing but I am so glad I did and trying to help raise awareness for others so maybe I can put it at the forefront of peoples minds to be careful and cautious.

      Reply
    • Thanks Erin, it’s still a learning process everyday and one that will stay with me and haunt me forever but I hope sharing my story has made others more mindful in potential allergies in their children/babies and others. So scary.

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  56. Oh Jenny I felt every bit of that story. Our little boy is allergic to dairy and gluten – which takes longer to attack the body. But We went through the same rush to the hospital too. It does change you forever and there is no quick shop anymore. EVERYTHING has to be checked. Loads of hugs xx

    Reply
    • Oh bless you I wish I could hear that I am the only one to ever have experienced that because its horrific and I don’t wish it upon anyone. It seems allergies are getting more common in children and yet there is still little to no awareness being raised about any of it. It’s like feeling lost and panic at the same time and trying to guide your way through it safely reading labels.

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  57. Wow, what an incredibly sad and scary story. Gave me goosebumps. I cannot begin to imagine how totally scared you both were. So thankful that your son is okay and think you are extremely brave for sharing your story. x

    Reply
    • Thanks Lisa it took a long time to decide to share it but I am glad I did I have not only learned a lot more already through sharing and connecting with other allergy moms but I also hope that my story has helped raise more awareness and the how common it can be to have food allergies in children and to be more mindful when weaning and feeding children your own or others.

      Reply
  58. What a powerful post and hopefully one that will save someone from going through a similar situation. I rather naively gave my eldest son eggs for the first time when we were on holiday in Spain. He had a sever allergic reaction, though not as bad as your sons and we had to call an ambulance and get rushed to hospital, adrenalin shot etc. I didn’t even know what the emergency services Number was and it took ages for the ambulance to get there. Goodness knows what the result would have been if his allergic reaction had been as bad as your sons was. Thank you for sharing this – I will be sure to share it too xxx

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Clare for sharing and reading. It’s a horrific experience no matter the experience big or small. It’s awful not having more awareness and the potential of food allergies to be in the front of our minds. I was the same. I wish I had just had that in my thoughts before I gave him the sandwich. I am so glad your little one is ok. So scary being in another country.

      Reply
    • Oh so sorry to hear that Fiona. No one should ever ever have to experience that. Big hugs. I hope to help raise more awareness and maybe one day everywhere will have an adult and children epi pen in their first aid too. Just in case.

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  59. When weaning my son at six months old I gave him hummus for the first time. Unbeknown to me he was severly allergic to sesame. Luckily he only had a tiny bit and I rushed him to the chemist for anti-histamine which worked. We then got tested and at now at 5 years old he has carries an EpiPen everywhere he goes. He is also allergic to tree nuts but not ground nuts (peanuts). I think there should be EpiPens available in all public building and chemists as you any child or adult could have a deadly reaction for the first time.

    Reply
    • Oh bless you that’s so scary and I have a friend with the sesame allergy too. It was hummus she found out. It’s hard because it’s not something that is out there with a lot of information about various foods and what could harm our kids. I agree every public place should have epi pens for adults and children as part of their first aid at least.

      Reply
    • So sorry it made you cry, it wasn’t the easiest thing to write but I hope by sharing my story I can at least make a handful of parents be more mindful and aware of allergies in children. Thanks for reading.

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  60. Oh my goodness Jenny, how awful!! I can’t even begin to imagine how you felt it must have been absolutely horrendous for you. Well done to you for sharing your story, I can understand how hard it must of been but so important to share this for other parents to be aware how dangerous a food allergy like this can be.

    Reply
    • Thank you Nikki. It took me a long time but I want to help raise more awareness of food allergies in children. It’s becoming so common and it’s something many and most of us don’t have at the front of our minds so we can’t be as mindful as we should be when weaning and feeding our children. It’s such a scary experience I wish no parent ever had to experience it.

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  61. That must have been such a horrific and terrifying experience to go through, for both you as parents and your son. I have to admit, when I gave my son peanut butter for the first time the thought of whether he might be allergic did cross my mind, but I don’t think I fully understood the severity of a reaction and how it could happen so so quickly. Thanks for sharing this – I’m sure it can’t have been easy to relive it all over again, but I know that should I come to start weaning again for another child I will be that bit more cautious.

    Reply
    • Thanks Katy for your comment. If reliving our story puts a few more cautious weaning-parents out there I will be glad. It can help to have piriton always on hand while weaning and little things like this should be the first thing weaning books and recipes books tell you and have more awareness out of what could happen. Sadly they don’t and it almost cost us. I hope to help raise a little more awareness this year.

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  62. Hi Jenny

    Another one who wanted to tell you that it will become easier. You and your child will meet some lovely people – like the child who made her mother empty their fryer of oil, wash and refill as it had vegetable oil in and they weren’t sure it was safe so went to get sunflower oil instead. Vegetable oil is generally safe as it’s refined oil and if she’d asked me about it I’d have saved her a lot of work. So one message for playdates – don’t be afraid to ask.

    Also learn to love your epipen, they are marvellous. Get yourself a trainer pen (from the manufacturer’s website usually) and teach everyone you know how to use it. If you have army or medical friends they may have been trained already but a refresher is always good. When my teenager was shadowing a doctor they said they’d forgotten πŸ™‚

    Start training them early never to leave home without their pen. A hook by the door for the allergy bag may help.

    Your child’s risk of death is greater from crossing the road and repeating that can help the anxiety. You train them to avoid their allergens as you train them to avoid cars. And if they fail you have the epipen as back up.

    There are also some people working on ways to reduce the risk by desensitisation techniques. It’s only available in a very few places, very expensive, requires a high degree of commitment, and has risks attached but life changing for the few able to complete the programme. Unfortunately no-one has yet managed to do this for adults.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your tips and advice on how to live an easier life and less paranoid one for food allergies. It’s definitely still a learning curve for us all. I hope he learns to be just as mindful and aware of it all. I will continue to teach him as much as myself.

      Reply
  63. This is such an awful thing to have happened to you. Your quick reaction to the situation will have made all the difference.

    I’m 33 and have had life-threatening allergies to all nuts from birth. My first bad reaction was also to peanut butter when I was two years old.

    I’m writing here because I want to tell you that I am enjoying life to the full and am lucky to have a wonderful social life that happens to often centre around food – meals out at restaurants, dinner parties at friends’ houses, and travel abroad (though I stick to Europe and the US)

    I have my ‘foods I can’t eat’ list which all of my friends have and refer to carefully when they are cooking for me. I feel very lucky to have friends who are not only willing to go to the trouble to handle the allergies but also don’t make a big deal of it.

    The only restrictions I feel the allergies impose on my life are:
    – I won’t travel to Asia because I feel the risks of eating an allergen are far too high. I also don’t eat at Indian/Chinese/Thai restaurants in the UK
    – When I check in for a flight and when I board the plane I inform the airline staff of my allergy to ensure they won’t serve peanuts (there’s something special about peanut dust – it easily becomes airborne)
    – I don’t eat buffet food (unless I’m at a friend’s party and they know that there are no nuts in anything)

    The things I put in place to make myself as safe as possible:
    – I ALWAYS have my epi-pen with me and make sure they are in date (be careful – sometimes the pharmacy will give you an epi-pen that only has six months left on it)
    – I am very quick to use my epi-pen. I don’t dither – the minute I get an itchy mouth or swollen lips I use it. Better to use it than not!
    – I make sure everyone I spend time with is aware of my allergies and knows how to use my epi-pen
    – I am assertive about checking food choices at restaurants. I always asking the waiting staff to ‘check my choices with the chef’
    – When I go abroad I make an allergy card in the relevant language explaining and listing my allergies for the chef
    – I wear a medic alert bracelet (this is probably only necessary once your child is starting to go places completely on their own)

    I am very grateful to my parents for bringing me up to be aware and assertive about my allergies. From a very young age I knew what I could and couldn’t eat. But the thing I am most grateful for is that my parents struck the right balance between keeping me safe and ensuring I wasn’t wrapped in cotton wool. We still went to restaurants, traveled, went to parties, I went to sleepovers, school trips etc. etc. They taught me that with a little care I can still enjoy most of the things that my friends do.

    I have made mistakes over the years (though it’s five years since I last had to use an epi-pen) but only a handful requiring hospital trips. For me the risk is worth it because I love my social life and experiencing eating out/traveling so much!

    You were brave to post your story and I hope that it helps raise awareness so that parents are just that little bit more aware to be watching their child carefully when trying new foods.

    Reply
    • Oh thank you EVER so much for your amazing comment. These are great tips and many I follow everyday. This is the thing with my son’s food allergies I don’t want to stop him from having a normal life or the places we go to ever end. I want to share the world with him as safe as possible but never segregating him from other kids his age or anything else for that matter. Glad your parents did the very same. I hope my son is as on top of keeping himself safe when he is older like you are. Great to hear. Thank you ever so much.

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  64. What an awful experience for you. I have to say I disagree and am a bit cross with one thing you said in your blog. You said that you were at fault for him going into anaphylactic shock. Uh no! It was not your fault. It’s not like you knew and still handed him a peanut butter sandwich to eat. We as mothers assign guilt to ourselves too much these days and people love to make people feel guilty especially around our lives with our children. I too feel guilty about things that I could never have avoided happening but I do not believe I am at fault about what happened. Sometimes crappy, frightening, or life threatening things happen by no ones fault but chance. You have learned an important lesson and am using that to educate and help others. You are an amazing woman and mother. You are not at fault

    Reply
    • It really is hard not to play the blame game but as parents it happens. You just want to bubble wrap them and make sure they are safe and happy forever. A really hard thing to do when it comes to allergies.

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  65. I’m a mum with an air born peanut and nut allergy, but it didn’t start til I was 21. Kiwis will kill me too. I have a 3 year old and a 6 week old both of whom are being tested when they are 4 or 5 in a hospital setting.

    I hope your little one has a happy life. Allergies suck.xxd

    Reply
    • Oh bless you Laura that’s not easy to live a normal life with so many challenges facing you with food allergies. My son can relate. Hope neither of your children have any. It must be harder enough watching out for yourself in that respect. Big hugs.

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  66. This touches home in a big way, not because I am the parent that had to experience this, I was the baby that almost died in her parents arm.
    To give you any hope know that I am a 33 year old that has only had to use an Epipen once, and that was the one in the emergency room on that frightful day.
    I survived school before they had allergy tables, and peanut free rooms, I somehow made it out fine before allergy warnings were on food labels.
    It wasnt easy but know your child will be ok!
    Thanks for posting, more parents need to know about allergies!

    Reply
    • OH bless you and your parents oh my goodness. I wish no one has ever experienced this but it’s becoming more common sadly. I am just trying to make it through each week without incidents and than hopefully we can be as lucky as you to have him bee 33 years old or longer. It’s such a panicking thing to worry about. I fear once I get comfortable something will happen so have to be on my toes.

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  67. I completely understand. We live with this each and every day, and I can relate to your every sentence.
    Our son is 9 now and we are focusing our efforts to make him more confident in himself and educated in keeping himself safe too. Never a second goes by that it’s not on my mind.

    Reply
    • Yes it really is about educating them as much as the people around them as they get older for sure. I am so nervous for that. I always think I have only made it four years safely so much more to go. I know that’s awful way to think but it’s always there like you said it’s always on our minds. Sending hugs.

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  68. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was just telling my girlfriends how I fed my son peanut butter the morning before daycare. As I watched him eat it and get it all over his hands and face, I got this warmth of terror that flowed through me. Not for my son, but for the other kids are daycare. I thought, “Am I putting children at risk by feeding him peanut butter right now?” “Am I that mom that is just adding to the paranoia of another mother?” We all have our own level of paranoia with our children and to think I could be contributing… I sent him to day care anyways. My intention was to ask his teacher if anyone has an allergy, specifically in his class. I forgot to ask, and that was weeks ago!!! I will ask today. Please do not feel guilty for communicated to other parents at school that your son has these allergies. If a mom told me such information, I would thank her for letting me know. I would be HORRIFIED if I caused a reaction to another child – it’s so preventable! Save peanut butter for evenings or weekends, not breakfast before day care. Easy. I once read that there is no such thing as “someone else’s child”. They are all our children, and we must keep them all safe.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment and your awareness that even though it doesn’t affect your child it could harm other’s children is amazing. I have to say I don’t come across that empathy or mindfulness at all in others. I am trying to raise awareness for this with my story because so many don’t think it’s a big deal to let their kids eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in public like the playground or at school and it’s not a rights issue that many make it out to be. I wouldn’t bring food to someone else’s house or have kids over to play with mine without asking. It’s just being mindful and aware of all allergies for all children. Thanks for be this. Even if you forgot that day the fact that you thought about it is a step to being mindful. πŸ™‚

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  69. Jenny, I could relate to so many things in your article. Such a terrifying experience, I can only imagine. I don’t have a child with severe allergies, but I do have a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I understand living in fear, the isolation, the never being able to relax, hating that in this way she’s different than her peers. Never leaving the house without snacks, juice, insulin syringes, glucagon for emergencies, constant anxiety to keep our children safe, healthy, alive.

    Reply
    • Oh bless you hunny. It does really feel isolated at times and the things we can’t forget like others may run to the store without the diaper bag because it’s just around the corner but we NEVER can forget to pack their medicines and what they need is just one example. I wish they all could be equal in that and no one had to live in fear of their child. Bless big hugs thanks for reading.

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  70. Oh bless you, how terrifying! There definitely needs to be more awareness and advice available during the weaning process. My family has a history of allergies (thankfully not anaphylaxis), eczema and asthma. I myself am dairy free and solely breast fed for the first 6mos of my daughters life so I knew that she had never consumed cows milk when we started weaning. I asked the health visitor and the GP for advice on how to go about introducing it and they were both very blasΓ© and just said if she reacts then get her checked out and take it from there. Thankfully she didn’t but I remember feeling really unsupported and worried throughout the weaning process! Awareness for everyone is key. Xx

    Reply
  71. So I just cried silly reading this! Our oldest has pictures of hives all over him just like yours. His reaction was not as severe and after being misdiagnosed I even gave it to him TWICE. There are so many things to worry about it, to have to say no to, to warn about, it can be exhausting. And then after everything, he eats a candy at a familiar house, with parents around, not asking if it’s “OK” because he’s 8 now and knows better, well the paramedics and everything hopefully scared him enough to always ask. I did have a hard time sending him to school, then my heart was so sad for him when I saw that he had to sit at a table all alone for lunch, which is better? Educate other adults, remind him that it’s dangerous, control what you can and pray about the things you can’t control.

    Reply
    • OH bless you Melanie I know all about that with school and worries and I just feel like we are always going to be on edge for his whole life with it too. Hard to control it all. Bless you wish no one had to experience it no matter how severe. Thanks for your comment and reading and your lovely support.

      Reply

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