Peanuts Allergy Results

Hey everyone, I wanted to update everyone sooner but it’s been quite a busy week. I’m happy to say Owen is peanut allergy free. 

 He has some elevated antibodies towards peanuts and he tested skin positive for peanut butter but he passed the in-office oral challenge. The allergist administered peanut butter every 15 minutes, 5 times in total. After each 15 minutes he listed to his lungs and heart. Checked his skin for hives. After the last dose, Owen slept for an hour and after a final exam we were released as peanut free but that we need to make sure peanuts are a regular part of his diet. 

So, why did he react to peanuts? The doctor says he believes it could either mean nothing or as studies have shown, he could be one of those children whom if we held off peanuts for years, he would develope the allergy later on. 

My message is to urge all of you to make sure to expose your babies early to all the allergen foods. Studies are showing that early and regular exposure can help prevent an allergic reaction and that is a very good thing. 


Allergy Blood Results

So, to make things more complicated Owens blood work is also inconclusive which means we will be heading into a food challenge on Monday at the doctors office. It’s going to be a long day of 3 + hours & then of course the nerves of what if he reacts badly?

The doctor ordered two tests. One is a general test which people refer to as RAST. It’s been used for a long time and gives you an indication of how allergic a person is. Owen tested positive with a Moderate reaction. 

A second Peanut protein specific test that’s relatively new and more specific called RARA H2 which tests to see if Owen would have an anaphylaxis reaction turned negative. Detection of <0.35 as the result. Which from my interpretation is negative. 

I’ll be finding out more and what the tests mean soon. I’m hoping in the end it doesn’t mean much at all for him. He gets hives with skin contact and two tests have been positive while two have been negative. How confusing?! I’ve read and been told by his doctor that an oral challenge is the Golden test. 

I’ll update after Monday’s appointment. Wish me strength!!


9 Month Update & Allergy Update

OK so I’ve totally sucked thinking I’d have more than 1 update a month – HAH!

Owen is now nearing 10 months…9 days left to go. There’s been a lot developmentally but overall, same thing – different day. He is 19.8lbs & 31″ tall. He went up to 98 percentile. This kid is lean but he got tall.

I had an update saying he was all clear in the allergy department but it is a continuing saga. He developed hives on his face when the PB came into contact with his skin so we went back to the allergist and got blood tests done. I still haven’t heard back on the blood work but I’m hoping some time in the coming week because his follow up appointment is next Monday the 26th and I need to know if we’re doing an in-office food challenge or if we’re talking about how to manage his allergy. I’m really hoping an allergy doesn’t show up in the blood results or its very low. At this point, we’ve removed peanuts and have been treating him as if he has a peanut allergy. In the meantime our homework has been introducing tree nuts. He’s had Almonds, Walnuts, Cashew, Hazelnut and so far no reactions.

Owen is walking assisted now. He loves walking – wants to do it all day long. Which is really hard on mom and dad’s back so I’ve been forcing more seated activities – which he isn’t thrilled about and will often fight! He has no inclination towards crawling but I’m hoping by forcing him to manage on his own more, he will find a way to scoot around some how. The days are very busy now that he’s more active and his attention span is short. I still try to get out as much as humanly possible because it’s the one time he is calm, relaxed and content.

We’ve nailed down a date for when he starts Day Care. And can I tell you how wrong it felt?? I know I have to return to work and I’m OK with it. I’ve accepted that from the get go. But as the day’s near and I realize how we won’t have these days just him and I – the whole world our oyster do do as we please – and someone else taking care of him?!?! I wish I could stay home with him just one more year. Alas this isn’t reality so Owen starts Daycare on January 4th. I have the first two weeks off of work so I can transition him, myself and also get some time to relax before heading back to work. I will no doubt find many things that I’d like to get done and finally have the time too, as well.

Anyhow, that is about all. I’ll update again soon after the allergist appointment. Until then here is some more baby eye candy!


Half Month


I feel like my monthly updates really don’t feel like they’re enough…I want to change that. I want to change it mostly for me because this is a great outlet for me. Being a mom is a lot of damn work and it’s not that I don’t have time to write more, it’s that I’m too tired! When I get time to myself I’m either catching up with things, friends or plain old tuning out to a TV show. I’ve also noticed a lot of mom bloggers I follow who I dont see regular, not even monthly updates & I get it. I’d love to see their little ones but I totally get it – some times there’s just not enough time and spreading yourself thin doesn’t do anybody justice!

Now that Owen is a world of entertainment & needing to be entertained, there really is less me time. I don’t have a lot of those moments when he would nap and I could type to my hearts content. And that’s totally OK. Because right now my job is to be this boy’s mommy and to give him as much of my attention as humanly possible! I have about 3.5 more months left before he goes to day care and I won’t see him this often. So strange to think of it this way. I often look at him these days and realize that and think how someone else is going to have all these moments with him M – F, 8 -6. I’ll only have my baby on evening’s and weekends.  I’m going to miss out on SO much. It’s so unfair that we live in a world (or city) where I can’t stay home with our son. The option just isn’t there. We are a middle class family in Toronto and we both have to be working. And having said all that, I’m living in the now and enjoying each moment. Making sure I do everything on my list before January. 

Owens doing great! He’s thriving well. He is still fussy with food – he had days, weeks or simply one meal out of three is the best we can get. I’m learning to be relaxed about it and not push it. I can’t tell you how hard that is. I want him to have a healthy appetite. But I understand children go through phases. 

Owen has been rolling from back to stomach a lot. And back and forth. Didn’t think I’d see the day this kid enjoyed playing on his stomach. But it has to be by his choice or else he’s mad about it! He’s showing interest in crawling and has tried to inch worm but he’s still having a hard time coordinating his body. I see he wants to get around so badly though. He has a fun time walking assisted. He looks for our dog, Chloe. Looks for daddy. Plays with the guitar (obsessed). He enjoys the freedom of being able to get to where he’d like to be. And everyone says I’m crazy but I can’t wait until he can crawl or walk. He gets so frustrated sitting in one place so I know he will be happier. 

Next week is his 9 month wellness appointment and shots. I’ll be sure to have a fun update afterwards. Wow, can’t believe he will be 9 months soon!!! 😢


Baby Fever!


It seems like the Mommies who have had babies around the time I did are all going through baby fever…they’re ready to procreate again….already. It’s only been 6-8 months since they last gave birth and slept 4 hours a night but, they’re finally ready to do it all again.
I remember vividly up until Owen was about 6 months of age I would say to my husband, “How do people do this over & over again?”….that was when I was pumping like mad, breast feeding wasn’t working no matter how hard I tried, no time to shower, exhausted, etc, etc…(never once have I regretted having my boy – this is not what I’m saying – it was just SO hard when they are that little and I couldn’t imagine going through that difficult newborn phase again & my difficult pregnancy). Yes – even a person who’s struggled so damn hard to get pregnant can say that. Because being a mom is just the hardest job there is. It is also the most rewarding job ever and that boy can make me smile and melt like no other.

But once that fog lifted and Owen started becoming a little person with a big personality and we were finally really enjoying one another, I started to miss him being a little baby. I’d thumb through photos of him when he was born and the first few months and it feels like a life time ago. I would love to hold my little baby boy as a new born just for one more day. And then, I understood.

My husband and I discussed it to lengths and agreed we would only have one more child and no more. For starters, we just can’t afford any more children. We live in Toronto which is an expensive city to live in and my husband has an almost 11 year old girl and has to pay child support and ECA (also expensive) and we have to send Owen to Day Care because we can’t afford for me to stay home (also very expensive). Perhaps if we could afford for me to stay home (thus affording another child) we would have considered it but alas, that’s not the story. And I would not bring another child into this world unless we could give it the best start into this world. And my husband and I also, would like to retire some day.
The other issue is that my husband plainly doesn’t want any more children. He never wanted to have children to being with and then, ooooops!, his daughter was born. And then another “oooops!” and Aida was born. And then we lost Aida. And my husband said to me that while he was OK to move forward having his one living child, he understood it was important to me to be a mom and he also wanted to have another child with me. And so there’s Owen.
So of course, we agreed we’d only have one living child between the two of us and I am not one of those women who makes an agreement and works hard at changing her husband’s mind. Plus, I’m realistic and understand that we plainly cannot afford it. There is also the aspect to consider that I’m high risk and it was very stressful being pregnant with Owen but I do believe Aida being born early was just a fluke now.
BUT having said that, if the situation was different and we could afford another child and my husband wanted it, I would strongly consider it. But I believe this is for a few reasons. One is basic – mother nature. I like other women fall into the Biological Clock ticking at me even if I don’t want it to! The second reason is, I miss having a little baby around. And lastly and selfishly (you mom’s who failed at breast feeding will understand this) I want to do it right. I want the opportunity to get Breast Feeding done RIGHT! I know it may seem funny and not the right reason at all for most of you but, any of you who’ve failed at breast feeding their babies will understand that when you think about having another baby that is one thing that comes to mind. Getting breast feeding done right this time.

Having said all of that, we are not having another baby. Owen has his half sister who ADORES him and I know she will take great care of him. I hope they have a special, close bond and she will be someone he can look up to.

But I admit it. I already miss having my little baby around. My boy is growing up too fast and I wish I could freeze time.

~ B

8 Months Old


My baby boy is growing up! When I look at photos of him now, I see a boy and I see less of the baby I once knew. How do we stop time?! It’s absolutely amazing to watch him transform. I hardly remember the newborn Owen. I know I’m going to miss having a baby around so I am trying to soak it all in.

Milestones: Owen is sitting unassisted. I still have to place pillows behind him for the odd time he falls backward however, he’s doing so well. We worked on this little by little each day and it impresses me how one day he just caught on. It actually amazes me with all his milestones and new learned skills how much it really his him waking up one morning and just getting it.

Words: In addition to Baba, Dada & Didi he now says Mama!!!! But only when he’s unhappy. He’s recently added Nana, also when he’s unhappy.

Overall Health & Sleep: I’ve been so happy that Owen has been a healthy little boy overall. He’s only had one virus (a cold) and other than having a little battle with Eczema, he has been doing so well. He’s still taking fish oil, probiotics (infinitely for general health) & his Unda drops (holistic) and we will be going for a follow up with my naturopath in two months time. I haven’t seen any progress yet but with supplements, you cannot expect to see results fully until at least three months have passed.

I am thrilled with is negative nut allergy results and have given Owen peanut butter twice now. I will continue to feed it to him on. A regular along with other typical allergen foods.

Owen has been doing well with sleep and naps. He’s still bouncing between 2-3 naps a day depending on when his first nap commence. I am working on weaning him off the night feed still. I decided to try the method of reducing the formula to water ratio in his bottle until it is just water. Now if he wakes and won’t soothe back he is offered no more than two ounces of water and usually will only drink one. We have had two nights this week where he slept 12 hours strait. I am hoping this trend continues until he issued ping right through every night. I am currently writing this update after waking to offer him water and waiting for him to fall back to sleep.

Eating solids for the past month has been majorly challenging. He refuses a lot of his meals and meal times have turned stressful for both of us. I’ve had to take a step back and really let him dictate how meal times go and fight everything in me that says he hasn’t eaten enough. Some meals he will eat lots and then the next few he will eat a few spoonfuls or bites and he won’t want anymore food. Apparently this is a phase that he will get through. It has improved most recently and I just hope it continues to. I’ve been feeding him purée but more and more finger foods and he seems to do so well with that. I also really would like to steer away from the purée but for now it’s how I can ensure he eats the most so we combine the two.

Owen loves to play independently and with me. He’s at a great age now for this. He loves playing with the Fisher Price blocks that you place shapes in the holes on the lid of the box. He has his V-Tech sit to stand that he’s obsessed about. He loves to jump around in his bouncer still. And ultimately still loves to stand. A lot. I think it’s his favourite activity. He doesn’t show any interest in crawling so we are convinced he will go strait to walking. He’s already started to walk assisted a little. Since the weather is still so nice, we go on many walks and outings. Once it cools down I’m going to have to find more things to keep this boy busy. We may need to go to more drop in centres. Both him and I get really bored if we are stuck inside all day. In fact I need to start reading up on activity ideas for his age so if any of you have any ideas, please let me know.

And to end this post on a sweet note: Baby Eye Candy!!


Allergy Test Update


As I wrote on a previous blog, I had concerns that Owen may have an allergy to peanuts. My husband convinced me to test the PB on his skin before eating it and sure enough, he developed hives. So of course we decided not to go further and book an appointment with his GP.

After 5-6 skin retests (at home, spreading PB on my baby lol) he continued to break out into hives and I was convinced, my baby has allergies to Peanuts. Owen’s allergist appointment was a few days away and the urge took over to spread the PB on my baby’s skin again. And, no hives….???    I was left confused. First time, I tested mid back. Second time, behind each ear. The next day, one more time. No hive.

Fast forward a few days to yesterday’s Allergist appointment.
I’m happy to say with great relief that his tests for peanut allergies came back NEGATIVE!!!!
They were kind enough to also test for mixed tree nuts and also Strawberries which were also negative. The allergist did urge me strongly to start feeding him peanuts and tree nuts and to make sure he’s had regular amounts of the typical allergen foods by the time he reached One. Studies have now shown that the longer you wait, the odds of developing an allergy increases. Especially babies with Eczema, like Owen. In fact he urged me even more so to have it part of his regular diet to further ensure he doesn’t develop it. He said it was also important not to feed him allergen foods and then let a big gap go before giving it to him again since that can also increase his odds for an allergy.

So I did what I’ve been fearing – I fed Owen some peanut butter. Did he like it? Absolutely! Did he have any reactions? None!!! The allergist said if by half a dozen times he hasn’t reacted, the odds of him having any issues are slim to none. I’m so relieved. I know we’re not in the 100% clear – there’s no 100% gaurantees – but for now, I will take this little victory!

I didn’t know what to expect at the appointment. I read online some doctors will take blood to run tests and others get pricked by little needles on a board with different allergens. None of these things happened to Owen. The doctor simply used a lancet & pricked his skin where the tests needed to be done on his arms. He didn’t cry or react in any way – brave boy!

Here is a photo of the test. They have to do a Positive/Negative test along with the allergens to be sure that the test is working on the child’s skin. The + sign is Histamine which always turns positive. The – sign is Saline water so it will always be negative. And then the Arrow is the peanut. On the other arm, he put one for Strawberry & one for Tree nuts. As you can see, the one with the Histamine is the only one that developed hives & got red.

 They told me they don’t routinely test for all allergens because they usually use this method to confirm one way or another after a child has already ingested foods that have given them issues. While this form of testing is accurate, it’s not as accurate as actually eating the foods. So, the Allergist urged me to stop rubbing food on my baby’s body and start feeding it to him!

Happy Birthday, Aida

Today is my baby girls fourth birthday. Four years that I had to live without her. Emotionally so far it’s been a roller coaster ride. In some ways, Owen makes it easier and in other way’s harder. I think about all these moments I’ve had with Owen & how much I missed with Aida. While my arms would ache, empty – Owen has filled them. I’m so lucky I have him.

My little girl would be getting ready to start JK this September. I think about what she would look like. I presume as a female version of Owen. They looked so much alike as babies that I can’t imagine she’d look so much different. I think about how different my life would have been over the past 4 years. All the grief I wouldn’t have had to go through and the years of infertility. I would have been spared so much pain. And then I think, I wouldn’t have Owen.
In my ideal world I would have them both with me, right here. Life would have turned out completely different but it would have been a better life.  For the rest of my life, I will wish I had my baby girl. I will imagine what she will be, what she would look like. Would she get married and have a family of her own? How many children would she have?

For now I live in a world where all of my memories swirl around 5 days that she lived. Two of those days were marred with fear and sadness, hope that she would survive NEC. I think a lot more about the last day of her life and after she died than the moments when she was alive. It pains me to think about either one but I think mostly about the moments after she passed. I wonder why that is? I wonder why I don’t think about the 3 lovely days we had with her when we believed nothing more than she would be home with us three weeks later. Every so often when the pain hits me very hard I have thoughts of what I wish I did different. How I can’t believe I was able to walk out of that hospital, leaving her body knowing I’d never hold her again. I think about if I could go back in time & hold her one more time I would take her away with me and never return with her. I wish I could have brought her home with me and had her sleep in my arms. I wish we had more time. And yet on that day, August 24th when we left the hospital knowing it was the last time we would see her, it felt like the right time. I just get so overwhelmingly surprised at my impulsive emotions at times. How strongly I desire to hold her one more time. If I could have one more moment that I could hold my baby girl and kiss her endlessly on the face, it would be one of the best days ever.

I miss you baby girl, I think about you every single day. Not a day will go by that I won’t think about you. You would be so proud of your baby brother. I will make sure he will always know who you are, too. I love you forever.