Food Allergies, a New Sibling and Hidden Blessings

Last updated on September 2nd, 2019 at 07:46 pm

Older-brother-holding-baby-sisterI remember the fear that ran through me during my second pregnancy. My first born has food allergies and at times, I really feel as if I am just unable to take another thing on. So being pregnant, I began to wonder how I would handle it if my second child also had food allergies. I would picture scenario after scenario of having to run from one to the other in just enough time to save them both. Was this my destiny, to see what else life would bring me?

But then, my daughter was born and my heart opened up even wider. Somehow, being a mother of two children became easier very quickly. Somehow, the moments that I need to split my attention are warped by time and space and I am able to just do it, with both children happy. It’s almost as if you are handed super powers when you give birth. How else anyone explain being able to take care of so much with even less time?

Then came time to try foods with my daughter- I was terrified all over again. I waited longer to give her foods that I gave to my son to make sure her fragile system could handle them better. Instead of getting the new food ready first, I armed myself with an EpiPen and antihistamine in case I needed to use them in a hurry. I made sure the telephone was close by and that my son’s diaper bag was packed up near the front door in case we had to go the emergency room. But then I realized- I wasn’t doing this out of fear, I was doing this out of knowledge and protection. I was doing this because I was a better parent than I thought I would be. And it was because my first born had food allergies…not in spite of it.

Having a food-allergic first child meant that when my second child was born, I honestly felt I was already scores past where I had been the first time around when it came to knowing what I needed to watch for. Whoever said “It was a blessing in disguise” was absolutely correct.

I tell people, always, that having food allergies is a positive thing and that there’s a reason for it, it should not be seen as a curse. The world works in mysterious ways. Little did I know that I would be taking my own advice.

But I also realized that it was not only a blessing for me – it was a blessing for my second child as well. My daughter is a better sister without even trying. As she grows up, she has the added wisdom of knowing what food allergies are all about and how to keep her friends safe if they have them. She knows why hand-washing is so important without making a fuss and that sharing foods is not even an option (which is good anyway because watching children share a half-eaten , soggy cookie grosses me out). And someday, when a mother at her school doesn’t know that a child is having an allergic reaction or what an EpiPen is, she will be able to tell them. How awesome is that? My daughter will have more knowledge about label-reading and cross-contamination than most adults and I am thankful for that.

Life truly does give you what you are able to handle. I’m not saying that it will always be easy but you will learn things about yourself that you would have never known if certain events had not happened to you. Embrace everything, both good and not so good. Someday, even you will be amazed at how your blessings have shown up in your life as well as whatever life has brought to you.

About the Author

Tracy Bush is the founder and President of Nutrimom, Inc., also known as Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason, a consulting business that specializes in providing guidance and support for anyone that has been diagnosed with food allergies. Tracy helps others with simple steps, such as finding safe, wholesome foods to supplement allergenic foods, where to shop and how to maximize their budget while adjusting to their dietary change. You can view additional information about what she does as well as her new e-book "The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies" at www.AllergyPhoods.com. Tracy is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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