When you become a parent you know you will make mistakes, it is human and there is a big learning curve on how to go from being an individual caring for and raising a little person. You just pray those mistakes won’t leave lasting emotional damage or that you will have saved enough to pay for a good therapist if they do (just kidding, shoot for the first one- no lasting damage!). What is horrible about making mistakes when you are an allergy parent, is that your mistake often directly impacts your child(ren) in negative physical ways. Sometimes in very serious negative ways. You now pray that your mistakes don’t cause serious health consequences or death. And sadly I am not kidding here.
The thing about it is, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to forget to read labels or think something is ok only to realize it really, really wasn’t. Allergy parents might be nearly superheroes but even super heroes have off days or get tired.
We had one of those mistakes this past week. I bought some of Baby Bear’s formula from an elemental formula exchange group, I never thought to ask if the cans were the US version or the Canadian/European version. I had not idea that there was a difference. There was, in fact, a BIG difference, the cans we got featuring French and English on the label, and contain soy and coconut oil as some of the first ingredients. Ugh. The US version does contain coconut derived products but not as the top ingredients and it does not contain any soy at all. (Even typing this I feel like banging my head against the wall for not reading the ingredient list).
For three days we fed Baby Bear this formula. For 3 days his symptoms started to come back, sleep was starting to non existent again, rashes, reflux, spitting up so much that he drenched several of my shirts, mucus in his stool, crying, not wanting to be put down, etc…. all of it was happening. I was worried he was failing his formula or the water we had gotten. Crap, crap, crap. Hubby and I were feeling the strain of very little sleep and a very unhappy baby (plus a toddler also reacting to something different too). What I didn’t realize was that he was failing his formula, just not his regular formula.
I was reaching for a new can of formula when my mama gut kicked in and whispered that I should read the ingredients. I did and was horrified by seeing “soy” and “coconut” clearly written. I rushed to the pantry and got the “new and improved” labels. No soy, no obvious coconut. I went through all of our formula and sure enough, I had 4 cans (well, 3 full cans and one empty can) of the bad kind of formula. I spent $100 on those 4 cans and now they were completely useless. I felt like a bad parent for hurting my kid and for wasting our family’s money.
Thankfully, no lasting damage was done. Now, 24 hours later, Baby Bear started sleeping again, spitting up less, being happy to lay on a blanket and “talk” to us. The guilt for hurting my little one is heavy but I am so grateful that it wasn’t worse and that we caught it after one can of this formula and didn’t miss it and continue to feed him the other 3 cans.
I am the mother two wonderful and Rare children and am honored to be the step mama to two awesome teenagers.