oh eczema, how we will not miss you.

14 03 2009


the angry chicken is no longer angry. instead of screams, our house rings with the sound of her blowing raspberries. she pips and squeals with delight. even though her scratching hands are still on auto-pilot, occasionally raking over her tummy out of habit, she is now exploring the world with those strong little fingers.

i can’t believe that we fixed her. and i can’t believe that she had to suffer for so long. and i blame america. ok, not really, but kinda.

clover has always been loud. she was kicked out of the nursery in the hospital for waking the other newborns. the midwives brought her back to me with a pained smile calling her “feisty” as they hurried back out of my room. she slept in 30 grumpy minute spurts, squirming and clearly uncomfortable. lets be honest, inside my belly, i knew she would be trouble.

i brought her home and everyone started calling her “spirited” and “colicky”. to me it seemed like something else. i went through every natural, organic, and homeopathic potion looking for a cure, but nothing quite worked. her skin flared to match her temper and she started to look as painful as she sounded. great, eczema AND colic. i was tired. and hungry. and i had just enough time to make myself one more peanut butter and honey sandwich. PEANUT BUTTER and honey, because i am an american and we eat peanut butter. in fact, through both of my pregnancies, i craved peanut butter. i ate it with apples and i ate it on toast. this time i was eating it with my 1/2 american 4 year old daughter slash peanut butter sandwich addict.

i kept the eczema as under control as i could with a 3x daily regimine of creme and lotions. i tried the natural stuff and she rashed up even more, so back to the big plastic jars of QV creme and QV balm. i rationed out the one bottle of Corn Husker’s Lotion for her head since it was the only thing i had that was not too greasy. she still suffered. i shoved her growing hands into newborn mittens to protect her. somehow she would pull those off to scratch her skin raw. she would writhe in her sleep and wake often. i think she learned to roll over just to scratch her belly on the floor.

to top it all off, she failed to grow. in fact, she got tinier.

and then she developed enlarged lymph nodes. that sent us back to a a bevy of doctors who finally suggested some allergy testing.

i was sure it was the dairy or maybe the soy. at the office, the doctor pricked her skin with the allergens and sent us to the waiting room. a huge welt began to develop before the control hive even showed up. something did not agree with my baby. and sure enough, she is allergic to dairy soy PEANUTS.

i did not expect peanuts, they are bloody american staple food. i had heard of peanut allergies, but i was never related to anyone with one.

apparently clover’s is a strong allergy and even if we kissed her after having peanuts, she could have a reaction…even up to 3 days after we ate the darn things. i don’t think i went 3 days without having peanut-something…until now.

we are a peanut free house. gemma will just have to get used to vegemite because her american kid sandwich is no longer on our menu. (don’t worry, i am not that mean, we are getting almond butter.)

the doctor also gave us a Rx ointment (Advantan – Fatty Ointment – methylprednisolone aceponate) for the really red eczema…we used it for a few days and have not had to put it back on her since. so with that and no one in the house having peanuts, we now have a spotless, smooth and contented baby. i am thankful for the fact that it is only peanuts as i know it could have been a lot worse. and i am glad we know about it now, so we can be careful with our girl.

for those who have asked the secret, i can only speak from our experience…allergy testing.


look out qantas, we are bringing the chicken on board.

11 03 2009

clover pp

kieran pp

we have our tickets!!!!!! to go back to the states!!!!!! in june and july, so it was time to get passports for our newest family members. just like gemma, the twins will have passports from both the US and Australia. it kills me that these pictures are what they will have with them until they are big kids. i changed kieran out of his baby jammies and into a big boy shirt for the photo…he can thank me when he is 7.

more about our trip in coming posts. i am looking forward to documenting it. we are going to make the griswalds from the national lampoon’s vacation series look quiet, well behaved and organized.