And 45 minutes after this photo was taken, we discovered she has an egg allergy

The red welts on her cheek were caused by an amorous nana, not the egg
The red welts on her cheek were caused by an amorous nana, not the egg

I never wanted a child with an allergy. C’mon, who does? I was horrified when I found out my nephew has a peanut allergy, and I really felt sorry for my sister-in-law.

My first ‘proper’ job after finishing university, was working in corporate communications for a very popular Australian food brand. In my first year there, FSANZ brought in new relguations around how food companies must list allergens on food packs. The reason? Because allergies have become such a big issue, especially anaphylactic shock caused by, among other things, the tiniest traces of peanuts and fish products.

So, I’m very aware of allergies, what they do to people, how difficult they can make life become, and how just a sniff of peanut can cause a kid to almost die.

That’s why I really really didn’t want a kid with an allergy.

Earlier this year, back in Brisbane, I was enjoying some time with family friends. Le Sprog had been on solids for a while and everyone was keen to give her something to nibble on. A peice of bread, a stick of carrot, a chicken bone… Of course, this freaked me out, as I’m convinced she’s going to choke. (Notice I wrote the last part of that sentence in present tense. This is because I’m still convinced).

I’d come to the lunch well stocked with some ‘safe’ foods – mashed pumpkin and spinach and mashed apple. After she’d eaten these, I was sure no one would try any other silly food bizzo. I handed her over to my mum and started on my own lunch.

Now Mr Moi tells me I’m turning into my mum, and he tells ME that I’m stubborn, so I guess that means mum is too. So when Nana Moi was eating her lemon meringue pie dessert and decided to give Le Sprog a taste, I yelled at her. “MUM. NO. NO EGGS YOLKS UNTIL THEY’RE NINE MONTHS. NO EGG WHITES UNTIL THEY’RE ONE.”

Now, I love my mum to bits, but I guess this is where the stubborness kicked in. “Ohhhhh, she’ll be right. I fed you kids a three course meal starting with steak tartare and finishing with eggs cracked straight from the shell by the time you were eight months old,” she said.

It was futile anyway, because by the time this exchange had taken place, Le Sproglette had launched herself on the spoon and happily ate the teeny, tiny, sugar-filled scraping of barely cooked eggwhite and egg yolk.

The situation rattled me, so I took control and put the baby to bed. Except she wouldn’t go to sleep. And when she finally did, she only slept for 30 minutes before waking up. And on waking up, she couldn’t stop rubbing her eyes. And after about 15 minutes of her doing that, her nose started dripping and her eyes started running. And we realised that perhaps she wasn’t rubbing her eyes because she was still tired. So I looked at her belly and she was covered in red welts.

An hour later, we were at the hospital. Her face was red, her ears were swollen to the point they no longer had any definition, her body was one huge big red lump. She was given an antihistamine and a steroid, and we stayed at the hospital for four hours under observation. Thankfully, it wasn’t an anaphylactic reaction. And thankfully, she calmed down after the initial outbreak. She was positively beaming at the hospital. The nurses loved her.

I felt terrible. Like a bad mum. Annoyed that we now have an allergy to deal with. And I really felt sorry for this tiny little human being that was swollen to almost twice her size, all because of something we were silly enough to put in her mouth.

And, of course, I felt completely, 100 per cent guilty.

When the clock hit 9pm, the doctor was happy for us to leave. So we walked past the front desk, waved goodbye. We walked past the full waiting room.

And as we were walking out the door, the triage nurse leaned out of her room and yelled, “And no more lemon meringue pie!”

Every parent in the waiting room turned to stare at stupid mother who feeds her baby evil foods.



22 thoughts on “And 45 minutes after this photo was taken, we discovered she has an egg allergy

  1. I was allergic to eggs as a child. Tried them again a few years later and I wasn’t allergic at all. Also had a reaction to strawberries as a 6 year old and after trying them again at 12 found I was no longer allergic to them either. So, don’t panic too much – she could well still grow out of this.

    1. Yay, Amanda, you give me hope! Actually, the doctor said when she’s about a year and a half old, to try her on egg again. First, rub on lips, then feed it. Yolk, then white. Urgghhh what a pain.

  2. I am keeping my fingers crossed that maybe she will grow out of this one!!!!! (that has been my nightmare too and so far so good – no allergies. “knock on wood 3 times” “spit” “do the lucky non-allergy dance” I am not taking any chances.)

    1. Dear Karmyn. I really wanted no allergies – we don’t have any in the family! I really think it was because she simply had the egg a bit too early, and her body rejected it. So high hopes that it won’t last.

  3. I’ve been lucky and so far my kids have no food allergies. I found out about a year ago that I have a fairly substantial gluten sensitivity and the doctor tells me that I should be very careful with my children and gluten. I’ve been gluten free and sugar free for about a year now – it’s not that much fun. I keep thinking I should do a post on being gluten free, but I never get around to it.

    1. Dear Beckie. That’s a real shame. you should post about the gluten free life. When Mr Moi and I stayed with my in-laws (his sister and her husband) in London, I’d cook dinner every night. But my bro-in-law is a coeliac, so I had to be very imaginative. I just don’t know how hard it must be not to indulge in the occasional sweet biscuit etc though.

  4. That must have been so scary, glad she is OK. Allergies seem to be much more prevalent these days. Fingers crossed that she will grow out it.

  5. I totally forgot the no eggs rule! I wonder what other rules I am forgetting… I need a “new mommy rule chart” since my daughter is 7 I forgot so many of the baby rules…

  6. I am a teacher and so teach many kids with food allergies. They can really make life difficult. It’s so sad to see kids reading the ingredients on every snack we have to see if it has peanuts in it or is made in a place where other products containing peanuts is made. My son doesn’t have any allergies yet (fingers crossed) and I hope it stays that way.

    Good luck to you and your daughter!

  7. Hi Miss Moi, I must have been gone a long time because you went and had a baby! And moved back to OZ. Congratulations! I do think I lost all my bookmarks when my computer crashed a while back, but you are back on there now. Look forward to reading more. Hope there’s no more allergies for Little Moi.

  8. You must have been scared as hell there for a while!

    I hope your baby does indeed not develop any further allergies. They can make life very complicated !

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