Friday, August 2, 2013

Worth the wait

There were so many days during our journey with Ellie's allergies and health that I shed tears over the worry that we'd never be able to have another child. I felt that she needed so much from us that there was no room to nurture another child (many days there wasn't even enough room to nurture the parents!). I worried about conceiving a child who would share her perplexing health issues and that that would simply be too much. And I worried about having a child who had even more severe issues than her, or different issues, and the idea of navigating a different realm of this brave new world of expanding chronic childhood disorders would be impossible. And, like any mother, I wondered how I could possibly love another little person as much as I loved Ellie.

So when we started Ellie on Ketotifen last spring and she suddenly seemed so vibrant and healthy, Ian and I started to have hope. I had done a tremendous amount of work on my own health after being diagnosed with Hashimoto's that winter. I took natural supplements to support my thyroid. I did several cleanses. I was exercising regularly, sleeping well and had returned to a very healthy weight (after being too heavy for many years and then too thin while I was nursing Ellie on GAPS). I was in a really good place and so we took the leap. It goes to show how much my health had changed because it took us two years to conceive Ellie and this time it took just one try. We were elated!

And so on June 10 we had a son. August Wayne Denny was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long. I fell so deeply in love with him the second I saw him.

We delivered Ellie in a hospital and were unhappy with that experience (to say the least). So this time around we took the leap of faith that a home birth would be a better choice. It was an amazing experience. I was able to labor at my own pace. I felt completely supported by my midwives, my husband and - maybe this will sound odd - by my home. The transition and pushing stages were the hardest thing I have ever done (I had an epidural with Ellie) but I came through to the other side feeling more powerful and having more ownership over the experience. August was born in the water.

Since his birth we've been through lots of ups and downs. Having a newborn is hard. Learning how to nurse again was hard. August had tongue tie - that was rough. Having to change my diet to deal with colic is hard. Having a baby who doesn't sleep at night, while also having a four-year-old who is awake during the day, is SUPER hard. Letting go of the fears we were carrying since Ellie's babyhood has been hard. But holding a sleeping newborn in my arms is bliss. Watching Ellie hug and kiss her brother (over and over and over again!) is amazing. Seeing my husband shush and bounce and rock our new baby is wonderful. Seeing August's first smiles made all the hard moments seem like nothing. We have been blessed - twice - with beautiful, vibrant children and as my Grandpa recently said, "what more can you ask for?"

Many people have asked me if August will have allergies like Ellie does, or if I can tell already whether he has allergies, and the answer of course is "I have no idea." I am doing everything I can to protect him from developing allergies. I have gone off many foods to protect his delicate tummy (I found this blog post tremendously helpful in pinpointing the biggest culprits. All we can do is eat healthfully, support our family's health and watch and wait. And maybe say a few prayers.


  1. Wonderful post - beautifully expressed. Beautiful children. Great parents. Wish you only the best.

  2. We have twins! :-) I have a healthy 6 yo, a 3 yo with probable Celiac (positive gene, couldn't screen or scope, all the symptoms at 15 mths), dairy allergy, FructMal, and Salicylate Sensitivity, and a baby born June 18. :-) We had the same concerns with having a third, but are glad Lillian's joined our family. :-) We just figured out the SS through the Parents of FructMal Kids group on Facebook (are you a part of it?) and are still in elimination phase. My little one has problems with yeast (red cheeks for longer and a diaper rash with pinpoint spots and redness) and we're on diflucan right now. I've read that yeast overgrowth causes the SS. Can you tell me about the Canadian drug? What types of foods does Ellie tolerate now - sals/amines/phenols, fructose, her allergic group? Do you think that GAPS was healing at all for her? I was planning on trying it, but it's so limiting when you take out the high sal foods that it might not be worth it. Have you tried any enzymes or probiotics? Congratulations on your newest little blessing! :-) May our little ones be and stay healthy!! :-)

  3. Thanks, Mary Lou! :)

    Scooter - so funny that there are so many commonalities! I have not heart of the FructMal Kids group - will have to check that out. I will have to write an update soon on how Ellie is doing. Lots has changed since I last wrote. Finding time to write with a tiny baby in the house is nearly impossible!

    I do think GAPS was very healing for Ellie, but I also think we stayed on it too long and got stuck. It was hard to move on because she still had a variety of symptoms, but looking back it would have been good for all of us to move on sooner than we did. And, yes, GAPS is extremely challenging without the high salicylate foods. Ellie became allergic to many fruits and vegetables and that's when we had to throw in the towel. Yes, Ellie does take enzymes and probiotics! Congratulations on YOUR newest little blessing! :)