Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So we're having another one!

I am four months pregnant so I decided it was a good time to tell you that there will be another kid in the house come April. We are very excited - my husband and I have always wanted three kids. Ainsley will be six and Leighton will be three when the baby arrives. If Leighton will just get out of the "how many ways can I try to kill my toddler self" phase before then, I think we'll be alright. If she potty trains before then, that would be the cherry on top, but I'm not really expecting that to happen as she's not that interested yet and Ainsley was over three when she finally stopped with the diapers.

So you food-allergy minded people might be wondering what I'm doing this pregnancy to try to prevent this baby from having allergies. Well, nothing really. With Leighton, I avoided the foods that are likely to cause life-long allergies (fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts). But the research on avoiding allergens while pregnant/nursing is very mixed and Leighton didn't turn out allergic to that stuff or to the allergens that I continued to eat (eggs, milk, wheat, soy) so I don't really think my avoiding those foods made a difference. So this time I'm eating like a normal person, although I don't eat a lot of the life-long allergens anyway (I don't care that much for fish and of course I'm not around a lot of peanuts/tree nuts) so I doubt the baby's getting much exposure to those foods.

Another question you might have is why on earth would my husband and I want another child when (a) taking care of one food-allergic child is so time consuming/expensive and (b) the new baby might also have food allergies, meaning double the trouble. I can understand this viewpoint and have heard at least one other food-allergy mom say her child's allergy was part of the reason she decided not to have a third baby (the allergic child was her second). But my strategy with food allergies has been that it is not going to limit Ainsley or our family. That means we will do everything we can to make sure Ainsley gets a normal childhood (goes to a regular school, goes on YMCA Adventure Princess campouts with her dad, etc.) and that we also don't let food allergies determine our family size. Sure, a third child will mean more work - on top of the special things I have to do to keep Ainsley safe - but somehow we've made our current situation work, and work well. I have never for a minute regretted having Leighton, and Ainsley adores her too, and I know it will be the same with the next baby ... even if this one has food allergies.

Of course, we will be very disappointed if the baby has food allergies - undeniably, life is easier when a kid doesn't have them. But if that happens, life really won't be that much different or harder UNLESS the baby is allergic to wheat and soy, the two things Ainsley eats the most. I just have to hope for the best, and keep reminding myself that siblings of food-allergic children have only a slightly increased risk of having allergies (10% greater risk than other kids). The likelihood is that the baby won't have allergies, and if he/she does, I would think they're likely to be to the foods to which Ainsley's allergic. If that's the case, we're well-equipped to handle them.

And one day there will be a cure, and all of my children will be able to eat whatever they want, and none of this food-allergy talk and worry will matter anymore :).


Libby said...

Congratulations! I would love to have another one (my son's an only), but it's unlikely for non food allergy reasons.

Enjoy your pregnant self, and try not to ask the concern trolls if they don't worry about passing on their own "limitations." But if you gotta, well, the hormones made you do it!

Jane said...

Well congratulations!! That is great that they all have 3 years between them. And I think you are right not to let the fear of food allergies stop you!

Allergy Mum said...

Congratulation on your happy news. Like you, I’ve had two different allergist tell me that eating dairy, egg, peanuts & tree nuts while pregnant did not cause my son’s allergies.
Allergy Mum -

Mamma Sarah said...

Congrats on another one. I totally understand where you are coming from on the whole allergy and having more kids. I was questioned that with my 2nd and also 3rd. :-) Congrats again!!!

Lexi said...

Congratulations! We are getting ready to have our fourth and I get questions about this all the time. People keep mentioning that the baby "might" have food allergies. That's when I tell them I'm probably the most capable and best-equipped person to handle it. Our little one has so many that I can't think of any that the baby might have that we don't already deal with. It frustrates me that people question you about those things. I'm not doing anything special this pregnancy either.