Where it all began.
When Fletcher was 9 months old he had milk for the first time. The results were not ideal. But this isn't really where it all began, there were signs before.
Fletcher had sensitive skin since birth. With eczema behind his ear and leg that would not go away. We tried everything, including prescription lotions. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me, "Have you tried coconut oil?" I would have enough money to get a latte at Starbucks. The eczema was the first sign of a possible food allergy.
Fletcher was exclusively breast fed for the first half year of his life. At 6 months we gave him baby cereal for the first time. It was the kind you just mix with water, which means it contained milk ingredients. He developed a rash everywhere the cereal touched his face. Clearly this was another sign, but because he had such sensitive skin we assumed that the moisture on his face had caused the rash.
After the cereal incident I decided to try out the baby-led weaning approach to feeding. We gave him steamed broccoli and avocado chunks and all sorts of delicious foods that he could feed himself. He loved it. One day I picked up some yogurt bite things at the grocery store. I thought he would love it. Yogurt bites! Who wouldn't love yogurt bites, right!? He didn't. He spat most of them out, and got a few of them stuck to his face. I bet you didn't know this (just kidding) but yogurt contains milk and guess what, Fletcher got a rash on his face wherever the yogurt bites had touched.
So at 9 months when Fletcher had milk for the first time and he got hives all over his body, you think it wouldn't be a shocker. You'd think, right? Well it still was. Nobody thinks their kid is going to have a food allergy. Even if there are signs.
When the milk incident happened we rushed Fletcher to the closest walk-in-clinic. The doctor there wasn't sure what she was looking at. She told us to try the milk again the following day, to "See what happens". I got the idea that she really didn't know what she was talking about. Maybe it was because she said, "hmmm" a lot. Or maybe because she said, "I'm not really sure" more than once. I decided to ignore her advice and I made an appointment with my family doctor, who then referred us to an allergist (whom I absolutely adore). This is when we found out that without a doubt Fletcher had an allergy to milk. This is when the whole journey began, when the first epipen was purchased. When our lives changed.