Today, I nearly freaked out. For real. Delaney had an allergic reaction to the yogurt I gave her. I'd been waiting until she was close to 8 months old to give it to her. The info her doctor gave us said that babies between 7 and 8 months of age are ready to try pureed meats and meat alternatives such as cottage cheese and yogurt (of the whole milk, plain variety). My babyfood cookbook, Super Baby Food, recommends starting yogurt as early as 6 months of age. Still, I was leery of giving it to her (gut instinct, no other reason) and waited until today.
Within a minute of ingesting less than half a teaspoon, angry-looking hives popped up around Delaney's lips and chin and she became extremely fussy. I worried that she'd start having trouble breathing. I took her out of her high chair, held her and watched her closely for a few minutes. The fussiness abated and soon she seemed fine. I put her to my breast and she fed like a champ. Just to be safe, I called her doctor's office where all they could tell me was to stop giving her yogurt (duh!) and to refrain from giving her any meats too. They said they'd put a note in her chart and that we could follow up with the doctor at her 9 month appointment at the end of December. I'm going to call again tomorrow and ask to speak to the doctor directly (he was at lunch today when I called).
For a minute, things felt terrifying and out of my control. What if she had experienced trouble breathing? What would I have done? Would I have the strength to remain calm? Would I be able to take care of her? Would I have called an ambulance? I don't know. I had to remind myself that I am the parent. I am the adult. I need to be able to handle things. It was quite a reality check.
Somehow, I was able to remain calm today. But I still shudder when I ask myself, "What if?"