To Avy Dear…

I never ever thought in a million years that I would start a blog. I always kept asking my hubby to start one, as I am just a sucker for his writing :):). But a big thing happened to me, I became a Mom. Avyukt Sudarshan Ajit, came into this world on September 8, 2008 and nothing was ever the same again. The first six months were filled with milestones, the smiles, the ‘rolling’ over, the sitting. I , just like every other mom spent these months obsessing over the fact that Avyu was a day late to roll over or to smile. But as time went by these thoughts started to vanish. June of 2009 changed my life forever. You may wonder what more can happen. Avyu has been going to the daycare since he was 4 months old. So by the time he was 9 months old he was a veteran at it. He loved his teachers and they adored him. One fine day when I went to pick him up, it looked like he had been crying. This was not unusual for him to have cried a little bit, but the mommy hunch in me kicked in. As we were driving home, I felt his coos and sounds were starting to be muffled (had a rear facing car seat then, so couldn’t just look back). I pulled over and to my horror, the poor kids face and eyes and lips were fully swollen. I had to think on my feet and as I was very close to his doctor’s office I started driving there, while calling them on the phone. I then called his daycare to figure out what he ate last.  I reached in time and they gave him a shot to reduce his reaction.  He had consumed 3 new products in day care that he had not had before. This is the beginning of a long journey that we are still on. At that point of time I thought this was an isolated incident, a week passed by and we wanted to switch Avyu to formula from breast milk and when we tried to, he broke out into rashes.  That was the point I realized it was bigger than isolated incidents. his pediatrician recommended we show him to an allergist. The first blood test, a horrible experience by itself, poking a 9 month old in the arm to draw blood, revealed he has class 4 allergies to milk, class 3 to soy, egg and peanuts and class 2 to oatmeal and peas. At that moment I got the news I was not prepared for…an elimination diet. A diet free of all the above mentioned ingredients for both him and me, as I was still breastfeeding. The world started spinning around me as I had no clue where to start. This was followed by weeks of obsessive online research, shopping labels research, bouts of extreme sadness and anger ( I guess the hungry me was going through withdrawal symptoms to a milk free diet). There was also a feeling that this was never going to end. But we survived!! It is going to be a year this June. The last year has been filled with thoughts about food, cooking, allergies and I have gained a lot of knowledge in this area. I felt it was time to share what I have. This is a blog that is going to share my experience as a mom to a kid filled with allergies in the hope that it will raise awareness and help someone else going through the same.  I hope in subsequent posts I can kind of recap my journey in the last year and I intend to share new information, new recipes and just moral support for anyone who needs it.

Parenting is a hard thing, but you love your kid so much that it hardly matters. I never thought I am capable of unconditional love , but Avyu had proved me wrong. Making him comfortable, changing every version of our accepted foods to be ‘Avy’ friendly is my pasttime  now and it is so interesting that everyone is my house now eats that way.  Online reading, to vegerterian magazines to food network and baby magazines ideas are everywhere, and I love consolidating them to present to you this blog!

Being allergic is a long-term condition and as a mom the most important thing in the world to me is keeping my kid happy and I hope as years go by he will grow out of some of them. But I intend to raise him in a way he can take care of himself, even if he never outgrows these allergies. Last year has been so wonderful, with smiles, words, talks and also moments when I have to whisk him away form the room so that other people can have a kaju katli . I have reazlied that once acceptance sets in you can still be very happy no matter what life throws at you and there is a solution to everything. I love you Avyu! This Blog is for you!

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28 Comments

  1. Rajee Rangarajan said,

    April 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    My dear Anu

    Congratulations..your blog is beautiful..while you are going through everything and at the same time seeing the best side of this, as your mother I am proud of you…God be with you and keep going my girl..Love you and my grandson Avyu..

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Amma…you, all other of my amma and manni are my inspiration!

  2. Sumathi thirumalai said,

    April 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Really nice blog da..avy wl feel proud of his mom too whn hez a big boy:))..

  3. Sampoorna Satheesha said,

    April 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Dearest Akka

    The blog is wonderfully written – poignant and humble (definition of motherhood you say?). It made me realize that having been too wrapped up in my microscopic world, picking on the details of possibly inane questions, I have forgotten that people are living out there with issues that can’t be postponed by just hitting the restart button. As someone who fakes an allergy to brinjals I take my normal immunity for granted. Apart from my personal interest (with Avy being my nephew) my academic side is piqued by the promise of your research which comes from real world experience.

    Shashi Tharoor once wrote, and I quote, “We are all in a state of continual disturbance, all stumbling and tripping and running and floating along from crisis to crisis. And in the process, we are all making something of ourselves, building a life, a character, a tradition that emerges from and sustains us in each succeeding crisis.” I think he imagined someone like you when he wrote this.

    I love you and I am proud of you. And Avy has an incredible legacy to look forward to.

    …your sister

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      hey sweety, I have to learn writing from you! I hope all the research catches up to help people in the real world 🙂 Keep reading and let me know anything or check me if I am wrong about anything! Love ya

  4. J.Rangarajan said,

    April 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Dear Anu, Very nice blog !!! I am very happy for one reason that it can help some people in similar situations with their babies. I am sure you will also get inputs from others with similar issues. I sincerely pray and hope our cute Avy will get over these allergies soon. Faith can work wonders. I am very proud of you my dear daughter. Appa

  5. Aarthi said,

    April 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Dear Anu,

    It is a bold step from your side to start the blog and kudos for that! As you rightly said acceptance is what makes life easier. When I completed reading it, my eyes were filled with tears. I don’t think they were sad tears but happy tears looking at a strong woman like you. My hearty blessings for Avyu darling and I am sure with such wonderful parents, he is going to have a great life ahead. I wish I could meet you in person and give you a hug. and hey girl, you write very well 🙂 One more thing you can be proud about 🙂

    love,
    Aarthi

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      hey thanks! I just hope that this will help and support all parents coz I think each set of parents go through their own issues with kids. This is my perspective!!

  6. Cristina said,

    April 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Love it!!! On our chats you told me about it but it’s not until now that I realize how difficult it must have been. It’s having a baby that is not allergic to anything and sometimes I find it challeging to prepare her meals I can imagine. You’re a great mom and an example for many , I bet Avy realizes be soooo proud of you and everything you have done (and ur husband)!!!

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      🙂 Thanks love to Paula, she looks soooooo cute in your recent pics

  7. Aparna said,

    April 22, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Dear Anu,
    Congratulations on your first blog. This is very well written, poignant and with a mom’s unconditional love. I hope and pray Avy outgrows his allergies very soon. You have walked us through some of the trials of raising a child with allergies. Good luck!!
    Aparna

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks! I guess every mom struggles with getting their kids to eat..mine is a little harder 🙂

  8. antha said,

    April 22, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Nice blog, Anu! Keep it up.

    I didn’t realise the seriousness of his allergy till I saw your blog. Of course our last few chat conversations did give me an idea. But I’m sure he’ll soon come over it and all this will be just an experience for you to recount.

  9. venkatesan said,

    April 22, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Dear Anu,

    Well written in your usual style. At the same time disturbing to recall the tensions all of you have gone through. We are far away and can do no more than feel the pain in our hearts.

    It will be interesting to know how you are able to compensate the loss of nutrients from the foods that Avy cant have.

    As an off thought, I wish there were blogs in Manni’s time. How much could she have written?

    Love

    Venkatesan

    • avymom said,

      April 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      mama, keeping us in our thoughts and wishing us well is the biggest thing everyone can do. In my future posts I will cover on how I cover other nutrients he needs with some recipes. keep reading.
      I miss manni a lot!! She would have so much dieas and been an avid blogger 🙂

  10. Niveditha said,

    April 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Dear Anu,
    Kudos to your energy, optimism and thoughtfulness in sharing your experience to help others who might be in a similar situation. You are really the perfect Mom Avy will be proud of forever.

    Congratulations!

    Love,
    Niveditha

  11. Remya said,

    April 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Dear Anu,
    This blog is very inspirational. Congratulatons on coming this far very successfully. Kudos to Ajith for being your strongest supporter. Waiting for your vegetarian ideas and recepies….

    Love,
    Remya

    • avymom said,

      April 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks and will you try making my recipes ??:)

      • Remya said,

        April 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

        Ofcourse dear.. Now that tax season is over and Karthik works like hell. I have no excuse but to cook for him….

  12. poornema said,

    April 23, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Anu
    It is a wonderful blog. very nicely written. I know of two moms in my clos quarters who go through their childrens’ allergies, and it is really hard! But Ajit and you are doing a great job! You said it well- Acceptance is the key. One suggestion. Can you make the font bigger and smaller paragraphs next time? You can publish a book in future, I believe. Good job!!!!!

    • avymom said,

      April 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      hey thanks! yeah i was thinking about it too. Will do it next time. cant wait to see you guys this weekend.

  13. Savitri Satheesha said,

    April 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Anumma
    fabulous Blog.Iwas in tears.Kuttimma, I wished I could be there to spare my shoulders & hands.God bless you love .We are all here to strengthen your courage & energy.Blessed are the people associated with you. Love you kannamma.
    Savtrimma

    • avymom said,

      April 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      thanks amma…you all are my inspiration!! I guess how to be a good mom is something inbibed in me by seeing all my ammas 🙂

  14. swarna said,

    April 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    very well written anu 🙂 good luck with ur blog and m waiting to c ur innovative recipes 🙂


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