So here I was pregnant with a hyperactive 2 year old and a screaming 1 year old. But as time went on, we realized God has a plan for each and every child. If it weren’t for all 3 of our kids, with their differing medical issues, we would not have figured out the mold. It took all of their “efforts” to figure this out.
In April, 2009, Weston was born. He was born slightly lower weight, but not enough to cause concern. He was 6 pounds, 7 ounces. His vitals were great. Immediately after his birth, I became sick. I started with a slight cough in the hospital, but took a huge nose dive when we got home. Weston and I spent his first 10 days or so in my bed because my lungs were just attacking me. It was the first of many bouts of bronchitis for me. The OB put me on a Z Pack. Between being so sick and the Z Pack, my milk dried up by week 4.
I really feel like Weston was my protection. I was not really sick the entire pregnancy. I read later that testosterone increases during pregnancy and then falls back to normal shortly after giving birth. Testosterone is a protective hormone and is a reason why grown men are often the last to get sick with biotoxin illness. So it stands to reason that since my testosterone levels were higher during pregnancy and fell after birth, that I became sick right after birth. The mold was later found in our master bathroom and master closet. Weston and I spent the first couple of weeks in my bed, in the moldy room.
As my milk was drying up, I went to the hospital lactation department. I knew he was our last baby and I was fighting every last bit I could to breastfeed him. We quickly learned, however, that he wasn’t growing. And it didn’t have anything to do with my milk. It was shown during all lactation consultations that he was getting enough milk from me. Yet he wasn’t growing. He lost his initial newborn weight and went down to 6 pound 2 ounces. And he remained there for far longer than he should have.
I started supplementing formula and eventually I dried up and he was entirely on formula. This switch did very little to help him grow. Since birth he’s been a very slow grower.
By 4 months of age, we were in the gastroenterologist’s office. I can’t remember exactly why besides poor growth. I seem to recall fussy eating as well at that time. But after kid 3 with all 3 of them being mold sick, plus my own illness battle, life just became one huge blur. So much happened, life just snow balled. So from this point (2009) to the point where we found the mold (2012), everything just rolled into one huge cloud of misery.
The GI thought Weston might have GERD, so he was put in Zantac. He was taking 2 times the dose of an adult at 6 months and it did absolutely nothing to help. We tried dairy formula, soy formula, Neocate and other amino acid based formulas. Nothing really helped, so we chose the lesser of the evils and stayed with dairy. When he started eating solids, he threw everything up. Either that or broke out in rashes. Or had mucus bloody diarrhea. Or had blistering diaper rash. Or. Or. Or.
MEANWHILE, Trevor was getting worse. His screaming was relentless. Although he was a very funny kid, this started disappearing. He became upset much of the time. His cheeks were always fire red, as were his ears. We found that dairy was causing a lot of Kylee’s hyperactivity, so we we switched to soy milk. We found Trevor was sensitive to diapers, so we switched to cloth. So here we were, normal turned hippy. I was making soy milk with our fancy soy milk machine, washing cloth diapers, slowly changing the way we ate and lived.
I remember my mom teasing me because of how we started living. But that was NOTHING compared to what was coming. We eventually figured out (after age 1) that Weston was allergic to corn along with several other foods. The GI sent us to an allergist. Weston had very few IgE allergies, so she did a patch test. In a patch test, foods are placed on the back and then covered with round discs and all taped up. This sits on the back for 3 days and then results are read. On this test, corn, chicken, wheat and rice all showed up. Then it started dawning on us that maybe Trevor also had allergies.
When Kylee was 4, Trevor 3 and Weston 1, we had them all in with an allergist. Several food items did show up for Kylee. Dairy did not show up as an allergen, but the allergist explained that dairy only has about a 50% accuracy rate on prick tests. Some of her other allergies were soy and egg among others that I can’t recall. Trevor first went to my allergist who did environmental testing only. Trevor was allergic to nearly every tree, shrub and weed in our area. By this time, he was living on benadryl. It was the only thing that alleviated the screaming meltdowns. They never went away, but the benadryl took the edge off. The allergist put him on Xyzal (a prescription allergic medication). This, like the benadryl, only took off the edge.
I believe it was fall of 2010 that I taught my last college class. I had been teaching Psychology part time at the local community college. I loved it. But by fall of 2010, I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma and had chronic bronchitis. We couldn’t find food to feed Weston. By this time, Kylee was complaining of nearly constant joint pain and any change in Trevor’s schedule caused major upset. Me going to work ending up being more of a chore that caused family strife than an enjoyable way for a mom to earn extra money and get out of the house doing something she loved.
It was sometime in 2011 that everything got worse. So much worse.