Purpose of this blog

Hello Everyone,
I have such a response to my post on my other blog. I have heard from so many women who have had similar experiences-to a greater or lesser extent. With every women I come in contact with I am amazed at how many of us are out there.
Starting this blog was suggested to me and after thinking about it, I think it is needed. A single place where we can all share our stories. Share our problems. Let each other know what is working for us, and then one day help the medical community find the answer to why and hopefully help.
As I receive stories, updates, and info that I find or are given I will post them here. If you have anything to share you can email me at judeebeeforme@yahoo.com
Please become a follow if you have had, are having, or know someone who has had this problem.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Baby #4 is a year

I haven't posted much and I am sorry. Baby number for came a year ago. I only had a few of times where I actually had hives after he was born. I itched *A LOT* but there was no breakouts, occasionally just a couple localized hives. We've nursed this time around too. My milk supplies have been good. This baby has been a really good nurser too. It is a baby boy.
Theories on why I have had hives less with each baby:
1- I have been limiting environmental factors that I know cause me allergy problems. Taking these proactive steps I think contributes to my diminished reactions.
2- I also believe that having my children closer together has helped my body and immune system "remember" and react less each time. After my twins were born I had some hives, but it was more on the level of the reactions I was having near the end of nursing my first child. By the time I stopped nursing I was having a few breakouts but never full blown. Then with this baby it has been hardly anything to be concerned about. I haven't even been taking the medications.
3- Along the lines of having the children close together so my body is remembering, my body my be building tolerance to the offending enzymes. This principal is build upon the theory that allows getting allergy shots and treatments work. By exposing your body to the offending enzymes, you are teaching your body what is okay for it to allow and you build up a tolerance. Until the point that you can eat that food, or hang round that plant or animal.

As I have wrote so many times, There is so much we are still learning about immune systems. Not only are we still learning we have also learned that although the major ways our bodies respond is similar we each respond to different things and for different reasons. Since each person is so different narrowing down causes especially when the party is a pregnant or nursing female makes research even more difficult. What we do know is that pregnancy and having a baby changes your body chemistry and can change what your body reacts to. Through sharing my experiences with women, many have shared their stories with me. Some of hives, but some of "all of the sudden" being allergic to new things in their lives (ie their pet, their favorite lotion or shampoo, finding a laundry detergent unusable anymore, finding foods they are now allergic to but use to be able to eat just find)- all shortly after having a baby. Most of these women had doctors that told them it was all in their heads or that they probably would have developed that allergy regardless of  having a baby. There is research to back US up. Immunological changes can and do happen after being pregnant. You are not crazy.

I have a couple final things to say in advice.
1- don't allow others to think your crazy, pregnancy and changing immune systems is a thing.
2- But keep an open mind. I didn't think that environmental factors were playing a part in my hives, But upon finding treatments we learned that my environmental factors were causing my outbreaks to be worse.
3- Don't make your mind up that your hives or allergies are caused by X. Again this is keeping an open mind. Do not go blaming that you used drugs (epidural or others) during delivery as the reason, on the flip side don't blame that you had a natural birth either. Don't blame nursing, or not nursing. Don't blame having gestational diabetes. Don't blame that your baby was a boy or that it was a girl. I have heard all these things *blamed*.  It is true that any of these things could have been a factor but the chances are they are nothing more than a factor in a sea of many factors. As humans we want to find reasons for causes and we want to blame things, but in the end blaming those things aren't helping you or anyone else. If you are really concerned then try to do it differently the next time you have a baby, chances are though if you're going to react to something it will happen either way. If you fixate on one thing causing your allergies- doctors will categorize you as crazy and stop listening to you.
4- Find ways to live life and don't dwell on it. I am a huge believer in that things are always worse when we are dwelling on it. I believe that this last baby it has also be less is I have 4 kids who need a ton of my time. I don't have time to dwell and worry about why I have hives. I notice them and move on because I need to live life and take care of my children.

Good luck to all of you suffering. I look forward to the day of science fiction science where a drop of blood can tell a doctor everything we could ever want to know about our bodies. Until then God bless each of you- I hope you find relief. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Done with Round Two of Hives and Nursing

I am about 4 months hive free. My girls are 16 months today. I nursed them for 1 year. Yeah us!!! I didn't think it was going to be possible to nurse twins for a year. 
As for my hives, they are gone. Near the end there they weren't bad. In fact I could miss taking a Zyrtec and wouldn't have any bumps appear, but my skin would itch like crazy until I took the next dose. As sure as it happened the first time with nursing my son. As soon as my milk dried up, my hive went away completely.
I don't know if it is that my body was adjusting to everything this time around, but my hives were never as severe as they were the first round. I would get hives while nursing my twins, but never full body break-outs like I had while nursing my son.
We are expecting right now. And I will let you know when round three happens. But right now I'm just enjoying a Zyrtec and hive free life. Not to mention wearing a normal bra. I know TMI but so true.

Thank-you to all of you who have commented and shared your stories. I pray each of you can find peace from your hives.

Things to remember about hives:
1- the reason the medical community knows SO LITTLE about hives is hives are caused so MANY different things. Many of which we don't hardly understand at all. 
2- Hives are actually really really new to research and most doctors weren't trained in medical school to understand hives only to treat hives. Be proactive and patient with doctors. 
3- Since there are no ways to know what are causing your hives besides for you to proactively take EVERY LITTLE thing out of your live and reintroduce it, doctors can only try to treat and relieve your hives. This is never going to make them go away.
4- Hives are an immunological response to something you are encountering. You body could be responding to multiple things at once or just one thing. 
5- Why you're responding with hives over an anaphylactic reaction is a mystery. I find gratitude in knowing that it totally be a life threatening reaction but its not its just hives and I can live with hives. Think about that the next time you have a reaction.
6- Each person is DIFFERENT!!!!!! My hives have a strong correlation to breastfeeding. It may have very little to do with actual milk production. But your hives may be caused by something very different. Even within a breastfeeding there are hundreds of things related that could be the cause of hives while nursing and each of us could have a different one of those things.
7- Don't get discouraged. Take hope. This will be but a small moment in our lives and at least for me every hive is worth the blessing of being able to breastfeed my children.
8- Although we are not alone, we are an extreme minority. There are 5 different types of allergic reactions. Hives (urticaria) is just one of those five. It is also the least common of those five. As I said in number five, your allergic reaction could be anyone one of those 5 reactions but for unknown reasons to Immunologists your immune system has chosen to respond with hives.  Our bodies went through a traumatic life event (giving birth to a baby). Any time your body goes through a traumatic life event your immune system is put into shock and can change. This is documented. Giving birth is a traumatic life event and your body is never going to be the same. Our condition is only ignored by the medical community because it has been so rare that not enough cases have been documented in order to bring it to the attention of the one researcher who might know what to do with the information. It is so rare that my Allergist, a well respected Immunologist, is baffled by my situation. He plans on writing a paper on my case at some point. Talk with your doctors and be patient with them.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

6 months into nursing my twins

My twins are now 6 months old. We've been nursing the whole time. For the first three months of their birth I was taking 1/2 a dose of Zyrtec daily. If I missed a dose or two it took about 24 hours and then I would brake out with a few hives. I didn't let it go any further than that and I would take the Zyrtec quickly. About 3 months ago I noticed that if I missed a dose it was almost 48 hours before my skin would get so itchy that I couldn't take it anymore, but no hives. My skin would get splotchy -a precursor to any of my hives forming. I started waiting to see how long I could possibly prolong my next dose of Zyrtec. I am now to about once a week taking the dose. It hasn't been as life horrifying this time around. I don't know why. Maybe my body is more adjusted this time to the nursing or post delivery hormones. Maybe there is something to the notion that its worse with boys than with girls. Maybe there is more of an environmental factor than I thought and its not a factor this time. Or maybe with all the other stress in my life God is just giving me a break this time around. Whatever the reason I am grateful.
My allergist said that I should try to take as little and as seldom of a dose as possible because your body will start building tolerances and it will require larger doses to have the same effect on you.
I am so thank for all of you're comments out there. I hope that all ya'll find as much comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and that we're aren't crazy as some out there want us to think we are.
good luck to all of you.
As my journey continues I'll update my progress.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Babies are Here

Our twin little girls were born a month ago, Aug 11. We've been nursing. I have been taking a half dose of the Zyrtec. Whenever I don't take the dose I start to get a few hives. I haven't held off taking it to see how bad it gets. I just don't want to find out.
Had my first Allergist appointment this last week. He wants me to use a nasal spray in addition to the Zyrtec. Then to see me again in 6 more months. We'll see how it goes.
All of the stories I have heard from readers of my blog about their problems and their family's problems. My heat goes out to all of you who are suffering from hives.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Half a dose

My doctor and allergist had both suggested that if taking Benadryl isn't enough to control my hives. Maybe try taking half a pill dose of my Zyrtec. I decided that it couldn't hurt to try. I can't miss a pill now, before if I missed a pill by the time I needed to take the next pill, it was obvious. Now if I miss I have hives in a few hours. But maybe its better for me and the babies.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pregnancy Allergist Visit

Last Wed the 11th I had an appointment with my allergist. He wasn't surprised to find out that my hives have returned while expecting. He did ask a series of questions to determine that they weren't PUPPS hives. He asked what I have been doing for it. I said that after I was out of the first trimester I went back on my Zyrtec. He recommended that I try to take Benadryl or cut back on the Zyrtec. Only because there have been no studies on expectant mothers and Zyrtec. There have been no studies with Benadryl either, but it has been taken by expectant mothers long enough over time that it is generally considered safe. Bottom line is there are no tests done on expectant mothers period! We're all to chicken to try anything. Granted being an expectant mother I understand that fear. We don't want to hurt our babies, and no company out there wants to take that risk.
My Allergist suggested trying to not take anything unless it became so unbearable that I couldn't live with it and then suggested the alternate treatments before resorting to medication. So I tried it, I lasted one day. By the end of the full 24 hours with out my next dose I was in so much pain, I couldn't sleep, I itched all up my legs and arms. I was crying from the pain. My husband held me and suggested that I take the second part of the Allergist's advice, that they are my babies and my body and that in the end its my choice how to treat this problem, that the drug is only a class B and was safe on animals that were tested. I took my Zyrtec and with in 2 hours the pain was gone and I could sleep.
In also speaking to my husband, he reminded me that I was on Clariton-D prescription strength, considered even more unsafe for the entire remainder of my 1st pregnancy after the first trimester. My allergies were so bad and my OB prescribed it. My son is healthy and shows no signs of any problems at the age of 2. So I am back on my Zyrtec. Other women my have the strength to live without certain drugs while pregnant just because no one knows how its acting on the fetus. I am not that strong. I am already at high risk for stress induced labor and I have a toddler to take care of, my husband deployed on Friday morning and its us. The last thing I need right now in my life is to be in constant pain from hives therefore being unable to take care of myself or my toddler. I need the Zyrtec, its the only drug that we have found that has an effect controlling my hives and is somewhat safe to take. Too bad taking this on my own choice won't count toward results of a study to determine safeness of drugs for expectant mothers in the future. But then maybe if enough of us have voices and document our experiences- it will.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Hives are Back

So on Tues I had a small breakout of hives, on my knees and elbows. Now I don't know how random or unrelated to my postpartum hives. The truth is I'm 11 weeks pregnant, so there is a possibility its related.
The hives went away on their own, I didn't take anything since I'm not quite out of the first trimester. It 
really scared me when they first showed up. Can I do this? Am I going to suffer my whole pregnancy and nursing  time with hives? Not good stuff. Well they stayed for about 2 hours and then went away on their own, never got worse than just a few on each knee. 
Since then, (at this point Tues, Wed, Thurs) I've had hives, just localized to those joints. Each time they didn't last longer than a couple of hours.
I spoke to my OB. She is a new OB from my last pregnancy. I've gone throw 2 others in the mean time, that's a whole different story. This OB is wonderful, she listens and answers my questions and doesn't act like I'm an idiot. I told her about my postpartum hives and my hives now. She asked if I had PUPS during my first pregnancy- no is the answer. After listing to me and asking a few questions she express that she doesn't think these hives are PUPS or are caused by the same thing as my postpartum hives. She thinks its stress from watching children and being so sick all the time. She said we'll see how it progresses and just keep notes on it. Also she mentioned that if it gets bad I can start taking Benadryl right now (suggested I might want to take it before going to bed at night to help my sleep and since the breakouts have been in the morning). And then after next week she said I can go back on Clariton or the Zyrtec. 
I'll keep ya'll posted.