Week eight: Continued concerns


So, in a nutshell: 1) Jacob was born with both food allergies and a skin condition, but is in my mind, and in reality, a healthy child. 2) I sincerely wish he did not have to face any problems in life, much less anything medical, but I’m eternally grateful that his situation is so tame. 3) I explain this only to shed some light on why I feel the way I do about this pregnancy. I certainly want this new baby to be healthy, but in hindsight, if I had to choose a challenge, allergies and Jacob’s skin condition are relatively harmless when controlled properly.

Jacob’s food allergies did improve when the offending foods were eliminated, but this unfortunately did not entirely fix the problem. Jacob grew wonderfully during his first month of life. But, during months two and three he didn’t add very much weight. He didn’t lose much, but he didn’t add any. He grew in length, and his head circumference increased accordingly, but he was a little string bean. He also was covered in reddish-brown spots. At his two-month checkup his doctor noted that the spots should have been disappearing if they were just normal “baby” spots. Instead, his seemed to be increasing. He suspected a condition called Urticaria Pigmentosa (UP), which was diagnosed by a dermatologist four days later. In short, UP is a rare disorder, which is caused by the body’s overproduction of mast cells. These cells show up just under the skin as reddish brown spots. When these spots are rubbed, or the child is exposed to certain types of food, medication or temperature changes, the mast cells release a histamine and become hives. Like most hives they become inflamed, hot to the touch and itch. Although UP can affect internal organs, primarily in the digestive track, when the condition presents itself in the manner it has with Jacob (seemingly limited to the skin and very early in life) the prognosis is very good. (Keep in mind, this is my very non-medical description.) We were told to expect this condition to spontaneously resolve itself sometime between that day and adolescence. A wonderful diagnosis overall, though rather vague -- one for which we are very grateful!

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