About me & Bella
Hi! I’m Sophie, very proud mummy to my beautiful baby girl Bella. Bella was born on 2nd April 2018, she was the most happy, calm and content baby you could wish for. She was such an alert baby; my husband and I were absolutely besotted. I am a part time working mummy and Bella spends 3 days with a week with my mum. We have an amazing bond and I cherish the time I get to spend with her.
Nearly 1 and Bella is full of laughter and joy, she really does light up the room when she walks in and has such an affect on everyone she meets. Bella has been toddling around now since she was 9 and half months old and everyday she is learning new things. She never fails to amaze us with her babbling away and the way she plays with her toys, especially her baby that she is obsessed with (Is it her way of asking for a little brother/sister?!)
It hasn’t been an easy ride, but we have made it through the first year and are completely content with our little family.
Bella’s allergies & how we manage them
At 3 months old Bella was given Nutramigen formula to test if she had a milk allergy/intolerance. This has been a long time coming and I had been trying to get help from the GP from about 6 weeks old. Within a week of being on the formula, Bella was back to her peaceful and happy self. I felt so happy that my tiny little baby was no longer in pain.
By this point, we had started to try and wean Bella due to her not drinking much milk. We were trying baby rice which didn’t agree with her and to this day, I’m still not sure why. When she was 4 months, we tried her with fruit and vegetable puree and luckily we haven’t uncovered any other allergens. We do know that she can’t quite tolerate beef and it can give her a poorly tummy and if she has things like porridge, asparagus or banana’s for a few days in a row, she gets a little bit of discomfort.
Our dietician eventually diagnosed Bella with non IGE cows milk protein allergy, which means her reactions tend to be delayed making them difficult to diagnose and test for.
I’m confident that as Bella grows and develops, she will be able to tolerate these foods. We are due to start the milk ladder soon as she has been symptom free from milk for over 6 months now. I am extremely nervous at the thought of purposely giving her something that could potentially cause her a lot of pain. We are currently transitioning Bella onto soya milk as well. I’m praying that one day she will have some dairy and I will be waiting for the reaction which never comes!
It becomes easier day by day to manage Bella’s allergy and it is now second nature to check all labels on foods and ask for allergy menus when we eat out. It’s amazing how much food you can find that is naturally free from dairy.
A typical day for Bella
Bella is on the go from the moment she wakes up. She often wakes me up as she manages to get into bed with us most nights due to not being the best sleeper. Mummy & daddy are extremely tired when having to get up for work in the mornings. She gets off our bed and runs around the bedroom opening draws, pulling things off the bedside tables… you name it, Bella does it!
My mum has Bella whilst I’m at work and they will go to swimming lessons, soft play or for nice walks around our local towns and parks. My mum loves having Bella and is so grateful to spend so much time with her, I couldn’t wish for anything more.
On my days off with B, we usually see some of my friends with their little ones or we will go on a shopping day with my mum. I like to keep Bella busy and out and about as she tends to get cabin fever, just like me. We have just found a nursery that Bella will be attending two mornings a week from September, as she definitely needs to interact now with other children and do a lot more activities for her to take part in.
On weekends, we try to go on days out with daddy and make the most of the time they get together, but we also love a lazy day watching our crazy little monkey run around our house. By bedtime, Bella is absolutely shattered but she fights going to sleep in fear of missing out on anything… not that much happens in our house as me and hubby are usually in bed as early as possible!!
No two days are the same with Bella, she is always looking for new things to explore and try. She is such a funny and entertaining little soul, but my goodness does she have a little temper!! I’m dreading the terrible twos if her personality is anything to go by.
Munch Free & Bella
It’s great to see a brand that is aimed at babies & toddlers with an allergy or who are simply being raised vegan. One thing I have found during this journey, especially when Bella was a little younger and more on purees, it was really difficult to find dairy & meat free pouches. We will definitely be using Munch Free for Bella!
Tips & advice
I feel like I have a lot of tips and advice to share with other mums, not just on allergies but coping with motherhood.. I just don’t know how to write them down! I suffer with anxiety and when Bella was around 6 months old I started to feel constantly anxious and worried about what would happen to us both. I had a few ‘breakdowns’ over Bella’s milk and her allergies and ended up being diagnosed with Post Natal Anxiety. I was offered numerous therapies but I didn’t find any of them useful and I guess since I have stopped trying to help my anxiety, it has really calmed down. Since sharing my story on my new Instagram page, I have also found it easier to cope and I know there are so many other mums going through the same things.
My top tips would be:
Stop & Think: Take a breather, remove yourself from the situation and just take a few minutes to compose yourself.
This will not last forever and it will get better: Each day you experience any bad feelings or upset, the next day will get easier as you are learning to cope with this every time it happens.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: I feel this one is very important & not enough people ask for help when they need it. It isn’t anything to be ashamed of, and actually it will make you feel so much better once you get the right help, whether it be from a doctor, a friend or another mum you don’t know.
I really hope my words can help other mums, even if it’s just one. We can all do this and we must all stick together and support one another.
Lots of Love,
Sophie & Beautiful Bella xx