I was about 16 weeks pregnant when I woke up with a swollen face, a VERY swollen face. Not your typical "I'm pregnant and puffy" kind of swollen, but more of an "I think I may need an EpiPen" kind of swollen. I am not being dramatic, my friends. I could barely see and could feel my skin cracking/oozing from the swelling. I went to the ER that day and then again three more times that week. Multiple appointments, two trips to urgent care, two dermatologists, one primary physician, one allergist, and zero answers.
This went on for 3 weeks. I was feeling so helpless. I moved out of my house and back in with my mom. I did everything the doctors told me to do: eliminated all fragrances, didn't let anything touch my skin, tracked everything I was eating, etc. The only thing I got was "You're allergic to something, you just have to figure it out!" What does a pregnant lady have to do to get some answers? I honestly felt betrayed by my body. I was so confused, how could this happen me and how is this affecting my baby?
Since I was pregnant, they really couldn't give me anything that would stop the swelling immediately. Mind you, I was feeling 100% myself other than a swollen face and eczema from head to toe. I was prescribed a tapered dosage of Prednisone, which constantly messed with my vision. The swelling went down for a few days and I thought I was in the clear, but it came back with a vengeance. One doctor was convinced that I had the mumps while another thought maybe I had an allergic reaction to a cold (didn't even know that was possible). They then prescribed me Penicillin which I had a wild allergic reaction too causing my skin to burn and break out in hives over my entire body. I stopped that immediately and it took me another week to recover.
After countless appointments and tons of "I don't knows" I took it into my own hands. I stopped the steroids/penicillin and started an elimination diet. I read Inflammed by Shelly Malone. Which completely transformed my health during my pregnancy.
I began to slowly and gently detox my body from all the medications I was on. Let's just say no gluten, dairy, or sugar was killer but so worth it. I would also drink apple cider vinegar every morning + night and would literally bathe in ACV for my eczema. I smelt like vinegar for the rest of my pregnancy.
It took me a long time to heal myself. The swelling in my face migrated from my eyes, to my cheeks, and then into my neck and slowly disappeared. WEEKS of this you guys. Weeks of constantly being itchy, constantly questioning whether or not my skin would recover. I was so concerned about Jax and whether or not all of this chaos had affected him, if he was going to be 100% healthy, if the steroids did any damage to his tiny little body. Every scenario was running through my mind. Thank heaven he was 100% healthy and completely unaffected by this.
After I fully recovered, I thought I was in the clear. That this was all behind me, but really this has just been the beginning of it all. There have been 3 times since having Jax that my face has become inflamed, irritated, and swollen. I don't have answers for this right now, but I do know that I am absolutely traumatized from what happened during my pregnancy that I instantly start to panic. Is it back? What is causing this? WHY?
I have been in to see a doctor and she mentioned a potential leaky gut/ candida overgrowth. I'm still in the process of testing and finding answers. All I know is that changes need to be made and I have to put my health into my own hands. I'm sitting here typing this out with a red, inflamed face praying I can find some answers this year.
So what does that look like?
The list goes on.
I share this with you to give a little backstory as to why I am making such drastic changes in my life. I want to be transparent with you all while also being a resource to anyone and everyone that is looking to turn to whole foods to help heal themselves from the inside out.
So with that being said expect to see lots of posts on Whole foods, Whole30, Benefits of Broth, Cleansing, and what all this means when you are also feeding your family.
This is just the beginning of a new lifestyle and way of eating. This is why I am SO passionate about helping others out who are struggling to find answers and relief for themselves. Because I know how hard, lonely, and helpless you can feel. Even with a large support system, you can still feel alone and scared. Having no answers and some recurring, unanswered issues can be scary. I get it. But Sister, you are not alone.
If you are interested in healing your body with whole foods or joining me on this journey, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. Don't worry I won't be bombarding you every day, I'll be showing up once a week with new tips & tricks!