Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cake Smash and Epinephrine

The not-pink cake
Last month we celebrated Coraline's first birthday (I still can't believe my baby is one!)  Instead of doing a birthday party (which is way more difficult with a winter baby, since backyard BBQs are out), we decided to do a Smash-Cake photo shoot with her.  Her only other professional photos ended up being a nightmare situation (poor quality), and so I was a bit nervous to hire a photographer.  But, lucky for me, one of my co-workers (at my new job) is super awesome and so I decided to hire her.  I spent two weeks shopping for the perfect outfit, in ten different stores, (I brought home three and tried them all on) and a week trying to find a bakery to make the perfect cake. (Since we live in a resort town, many things are closed in the winter).  I fussed over every little detail and prop (what would I use to tie down the balloons? and what plate would I put the cake on, etc.)  I just wanted everything to be perfect.

(All cake-smash photos courtesy of Satin Sky Photo: )

I decided on this beautiful cotton-candy pink, lace-rosette dress I found at Baby Gap.  It was a tiny bit big on her, but really so beautiful.

I went to a local bakery to order the cake - I showed her photos of the pink dress and asked her to make the frosting match the dress (pink!) and asked for white swiss dots.  I decided to use a clear blown glass Christmas ornament we have a set of to weigh down the balloons (my wife's parents bought them in Europe for us a bunch of years ago before the kids were born, and they're really beautiful) and I decided to use one of our vintage Jadeite plates (when I met my wife, she had a small collection of vintage Jadeite, and as a gift one year, I finished her collection with all original vintage pieces that I found on ebay and in antique stores, so Jadeite has meaning to our family, and we use it for special occasion place settings.)  I ordered bubble-gum pink and white balloons to match.  I had a vision.

Well, I went to the bakery to pick up the cake... and they opened the box - and showed me a peach and ivory cake!  NOT pink and white!  It was way too pale and totally the wrong color.  To say I was upset was putting it lightly. It didn't match the dress OR the balloons!  And it looked washed out, and more like a wedding or anniversary cake than a birthday cake.  The baker wasn't even nice about it and when I pointed out that IT WASN'T PINK, she told me "that's your opinion."  I literally cried in the bakery.  Big ole' first-world-problem tears, right there at the counter.  They basically told me "take it or leave it".  And since the photographer was due in 2 hours and probably had her car loaded with equipment already, I decided to take it.  (At full price... *grumble*)

We went ahead with the photo shoot anyway.  Coraline ate most of the flowers off the top of the cake, but the frosting was kinda hard/thick so she had a hard time really getting into the cake.  But it did get sufficiently smashed.

The happy part of this story - is that we got really good photos.  I was really happy with the results, and despite the cake being beige and not pink, it still was a pretty cake.  It was NOT what I wanted, but I decided not to let it ruin our photos.  Jenn at Satin Sky Photo did an amazing job, and all of the little details besides the cake, did photograph just as I had imagined them.

Next comes the scary part.  As the photographer and assistant cleaned up, I took off Coraline's dress (which was very cake-y) and she had hives all over her body.  From neck to diaper, front and back she had white pearl-sized hives, surrounded by red skin.  Since she has sensitive skin anyway (and breaks out from the littlest thing, even a TAG in her clothes will make her red and scratchy), I wondered if it was a contact rash, and so when the photographer left, I threw her in the bath.  I quickly washed her off, but by the time I got her out of the bath she was paste-y white pale and, well, for lack of a better word, floppy.   She couldn't hold her head up, she couldn't stand, etc.  She was also relatively non-responsive.  She just laid in her crib and looked at me with a blank stare (while I was running around trying to get my purse and things together to take her to the Urgent Care).  She started vomiting, and threw up in the car the whole way to the doctor's office.  They checked her breathing and pulse-oxygen, and decided we didn't need to give epinephrine or benadryl because she had thrown up so much of the frosting.   Within an hour she turned pink again and was back to "herself", but it was a very scary hour.

Last week, we finally got in to see the allergist.  On Thanksgiving morning I gave her scrambled eggs for the first time, and she threw up all over the place Thanksgiving afternoon.  (yuck).  I called the bakery, and the frosting had raw egg white in it (and she didn't really actually consume much of the cake itself, she mostly just ate the frosting flowers off the top).  So between these two things, I assumed she has an egg allergy.  The allergist did an egg allergy skin test, and not surprisingly, it came up positive.  And so we walked away with the Grand Prize - a prescription for Epi-Pens.   And I am now Mom-Who-Reads-Labels-On-Everything-And-Carries-An-EpiPen.   Definitely unfair to discover a food allergy while eating your own birthday cake.  But at least now we know, and now we're prepared.  There's a good chance she'll outgrow the allergy the doctor says (and we'll redo the test in a year), but there's also a good chance she's susceptible to other food allergies (namely nuts) that we need to look out for now.  So that's one more thing to add to Coraline's always growing medical resume.

So, Happy Birthday, You're Allergic to Eggs!   Though we did end up with REALLY adorable photos.  We ended up with probably close to 40 photos, but these are some of my favorites.

So, here they are, Coraline's First Birthday Cake Smash Photos.  (Thank you again to Satin Sky Photo!)

All photos are property of the photographer, and purchased by me - and may not be used/copied/altered in any way anywhere on the internet or in print.  Thanks in advance for respecting her work.

Please leave a comment!  How did you celebrate your babies' first birthdays?  And have YOU done a cake smash???  Link me to it, I'd love to see it!  Anyone else have egg allergies?  I'd love to hear about that too!  Which is your favorite photo?
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