When Joanne Mackie gave birth to her son James all she wanted to do was pick him up and hold him. But the 28-year-old mother from Britain wasn’t able to do any of that because it turned out she was allergic to her own baby.

Mackie, who developed painful blisters and a burning rash after giving birth, was even forced to cover herself in Muslin cloth before she went near her son, the U.K.’s Telegraph reported.

After undergoing a skin biopsy, it was discovered that Mackie was suffering from Pemphigoid Gestationis, which is a rare pregnancy-associated autoimmune disease. It’s been estimated to occur in only 1 and 50,000 pregnancies.

"The idea of not being able to hold James for that long was unbearable," Mackie told the Telegraph. "I was totally devastated. It felt like my world had caved in.”

The painful ordeal started the morning after James was born when Mackie began breast-feeding. That’s when a red blotchy rash began to spread over her entire body. Doctors eventually put her on a strong course of steroids and after a month the pain and blisters started to subside.

"Now I can cradle my little lad it's heaven," she said. "I never want to let him go now."

Click here to read more from the Telegraph.