Motherhood and anxiety…

I’ve found myself struggling recently. Not in terms of fitness, in fact my workouts seem to be the only thing going to plan at the moment. More in terms of motherhood. I generally keep this blog mainly health and fitness orientated, but I thought I should do a sort of explanation post for the lack of content recently.

For those of you that haven’t read any of my earlier posts I am currently a stay at home mum to my 15 month old son Rafe. I practise attachment parenting, which basically involves spending practically all my time with my child. We co-sleep (I believe in gentle parenting methods so no sleep training that involves crying) I baby wear (toddler wear?) and I am still breastfeeding. This all sort of happened by accident (see earlier post on attachment parenting) but I love it and it works for us.

Now that I have given up work and become a full time mum/ housewife (I use the term ‘housewife’ loosely…I am neither married or particularly enthusiastic about housework) my whole world basically revolves around my child. And I love this. I don’t have a particularly good relationship with my own parents (which I think has had a big influence on the parental choices I make) and the bond that I have with my son more than makes up for any of that. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to be his mum, but I have found that becoming a mother has had a huge impact on my anxiety. Firstly I have huge separation anxiety when it comes to leaving my child with anybody. It’s not a case of not trusting others or their ability to look after him, I just worry that something will happen while I am not there, like he will choke on something or there will be a freak accident and he will get hurt.

Recently aswell some concerns have arisen over Rafes health. I found some enlarged occipital lymph nodes on the back of his head. Google provided mixed messages as to whether these were anything to worry about but I decided to take him to my GP to have them checked out anyway. He was referred and after a blood test revealed he has slightly raised levels of LDH (Lactate Hydrogenase) and mild anaemia I am even more concerned. Higher than average levels of Lactate Hydrogenase can be caused by several different conditions, one of which being anaemia and another of which being certain cancers. Apparently unless the levels are in the 1000’s (which Rafes aren’t) it’s not hugely concerning for the specialists, but as a mother it’s made me incredibly worried. I am now supplementing Rafe with iron and we have another blood test booked in a few weeks to monitor the levels of LDH. I am hoping they will go down if we get rid of the anaemia. We also have a routine appointment with a paediatrician later this month which I am hoping will provide some answers in terms of the Lymphadenopathy. Although swollen lymph nodes are incredibly common in young children and can be caused by all number of different things Rafes have been there for months and don’t seem to be going anywhere so I am just hoping and praying it’s nothing sinister. I have a habit of assuming the very worst.

Obviously finding out your child is deficient in something their diet should be providing makes you feel like a complete failure as a mother. I pride myself on leading a healthy lifestyle and trying to feed my son nutritious foods where possible…but he won’t eat. What do you do if your child refuses anything you make? He goes through phases where he will eat pretty well for a week or so and we think we have cracked it, but it never seems to last. And there is very little you can do to force a fussy toddler to eat without causing huge amounts of stress for everyone involved. He rarely touches any form of meat, doesn’t like lentils or hummus so I am at a bit of a loss what to feed him to get his iron levels up. As mentioned I give him the supplement ‘Wellbaby’ that contains vitamins and minerals including iron but I would prefer that he got it from his diet.

So that is what has been going on with us recently. I am not coping especially well with motherhood at the moment and I am incredibly stressed and worried that my child could be seriously ill. I feel like I have been driving myself crazy ‘googling’ the most awful possibilities as to what could be wrong with my baby and I know that it’s unhealthy I just can’t help doing it. I was in two minds whether to share this on my blog but I have decided to put it on here. If anyone has any experience of Lymphadenopathy with their child or higher than average levels of LDH and have any information please let me know. Or if you have any tips on getting a toddler to eat those would be appreciated too!

Jess xox

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