New to the forum here. I've suffered from anxiety off and on for years, but it was managable until I started having kids. In college, I had a significant bout of health anxiety, mostly due to medical classes I was taking (I work in healthcare). I was certain I had MS/Myasthenia Gravis/ALS/Lupus. I, of course, did not. From college until now (about 12 years) my anxiety was insignificant and really didn't impact me on a day to day basis (as I had developed a pretty good anti-anxiety regime of healthy diet, LOTS of hard exercise and plenty of sunshine) However, now that I have kiddos, I've had 2 bouts of health anxiety about myself (once with MS again and once in my first pregnancy--I was sure that I had some placental issue--which I did not) And, I'm not able to get out as much and do the things that helped me control my anxiety as I had in the past.
Since having kids, the anxiety has gone into overdrive. I now have HA about my kid's health. I started worrying about autism when I was pregnant with my DD in 2011. I was OBSESSIVE in her pregnancy about avoiding fish, household cleaners (other than vinegar), eating organic, taking my vitamins, etc. Eventhough I did all this, I was certain that my DD who is now 2.5 had some form of autism when she was younger (she does not). I voiced these worries to my husband and other family members, who promptly thought I was nuts (not arguing there!). However, this anxiety did make it hard for me to enjoy her babyhood. Now, unfortunately, I'm doing it again. Only it's worse this time. I have a new baby, 3 month old little boy. He's just the sweetest thing. My pregnancy with him (a boy=higher risk of autism) was complicated, with some high BP (a risk factor for autism), DH is 37 and I was 35 when I had him ("older" parents=higher risk of autism) I was induced (a risk factor for autism) and when he was born he had (and still has) a high pitched cry (that can be related to autism according to a 2012 study). And now, because of all these "risk factors" I'm SURE he is going to develop autism. I watch him constantly for the "signs" waiting for him to regress or have his development slow (as is common with babies who go on to develop autism). It's terrible. And what's worse, I KNOW that if he did develop autism, well, we would do anything we needed to do to help him reach his full potential. It's not like autism is the end of the world. The rationale part of my brain knows this! And, why I'm focusing on autism, and not things like genetic disorders or childhood leukemia that are scarier and even deadly is BEYOND me. But, I guess that's the thing about anxiety/OCD (I've been told by my therapist that my worries have an OCD quality about them)-- they aren't logical. So, anyhow, here I am. I'd love support and strategies to help me get through this. I WANT to enjoy this baby, and love him for who he is, regardless of any outcome. I want to be a calm, loving and supportive mother and wife. anyhow, Hello, and thanks for reading.