My anxiety is at its peak when my child is sick

It's 3 a.m. My body feels heavy and exhausted, but my mind is wide awake and racing. Your little body is next to mine, hot to the touch yet I can feel you shake with chills that no amount of blankets can seem to calm.

After hearing you cry out for me from your room, I carried you into our bed even though we usually don't allow it. I brought you in because you looked up at me and through tears you said, "Mommy, please stay with me. I really don't feel good."

It's times like this when my anxiety is at its worse. I feel like a heavy weight is pressing down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. My thoughts move quickly through my brain so that each one just seems to be a continuation of the one before.

What if his fever gets any higher?

What if the doctor was wrong and it's not just a virus?

Obviously the rest of us are going to get this.

Now that I think about it, I feel like I might be warm.

He was around family yesterday.

Now everyone is going to get sick and judge me for bringing my sick kid around them.

If we're all sick, we're going to miss that party Saturday and I don't want to feel left out.

I wonder if my thermometer is working correctly.

We need to get more Lysol and hand sanitizer.

What if I fall asleep and his fever gets too high and I don't notice and he doesn't wake up.

I know these thoughts are a bit ridiculous because I have no business worrying about things I have no control over. At least that's what people tell me. All the time.

The thing is though, I have no control over my anxiety either. I literally can't just turn off my brain like a light switch. It doesn't work that way. I wish it did—more than anything. That I could just let it go and move on. I wish that I didn't have moments where I felt so alone, so scared, so helpless, so unsure about everything except the fact that something bad is going to happen.

Tonight—right now—the only thing I can do is remind myself that this will pass. The fog will lift eventually, and the fear will slip away.

I will remember that I am loved.

I will remember that I have faith.

I will remember that I am strong and resilient.

I will remember that I'm an amazing mama.

I will remember that even though I have no control over my anxiety, my anxiety does not control me.

Until then, I will focus on you. My sweet baby.

I will watch your chest rise and fall in a steady rhythm that almost matches the breath of your daddy next to you.

I will place my hand gently on your back and let my heavy eyes close. I will lay with you, and together, we will help each other feel better.

At least for tonight.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


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