I'm a new poster here and in desperate need of advice...
Here's a bit of background information - My daughter is 17 months old and my only child. Since she was born I've done AP - she spent the first 3 months in a ********** crib attached to our bed and then moved in with us. She was carried pretty much all the time during the day and was never left to cry for more than a minute at most - and that only because I couldn't pick her up at that particular moment!
She's always been a happy child and well ahead on all her milestones. She was crawling and cruising at 5 months and walking confidently at 10 months. Her verbal skills are also good. She's extremely active and energetic, but also extremely determined and stubborn (much like her parents). She won't generally nap during the day and then doesn't go to bed till late evening despite all attempts to get her to sleep - it's been like this since she was 12 weeks old. However she doesn't appear overtired or get whingy.
She had extreme separation anxiety from 7-15 months and we've just about turned the corner now. I am somewhat isolated in that I don't have friends or parents or family living near by so a lot of the time it was just the two of us (we do go to playgroups though). Although she has the SA, she is also a very confident child and not shy in the least - just doesn't like me being anywhere other than next to her or being picked up by other people!
The big issue is with food. I exclusively breastfed till 6 months and then did Baby-Led-Weaning but continue to breastfeed. Initially she was very keen to try food and would eat a fair bit. Now it's almost impossible - if I get 5 teaspoons of yoghurt in I have done well. Unfortunately she does like junk food - hand her a packet of crisps or some fries and the disappear very fast - but it's something that is very rare in our house. Otherwise she'll eat baked potatoes, rice and curry and pasta - but only a couple of spoonfuls or pieces. If I put her in a high chair she clamps her mouth shut, the only way to get anything in at all is to let her wander about and just give her bits and pieces off my plate or for us both to sit on the floor.
I would estimate that around 80% of her calories are from breast-milk - she's still nursing around every 3 hours day and night, which I don't have a problem with. My husband has severe allergies and is immunocompromised as he has no spleen and gets every illness and cold going. I have a great immune system and Daisy seems to have the same. So far she's had a couple of 2 day colds despite being exposed to my husband's illnesses.
My husband also has hereditary spherocytosis which is a dominant condition where your bloodcells are the wrong shape. They don't carry iron or oxygen in an efficient manner and it can make you very tired and anaemic as well as damaging your spleen. We had Daisy tested recently and fortunately she hasn't inherited the condition. However she did come back as anaemic, so we repeated the tests 6 weeks ago. Her haemoglobin levels were even lower, her ferretin level was 8 which is well below normal and her vitamin B12 was low (although folate levels were normal as were blood cell size so she doesn't have pernicious anaemia).
The specialists were stunned by the results as she is so incredibly active that no-one thought she would possibly be anaemic.
Anyway, she's now on vitamin supplements - except she doesn't like them, I can't mix them with food as she won't eat food and we're now having to hold a screaming child down and force them into her 3 times a day which is horrific and I hate having to do.
I'm under a lot of pressure to give up breast-feeding as people say that of course she won't eat - she's tanked up on breastmilk all day and night. The nutritionist is one of the few who says not to give up.
I don't know anyone in real life who does AP - and my friends with babies think that I am nuts and that it is the reason for the eating and the separation anxiety and once she's into her own bed and fully weaned she'll suddenly start to eat solids properly.
We're gradually moving her into her own bed for the evening and till she wakes up at night when she comes back in with us. It's been pretty hard-work - she got up again 133 times the first evening. Now, she protests a bit but does fall asleep if I feed her and sing to her. When she was going to bed in our room it was really easy and I didn't often have to feed her to sleep.
She's on the small side - 9th centile for weight and height (she was 75th at birth) but not skinny, although she's still in size 6-12 month clothes. My husband and I are both tall so people remark on it quite a lot more than they otherwise would. She doesn't look malnourished, but is a bit pale. If it wasn't for the vitamin situation I would be okay with her still being mainly breastfed, but I really can't ignore the low iron and vit B12.
The healthworkers are all planning a big case-conference and have indicated to me that they feel a large part of the issues are due to my still breastfeeding. I really don't want to traumatise her in any way and think weaning her before she wants to isn't a good or right thing to do - especially as she has only just started getting better regarding the separation anxiety. She's not attached to teddies or blankies and has never had a pacifier so boob is literally her only real 'comfort blanket' and I loathe the thought of saying no. As it is, if I'm in a situation where I have to say 'no for the moment' she gets frantic and I can't bear the thought of the 'Pees, Mama, Pees' that I'll be facing...
Sorry for the very long post, I'm just at my wit's end - I thought by doing AP and BLW I would avoid so many of these pitfalls and all I seem to have done is to arm the anti-breast feeding/co-sleeping/AP crowd!