Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vexed About Vax

Yesterday was Nate's 2-month pediatric appointment. Yes, he's over 10 weeks old so we are a little delayed. I guess my subconscious mind allowed me to procrastinate because I knew what was coming. That's right - vaccinations. FOUR of them.

For the life of me, I can't understand why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends administering four shots all at once. I realize there is no solid research or evidence that today's vaccinations cause developmental disorders such as autism. Many questionable ingredients in vaccines, such as thiomersal, have been removed but are still used in third world countries. To my knowledge, the prevalence of autism is not higher in those countries. And neither DH nor I have ever had any adverse reactions to vaccines. Common sense just tells me it is too much for a little baby to take. Hell, I had an MMR booster last year and it left a painful knot on my arm for days. I wanted to split up the vaccines so that Nate could get two shots each in two separate visits. However, my unsympathetic insurance company would not cover both visits. Nice to know they have my baby's comfort in mind when they approve these preposterous policies.

Needless to say, I was dreading this day.

He was in such a good mood in the morning, smiling and cooing. Blissfully unaware of what lie ahead. He slept on the way to the doctor's office and only woke when I had to undress him for the weigh-in. My chunky monkey is now 13 lbs. 2 oz. and 24.25 inches long. I admit I smile smugly when they tell me he's in the 70-80th percentiles for height and weight. It makes me feel good to know my very own boobs are making all that cute little baby fat possible. At least one (make that two) of my body parts can perform their inherent function without the assistance of medication.

Even after the intrusive rectal thermometer dance that squashed any rumors of constipation, Nate was still in good spirits. I spoke to the doctor about some recent incidents in which a projectile milk missle has unexpectedly shot out of his nose cannon, causing gagging, gasping, choking and congestion as well as a raise in Mommy's blood pressure. She officially diagnosed him with reflux - which I've assumed since he was born - but said that since he is gaining like a champ, there really is no reason to introduce medications. I agreed and said I'd call if it worsened or caused him more discomfort than usual. She said it would go away as his digestive system matured and his esophageal sphincter strengthened.

Then came the shots. I initialed the consent form hesitantly as if I were signing a declaration of war. As he laid on the exam table, I grit my teeth in anticipation, watching intently as the nurse prepped his left leg. I stuck my finger in his tiny palm and gently rubbed his bald head. I watched the first needle go in and after a pout of sheer horror, he cried out in pain. Second shot went same as the first. I spoke to him softly, telling him it would all be over soon. Over to the right leg. Third shot. His crying became shrill and torturous. I apologized as warm, wet tears ran down my cheeks. I felt so helpless and horrible as I watched his little body turn red with fury and disbelief. Fourth shot same as the one before it. I could barely wait for the syringe to exit his chubby thigh before I scooped him up in my arms. His repugnant look stung my heart, as if to say, "how could you do this to me, Mommy?" I knew that vaccinations were a necessary evil but I couldn't help feeling like a bad guy. He never knew the throes of pain before this and yet I had to be the one to inflict it upon him.

I whipped out the one thing in this world that makes his boo-boos all better - the all-powerful, almighty boob. He suckled as though it were an oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert. After just a few minutes, the grueling experience was behind us. He passed out from sheer exhaustion and stayed asleep for almost 2 hours. When he woke up, I gave him a dropper-full of Tylenol (mmmm, grape) and held him close. His tear-stained eyes glanced up at me and as I whispered to him, he let out the slightest hint of a smile.

I interpreted that to be a sign of forgiveness.

Throughout the evening, he was a bit clingy and did not want to be put down for a second. He snuggled with me as we watched the presidential debate and fell asleep for good around 930pm. Just a few nursing sessions during the night and he woke up at 7am a new man baby. Are vaccinations a rite of passage? If not, they should be.

We're both looking forward to a new day.


Fertilized said...

YEAH . You survived. And so did he. I am so sorry the poor lil one had to get the stick. We have our 4 month appoint in a week.. Not looking forward to that.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Poor little guy. Lemy absolutely lost her shit after her vaccinations and she gave me that same look. My mom came with me to the appointment and by the end of the vaccinations all three of us were sobbing. I, too, whipped out the boob and that helped to calm her down immensely. I agree with you, I think 4 at one time is just too much. And then they have to have the same ones at 4 months too. Bleh.

He is getting so big though! We took Lemy to the ped today (pooping issues) and she was 13lb, 4oz...mind you she was just 12lb, 8 oz last Monday. I, too, was proud of my boobs at that moment. It's so nice to be proud of my body for once.

Hope you all are doing well! ((HUGS))

Chili said...

Personally, I'd rather get it over with all at once than split up. The symptoms and recovery time seem to be the same whether it's two shots or four (M only had to have two needles at two months, but that was eight years ago).

I wish I could be proud of my boobs, but they are turning out to maybe be as crappy as my ovaries. Glad that yours aren't being so stubborn!

Geohde said...

Yeah, they get over it :)

My two had forgotten all about it by the next day