Yesterday started with a muggy thunderstorm and ended with my little one pouting in my arms. We agreed before Ziva was born that we would be vaccinating her, even though all of the hullabaloo about vaccines had me a little nervous about how she would react. Even if her reaction was purely emotional distress (and nothing physical), I wasn’t looking forward to it.
Maybe it was my subconscious attempting to avoid the whole thing that led me to completely missing her original appointment on Friday, maybe it was just general new-mommy over tired forgetfulness, either way the mishap led to my having to take little Z to the doctor today without the emotional support of her daddy’s presence. I wanted us both there so that Ziva wouldn’t associate just me with a negative experience, or to somehow stop trusting me. In the end, I had to just mommy-up and take our little girl on my own.
We love our pediatrician and the first half of the appointment went smoothly as usual. Ziva was snoozing in my arms when the nurse came back in to give her 1 oral vaccine and 2 shots. She suckled on the oral vaccine dropper and seemed to take it down okay, even offering the nurse a few faint smiles as she started to stir awake. I even held on to a moment of hope that she might sleep right through the whole ordeal and we’d all walk away unscathed. Unfortunately, that hope was dashed as her whole body curled to the left as the shot entered her little chunky left thigh. I could see the look, a mixture of fear, surprise and betrayal, wash over her little face. She let out all of her breath and then paused, mouth agape and brows scrunched together as she gradually turned tomato red. Kissing and shushing and repeating (to us both, I think) “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay,” I tried to calm her and get her to take a breath in.
The second shot in her right thigh only made it worse. She took a short little hiccup of a breath in before pausing again in a dramatic pre-wailing expression. When she finally sucked in her breath she began to wail and shudder with big alligator tears. It was completely heart breaking. All I wanted to do was cry along with her… but I didn’t want to upset her any further by making her feel insecure so I managed to keep it together. I wrapped her up in my arms and bounced, shushed and kissed her. Aaaaaannd, she threw up all down my shirt launching herself into an even more dramatic fit of tears and sorrow.
Once we were both cleaned up she nestled into my bust taking shuddering little breaths as she nursed away. Occasionally she would look up at me with her intense dark blue gaze. With all the drama and concern of a first time mommy, I couldn’t help but read betrayal in her gaze. As she nursed I reassured us both that this was necessary and done with only the best of intentions. Eventually she seemed to come around and we packed ourselves up and headed home.
Despite tears and a little spit-up (which is part of our daily norm), Ziva handled the whole appointment and the shots very well. Actually, I think we both made it out the other side intact and I feel just a little more confident that I can handle the appointment on my own again next time. I guess it was worth mommy-ing up and doing this one on our own.
Now, the time after is another story. After waking up from her nap Ziva went back and forth between sleeping and wailing. As hard as this is to deal with (my heart is breaking for her little body going through whatever discomfort she’s going through), but I have to believe this is a temporary discomfort for a long term gain. Hopefully we truly are protecting her and doing what is right. I don’t believe in the vaccines=Autism allegations at all, but I am very careful about what I put into her and my body and this is a calculated decision we made to protect her and others in the herd from sickness. Thankfully, with just one dose of infant Tylenol she seemed to feel better and woke up this morning completely herself.
Please refrain from judging comments or attacks. Every family makes the decision for what they believe is best for their children and we have decided that vaccinating our child is necessary and for the greater good.