*Please be warned, this entire post is a clusterfuck of bad writing.*
Being a parent ages you.
I used to think this was bullshit but let me explain why I’ve changed my mind.
They say young people don’t think about consequences, especially not about death. That our brains simply aren’t really capable of it and we all have an “It won’t happen to me, I’m too young attitude.” Yet, the second you get pregnant all you think about is death and every other thing that CAN happen.
Being a parent is terrifying. First it’s worry about miscarriage, then worry about premature birth, stillbirth, uterine rupture, hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, you name it you fear it. After the baby comes, it’s worry about SIDS, weight gain, poop, allergies, and what this post is really about, VACCINATIONS.
*Morbid sidenote: I don’t know if other people feared their own death as much as I did, but the thought never left my brain. When I hemorrhaged after Emi was born I didn’t even panic, I actually thought, “I knew it.”
Everyone has their own opinions on vaccinations; whether to get them or not, which ones to get, how soon to get them, how many at a time, blah blah blah blah. It’s a personal choice, one of a billion a parent has to make for their child, and I think every family should make an INFORMED decision that works for them. As for my family, we chose to vaccinate.
Emilia has been a CHAMP so far, she barely blinked at her PKU test, she doesn’t seem to care that her intestines fall through her pelvis occasionally, and her first round of vaccines resulted in a whole 45 seconds of crying and maybe a little more clingy-ness that night. (In all fairness, the clingy-ness might have been more on my part because my heart was breaking that my poor little baby had to be poked in any way.) I mean, child tries to drown herself on a nightly basis, she’s a badass.
Enter her 4 month vaccinations. First shot, no reaction save for a little side eye at the nurse who was restraining her from rolling or kicking her legs. How dare you nurse, don’t you know that’s her favorite things in life? Second shot?
It took about 2.5 seconds for her to register that something had happened, something PAINFUL ,and oh dear lord she must scream as loud as her lungs will allow. It took me 2.7 seconds to try to pick her up (the nurse was still putting a band-aid on her leg) and 3 second to succeed and hold her as close and tight as I could without hurting her.
I nursed her before her shots and then about 45 seconds after to try to help her with the pain and it seemed to work since she stopped screaming and settled into her car seat for a quick nap. (Shock? Maybe, but probably not she does usually nap after I pick her up from daycare. I don’t want to think about it.) She woke up, I bathed her and she was her normal, happy playful self. Trying to drown herself and all of that jazz. We spent some time on the floor playing with toys and taking pictures and all seemed well. She was fussy and tired so I took her to bed, nursed her down and then went to watch some Glee with the Hub after which we joined her in bed. (Family bed, woot!)
At midnight she woke up SCREAMING, not a normal “I’m hungry and I can’t find your nipple” cry but an “OH MY GOD SOMEONE IS KILLING ME!”, blood chilling, instant panic inducing, wail. (By the way if you are reading this and know anything about proper grammar, sentence structure, and other proper english stuff – I do not and I apologize for what I am sure is a painful reading experience for you.) I picked her up and tried to get her to latch but she wouldn’t. I jumped out of bed thinking standing might help but it didn’t. I ripped her PJs open to make sure her skin wasn’t broken out or splotchy, checked to make sure there were no hard lumps or issues at her shot sites and tore her diaper off to make sure her hernia wasn’t incarcerated. Nothing.
Notice, the words I used, jumped, ripped, tore… I was in no way or shape calm at this point. Lights were on, pets were up, and I was unsuccessfully trying to calm my poor little princess down.
Where was the Hub, you ask? Asleep. Amidst all of this panic he was face down in his pillow oblivious to the world. So what is my next move? I kicked him and yelled, “WAKE UP GOD DAMNIT I NEED YOUR HELP!” (Sorry Hub, you know I don’t handle stress well.) “SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH EMILIA, THIS IS NOT NORMAL! WAKE UP I NEED YOU TO LOOK UP VACCINE REACTIONS AND TO GET THE PEDIATRICIANS NUMBER AND HERE, HOLD HER I HAVE TO TAKE HER TEMPERATURE! (she starts crying harder) GIVE HER BACK! COME WITH ME!”
That right there, that is sheer new mom ridiculous-ness.
Poor Hub, I’m surprised he didn’t think the worst and freak out too. He just stood there, dumbfounded as I barked orders at him yet did everything myself. After throwing the contents of her medical kit bag all over her room I finally got her temperature and calmed down a bit when I saw she didn’t have a fever. (Fever, brain swelling, seizure, add that to the fear list.) Hub followed me into the living room and looked up vaccine reactions (Fuck you, Yahoo answers and the absurd amount of fear-mongering, anti-vaccine commenters. Who are also anti-tylenol, news to me.) and our pediatricians on-call number. Which obviously I need to put on the fridge but hey, BAD MOM right here. I wanted to give her Tylenol to help her but the bottle doesn’t give you a dosage, you need to get it from a doctor. I finally got a hold of the pediatrician who gave me the proper dose three times because I kept saying “It’s the concentrated stuff, are you SURE it’s the right dose?” (fear of drug overdose) and had to mix it with some breast milk to get it down her throat. The crying lessened, Hub went back to bed and after about 30 minutes we were able to join him. Emi slept on my chest (her usual place in times of stress) and I stayed awake and listened to make sure she was breathing. It was a pretty restless night.
So come October, I won’t be taking shots in a bar like most 23 year olds, on my birthday. I’ll be at home, with my baby, checking her breathing and worrying about the ulcer I am undoubtedly developing.