Bug,  illos

Scary Shot Day

We just had a scare. Yesterday was Baby Bug’s two month check up and she got five big ugly scary vaccination shots. It was horrible. There she was so happy and innocent in only her diaper on the examination table, waving her arms around, smiling with glee and then… we let the doctor stick her in the leg with five big ouchy needles when she wasn’t expecting it at all!

She wailed and screamed! She cried like I’d never seen her cry before. Nothing I could do calmed her down. I dressed her, held her close, tried to let her nurse, gave her her pacifier, rocked her, covered her with her soft pink blanket… nothing helped. I felt like I’d betrayed her in the worst way. How could I let them poke her like that?!!

The doctor said she’d be a little grumpy until we got to the car. He was wrong. She was grumpy the whole ride home and more. To make it worse, when we got home I handed her off to her grandmother. Tuesdays are my get-some-freelance-work-done-while-Grandma-babysits day. You thought I was done working? I thought so too. But the work keeps on coming anyway. I think I’m busier now than ever! Who knew being a mom could make my art more marketable. Anyway, that’s a tangent. What I came here to say is: I made it all worse by handing Baby Bug off to her Grandma and then hiding myself in my room behind a closed door.

The poor baby! She was distressed and her mom turned her back on her! Thankfully, her Grandma is pretty good at soothing babies and managed to keep her cries somewhat muffled and distracted by endless bouncing in the baby sling. But really Baby Bug wasn’t happy. I just chalked it up as her usual five-seven fussiness but Grandma said she wasn’t herself. She thought maybe the shots were making her feel sick.

When Grandma left, I snuggled Baby Bug extra close and tried to make up for my two hour abandonment and a whole days worth of scary tramatic things. I forgot to mention I had given her a bath in the morning before the doctor’s appointment. She’s not so fond of baths, even though I’ve been giving her one almost every other day to combat the exploding poop and endless goopy eye problems. But the snuggling just wasn’t good enough.

Her cries got louder and louder as seven crept into eight and then nine–a whole two hours past her bedtime. Finally around nine-thirty, she just wore herself out crying. By this time I was getting really worried so I woke her up again to take her temperature. What an awful parent I am. She had to cry for another half an hour just to get over the scary thermometer being stuck up her butt and then Toby and I arguing over whether or not you are supposed to use vaseline on the thermometer etc etc… It was awful. I’m surprised she hasn’t packed her bags and moved out.

She did sleep. But not well. Usually Baby Bug just barely wakes up to eat and then falls back to sleep again. Last night she wailed every time she woke up. It was almost like she was having nightmares from the days events. I felt so bad. I didn’t mind waking up a zillion times to hold her and rock her, it was the least I could do to say how sorry I was for all the horrible things that had been happening.

Then I worried more… because I am a mom and I must worry. You see I’ve gone and caught a cold. $#@!! I’m hoping that she won’t catch it because she is drinking the super stealth antibodies in my breast milk. But there is still a chance since we were both exposed to it at the same time. If she has a cold (or flu I guess I should call it) then her body is weak when it needs to be strong to fight off all those scary vaccination germs. Maybe that is what is making her so sad and upset. I tossed and turned all night thinking about it.

This morning I cuddled her on the couch and it seemed like things were not getting better. I skipped my morning shower and decided today we were just going to lay low and be sick together. I would hold her all day if I had to. This actually appeals to me since I’m feeling like crap anyway.

But then around ten-thirty as I put her on the changing pad to change yet another diaper, she smiled at me! And then she smiled some more! In fact, she smiled a lot and giggled and kicked and acted like her old happy self!!! I fed her and put her down for a nap in the bugaboo and she didn’t even scream. She slept a bit and then occupied herself for quite a while batting at her little crab toy that I keep attached to the side of the stroller. She’s never played with her crab toy this much. She bats at it now and then but I can’t figure out if it’s just in the way of her flailing arms or if she really is playing with it. Today she was definitely playing with it.

She seems happier than ever. Go figure!


  • Xangelle

    Hey SAJ,

    Those damn vaccinations…one thing to be aware of. Mark the date of the shot on your calendar, and then count 2 weeks. Sometimes the baby’s will have a bit of an off day about 2 weeks after their shots(might have a fever or just cry a lot). If you are aware that it might happen, then it won’t be so scarey if it does.

    The first time it happened to me I freaked, thought my kid was brutal sick, then my mom told me to expect it, and I did with all the other shots, and my other kids. I still stressed when they weren’t feeling well – what mom doesn’t – but expecting it made it somehow easier.

    Your little girl is SOOOOO cute. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You sound like you are doing an amazing job. This motherhood thing is a lot harder than people think it should be.

  • Becky Z

    Taking my baby to the doctor sounds scary to me. It sounds terrible to see your own baby being poked by a needle. I’m scared already for when that time comes.
    I’m going to be such a worried mother all the time. I’m already worried now that I’m expecting.

  • comfortablycrazy

    SuperChic had to get three shots yesterday. She is also in a very bad, you must hold me, but don’t look at my owie, and don’t even think of touching my band aid or I’ll kill you with my death ray vision type of mood. Baby Bug will be sore for a few days. Don’t be surprised if she gets a lump that doesn’t go away for a week or two also. Just be careful of her owie spots. There is nothing worse than putting your little one through something that makes them hurt. In our case Grandma took her, but she wasn’t mad at her or anything. I hope you feel better.

  • Sara

    Poor baby. I’m happy she’s feeling better. As for the thermometers, I highly recommend getting an ear thermometer. It’s totally worth the extra cash (we got the Oral B brand) and it only takes 3 seconds to get a reading. You can use it when you’re sick too! Hope you get over your cold soon!

  • american girl

    Whoa. We are living parallel lives, SAJ! I had to take Cate to the dr yesterday also for immunizations…only hours after she threw up (not spit up)! I figured she wouldn’t get the shots since she might be sick, but the dr wasn’t too concerned. She screamed at the two needles, and was fussier than usual last night. However. She did get over it, thanks in part to the Infant Tylenol the dr gave me to give her. 1ml every 4 hours for a whole day. It’s helped her sleep through most of today and hopefully the worst of the muscle soreness in her fat little legs will be gone when I stop the Tylenol.

    Anyway, hope Baby Bug is continuing to smile and melt your heart!

  • BeachMama

    Sorry you had a rough go with the shots. We found that 10 days later “J” would get a low grade fever. At the same time, we only have one shot at a time as opposed to your 5.

    How cute that Baby Bug is loving her crab!

  • Sarah

    Wow…five shots! Felix got all five in one shot. Thank gosh. Also, the doctor asked me to hold him and Tibo to talk to him as he said it helps relax the babies. At three months, he has two rounds so far and he hasn’t cried once. Maybe ask if you can hold her next time? (But…who knows…can anyone deal with five shots?)

  • Rae

    I just happened onto your site and see your Baby Bug and my Leaf Baby were born two days apart. It’s so cute to see your pics since somehow babies at this age look so much alike, even if they look different. The smiles, the way they crinkle their faces. I haven’t taken Leaf in for his two-month appt yet, though. Not looking forward to it.

  • Lisa

    Poor Baby Bug, but more importantly Poor MOM! I think we take it harder than they do. She has forgotten already, YOU will feel guilty for ages. My daughter used to get horrible fevers from the shots and was miserable for a few days, then all of a sudden POOF, back to normal. It gets easier, and don’t feel guilty. A few hours of discomfort is nothing compared to the diseases the vaccianations prevent.

  • wookie

    My doc suggests pre-dosing them with a bit of infant tylenol prior to the shots, and having been through it with both kids… it really helps. Keep dosing every 4-6 hours until the next day, and things seem to settle out.

    What on earth were they giving her that required 5 needles? Here we get MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) in one needle, and Diptheria/Polio/a bunch of other stuff in another. One per leg (and they mark on the card which went into which leg, so they can track if the babe has a reaction to one.

  • Captain Mom

    I just hate those shots. I used to get all set to nurse, then let me stick my baby, so I could immediately pop a nipple in the wailing mouth. Maybe I could have warped all their love of nursing! I just thought of that! But, alas, I didn’t seem to, and sometimes it helped distract them. I also, if the shots were just 2, would request one nurse on each leg, to do it simultaneously, so that it would be one big pain, instead of two. I so know how bad it feels for you! I really think it actually does hurt us more than them (although in this case Baby Bug sure put up an unhappy!)

    And just P.S. I adore your drawings.

  • something blue

    We go for another round of shots tomorrow. I am soooo dreading it. Unfortunately it never gets easier but I just keep reminding myself that it is for her health.

    Your Baby Bug is beautiful!

  • Aunt Jaynette

    Just think about how horid it would be if they caught any of the things they are getting shots to prevent. A little pain now to prevent a whole lot of pain later. My two are only 14 months apart and in that time they developed the chicken pocks vacine. Mitchell had chicken pocks at 9 months. I couldn’t touch or look at his poor speckled skin. Becky got the shot and won’t get them. Unless the shot wears off when she’s an adult.
    We decided to not have Mitchell cercucized until he was 2 weeks or 2 months old. (He’s 11 now I don’t remember) Brion wanted to know what he was like healthy so we would know what sick really was. Anyway, I almost passed out. The Dr told me to sit down before I fell down. They were busy and wouldn’t be able to attend to a fainting mom.
    It gets better. And a day on the couch solves a lot of problems.

  • lauren

    i 2nd whoever said to give her a dose of tylenol before hand .. you can also try nursing her while she gets the shots .. ya know, as long as you don’t mind giving a little boobie show.


  • Sandra

    Oh man I remember those, thankfully my babies didn’t cry much, I was usually the one standing over them bawling. How embarassing for me, but I didn’t care, it’s horrible watching your babies get shots.

    I hate to say it, but you will get used to seeing her get the shots, even though everytime that needle gets near your heart breaks for them, but you know what I tell myself “It’s ok, it’s just a few seconds of this to ensure she stays healthy”.

    The best part for me, after the shots, I take them home and get to give them TONS more mommy love and cuddling. :)

  • Lu

    You never totally get used to the shots, but you have to. They will be going on for about two years. What I have found really helps is if you give her some Motrin before the appointment you know she is going to have shots at. My kids did scream, but they would also go to sleep in the car. See if you can not alter her nap schedule and make her appointments close to nap time. She will tend to go to sleep afterwards.

    Good luck and stop feeling guilty all the time. Everything you are going through is NORMAL. That does not make you a bad mother!! OK?! ;)