Saturday, August 27, 2011

In which our tiny hero has his first experience with PAIN.

So Jim had his first shots on Wednesday, and it was pretty much the worst thing that's ever happened. To anyone. Ever.

On the up side, his bandaids were delightfully chipper.

But let's put off talking about the bad parts, shall we? The car ride was suitably pleasant. Noah has the strange habit of deliberately setting all clocks off by at least ten minutes, so I was convinced I was ten minutes late, but it turned out we were slightly early, so Jim got to look at all the interesting things in the waiting room (that is, one of those slidey-tubey toys, several brightly-colored chairs, two generic pastel seascapes, and a bratty toddler).

When we got called back, Jim got to get nekkid, which was not his favorite part of the morning thus far. Apparently frozen children are healthy children, because the entire building seems to be kept at visible-breath conditions. Jim was stoic, though, as long as he had some flannel polka dots protecting his teeny butt from frostbite.

After disrobing, we got to go check his growth. There was no poop on the scale this time, glory be, and he didn't even fuss when they put him on the rack to check his length. He weighs 13lb 7.5oz (55th percentile), is 24 inches long (52nd percentile), and has a 43cm head (88th percentile). So, he's basically average-sized (which is good, considering he was tiny at birth) with an extraordinarily large head. Have to put the brains somewhere, no?

Pudgy thighs are also good for brain storage, according to Noah.

After the weights-and-measures portion of the competition came the actual visit with the pediatrician. This part was fairly uneventful. He praised Jim's growth, looked him over, made sure he was developing properly, and expressed proper admiration at his prodigious skill in rolling over. Then the dirty coward left the room and sent in a nurse to do the dirty work.

Have you ever considered how much it must suck to make children miserable as a profession? No doubt they keep a scoreboard at the nurses' station to keep track of tears induced per nurse, possibly with prizes for top performers. Prizes make everything easier to take.

Sorry, I just love his chubby little legs.

Anyway, the nurse came in, armed with syringes and vials and all manner of arcane tools. Jim was happily lying on the exam table, unaware of what horrors were in store. We got down to business fairly quickly with a tube of orange liquid (Tylenol, apparently, but arsenic for all Jim knew). It smelled like Dayquil, and by Jim's reaction, tasted like it, too. It took about three attempts to get it down his throat, and that got him properly started on the path to fussiness. I'm guessing it was especially shocking because the only things he'd ever swallowed before were breastmilk and the occasional cat hair.

Next came the rotavirus vaccine, which is also oral, and apparently even nastier than orange Tylenol. This took about five attempts, and I'm pretty sure a good half of it went down his chin and all over his chest. Good thing he was still naked. By the time he got that down his gullet, he was crying for serious. The first injection (Hepatitis B) came next, and produced more wailing than I've seen out of the poor little dude since he was born. So at this point he's sobbing, and I'm sniffling, and the nurse brandishes two more needles and goes, "These ones burn some, so he might cry a little."


Oh? Oh, I see. She stuck them in mercifully quickly, and I guess he had some reserves left, because he screamed his poor little gargantuan head off. I'm pretty sure the nurse was delighted to pack up her torture implements and leave behind the overly-sympathetic sobbing chick and hyperventilating bright-red baby. The hysteria abated about a minute after she left, but it took probably a good fifteen minutes to calm him down to anything approaching his normal equanimity.


Fortunately, there were no lasting effects. No crying after the first bit, no irritability, no fevers or comas or brain-swelling or ACME Instant Autism. He napped in the car and for an hour when we got home and then was his usual smiley self for the rest of the day. Hopefully the next batch (in October) will be less traumatic, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

And no, I don't feel guilty. It sucked for about twenty minutes, but hey, it beats polio.


Rosa said...

I feel for you. I remember having to hold Noah's leg for them to do that. I'm glad he(and you) recovered quickly. I would have held your hand if I was there.

Ma said...

I was always chicken. Whenever I could, I stayed out of the exam room and made John go in with them.