The Monkey is stronger than me

Today was the Monkey’s two month pediatrician appointment, during which we he had to endure three needles to the legs. This was the Monkey’s first big round of vaccinations, and I hated watching him go through it. Thank God for the Zoloft, because this might have been the hardest thing I’ve gone through as a Mom! The Monkey was a tough little guy, though. A little bit of crying, but nothing that a bottle couldn’t soothe, and he was calm as could be by the time I dropped him and Hubby off at home and headed to work.I’ve dreaded this appointment for the past week. It didn’t help that every time I was in the pediatrician’s office I could hear agonizing screams from little ones in the neighboring rooms. It was all enough to make me understand why parents who don’t really understand the whole vaccination “debate” might choose to not get their kids immunized. Of course Hubby and I know better, and the Monkey is safer for it. But it really did show me how irrational you can become as a parent. The sound of your little one crying wailing can rip the heart strings straight out of your chest, and you’d do just about anything to make it stop.

This protective instinct is why we, as vaccine advocates, have our work cut out for us. Few parents have been swayed by reports that there is no link between vaccination and autism. We have to work that much harder to educate the public about why kids should be vaccinated. The science bloggers can and should do their part too. Why not spend a post or two talking about your experiences – as parents, clinicians, researchers, whatever. As hard as it was to watch the Monkey get stuck by those three little needles this morning, I’d hate to think what it would be like to watch him coughing uncontrollably from Pertussis, or hospitalized with pneumonia due to Streptococcus or Hemophilus. After all, those three little shots were much harder on Hubby and me than they were on our little Monkey.

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7 thoughts on “The Monkey is stronger than me

  1. I was wondering, are the needles pretty small/thin?
    I guess the baby feels it going in or do you think they get scared by the initial push of the needle and then just cry more out of fear than pain?
    I was wondering if the baby was distracted, would they not even notice and not cry at all?

  2. He was pretty distracted, in that he wasn't really aware of what was getting ready to happen. I do think knowing what's coming makes it worse for the older kids. But he still felt it, and it definitely hurt. I just got the TDaP (one of the vaccines he got this morning) a couple of months ago, and my arm ached for a week. 😦 The needles weren't horribly huge, though, and the nurse was super-fast with the shots and band-aids…thank goodness.

  3. Great post. We are very big vaccine advocates as well. The problem with the media coverage of such stories is that they give WAY more attention to the initial study that found the apparent link than to the fact that the study had to be retracted. Unfortunately, it happens a lot that way :S

  4. As an immunologist, I hesitate to say this because there is some evidence it could marginally reduce vaccine efficacy.
    As a parent, I swear by giving them tylenol ahead of time. Roo actually did pretty well with his, but when they are getting their first shots they just look tiny and innocent and then confused and hurt and indignant. It is sad.

    However, once the little babies get more toddlery, they start wailing over sheer frustration- and it happens no matter what you do (e.g. “NOOOOOOOOOO! duplo blocks won't go together the way I want END OF WORLDAGGHHGHAHGHHH!!!KH#@JI@#H#@IOH@#I”). At that point, you get a little more callous about it- or at least I did. I guess I'm saying it got easier to see my kid suffer. As messed up as that is.

    Also, TDaP SUCKS. I once fainted from that thing. *shudder*

  5. I also give Tylenol before hand.. and I even nursed thru one round once (where they did three shots) which worked amazingly well.

    On a good note, the monkey won't love you any less.. That is the best part of the baby stage: They won't remember ANY of it so you really can't screw it up!

  6. Mini-xx has never screamed so loud or with a pitch so high as when she got her first and second round of vaccine.
    I had the opposite feelings about the appointment. While I felt bad for her being temporarily in pain, I was relieved for her to start getting her vaccines.

  7. @Becca and LM – I completely forgot to call the pediatrician last week about giving some Tylenol…I guess I was trying to block the appointment from my mind. 😉

    @MXX – Don't get me wrong – I'm relieved now about him having the vaccines, and I've been “looking forward” to him being vaccinated for a while. Incidentally, I've had a few friends whose kids have contracted Whooping Cough at day care in spite of being up on their immunizations, which makes me wonder about the B. pertussis strain that's out there right now. I sometimes wish I could just put the Monkey in a bubble. 😦

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