Sorry, Mom, for my choice of words in the title. But, after Wednesday, I think you'd agree that it's appropriate. Katie Wynn's 2-month shots were so easy and not-a-big-deal-at-all that I kinda rolled my eyes at all those other moms that always talk about dreading shots day and fevers and tylenol and blah, blah, blah. I think God used our 4-month shots checkup as an opportunity to put me in my place. And God? If you're reading this? Point taken. I got it.
The day started out fine, luckily. The previous night our little town was in the path of a massive storm that was predicted to arrive around midnight. I had silently cursed Doc for going out of town and leaving Katie and I alone to hunker down and ride out the storm together. No, of course we had never discussed where the safest place in our new home was. And where the heck did he put all the flashlights? I finally found one, put it on the bedside table, and got everyone tucked in and asleep before the weather got bad. Even Lolli lucked out and got to sleep in the bed with me. Either it didn't ever get very bad, or we're all hard sleepers, cause we didn't wake up til my alarm went off the next morning. Phew! Crisis averted.
Wait, this was supposed to be about shots. Ok, so the day started off fine. We slept great, got up and ate, bathed, got dressed, and hit the road for our 9:00 doctor's appointment. For this checkup, we were visiting a different location in our doctor's practice. Five minutes of sitting in the waiting room and I was about ready to leave. Seriously, can parents not read? Why is your snotty-nosed kid sitting on the "Well" side and trying to touch my not-sick baby? (I realize that will probably be my snotty-nosed kid one day, but still...)
We got called back in a record amount of time - only 18 minutes of waiting! Past the waiting room doors, the office redeemed itself. It was much nicer back there where all the doctors and nurses hang out. Wonder if they've ever seen the waiting room? Maybe they should be required to spend their lunch break out there.
The nurse we saw is one we've had before. She calls my girl "Miss Katie" except she doesn't really pronounce the two s's, so it sounds like "M'Katie." M'Katie likes it; she gives the nurse good grins. I strip Katie down so the nurse can get all her stats. She's up to 24.5 inches long - five inches longer than when she was born. That puts her in the 75-90 percentile for height. I didn't catch her head circumference but it's in the 50-75 percentile, as is her weight. We're up to a whopping 14 pounds, 8 ounces. Almost exactly double her birth weight!
The nurse leaves us and we wait for the doctor. I snapped this pic of my happy girl. She was wearing a sleeveless onesie underneath a little jacket that the nurse had told me she could keep on. I thought it was hilarious that it looked like she was rocking a muscle shirt.
Shortly into our wait, there was a knock at the door and in walked Mimi!
With Mimi there, I was able to pull out the baby tylenol so that we could prepare for the shots. Last time she took the tylenol no problem. This time I squirted it in and she promptly spit it all back out, all over that nice white shirt she was wearing. How could she not like that grape flavor? I'm not gonna lie, it smelled so good that I kinda wanted a dose for myself.
We tried again and got a smidgeon of it to go down before the doctor came in. I really like this doctor, she is incredibly friendly and seems to love Katie. She's very thorough in her exam too, which I love.
This is where the day started to go south. Katie seemed to be checking out ok everywhere - eyes, ears, mouth, hips, belly, booty. Everything looked good. Then I picked Katie up and asked the doctor about her stork bite. I was pretty certain it was harmless, but I wanted to make sure. The doctor confirmed that it was, but then she started feeling around at the base of Katie's head, right where it meets her neck.
"Have those always been there?"
"Have what always been there?" I had no idea what she was talking about. She showed me two little fatty areas and mentioned grabbing another doctor to come in for a second opinion. I started getting nervous. She threw out words like lymph nodes and hermangioma which my ears put together and heard as lymphoma and before she could say "don't worry, it's nothing serious" my overactive mind had diagnosed my daughter with cancer and tears sprung to my eyes.
The doctor, bless her heart, saw my face and back-pedaled as fast as she could, convincing me that there was absolutely no need to worry. She was pretty sure it was nothing at all, but just wanted another doctor to look at it to double check. I took a deep breath and calmed down.
While our doctor went to get another doctor, the nurse came back with those dreaded shots. Like last time, Katie was scheduled to receive one oral vaccine and three shots. And just like the tylenol, she spit most of the oral vaccine right out. I hope enough of it actually made it down to count. The nurse seemed to think so. With the last set of shots, she had a very delayed reaction and didn't scream or cry until the needles were already done. This time we were not so lucky. The tears and screaming came early and her little legs had to be held down.
She calmed down quickly, but not before sticking her bottom lip out at the nurse she had just earlier been grinning at.
Our doctor came back and brought not one but two other doctors with her. Having three doctors in the room made me nervous again. I held Katie still while they all rubbed the back of her little head. After less than five minutes, all three doctors agreed that it was nothing but a couple of fat pads. Baby fat, if you will. I suppose I should've been triple relieved to hear that, but my nerves were already too far shot for that. Two days removed, though, and I think I've already kissed those little fat pads a hundred times!
The rest of the morning and afternoon were fine. I assumed we were going to have a repeat of 2-month shots where my baby was totally fine afterwards. However, by evening she was not fine. The fever had started (her first ever) and I couldn't get her to drink any of her bottle. She had already skipped one and was still showing no interest. I'd tried giving her tylenol two more times and both times she'd spit it back at at me.
With Doc still out of town, I'd decided we were staying the night at my parents' house. The downside to my baby never being sick is that I had no idea what to do! My dad made it home from work and was able to get her to drink a little formula around 7:00. He's a baby whisperer of sorts, but don't tell him I said that.
Later that night, my mom and I got her back up to wash her off (she was sticky from spitting out tylenol all day!) and put on her pj's. For the first time since those yucky shots, we got a smile!
Mom was able to get her to drink one more bottle before bed. She was still feeling hot so we tried one more time to give her tylenol. This time I squirted just a little bit in her mouth at a time, and then gently blew in her face to get her to swallow. It was working well until the very last squirt of tylenol. I think she gasped when I blew in her face and it made her choke a little. I'm sure it was for only .005 seconds, but I panicked and yelled "BREATHE!" My mom quickly sat her up, just in time for her to throw up the entire bottle she'd just had (and the tylenol). It even came out her nose. I normally hate, HATE throw up, but I was really glad she was breathing!
So much for those smiles.
At some point in the evening we also realized that she had not pooped all day. (I swore I would not be a mom that talked about poop, yet here I am...) Seriously, shots? Fever, no appetite, sore legs, and constipation? That's just wrong. My poor girl also had a tummy ache, but even with us massaging her belly and legs, we couldn't help her.
That night was the first time she'd woken in the middle of the night in a looooong time. She spent most of the three o'clock hour crying, but finally fell back asleep. Thankfully, she seemed almost back to her normal self the next morning. Oh, and just in case you're wondering (I'm sure you're not), that poop didn't come until 4:15 the next afternoon, and the babysitter said it was baaaaad. Kinda glad I didn't get that diaper change! :)
I am thrilled to say my little girl has returned to her happy self. I am also using this experience as a reminder that some parents deal with sleepless nights, fussy babies, fevers, or much worse, all the time, and that I should count my blessings and be thankful that we don't have days like these often. But that doesn't mean I won't be wishing for a better experience when 6-month shots roll around!