Yesterday we had our 6-week check up, and Miss Milly had her first round of vaccinations. We went and had them at the doctor’s clinic with the health nurse, as the council immunization program is coming to town the same day as my first parenting group. The nurse was the same lady who looked after me during my pregnancy when an abdominal cyst struck me down with sudden and intense pain, so it was nice for her to now meet my baby.
We sat down, and the nurse explained that there were two needles and an oral medication. The latter was to help prevent gastro, which can be quite serious in babies. The needles – pneumococcal and whooping cough – were to be administered one into each leg. The thigh muscle is the biggest, and the needle does go in all the way, which is a bit scary!
Our nurse likes to do the needles first, because she finds that the oral liquid helps to soothe the baby by giving them something to suck on and distract themselves with. I recommend asking for your nurse to do this, as it was rather effective!
The first needle went in, and Amelia’s eyes went wide for a second or two – and then the wailing started. Something unexpected happened in that moment: I nearly cried! I had not expected to feel so very emotional but there I was, fighting back tears and reminding myself that it was for her own good, that it was much better than contracting a horrible illness. I now understand what a powerful thing the protective mothering instinct is!
The nurse made quick work of the second needle, and then started to slowly inject the liquid into her mouth. It took a few moments, but she finally decided that the liquid was more interesting than her pursuit of desperate wailing. By the time she had finished the liquid, she was falling asleep.
Later that afternoon we gave her some Infant’s Panadol, and she was once again a happy baby. It was certainly a case of (very) short term pain for long term gain!