(I just found this post; thought I had published it but it was languishing in my drafts folder. Sorry! I wrote it nearly two weeks ago now…)
Ooh! Well that was a turnout for the books! I’ve just experienced the most primal, intense feeling of protectiveness over Baby A, followed by a bit of a secret cry, head in handbag (pretending to look for wipes) so that the community nurse wouldn’t see me. Yes, friends, we’ve just done the “eight week jabs”. Vaccinations, in case “jabs” isn’t a globally-used term.
Firstly, I’d like to say that nothing could have prepared me for the new type of scream that came out of my baby’s mouth when the injection went in. It wasn’t like the gentle little cries that you get when a baby is hungry, and it’s not even like those angry, red-faced screams that you get when a baby is…er…hungry. Or overtired. Or windy. It had something of an adult “edge” to it – a properly shocked, pained scream. It tugged at my heart-strings, I tell you! I was actually quite surprised at myself, because I had pooh-poohed the suggestion that I might feel as upset as the baby (my sister was in pieces when she took my niece for hers) but when I saw her little round face and all of the hurt surprise written upon it… well. One thought went through my head and that thought was I will do absolutely everything in my power, from this day on, to make sure that you never need to unnecessarily feel pain.
Secondly, and again, this was a surprise: nothing could have prepared me for the fact that this primal instinct kicked in and I wanted to just bundle up my baby and take her out of reach. Obviously I know that you can’t, and that these vaccinations have to be done, but still – after the first one had gone into the left leg, I did very much feel as though I didn’t want the second one going into the perfect, pudgy right leg! The poor thing – she looked up at me before the first jab with such trust in her eyes, and gave me a massive smile, and then in went the nurse with her big old needle.
I can only hope that Baby A doesn’t remember this little episode and hold it against me. She’s currently sleeping like a log, and I’m sitting editing posts waiting for her to wake up and scream the place down. Perhaps she won’t – do all babies do the crying-unsettled-for-two-days thing after jabs, or is it just pot luck? Let me know!*
*update: Baby A slept for ages, then the following day she was quite sleepy. I think that she fed less but she didn’t really cry any more than usual. Just in case you were wondering.