This morning I took Micah to the pediatrician for his 9-month checkup. All went well until it was time for the vaccinations. I can’t stand the pitiful cries and the tears. He had a booster, a flu shot and an H1N1 vaccine. It’s important to me that he and I get vaccinated for the flu to protect the new baby girl that I will be babysitting in a few months. But that doesn’t make it any easier to hold him down while the nurse sticks his thigh with a big needle. His tears were huge and the look on his face was so incriminating.
It got worse when we headed down to the lab so he could be tested for iron (anemia) and lead levels. They did a finger stick, which got even more tears than the shots, but what made it that much more horrible was how they had to keep squeezing his little hand to allow the blood to drip into the vial. They had to squeeze out two small vials which probably added up to a good tablespoon of blood. By the end, his little hand was covered in blood and I wanted to throw up. Can’t they come up with a more painless way to draw blood from an infant, or was this nurse just having a hard time? She kept saying, “I’m not very good at this.” Wow, that makes me feel better! *Buries head in hands.* Micah was squirming and trying to pull back his arm the whole time while crying so pitifully. We tried to distract him with stickers but it only worked in short spurts. If this were a life-saving procedure, I could stomach it a little better, but I’m fairly certain he’s not anemic. Even the doctor said it was unlikely. *screams*
Fortunately he seemed to get over it quickly. By the time we were in the lobby, he was smiling again. I’m so glad babies don’t remember things like this. I didn’t get used to needles and blood tests until the end of my pregnancy, after I had been stuck 500 times. I hate blood, and that is part of the reason it was so hard for me to watch. I never want to see Micah’s blood again, but I know better. He’s a boy. I’ll be buying stock in Band-Aid brand by the time he’s four, I’m sure. I’ll never get used to it, though…
I will focus on the good. He is healthy and growing well. He has gained ten pounds, ten ounces and ten inches in length since he was born. He is tall for his age at 30″. He has consistently been at the top of the charts for length, the middle for weight, and around the 25th percentile for head size, which floors me because his head looks big for his body (like all babies) and I’m wondering what he’d look like if his head was in the 97th percentile as well. I’m laughing at the thought of it!