Only crazy people let you stab them with metal! Everybody knows this, yet I am supposed to allow a nurse to stick a needle into my precious baby boy. I am expected to go against all of my protective instincts and willfully pull up my son's sleeve and let a nurse take a jab. They call it a “shot” to make you feel better about it, and for some reason it’s legal. I hate shots!
After weeks of dreading this, Elias’ two-month appointment finally came. I hoped this day would magically go missing from my calendar, but sadly it stayed. Sitting in a cold waiting room, the mural of cartoon characters seemed to breathe down my neck as I tried to muster up the mental capacity to be strong. My sweet 12 pound baby was wrapped in a cozy blue blanket unaware of the procedures awaiting him. I thought to myself, “I am about to let some lady hurt my son…what kind of a mother am I?” and, "She is going to make me pay for this!”
As you can see there were many reasons to want to cry. My thoughts were interrupted by a nurse calling us to a back room.
After waiting a few minutes, the dreaded tray was ushered into the room. The medicines ready for injection. The menacing grin upon the nurse’s face was enough to send me into a speedy meltdown. I tried to remain calm for my son. Looking into his deep blue eyes, I thought if the “parent remains calm so will the child.” Even though I think I saw that on some animal show that really said if the “owner remains calm so will the animal.” Having no parenting experience, I hoped this would work.
“Mom, if you’ll just hold him on the table I’ll go ahead and give him this shot” the nurse stated. “Oh good idea, I’ll hold him down while you torture him. I don’t think so lady!” That was what I was thinking, but “okay” meekly came out of my mouth. Unhappy, I turned my head away and she did it. She pierced his chubby little thigh. A painful cry emerged from Elias’ whimpering lips. That is when the second injection was given. I closed my eyes as another loud cry came. Then tears stung my eyes and began to rush down my cheeks. Blubbering myself, I had to practice “birth class” breathing techniques again so I wouldn’t start howling. Not regularly acquainted with this spectrum of public emotion, I pinned my chin to my shoulder. I didn’t want anyone to see that I was crying, but it was too late. The nurse looked at me anxiously and asked “Are you alright?” My brain was kicking itself and telling me “I didn’t get the shot” but my mouth just began mumbling non-understandable phrases. Desperately wanting everything to be ok the nurse looked at the build up of tears in my eyes and then at the door. Without hesitating she lowered her head and left quickly. There I was, a sniveling, weepy mess. I just kept thinking “Wow this public display of emotion is new to me. Why am I crying?”
It was my mom and sister who could have won an Emmy for their dramatic falls to the floor and loud whaling whenever tragedy struck, not me. They could have been hired as professional mourners because tears would leak from their eyes and they would give each other impressively long hugs. But here I was being emotional!
I forced a smile onto my red face and whispered to myself “First Time Mom!” I’m telling you, when someone else’s shot hurts you more than it hurts them; you know you are a mother.
We did survive our doctor visit. I eventually stole Elias away from the pain, and cuddled my sweet bundle of tears until both he and I were comforted by his toothless smile. His little swollen eyes seemed to thank me for rescuing him from that very mean lady.
As we left the doctor’s office a lady in the waiting room looked at me and asked, “Did that little guy get a shot? I thought I heard somebody crying.” I wanted to say “oh no that was probably me– sorry.”
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