Shots hurt me more than they hurt you, baby.

1544969_737154899050_947957166_nMy daughter turned one over the weekend, and while that’s a huge milestone, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about the dreaded doctor visit and the looming vaccines she will be getting. Why think about this? I should be focused on my huge accomplishment as a mother, our wonderful year full of great memories, and how awesome it is that we have the technology to protect our kiddos from disease. So, why does this 30 minute visit to the doctor have to be so heart-breaking?

I’m not usually the type to write about my personal life. When it comes to writing; I’m a scientist. I’m not a softie! But the truth is that I am a MOTHER. And it’s important that while I say vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, you know that I’m going though all of this with you.

Vaccinations are very important to me, don’t get me wrong. My child gets all of her vaccinations on schedule, and that is that. But it doesn’t mean that my heart isn’t breaking when I have to hold her down, watch her cry, and feel like, “I did this to her.”

The minute we walked into the office she knew. I’m a huge believer that our children understand more than we could ever know, so I’m very prone to talking to her until she’s blue in the face. She knew we were going to see “doctor”. And to her, this meant we were going to get shots. And why wouldn’t it? Her only memories of the place are all the same.

Being told that your baby is healthy and perfect is all good, but all I’m picturing is holding her down and watching her scream. As the nurse comes in with the vaccines, my baby begins to cry. I tell her, ” You’re a brave girl. This is no fun, but I’m here and we will get through it.”

Of course it goes just as I imagine. It always does. And I always seem to forget that just a few seconds after the nurse is through giving the injections, my daughter is just fine. I hold her and kiss her, but she doesn’t really need it. As we leave the room, she’s already smiling and waving to her doctor. She gets a sticker and a lollipop and her world is all sunshine and rainbows.


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Sometimes I need to stop and take my own advice. These shots cause pain that lasts for a few seconds, and the pain that my daughter could be in if she should pick up one of these preventable diseases is so much worse. No more than fifteen minutes later is she home playing like nothing happened. And did anything *really* happen? Her legs may be sore, but she’s already on to the next moment. So, why am I stuck thinking about the last one?
 
This anxiety about vaccines creeps up on a lot of us. Worries for days about a moment that only lasts a moment can be debilitating. And not only does your anxiety affect you, but your children feel it, too.
 
We carry energy around with us. The cooler and calmer you can be around your children while they get their vaccines, the cooler and calmer they will be. I’ve learned that to be true.
 
Empower yourself through education–you’re doing the right thing by vaccinating. Remember you are worried about things that 99.99% of the time never culminate. And talk. Talk to your children about why this is important. I don’t care if they’re one month old or 11 years old–never stop talking. Children understand more than you think they do and they want to know everything you want to know.
 
I want the best for my daughter, and I believe what I’m doing is the very best I can do. I’m not hurting my baby, I’m protecting her. And someday, probably no time soon, she will thank me.