My 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.