Eat The Pain Away.

Em had his one-year checkup yesterday. We’re a month late. I know. But I wanted to give him time to celebrate having turned one. (If you believe that one, there’s a bridge I’d like to sell you.) I’m not going to lie. It was tough. It was tough because my kid is freakishly strong. I know parents say things like that all the time about their young, but ya gotta believe me. He’s strong.

We got there fifteen minutes early so they could apply some numbing cream to both wrists as well as on the inside of his right elbow. It was then covered in clear plastic which he immediately began trying to rip off. We set him free to play with the plethora of toys they have in the waiting room.

About a half hour later, the doctor called us in. Em was weighed, measured and examined. All was well. We asked our questions. We asked about our giving him milk right before bedtime and we were told to stop that immediately. Milk can rot their teeth in just 3 short months. I hate that we didn’t know that. We gave him a bottle of water yesterday for each nap and at bedtime and it seemed to work out just fine. (Thank goodness.)

Don’t make the same mistake we have.

We also discussed his immunization schedule and the MMR. It’s supposed to begin at one year but can be postponed until 15 months, which we have opted for.

At one point in time, we had discussed separating the vaccine and paying for each one individually and out of pocket if need be. But yesterday our doctor informed us that separating each one is no longer an option. Merck (the only manufacturer of Mumpsvax) has halted production and supplies are running out, which means parents are left with no other choice but to administer the MMR. We’re OK with this. I mentioned a few weeks ago, that we’ve become a lot more relaxed about immunizations. (Research! Research! Research!)

Pediatricians must have a very difficult job right now, convincing parents that the right thing to do is immunize their child. Because before we assured her that we were onboard with everything (more or less, we are still following a modified schedule) she came off as slightly defensive. I imagine they are met with parental roadblocks where vaccines are concerned.

We gave Em his final DTaP yesterday. He’s doing just fine today.

But the blood drawing fiasco? Oh holy hell was it ever brutal. We were given a lollipop, which he’s never had before, and were told to give him it to him whenever she inserted the needle. Well, that didn’t really work out. He did not like being pinned down. We expected that. But this was incredible. It took four of us to hold him down and draw the blood. I know. That sounds absurd. No baby is that strong. And he’s not. One adult could overpower him. The problem is that these little suckers are still fragile, strong or not. So you can’t really put all your force into it. They’re little bones could snap in two. Holding a baby down requires finding that very delicate middle ground, and we were having a great deal of trouble finding that yesterday.

It took her several tries to get the vein. She kept saying, “I can’t believe how strong he is. He’s the strongest baby I think I’ve ever worked with.”

In the meantime, he screamed from the pain. It was the first time I really saw actual hurt in his eyes. I have no idea how the families of truly sick children live through something like that. It must be horrible watching a child experience pain, simply horrible. (Parents with sick children, you are my heroes. I don’t know where you get your strength.)

I did manage to crack up when the doctor went in for a third time and TJ put the lollipop in his mouth said, “Use food to cope.” and “Eat the pain away”

It was a nervous laugh, but a laugh nonetheless and given the circumstances of the situation, we had to lighten it up somehow.

We should find out how much we’ve screwed up his perfect little body in a few days.


  1. Eep! totally dreading the one year mark now. Our next round of shots are at the end of the month. It gets worse every damn time!


  2. Oh Autumn! It’s not that bad if you’re kid isn’t a brute. Really. They don’t feel a thing normally at all (if it’s numb). This was bad because he kept wriggling free and she had to keep trying.

    I don’t want to scare anyone. It’ll be OK. Besides, it’s an excuse to give them chocolate and ice cream!


  3. I wish you had a picture of him trying to lift our kettlebells to illustrate this post. All he needs is a couple of forearm anchor tattoos.


  4. What you said about parents with sick children really hit home for me. My best friend’s first child was born with so many problems that it would take too long to list them here—suffice it to say that she was bad enough that they had her baptized immediately in the hospital. Since then, they have had to suffer through surgery after surgery and procedure after procedure. Before I had my own baby, I thought she was amazing. But now that I have had my own, and have cried just seeing him get a single little shot…well, my awe has done nothing but grow. And to think my big, bad husband has a difficult time even being in the same room when there is a shot about to be administered!


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