Tuesday, 13 April 2010

apr, 13th - to jab or not to jab....

day 65: It was time for the first vaccinations today: DTaP/IPV/Hib (scheduled for around 8 weeks/ 2 months). These were given in two jabs, one to each thigh (considered to be the fleshiest part on a baby...although maybe they should consider the cheeks). These are the first of three sets of jabs by the time that she is 4 months and protects against the following five diseases:

* diphtheria (D)
* tetanus (T)
* pertussis (whooping cough) (P)
* polio (IPV - inactivated polio vaccine)
* Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b)

There was a moment, after briefly succumbing to reading the dreaded forums, that I was concerned about the jabs and the small percentage of babies who have had horrific side effects ....but then you consider the impact of getting any of the above diseases, and the 'side effects' that they used to have on a large percentage of babies, and it puts things into perspective.

So off we went to the surgery....Now, I'm not big on ranting (usually) but why is it that sick people think that it's completely appropriate to cough and sneeze on their hands and then come along...lean into the buggy...over your disease-free-baby-who-is-just-there-to-get-her-jabs and TOUCH her with those sneeze-covered hands cooing...'are you sick little baby'. Well no she wasn't....but now, well there's a good chance.

Needless to say that by the time we went through for the jabs, I was slightly jittery from all the blocking manoeuvres that I'd had to complete to stop those pesky, germ-ridden digits. This mood combined with a childhood where the motto was 'toughen up princess' and a father who took great delight in treating every small scratch with bubbling peroxide and Merthiolate (the evil burning twin to Mercurochrome) and I was probably coming across to the midwife as fairly cavalier about the whole needle-new-baby thing. [By the way, as a complete aside....in looking up the spelling of Merthiolate, I discovered that Mercurochrome and Merthiolate were pulled from the US shelves in 1998 after almost 60 years of widespread use, due to the new discovery of a risk of mercury poisoning. One of the side effects of mercury poisoning is a lack of coordination....and given the quantities that were applied to my roasties....this explains a whole lot.....and also provided a fantastic vicious circle of more Merthiolate treatment.]

Anyway, the midwife said many mums choose to nurse their babies directly after the jabs to soothe them...to which I responded: 'oh she'll be fine...she's already had antibiotics that involved a large needle and she hardly cried.' So, there I am, holding down her lily-white, naked, innocent looking thigh...with her looking up at me with these trusting, big eyes when the nurse hauls out a GIGANTIC looking needle (yes, it was normal size..but boy did it suddenly look big) and jabs it into her thigh with force (okay, she was gentle but it LOOKED forceful) and Limi's eyes get very big and then large tears start forming and then she starts wailing....looking at me accusingly all the time. And then we have to do it ALL again on the other side. Well of course my uncaring facade crumbled fairly rapidly and besides feeling like a battle-axe mother at the tender age of two months the midwife did smile at my lightening-quick nursing response with a look of....Not so tough now princess!

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