‘I’m sorry doctor, but I think I want to punch you in the face’
Let me set the scene for you:
It’s Tuesday. It’s 9am. The rain is torrential and the windows are steaming up. We’re in the waiting room…waiting.
Sat opposite us is a middle aged woman idly flicking through a 2009 edition of ‘Your Home’ and sporadically prodding her disinterred husband to show him something of interest. A pot. A stool. A recipe for fish pie that “doesn’t include cod, Richard!”
Next to me is a young boy with his mother. She’s playing on her phone but stops every few minutes to bat her sons finger out of his nose and tell him he can’t play Candy Crush later if he keeps being so disgusting.
And then there’s us.
My mum, Winnie and me. All of these people are here, cool as cucumbers, whilst I am sweating up a storm in the corner shaking like a leaf.
I feel sick. I haven’t slept a wink all night. I look down at my precious baby sleeping soundly in her car seat. My heart sinks. She’s so peaceful, so beautiful, so content, so angelic…and then she lets out the loudest, longest and most forceful fart I have ever heard, followed swiftly by the sounds of her filling her nappy. She smiles up at me and I can’t help but beam back – that’s my girl.
The doctor calls us. It’s time. I equate how I felt at this moment, to how the gladiators must have felt as they were about to enter the arenas and fight. (I understand this might be slightly dramatic).
I pick up the car seat and whomp over to the room, leaving a stench of baby poo in my wake.
Have you guessed what day it is yet?
I’d heard horror stories from other mums about what to expect, but I was unimaginably unprepared.
My mind was racing – Should I have bought Calpol in case she spikes a temperature later? Can I feed her through it to help keep her calm? Why doesn’t this place have baby changing facilities? What other fish do they use if they don’t use cod?!
As we sat down, I was handed a clear gel to squirt into Winnie’s mouth. She choked for a few seconds, scrunched up her face and then looked around the room, oblivious as to what was to come.
I asked the doctor if I could feed Winnie and she responded with a huff and said; “I’d rather you didn’t”. I took an instant dislike to her and added her to my list of enemies. (So far, it’s just her and the doctor who told me during labour that I couldn’t have a fourth epidural, but with pregnancy hormones still rife, I expect many more are to come).
For those of you yet to experience the toe-curling, cold-sweat-inducing horror that is ‘immunisation day’ here is a run down on what they include:
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (known as Hib – a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, second dose
Men C vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine, second dose
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, third dose
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, second dose
Men B vaccine second dose (from September 1 2015)
I know, right? That’s a lot for their little bodies to handle.
The screams were heartbreaking and I felt a little shaken up afterwards. Thank goodness babies live in the moment as after a few kisses and cuddles, Winnie was calm again.
The 12 week injections have now been and gone and this time, there was only a mild hysteria and a few seconds of uncontrollable weeping.
And as for Winnie, well, she hardly made any sound at all.