As I approached Cooper’s two month doctor appointment, my mom friends warned me that this would be a very hard day.
Baby shots day.
The worst day.
I didn’t really know how to prepare for the day. A lot of woman said they cried. Many suggested turning your head. And a handful made their husbands come with them.
So obviously I made Justin come! He worked from home that afternoon. Once he got home, he quickly picked up Coop for a quick snuggle session.
|Coop and Daddy snuggling. I die.|
After snuggling for a bit, we headed to the doctor’s appointment. Coop ate about an hour earlier, so I thought he would be OK with a half-empty belly. I wasn’t sure if he should come on a full belly or not…so we went half-empty!
Once we got to the doctor’s office, Coop was being his little, happy self!
|Smiling and kicking!
He had no clue what his future had in store…
Once we got into the room, the nurse took Coop’s measurements.
He is 24 inches long (putting him in the 89th percentile).
For some reason I can’t recall what his head size is, but I’m thinking it was above average. Little man has a pretty large head.
Then we had to strip Cooper down to a clean diaper to get his weight.
You guys, I live for this little face.
|Isn’t he so adorable?|
We chatted with the doctor about the recent changes in the last month. We didn’t have any major concerns- just mentioned that he snores + seemed to have SOME cradle cap. She told us to start using the aspirator before bed to clear his nose and try to brush the dry skin out from his scalp.
Next came the second worst part of the doctor appointment.
“I’m a little concerned about the shape of his head,” she said. “His head is starting to look a little flat.”
I came clean that Cooper hates tummy time. He usually just lays there or screams until I roll him over.
She turned him on his belly and like I predicted, he started having a meltdown.
“Oh yes- you’re right,” she said. “He really doesn’t like tummy time. But you have to keep working with him on tummy time. Make it more of a habit. Start doing tummy time at least 4 times a day for 10 minutes or more. He really needs to strengthen his neck. I’d like for him to come back next month to see how he is improving or we might have to put him in the helmet to re-shape his head.”
That’s when it happened.
The mom guilt.
The “OMG- I AM FAILING MY BABY” emotions started filling my body.
You should have tried harder with tummy time.
You should have rotated his head more while he was sleeping.
You should have ….
But before I could keep beating myself up, the doctor assured me that I’m doing a fine job and everything else looks great.
So we put Cooper’s onsie back on and couldn’t resist lighting the mood by making him look like a baby T-rex.
|You’re not funny, mom.|
Justin and I also got the T-dap shot yesterday – so it was a family affair of shots at the doctor’s office.
While the nurse was getting the shots ready, Coop started fussing like he was hungry.
“Well maybe if we feed him he will calm down and feel more content before the shots,” I suggested.
So we got out his bottle and fed up about 1.5 ozs before the nurse came in.
(THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE).
Hey at least you can learn more my mistakes…
The nurse gave me my shot first while Justin held Cooper.
Then Justin got his shot.
And then…it was my sweet baby Coop’s turn.
He was just laying on the table so peaceful.
He looked at me and gave me a half-smile.
I died on the inside. Oh, I simply felt so bad for him…he literally had NO clue what was about to happen. And years and years from now I KNOW he will never remember this moment.
But I will.
I’ll always remember his sweet little face.
The calm before the storm.
The innocence in his eyes.
“I promise it hurts the parents worse than the baby,” the nurse said. “And this is my least favorite part of the job too.”
She gave him the liquid first (which I am awful and totally forget what it was…I just know Coop took it like a champ and didn’t complain or take forever to down it).
She had us hold down his hands while she held down his legs and lined up the shots.
I could see his face start to turn into more of a panic.
Why is everyone holding me down?
Mom…mom…help! What’s going on?
That’s what Coop was thinking. I just know it.
“Okay,” the nurse said. “Here we go!”
Once the first shot went into his leg, he screamed louder than I’ve ever heard him cry.
Real tears were pouring out of his eyes.
And his entire little body was bright red.
I wanted to pick him up right then and there – I tried to soothe him and tell him everything would be OK.
Children – even babies- can sense your emotions. They can tell when you are tense or upset or sad…I firmly believe that your emotions feed their emotions. (That’s why I always try to smile and laugh with Coop – I think it makes him a happier baby)!
Anyway, I stayed strong. I didn’t cry (even though I was bawling on the inside) and just kept focusing on remaining calm for him.
Once all the shots were done, I picked him up and wrapped him in my arms. He was still screaming and bright red. I thought he was having an allergic reaction.
“Babe, is this normal?” I asked, as if he was a pediatrician himself. “Do you think he is OK!?”
“Yes babe,” Justin said. “He is fine.”
And Justin started rubbing his forehead and kissing him too.
A minute or so later, he stopped crying and just looked really sad.
My poor baby.
Please don’t hate me, Coop!
I got a shot too!!
The doctor said some babies get fussy after shots. Sometimes they get a low-grade fever, but most babies are just really sleepy.
“Don’t be surprised if he just wakes up to eat and then sleeps again,” she told us.
Once he calmed down, we put on his pants and headed to the check-out.
Remember when I told you feeding him before the shot was a BAD idea? Well that’s because he PUKED all over himself in his car seat when we were walking out. He barely complained – it just came out all over the place.
Poor guy screamed and cried so hard that everything just came back out.
We snuggled with him in the lobby until he started to fall asleep and we drove home.
And once we got home, all I wanted to do was snuggle with him and put him close to my heart.
|My little love.|
I kept beating myself up about not being so diehard about tummy time. And Justin could tell I was super upset.
“I just hate thinking I’ve failed him,” I said.
“Ashley – you haven’t failed him,” Justin said, “Just try harder and become religious about tummy time. Even if he cries, just keep him down there. You can do this…and so can he! Just move forward and don’t worry about the past.”
I barely smiled, but I agreed that he was right.
“But the fact that are so beaten up about this is proof how good of a mom you are,” Justin said. “You care so much.”
I’m thankful he was there to remind me that I’m doing a great job and the only thing we can do is move forward! And that’s exactly what we did.
And we discussed how lucky we are to have a healthy baby! He doesn’t have any major health issues and he is growing and happy. Some parents have to see their child battle cancer or heart problems or seizures or a thousands of other health issues…We are lucky. And if the biggest problem we have is cradle cap and Cooper wears a helmet for a few months…well then, I’d say we are STILL very lucky. And we will still look super cute – helmet or no helmet. The glass if always half full.
Today was a good day!
We did more tummy time throughout the day – Coop complained (of course), but we fought through! I also added a pillow to his favorite old man chair:
|“What do you mean my head is a little flat?!”|
But Coop is back to his regular self! Happy, smiley, and making hilarious faces / poses.
Also, please don’t be a thumb sucker Coop. Stop eating your hand!
So moms out there reading this blog, let this be a reminder to relax.
Don’t beat yourself up.
If you’re upset, that means you CARE! And a caring mom is the best kind of mom.
No matter what battle you’re fighting – parenthood is full of battles – just remember to find the support you need (whether that support be emotionally, physically, financially, or all three forms) to climb the mountain and come out on top with your babes right by your side or in your arms. You’re doing great.
You ARE great.