Wednesday, January 26, 2011

fit to be frazzled

yesterday was c's two month check up, as i mentioned, and he had two vaccination shots and one vaccination by mouth. we were told that the common results of these shots are that some children run a fever, some are a little fussy and others are a little sleepy. we were hoping for the latter, as after we arrived home c began a long nap. i had developed a migraine and e sent me upstairs with a bottle of my favorite beer (which i haven't had in over a year) to rest while he stayed with the baby downstairs. i nursed the beer and had only consumed about half before i heard the baby crying at about 6:00 p.m. and i waited to see if it stopped before checking on him. e usually has it under control so i just sat and waited for the crying to subside. about five minutes later i began to notice that it was not just crying, but screaming. my child does not scream. he is such a mellow baby that i have only seen him turn red a handful of times, which only happened early on during his objection to being naked and having a diaper change-- both of which he's long been over. so i wandered downstairs to find e sitting with our little boy on his lap. c was crying so hard his face was wet with tears and he was red all over. his eyes were scrunched closed and his chest was heaving as he struggled to breathe in between the sobs that were rolling out of him. i asked if he was acting hungry and e told me he wasn't, so i took him in my arms and tried to comfort him. this normally works, but we were not dealing with normal circumstances and he only continued his steady screaming cries. after about ten minutes, i decided i should make him a bottle because the breast milk has pain relieving qualities that might soothe him. i would not nurse him until i had waited a few hours to metabolize the small amount of alcohol i had consumed. i noticed he felt hot to me, and we took his temperature to find it had risen to 99.9 degrees. we knew he might run a fever, so i naturally stripped him to his onesie and then i wrapped him close to me in the moby wrap to be able to carry him and rock him while i moved around. he finally settled into soft sobs and whimpers when the bottle had warmed, i took him from the moby wrap which only invoked shrieks and screams and sent him back into a fit of crying. once settled into the crook of my arm, he drank heavily in between screams and cries and finally fell asleep. i thought perhaps we were in the clear and decided to put him back into just his fleece jammies without a sleeping sack and put him in his crib to sleep. i thought wrong, as upon shifting him in my arm to rise from the couch he began shrieking and screaming again. just the small act of moving him in any way sent him into hysteria again. i brought him upstairs anyway, changed him from a wet diaper (which only brought more screaming and red faced cries), redressed him in his jammies and laid him in his crib under his mobile. under normal circumstances he loves his mobile and will coo and smile and talk to at it. last night it was going to go completely ignored. he cried and screamed and turned red for a few minutes before i took him from his crib to feed him again. this time it was past 8:00 so i decided i would nurse him. he fell asleep after a while and i thought perhaps he would allow me to carry him back to his crib. i managed to place him into the crib and shut the door without much more than a peep. as i climbed back in bed, switching on the monitor, e and i talked about the doctor's true meaning when he said 'a little fussy' because our child was far beyond fussy. neither of us had ever heard him cry this way and were both unnerved by the reaction he was having to his shots. i wondered if calling the doctor was in order, but e told me that he thought it wasn't necessary just yet and to wait it out. so we settled in to get some sleep only to hear the shrieks and screams begin again. e said that i should bring him into bed with us and he would sleep in the spare room as we don't have room in our bed for the three of us. i gave in and put sweet c beside me, nursing him once more. once he fell asleep, any movement seemed to startle him and restart his crying fits. if i readjusted his sleeping position or if i moved in bed he would jump out of his skin and shriek like i had pinched him. i was beginning to worry, but i had a gut feeling that said it would pass so i just kept cuddling and trying to comfort him. i stroked his hair and face, his little fingers, and his tummy for hours until he finally fell into a fitful slumber. he continued to jolt and whimper and mumble in his sleep, but at least he was asleep.
at 3:00 a.m. he woke for a feeding and after being burped he seemed fine. i smiled at him and he smiled back.. so i changed his diaper and got more smiles. it seemed the storm had passed. i talked to him and he cooed and smiled and was back to his usual happy self. he was still running a slight fever, so i stripped him back to his onesie and let him cool off before redressing him in a pair of cotton jammies and a cotton sleeper sack to help him stay cooler. eventually i placed him in his crib under his mobile and he talked himself to sleep. i checked
i still feel skeptical of the vaccinations and i am dreading having to do it again, but i don't want to put him at risk by not having them if they are in fact important. it's hard to decide which is true as they have become so controversial. but i have to say that as a mother, i did not enjoy feeling so helpless when it came to my baby's discomfort. not being able to soothe and comfort him was really beginning to rip my heart in two. it never ceases to amaze me how ingrained the mothering instinct seems to be for me, as i am sure it is for most moms. i used to wonder 'how do you know' when it came to things that moms just seemed to understand about their children.. but now i get it. and for all of the talents i have been graced with in life, the 'mothering talent' is by far one of the coolest.

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