Too good to be true

Posted on: August 5, 2011

Yesterday I took my son for his 9 month check up.  I was so excited to find out his weight, height, and see how he was doing.  I was most excited about the fact that he would not have to get shots.  Finally, an appointment with no shots!  Not having to watch my little man cry and scream as a needle gets jabbed into his leg three times for his vaccines.  This was going to be a great appointment.

Things started off really well.  The nurse came in and did all of his measurements.  He is now 16lb 12.1oz and 28.5″ long.  Getting so big!  Then, the doctor came in and we did our normal routine of me answering all her questions before his exam and then she examined him.  Things were great until I heard these words, “He’ll need to have his blood drawn today”.  My heart sank.  I knew what that meant.  Screaming, crying, needles, more screaming and crying.  Then, a glimmer of hope…the doctor said they could just do a quick finger prick to get the blood and that should be enough.  This made me much happier.  A finger prick is easy. Much better than having a needle stuck in your arm while the nurse searches for a vein. 

The nurse came in, did the finger prick, and he hardly even noticed.  They tested it right away and came back in with the results.  I could see it on the nurses face before she even said anything.  They would need to do it again.  His hemoglobin came back really low so she said they would need to do the normal blood draw from his arm in order to double-check.  Ugh.  I knew that had been too easy.  There went all my hopes of having an easy appointment down the drain. 

As you can imagine, the rest of the appointment was excruciating for both my little man and myself.  I had to help hold him down while two nurses drew his blood.  Watching my son scream and cry and seeing tears roll down his cheeks broke my heart.  He would look at me with his big eyes as if to say, “why aren’t you stopping them?  Mommy help me”!  It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  I felt so helpless having to watch my little man go through this.  I don’t like getting blood drawn as an adult so I can imagine how much worse it is for a baby.  And, of course, it didn’t go as it should have.  The nurse couldn’t find a vein and get any blood out of his right arm, so they had to poke his left arm as well.  Thankfully, they were able to get a vein right away in his left arm and get the blood they needed.  After they were done, I scooped my little man up and hugged him tight to comfort him.  It was the best feeling.  Knowing it was all over and that I could offer some comfort to my son. 

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday:  Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.  You just never know what a doctor appointment will bring.

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