Week 8: Vaccinations

When we were first told Clara would have immunisations at 8 weeks old it felt like AGES away.

I’d heard scary things about these jabs – every mum who’d mentioned them told me she cried as much as her little one did.

‘What are they jabbing these babies with?!’ I wondered.

In reality, and considering everything little Clara’s body had been through, it wasn’t that bad at all.

The vaccinations were three injections and one oral. Two nurses did Clara’s injections – they counted down’ 3…2…1…’ and simultaneously they injected into each thigh at the same time.

Clara got upset, but after the initial shout of pain she was more irritated that there were two ladies holding her legs down. After her final injection, Clara was given the oral solution which I’m told tastes sweet and she lapped it up ready, most likely thinking it was a reward for getting through her vaccinations.

For any mums about to go through this, I do have one piece of advice: look away. They are long needles, they look menacing. Just don’t watch.

We were told immunisations often cause babies to have a temperature after, a runny nose, and they can generally feel really rubbish for a couple of days.

Clara had vaccinations done late on a Friday afternoon and she seemed absolutely fine. She slept through Friday night (always the case when Daddy stays with her, sometimes the case with Mummy) but was pretty grumpy Saturday morning.

By Sunday evening Clara was inconsolable, she’d scream if she was picked up and she’d cry if she was left to lay down. She didn’t know what she wanted but she just couldn’t get comfortable. She was awake from 3pm to 11pm, a huge stretch of time for someone so little, but she was fighting sleep and making herself exhausted. It was certainly our toughest evening with her yet from a ‘normal’ parenting perspective.

Monday morning Clara was equally as uncomfortable. She didn’t know what she wanted still, neither her dummy or cuddles consoled her.

However, by Monday afternoon Clara was finally more herself. I took her out in the car for the first time on my own – at one set of red traffic lights I unbelted and climbed back to check she was still breathing as she was so silent. Of course she was fine- contentedly staring out of the window watching the world go by.

We opened Clara’s first bank account! A Junior ISA, so we could start building up some savings for her. The lady in the bank stated that the money would be all Clara’s when she turned 18, and she’d be notified on her 18th birthday. Considering we were told Clara may not even reach 18 days old, bring on 18 years!! (Yep, you can remind me I said that when I have a moody teenage girl to deal with!)

It’s lovely having Clara back to her normal self again. She loved having cuddles again, yesterday she snuggled right into me as I burped her over my shoulder after her evening feed. She spent hours just laying in my arms (she’s heavy now!). At night, she was content just laying in bed looking around, even with her dummy out. She spent a couple hours just gazing around at her surroundings only making the occasional noise at her sheep Ewan. (Clara thinks by smacking Ewan around the head she’ll get him to start singing to her again. She needs to learn that’s now how you treat your friends…)

Unfortunately, the vaccinations have also caused Clara’s jejunostemy outputs to be high so she’s at risk of losing all her electrolytes. The surgeon covering Mr Lee’s annual leave decided to drop her to 4ml instead of 7ml at feeds today, a significant drop and more than I think was necessary. But hopefully we’ll build her back up soon. The gastrointestinal team are due to visit later so hopefully it’s still good news from them.

Meanwhile, we’re off out for lunchtime. I’d expressed, washed my hair, and had breakfast by 8.30am because my little dreamboat has been good as gold this morning. Long may it continue.

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