I always see moms who seem to have no fear. You know the kind. The kind that carries her baby into the grocery store with just a diaper and some wipes in her purse. She is able to fill her cart to the brim, give the cashier 20 coupons, and pay with cash, all while at the same time breast feed her baby (which she is not embarrassed to do in public.) She doesn't seem to worry that her baby is fussy, and when the baby cries she doesn't blink an eye, but simply says "shhh, it's ok."
This mom can also take her baby to the doctor by herself. She doesn't wonder what the other patient's reactions will be if her baby happens to be inconsolable. She puts on a brave face while her baby gets whatever immunizations the doctor recommends. She doesn't dread the thought of going through a sea of patients to get to the pharmacy (because she doesn't wonder about the reasons that all those other patients are there, or what contagious diseases they might pass on to her baby.)
She doesn't avoid extremely long car rides, or family functions where there are dozens of female cousins who want to hold the baby. When people give her unsolicited advice she thanks them and moves on, seemingly unshaken by their lack of tact.
I don't know if those moms really have no fear, or they are just putting on a brave face, but I know that I am not that kind of mom. Everything freaks me out. I don't like taking Isaac outside on hot days because he squints when the sun hits him, arches his back, fusses, and then screams. I also am not brave when it comes to taking him places in public by myself.
Yesterday he had a doctor's appointment. It was his first one since he was 2 weeks old. He hadn't had any vaccinations yet, but for some reason it still didn't dawn on me that he would be getting some at this visit. At least it didn't dawn on me until the afternoon of the day before his appointment, when someone at work asked me if he would be getting some.
I scrambled to find someone to go with me. I didn't want to go alone. I had heard from a number of sources that seeing your child get an injection, and hearing him cry, was one of the most challenging experiences of a first-time-mom's life. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling very confident. In fact, I was down right scared.
No one could go with me. It's my own fault, really.
Friday morning I was in a panic...wondering what I might do to postpone the appointment until someone could go with me. I was staring at the contact list on my phone when it suddenly hit me. It was like a slap in the face, or a cold breeze that hits you on a wintry morning.
I can do it.
God was telling me that I could do it. Not only could I do it, I WOULD do it. And although I wouldn't have another adult human with me, HE would be with me. No one else can take care of us like HE can!
I prayed the whole way there. We stopped and got some baby Tylenol from a friend. We got to the clinic extremely early. I parked in the shady parking structure, knowing that Isaac would freak out if I parked in the bright sun. I was able to sit in the front seat and feed him. He was so happy and giggly that he almost couldn't eat. I changed his diaper in the open trunk. I quickly got the car seat set up on top of the stroller, made sure I had all of my things, and started towards the clinic with my still smiling baby.
There was a long line to check in, but I just rocked the stroller back and forth while we waited. A sweet, little old lady came over and peeked at Isaac. He turned on the charm and giggled and talked to her. She laughed and smiled and told me how adorable he was. So far, things were off to a great start.
After finally checking in, we went down to the pediatric area. We ended up having to wait an extra 20 minutes to be seen. I put on my brave face and paced up and down the hallway pushing the stroller. They told me I could come inside the clinic area but that it would still be a few more minutes until they had a room. Isaac started getting fussy. He was tired of being in the car seat and the stroller. I parked the stroller at one end of the hall, picked him up, and did lunges from end of the hall to the other. We had done almost 10 passes when they told me a room was ready. (having a baby who likes to be bounced is a great work out!)
Isaac got measured and weighed. His head is 15 inches, length 24.5 inches, and weight 11.3 pounds. I really like his doctor. We talked about the different immunizations that are typical for 2 month olds, and decided on a modified schedule. He would have 2 injections, and one liquid vaccine. The nurse came in and I asked her if it would be ok if I stepped outside. She said, "you're not alone feeling that way, of course you can."
I stepped outside after kissing my baby. My heart was in my throat. I heard a fuss, and then a screaming cry. The nurse said, "we're done, come on in!" The whole process took probably 15 seconds. Isaac's face was red as a tomato and he was wailing. I scooped him up and hugged him tight. The nurse pushed the stroller and I carried Isaac down the hall to the breast feeding room. I fed him and he calmed down a little bit. I put him in the stroller and although he was still fussy when we left the breast feeding room, by the time we got to the car he was sound asleep. He slept the whole way home, and then for a long time after that.
We did it. The night was a little rough, he didn't sleep for longer than a 3 hour stretch. But, we did it. It's little victories like that that get me through the day.