Little Abbey turned two months old on August 1rst, which meant that it was time for her to join the majority of the United States and get her vaccinations. Now ordinarily this would mean a thirty-minute drive to the local big city pediatrician's office complete with paper work, insurance submissions and bills. This time however, we went a different route. We simply went to the County Health office at the local fire station and got the shots for free, without waiting.
Since it was our first time, we did have to fill out some biographical information on Little Abbey, which at two months of age, wasn't much. She doesn't have a sexual history… and hopefully won't for another quarter century or so… nor has she done drugs, traveled to exotic locations, etc. So we filled in what little there was to fill in and away we were whisked into the confines of the fire station.
In a back room, two nurses were mixing up the potions while Little Abbey laid on the paper covered bench cooing and gurgling happily. When the nurses were ready, they asked me to hold her legs still while they simultaneously gave her shots in each leg, twice, for a total of four shots. So I held Little Abbeys legs as her eyes wandered around and on the count of three, two needles plunged into her legs. Her eyes went wide and then immediately shut as a new cry that I hadn't heard before filled the room. One of pain. Two more shots quickly followed and then it was all done. I picked up Little Abbey and cradled her in my arms as I tried to soothe her cries while the nurses explained things to my wife and handed out stickers for the baby.
She quieted down and we got her in the car seat, but on the five-minute drive home she would cry out with that painful cry now and then. It was heartbreaking to listen too but it is just one of those things that must be done. Back home, we fed her and dosed her with infant Tylenol for the fever that would be sure to arrive and she fell asleep. Four hours later however, she woke up screaming and we would spend the next several hours trying to console her. Little Abbey wasn't going to let us forget this injustice anytime soon. Finally we were able to get her to eat several hours later than normal and put her to bed but she slept a troubled sleep that night waking often and crying whenever someone touched her. It wasn't until the next morning that she started getting back to her old self and the fever finally went away. It's only two months until the next shots.