When I scheduled Deke’s 2-month appointment with the pediatrician a few weeks ago, they had Monday the 21st wide open. 11 a.m.? Perfect. Only, not really. What I didn’t realize at the time I scheduled the appointment was that the eclipse would be at its peak here in Utah (90-something totality) at 11:33 a.m. So while my older children were home peering through tin-foiled cereal boxes and trying to bum specialty shades off the neighbor kids, I was at the doctor’s office with Deke.
If I was going to miss a once-in-a-lifetime eclipse, though, at least I was enjoying good news. The kid is healthy! Deke is holding strong at the top of the charts for height and head circumference, and right along the middle for weight. Our doctor said that everything looks good, and it sounds like he’s meeting all the age-appropriate milestones: cooing, smiling, making eye contact … Deke and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves until the doctor had to go ahead and mention his 2-month shots.
To be clear, I am for immunizing our kids. There are doubters out there, and they have their reasons, but based on research and interviews I’ve conducted for past articles, I have to say that vaccines do much more good than harm. However, the two-month artillery is pretty heavy! At this visit, Deke was up for HepB, RV, DTaP (which is three inoculations in one), Hib, PCV and IPV. Because I’m not a scientist, it always feels like a leap of faith when I take my babies to get their shots. I’m hoping for the best, knowing that it usually goes well, but every once in a while, it doesn’t. Back when Charlotte was a baby, my friend had her baby immunized according to schedule. After a full round like the one Deke had this week, her baby began to seize and had to be hospitalized. It was a very scary couple of days as we hoped and prayed for his recovery. Thankfully, my friend’s baby did recover and he’s healthy to this day. When I asked my friend what she thought about immunizations after that, she said that she would space the shots out more but that she would still vaccinate her kids. She had experienced pertussis (whooping cough) herself, so she knew firsthand how vicious these preventable diseases can be.
As I consented to Deke’s shots, the pediatrician warned me that baby could experience a fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea, particularly because one of the shots contained a live vaccine (I can’t remember which one). After three needles to the thighs and a minute of blood-curdling screams, Deke settled into a 24-hour grouchiness speckled with some other side effects.
Remember my gross-out themed post from a couple weeks ago? When I said that newborns don’t vomit? False. It turns out that they can indeed vomit, it’s just not that nasty. I noticed Deke spitting up, only it wasn’t really spit-up—the fluid volume was greater than normal, and it was clear. Because it smelled rather like stomach acid, I figured this was newborn vomit. Trust me, it was much more tolerable than the 4-year-old’s vomit I likewise had to deal with this past week. We also faced some diarrhea, but it wasn’t anything a diaper couldn’t contain. And now Deke is back to his normal self, only a little better prepared to fend off some of the nastiest viruses of modern times.