Things no one warns you about…

We had a wonderful weekend with family and friends at Samantha and Amelia’s baby blessing! More on that later….right now I am still recovering for what was a truly horrific day yesterday after Samantha and Amelia’s 2-month doctor’s appointment. If you thought this blog would be all unicorns and rainbows, please discontinue reading now! Taking care of babies is getting real, people.

So at the appointment with Dr. Young, Samantha and Amelia were weighed, measured etc….that’s the fun part! Samantha is just over 12 pounds and is in the 78th percentile for height and weight, while Amelia is around 10.5 pounds and is in the 45th percentile for height and weight. And that’s unadjusted percentiles…Dr. Young said that if we adjusted for gestational age since they were born at 36 weeks and are hence really only a month old developmentally, their growth would be off the charts! Both girls have doubled their birth weight…not bad for babies who were below the 10th percentile at birth! Nice work, ladies!

Ok, so the horrific part was getting their 2-month vaccination shots. DTAP, PCV, Rota, IPV, HiB, oh my! Our pediatrician told us all about the shots, when to call if there was a problem, how much Tylenol to give, yaddy yadda. I really wasn’t very concerned with the girls’ reactions because they are always normally pretty easy-going babies, or so I’ve heard. Our pediatrician said goodbye, wished us well, and sent the nurse in to administer the vaccines. First, she had me hold their heads so she could give them one of the vaccines orally…some kind of solution that clearly didn’t taste very good because both girls started spitting it up. Good to know they prefer my milk over some sugary syrup. So far so good. Before giving the rest of the shots by injection into their thighs, the nurse asked me if I would like her to give them Tylenol preemptively to take the edge off a little bit. Thinking that I wanted to wait to see if they would actually need it before giving them any drugs, I declined and wasn’t worried. WRONG.

The first few minutes after the shots were pretty horrible, as expected. Amelia was first and screamed bloody murder for a full minute after the needle entered her tiny little thigh. It was heartbreaking listening to her screech and all I could do was hold her and shush into her ear to calm her down. Samantha had a similar reaction, but seemed to calm down quicker. Both babies were back in their car seats, totally calm and sucking on their pacifiers within a few minutes. We left the office all smiles and went on with our day.

The girls ate normally and were totally fine for the next few hours. Then, without warning, around 4 pm, Amelia woke out of her slumber screaming her head off. This wasn’t a hunger cry, a bored cry, a diaper-change cry, or a hold-me cry…this was a full-on WHAT IN THE WORLD DID YOU DO TO ME I’M JUST A LITTLE BABY kind of cry….ear-piercingly loud and uncontrollable. NOTHING that normally soothes her helped…not cuddling, not rocking, not walking around, not nursing, not a bath (that actually made her cry louder, even thought she normally loves baths), not swaddling, not her pacifier, NOTHING. She continued screaming despite our efforts to soothe her for a straight 20 minutes and then on and off for an hour afterwards. She has NEVER done this before. EVER. The only thing that did seem to help a little bit, if only because it put her back to sleep, was my amazing Relax M app on my phone. It plays like forty different sounds…”urban rain” sound mixed with “womb” sound and “vacuum” sound seemed to be the perfect combination to help her sleep a little…if I so much as moved the phone an inch away, screaming commenced. HORRIBLE.

In the middle of all this commotion, the previously sound-asleep Samantha had also woken up and was also screaming, although with slightly less intensity than her sister. Nonetheless, two screaming babies = a very tense FTM (first-time mom) and grandma. In between cries, I attempted to administer some Tylenol. I say attempted, because not a lot really made it down. No one every told me giving medicine to a baby would be so difficult! If I tried to give the liquid by syringe, it would come trickling out of their mouths…and since it was bright pink, they ended up looking like the Joker! In one of my late-night feeding forays to Pinterest, I vaguely recalled seeing some kind of pacifier that doubled as a medicine dispenser, so I frantically called Jake to pick up one on his way home from work. In the mean time, my mom and I had the girls suck on a bottle nipple, while we inserted the syringe into the tip…as they sucked the make-shift pacifier, some of the medicine finally went down. This actually seemed to work better than the fake pacifier Jake finally brought home, but it was still pretty messy. Life lesson: giving medicine to babies is HARD!

Anyway, we sat there all afternoon and evening. holding our two little darlings, afraid to move at all for fear of aggravating their sore little legs. Jake and I continued to hold them through the night…they seemed a little bit better as the sun went down, but because of the meds, were way more tired than normal. I was so paranoid that they would get dehydrated, that at the 3-hour mark when they normally ate, I woke them up to feed since they weren’t doing it on their own. I was so scared that something horrible was going to happen that I kept taking their temperature to check for a fever at every feeding. Although the girls seemed slightly warmer than normal, they never got a fever. The girls continued to be more sleepy and less hungry than normal throughout then night, but by morning, they were peaceful and all smiles:

I have never been so grateful to hear their hunger cries as I was today! They seemed more and more back to their usual selves as the day went on. We celebrated with a trip to Buy Buy Baby where I bought a bunch of baby stuff I probably don’t need (a bottle-drying rack accessory in the shape of a tree, for example)  and took a stroll around the neighborhood since it was such a beautiful day. I also may have eaten several spoonfuls of Nutella. Everything ended up just fine, but GEEZ I WISH I HAD BEEN WARNED! I’ve had friends tell me how horrible it is the first time your kids get sick, but no one ever told me how bad shots would be! As a FTM, I now know:

1. Give Tylenol before vaccinations.
2.  The Relax M app is a lifesaver.
3. Baths do not soothe babies if they are already screaming.
4. Administer medicine through a nipple or pacifier only when the babies are already actively sucking (like when nursing) to avoid sticky lips and chins.
5. My babies screaming is pretty much the worst sound in the world.
6. If grandma isn’t around, have Jake take the day off work next doc appointment. Seriously, if my mom hadn’t been here, I think I would have completely freaked out and ran straight to the emergency room.
7. I normally avoid reading posts by moms on Babycenter.com since a lot of them are horror stories and create unnecessary fear, but in this case, experiences from other moms were actually helpful.
8. Breathe. Keep calm. Babies pick up on anxiety.

Samantha and Amelia–I love you! There’s nothing worse than seeing you out of sorts and in pain. I’ve heard the 4-month shots aren’t nearly as bad, but I’m definitely still dreading them!

Here’s to a better week ahead!

Lots of love,


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  1. You are an amazing mom! Babies all react differently to different shots, so really you couldn't have known! Some of mine reacted like your girls, some never cried at all! Hopefully you're past the worst of it now…