We had Brooklynn’s two-month check-up last Friday, about a week after she actually passed two months in age, so maybe the fact that she is hovering precariously close to above the 95th percentile lines in both length and weight for two months shouldn’t scare me so much. A whole extra week (which at this point is nearly ten percent of her entire life) could be enough to push her into the upper echelon of the baby size range, right? At two months, babies get two shots for vaccinations. Our doctor’s office is on top of things enough to do both shots at the same time. The appointment worked out to be right around a normal feeding time, so we had a bottle ready to help calm her down after the shots.
Up to this point, she had been happy and smiling for most of the checkup, and she even seemed to be pretty happy about being held down on the table. I sometimes wonder if it would be better to be completely oblivious to the future once in a while. While some people dread trips to the doctor and getting shots, a baby thinks everything is fine until something is not. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.
The nurses counted down and plunged the needles in to both of Brooklynn’s thighs at the same time, and I watched her face go from complacent to shocked to bright red and finally to a scream. Rhiannon and I are accustom to her hard crying patterns at this point; she cries as long as she has air, runs out, holds the silent scream face just a little bit longer, and then takes in a huge gasp of air to do it again. This will repeat a few times until she settles into a consistent and rhythmical crying pattern.
I think the needles caught her by surprise and she didn’t get to take in very much of a breath before she started the first scream, so she ran out of air faster than normal. So she held the silent out-of-air pose, both tiny hands clenched into fists and her little round face a bright red, frozen in a scream, completely still and quiet, a little longer than normal.
Like I said, Rhiannon and I are use to this, so I rubbed her chest and said, “It’s ok, honey. Just breathe in.” And she stayed silent and still for a few seconds longer, just enough that the nurses had time to exchange semi-worried glances before she took the next big inhale and settled into a crying pattern.
We had the bottle in her mouth less than thirty seconds later, and she quickly started sucking hard and with a purpose. I’m not sure if it was the fact that she was hungry anyway or if she looks to the bottle for comfort (which is something ok in a baby, not in an adult), but through her tears she looked at us as if to say, “This is good stuff. Keep it coming.”
This weekend, she seemed to show signs of a small growth spurt pattern, as she has been waking up in the night to eat again, eating a sleeping a little bit more than usual, and last night tried to drink the gallons of bath water she was lying in. We’ll keep an eye on her size and try to keep it within the 95 percent range. It would be nice if we could keep in 6 month clothes at least until she’s 3 months old.