Tuesday, September 15, 2009

18 Months and All is Well (Plus bonus questions about shots!)

Michael had his 18-month well visit with our pediatrician today. He now weighs 25 pounds and is 32 inches tall. According to our doc that puts him at 50% for height and between 25-50% for weight - not bad for the preemie! He has been eating like a linebacker, but apparently he is using the calories; I was kind of surprised he hadn't jumped more in weight.

The doctor addressed a bunch of my concerns. As far as walking goes, after watching him stand and take a few steps toward me, she said, "Oh, he'll be walking next week!" Now I've been thinking that most of the summer, but truly he seems to be getting close. She was slightly more concerned about the lack of new words (um, none) since his 15 month visit, although I maintain that he is more communicative now than he was then. We decided that I would call her if he hadn't clearly increased his vocabulary in the next three months. She wasn't ready to recommend speech therapy yet, but doesn't want to wait until the two year appointment if things aren't progressing. Fair enough.

Then he got four shots! :-( Poor baby, as one would expect he was not quite himself this afternoon.

Speaking of shots - I have to take Harper in for a flu shot next week. And we'll be back for the H1N1 vaccine, when it is available, because both my children are considered high risk. And then she'll have the "kindergarten shots" at her birthday appointment in November. Here's the problem - last year when Harper had the flu shot she freaked out. As in, she nearly kicked the nurse in the face. I was looking back over old posts to see if I had written about that experience and I think I was probably too embarrassed to mention it.

Here are some questions for you:

1) How do I help her not freak out?

2) Is it wrong to bribe her for being even remotely cooperative? Especially given that we're going to have to do this three times in next three months? (I don't expect her not to cry, but I do expect her not to inflict bodily harm on the health care workers.)

Why have my parenting instincts totally failed me here? I thought we were prepared last year and it was a failure of epic proportions. We also had extreme difficulty when she needed blood drawn at the allergists in August this year, so frustrating as she'd done that w/ no problem the year before. What gives?

I hate the look of shock/pain/betrayal on babies' faces when they get shots, but I think this big kid anticipation is worse!

I'll share my sale totals by the end of the week - the guessing game is still on!


jill said...

"Yes, it will hurt, but only for a little while, and then it won't hurt anymore." Just tell the truth, only give her a couple of hours notice and remind her that you're going to do something when you get home that she really likes, dancing, etc. whatever. A lot of items I have read say that if they are distracted, by a game or favorite toy (or just by simply blowing out while the shot goes in) that they feel a lot less pain. Then again, I was about 8 and ran and hid from a shot, so there you go. My husband did the same thing at the same age, so try and not be so hard on her. Then again, I don't flinch at needles anymore and my husband hates them, so, it's more of a 'getting used to it' thing. Also, if they don't have allergens in them for H, you could consider the one they use in their nose for the regular flu instead. Call ahead and ask.

Jenn said...

bribing is not out of the question. but she should get the reward no matter what (you don't have to tell her this upfront.) the shot in and of itself is hard enough.

Emily said...

I was going to suggest the nasal spray for the flu, too, but then I think I remember that kids with asthma can't have it maybe? But just in case, it's worth asking, I got it for Katy last year and she did not even flinch - I was worried.

But I would totally be fine with "bribing" in this case. You know about our struggles with doctor visits, too. The ONLY thing that gets us through them at this point is the sticker and the sucker at the end.

Either way, I'm sorry for all that's ahead...those are stressful and I definitely think big kid shots are even harder than baby shots. Babies cry in surprise and are over it in a few minutes!

Giselle said...

Yay for Michael being so big! Preemie no more. And it is great to have a pro-active doctor who isn't willing to postpone a window of opportunity as far as therapy goes, but isn't overly freaked out either. So, Yay doctor!

As far as the shots go...-sigh- I have no advice. I am totally a disciple of the School of Bribery. Andrew has always been so rational...we just explain it out and hold on tight. He's so good about it. Lily will certainly be a different case...so I'll be watching and learning from you ;)

It also makes me think of a conversation that I had with another mother recently. She postponed and split up many of her child's immunizations because of a fear of autism. And she was saying how that has TOTALLY backfired, because now her kid needs so many shots at an older age...when he is toally aware of it. Babies are so much easier to shoot up ;)

CARRIE said...

My daughter, age 5, hates shots. The nurse and I both have to hold her down---me the upper body, the nurse does the lower body because they give shots in the thigh.

Since N will get 2 flu shots (reg and pig), I am not going to give her a heads-up until we are pulling into the dr.'s parking lot. She has to get them done, and telling her even a couple of hours in advance is only going to make her anxious (and me miserable because she'll be anxious).

And yes, I totally think bribery on occasions like this is fine. I mean, it sucks getting a shot, whether you are a kid or a grownup. At least for a kid, going to McDonalds or getting a toy at the Dollar Store makes it better. I can't quite justify going for a massage just because I got a flu shot. ;)

That's it from the peanut gallery.

Marie Green said...

My daughters, after receiving vaccines the previous year without even a flinch, FREAKED THE FREAK OUT at their kindergarten shots. As it: they had to call in extra people. As it: one child scooted herself underneath my chair and was clinging to the chair leg.

In the end, they both received all the shots they needed. And then I took them to the mall for a webkinz.

NOT because I wanted to reward their "bad" behavior. But b/c I thought that their emotions were true and that "making it through the day" was enough of an accomplishment.

Also, then DAY AFTER that appointment, the office called to say that they forgot to send us to the lab for some needed blood draw.

And you know what? That time, I didn't mention a WORD to the girls about it. We just showed up at the clinic and took them to the lab. It wasn't until the nurse called one of their names that they realized why we were there.

This time, the crying was present, but nothing like the previous visit.

So: I will not "prepare the ahead of time" ever again. For my girls, anyway, they freak themselves out waaaaay too much.

Marie Green said...

Oh! And for ears piercing, my daughter sucked on a sucker. I told her that "even newborn babies think things hurt less if they can taste something sweet" and she bought it. Perhaps that would work for Harper too?

(My word verification is "chill". A real word!)

Anonymous said...

I agree that being up front is best. When i tell Max we're going to the doctor, he asks if he has to get "pinchies" and i tell him yes or no...and like last time, I'm not sure if you have to get pinchies. I did tell him that Ben had to get pinchies and he had to be a big brave boy and show Ben how to do it. Then i had him hold Ben's hand when Ben needed his pinchies. I also bribed them too and said if they were good we would get a treat when we got home. (Never know how they will react so i thought it was safer to promise something from home rather than being out and about.)
Good luck!