Squidge had her 8 week jabs yesterday. She’s 11 weeks old on Wednesday but that’s another story. I hate needles though I hope the number of needles that were necessary through pregnancy cured me somewhat. I didn’t want her picking up on my anxieties so I had a lot of questions.
How many injections?
5 and oral medicine.
Can I feed her to distract us both?
No. By the time you get her on the breast-
I’m not breastfeeding (and lady, you shouldn’t assume)
Still no. Put the pram here and sit there.
I had to carry her across the room. When I do that, I need a second to safely plot my course around the room. I wasn’t even allowed that second. I tried to sit in the nearest chair – the nurse stepped into my path and pointed me to a seat further away by the window.
I’m sure she was just being efficient. After all, there’s always lots of babies that need vaccinating but in not giving me time – time even to explain why I needed time! – I felt rushed and stressed.
It didn’t get better. Squidge’s cry at the first jab was her first ever one of pain and broke my heart. The nurse simply spun her round to get to the other leg and then give the oral medicine. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to try and support her head to receive the latter, even though the nurse was asking me to hold Squidge’s head up for her. It made me feel useless.
I’d dressed Squidge in a zip up sleepsuit. They’re the easiest thing for my hands. I’d exposed her legs for the jabs as requested but the nurse couldn’t find one of the legs on the suit to dress her again.
“This is no good. Bring her in leggings next time!”
I felt angry. I wanted to be able to explain about my disability but the whole experience so far just told me she wasn’t going to afford me time!
I managed to splutter: “It’s all I can manage.”
But of course, it wasn’t my notes she was reading, that meant nothing to her and I was herded out for the next baby.
As I walked home I realised that dressing Squidge in a two piece was no good either. My stork-parcel lifting technique only works with sleepsuits. So no, I won’t be bringing her in leggings next time. I’m her mother, you can support my damn needs and decisions.
As it turned out, most of the mothers I know said they dressed their babies the same way as I did for their jabs. So I wasn’t in the wrong.
But of course, there will not be time to say all this “next time”. It’d be much better to wear a sign. I’M DISABLED… PLEASE GIVE ME TIME TO CARE FOR MY BABY. The absurdity of that would make them pay attention wouldn’t it?
Not that anyone seems to care. Squidge is almost 11 weeks old and I still haven’t had my 6 week postnatal check. Apparently that only covers my contraception choices. But I desperately need to use it to get pain relief and maintenance remedies like acupuncture.
Managed to book it for next week. Fully expecting the nice qualified doctor to stare at me blankly when I ask or try and make me make another appointment. I hope I don’t lose my temper because I know I’ll burst into tears and probably get told I’m depressed.
But I’m not depressed. I love being Squidge’s mummy.
I ache all the time.
I just want someone to help me.
I was in a fair bit of pain when we got home. I put sleeping Squidge straight to bed to rest and went back downstairs to put the pram away.
My whole body protested at this. I got the frame wedged in front of the open door’s edge and couldn’t close it without taking the frame down from the wall again.
I dropped it on my head. It hurt. I felt helpless and sobbed to myself at the foot of the stairs.
I’m in too much pain to take Squidge to baby massage today. Prepaid so I’ve wasted nearly a tenner and feel like I’ve let her down.
I know she doesn’t care really. She just wants me to hold her and feed her and tell her she’s beautiful until she goes to sleep. I love doing all of these things.
But she is going to need me every day. Of course there is no let up with children. But that means there’s no recovery time and pain will build on pain. How am I supposed to live like that?
And will anyone believe that my frustration and desperation isn’t because I’m struggling to be a mum? Will anyone help me or just write me off as a mental case that shouldn’t have had kids in the first place?
I just want someone to help me manage my pain. That’s all. Someone to understand and not rush me.
But until then, I still need to get through the day. To provide for my beautiful girl.
And it’s so damn hard.