Tuesday, 21 May 2013

An Awful Prick : New Born Immunisations

At the age of 30 I have had many experiences with little pricks in my life.

I remember the school time injections vividly. Not least - the TB Jab. The lingo "Jab" upset me at the time, which I mulled over as we stood in long refugee like lines in our scary school hall. All the girls passing on whispers, Chinese like, down the line, which by the time they reached me had become news of the 'test' jab being "Like a Gun", "That they shoot into your forearm". I was casually whipped in to an internal frenzy that became increasingly worse as the minutes ticked by and the line whittled down to little old me.

I received my test jab, walked back to the science block, relieved that my arm hadn't been shot off, felt a little odd, and promptly fainted back on to the hard metal desk. My head split open and I lay there in a pool of blood. I had to have stitches. This probably didn't do anything to help my friends' phobias of needles. 

When I was eight my parents thought it was a great idea to holiday in Africa. I had to have a plethora of injections, the worst one I remember was in my buttock! Oh, the doctor's waiting room heard my screams that morning. I am sure several doctor's waiting rooms heard my screams, from Lands End to John O'groats. 

Then you generally get left alone by needle wielding professionals.. until you get pregnant! And then your fears of the needle prick completely evaporate because you literally become a play pin cushion for the nursing staff. You are either having things pumped in to you (Flu Jab, Whooping cough vaccination) or you are having things sucked out of you (blood, blood and more blood). By your last blood test you won't even notice them slipping it in. It is old veiny news! 

I have never, however, had to take some one else to have an injection. Especially a tiny, little, smiling, innocent person who looks up at you with complete love, trust, happiness and joy! 

I wasn't looking forward to it - his immunisations at 11 weeks. But what I imagined... didn't compare. 

My little guy sat happily on my lap, silent and smiling. He smiles great big broad smiles now. They melt your heart. He turned to his right and noticed the nurse. They locked eyes and he grinned happily at her. She explained that the injections would be at the top of his legs and I suggested he might not cry. She explained kindly that they all cry. I still believed it would be ok. A few tears would be fine - it's not like I haven't seen or heard him cry before. He's a baby. Ergo - he cries! It will be fine. 

He continued to happily smile at the nurse. She put the needle in. A second. Silence... 

Then ripped through by an excruciating squeal of tiny pain. A squeal that said "Why would you hurt me?" "What did I do wrong?" My eyes immediately, involuntarily overflowed with tears and I sat sobbing. I had not anticipated the pain it would cause me. 

He sat there sobbing. I sat there sobbing. I thought the nurse might start... but she offered me a cotton ball to wipe my face instead. 

I cuddled him and apologised profusely and he was soon alright. But I swore he was looking at me as if to say "I don't trust you anymore mummy. Your sole purpose was to keep me happy and safe and you just let a stranger hurt my ickle legs". 

Of course.. he was fine. He is fine. And he is better off for this process. 

It was me, you see, who took the needle worst. 

The awful prick !!


  1. It is so not glamorous, is it? Last October I was given the opportunity to travel to Uganda and observe UNICEF's Family Health Days. It put into perspective how important vaccines are in places where the diseases that they prevent against exist and there is no access to the "jabs".

    I'm with you -- it's not my most fun part of parenting, but like you, I realize that it needs to be done!

    Great post!

    Jen Burden :)

  2. Hi, adaddyblogger from twitter what a great read thank you. I have a post about injections going live soon do you mind if I send it your way for a read ? Its a guest post so not like im just trying for traffic! I really related to you in the post nasty like pricks :-)


    1. of course! Will be happy to read it.


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