Stephen had his nine month checkup today. He has fallen to the tenth percentile in weight. Doctor said it’s not a big deal and that it doesn’t mean he’s not getting enough to eat, but he also said “We’ll have to keep an eye on his weight next time.” Yeah, really? You mean you’re going to weigh him next time? Wow. He got one shot and got blood drawn to test for Anemia. He was a champ for the shot, didn’t even make a move. Then I had to take him down to the lab, still unclothed, to get blood drawn for a standard 9month Anemia test.
This is where things went south. We got our name called quickly, the nurse got Stephen’s ticket and went back to the back area where the “boss man” was, and asked how they should proceed, etc. I could see and hear them through a little open area and they couldn’t figure out how old he was for like three minutes. Then they had every nurse in there… “you hold his hand, I’ll hold his head, we’ll put this bar down over his legs.. ok, ready?”
So, they tied the tourniquet on his upper left arm and proceeded to stick him inside his left elbow about 20 times without finding the vein. Stephen never even moved or cried or looked like he felt it at all. Then they switched to the right arm. After about 20 more pricks (no exaggeration), they found a vein. Stephen felt this and was a little upset. Since they had all given up hope on this working, everyone had abandoned their stations, so Stephen’s hand and foot were unrestrained (he was sitting in my lap this whole time, but there’s only so much I can do). He began wiggling around and crying a little bit, and the guy was like “we lost it.”
So THEN, with gauze taped to the inside of both of Stephen’s elbows, they pricked his thumb and collected a whole vial of blood drop by drop. They let some drip on my pants.. ugh.. it was quite clear that I thought they were inept. They kept marveling at how good Stephen was being, and apologizing to me. Their (approximately one dozen) apologies were met with cold, silent stares, but other than that I was polite, patient, and understanding.
Things like this are the disadvantage of not going to a Pediatrician. We take Stephen to a general practitioner, because he is my doctor and I like him. I don’t have a problem with the doctor at all, but when it comes to performing procedures on a tiny human body, some of the people are not very experienced. All in all, it was much worse for me than it was for Stephen. He cried for a total of three minutes, which is probably what would have happened if everything had gone as planned.
The reason they do not typically prick the thumbs of babies quickly became evident as the guy put three band aids on Stephen’s thumb, all while Stephen was trying to stick his thumb in his mouth. The whole time I was checking out, we were battling over what Stephen put in his mouth. I would put the pacifier in; he would spit it out and stick his thumb in there. Then, back in the waiting room on my way out, I got Stephen dressed again. I kept his whole right arm inside the outfit so he couldn’t suck his thumb. By the time I got home, I pulled his arm through the sleeve and took the band aids off. The bleeding had stopped. We managed to not ruin anything with blood stains (my pants are dark grey so they should be fine). He was extremely tired after his HIB shot, but now he’s happy as a clam and standing next to the shelves where we keep his toys, destroying everything in sight.
Weight: 17lbs, 10oz
Head Circum: 17.5″