Baby blues

This past week may well have been the worst in James’ life. It started off with a touch of RSV, then a circumcision, and was capped off by his two-month vaccinations.

About a week and a half ago, James came down with a wheezy-sounding cough. A few days later, he began sounding congested, so I took him in to see his pediatrician on Wednesday. After a thorough checkup, Dr. Finkleman told us that he was fairly sure James had RSV, a common virus that can cause life-threatening complications for premies, but that James’ chest was clear so we would take a wait-and-see approach. The doctor called our house every morning for updates on James, and fortunately, our little guy turned around in a few days’ time and seems to be kicking the bug on his own.

On Thursday, we went forward with his routine circumcision. After much debate, it was decided long ago that our wee son would get that unkindest of cuts before he was able to remember it. (Sorry, little guy!!) I would have preferred to hold him during the procedure as it’s said to reduce stress for the baby, but we weren’t even allowed in the room. They assured us that he would have a nerve block and wouldn’t feel a thing (and indeed, the only time he cried was when they took his diaper off, per usual!), but I still could have used a Valium myself. James came out as happy as a clam and slept the afternoon away, but later that night we knew he was in pain.

Despite generous application of lidocaine and a dropperful of Tylenol, James was a fussy boy. He cried for hours and stayed up until 1 a.m. The next day, he continued to be fussy, but went to bed at 9 and slept for six hours straight. He was so not himself, in fact, that on Monday I took him in to the urologist just to make sure everything was OK. Luckily, all was well with his wee-wee, so we just continued giving him Tylenol periodically.

Then, yesterday, he had his two-month shots. As a newborn, his little feet were so bruised it was difficult for the nurses to find new spots to do heel sticks, and while I can watch a knee replacement surgery while eating lasagna, it was hard for me to watch my own baby being poked and prodded so much. Needless to say, even after nearly two months, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing James being stuck with needles again. Always the optimist, I asked the nurse if there was any possibility a baby of his age might just sleep through the injections. The nurse, as one might expect, looked at me as if I were insane. Oh, well!

James had four vaccinations and screamed mightily through each one. He cried so hard, in fact, that the nurse had trouble stopping the bleeding from the first site because he was straining so much. Naturally, the sight of such pain being inflicted on my little premie baby had me very nearly in tears as well, although I’m sure that my pain was nothing compared to that of my wee son.

Needless to say, James’ sleeping patterns are once more in chaos (not that they were ever really perfect in the first place) and he hasn’t been the happiest baby in a week or so. But who can blame the little guy?

And here it is — our pic of our 11-pound, 2-ounce boy (being subjected to yet more torture) at nine weeks old:

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