The first time we took Maria for her vaccinations I was quite nervous. At 6 weeks, she was such a little girl! Was it the right thing to do? There are so many confusing arguments for and against vaccinations, and I didn’t want her to have any pain or be harmed. What side effects would she experience? What if the jabs made her very ill?
We had done our research before we decided to have her immunized, but this did not take away my nerves. Fortunately, the nurse was very kind and Maria went through the vaccinations without any complications. Quite the opposite, she fell asleep almost immediately after she had her jabs, and the only side effect we experienced was a drowsy Maria who slept in her bassinet without any protest (which was quite an achievement at that time).
The second time, at three months, she appeared a bit more unsettled, but nothing major. Again, she was also quite sleepy the days following the vaccinations.
Yesterday, we went for the third and (for the time being) last round. I was nervous, but hoped she would just be sleepy again and not experience any other side effects. I listened only half to the nurse telling me what to do in case of complications.
The jabs went well, and Maria was all right afterwards, apart from some increased weepiness. She had a good nap and slept even better at night than what had been the case the last few months. However, her body also felt quite hot, while her hands and feet were rather cold. I measured her temperature this morning and it was a bit high.
Today, she has been weepy throughout the day and has had difficulty falling asleep. Once again, I see how an unsettled baby results in an unsettled me. I feel sorry, frustrated, guilty and slightly desperate all at the same time. I have yet to find a way to cope with days like this – days in which I have to radically change my planning and just go with the flow, even if that means I get nothing done. Let’s just keep fingers crossed that she will be better tomorrow.
In other news, Maria turned 5 months last week, and I thought that was a good moment to start solids. I had been observing her and saw she had become increasingly interested in watching me eat my breakfast every day. Apart from that, I am hoping that solids will improve her night-time sleeping.
We started last weekend with pureed carrots diluted with breast milk and water. She wasn’t very impressed with this concoction and I doubt she swallowed anything at all. Yesterday, I gave her pureed banana. Again, she didn’t seem to take it, although she didn’t spit it out either. I haven’t tried anything today, thinking it is probably better to wait until she recovers from the immunizations. Maybe she is not ready yet, or maybe she just needs time to get used to it.
As said, sleeping is still hit and miss – though mostly miss. Maria actually seemed to have regressed the last few weeks and months. Falling asleep in her bassinet has become an issue again, despite our lovely evening routine that includes a full-body massage and me singing to her (who wouldn’t fall asleep this way?!).
At night she wakes up every two to three hours, although every once in a blue moon she proofs to us she can still go for five or six hours without waking up. Day-time naps often consist of one solid 1.5-2-hour sleep (mostly in the mornings) and some shorter catnaps.
Sleeping issues aside, we are more and more enjoying the time we spend with our little girl. She is such a delight! She is mostly a happy girl, and it is easy to make her laugh. I also enjoy seeing her interact with other people. Last Friday, we started a new course that will run weekly during the school season, in which we sing songs, read books, play games and talk about issues we are dealing with (sleep is certainly one of them!). While all the babies were lying on the floor, Maria was busy looking around and turning from one side to another (but still not rolling over!), as if to impress everyone. “Is she always this active?” someone asked me. I had to admit she is quite an active girl, but this was something else!
Let’s just hope the immunization pains will soon vanish and we will have our little, crazy and energetic girl back. The girl who loves to play with my hair and Ahmed’s nose. The girl who giggles when I kiss her feet or bite her hands. The girl who wakes us a little too early with her daily chat hour. The girl who created a new habit of pooping while we give her some “diaper free time” every evening – mess assured. Our little girl.