Ruby had her 4 month immunization shots today. I had been dreading it for the past week, increasingly so yesterday and today. It's never a pleasant experience to have to take your baby to something that you know is going to hurt them (even if it is for the good of their health), and you would think that the health nurses should know this and maybe lay the fuck off with the ignorant, unsolicited advice.
Bitter? Why yes, I am.
I had no questions for the health nurse regarding Ruby. I have no complaints about Ruby. She's a great baby. She's healthy. We're happy. So give us the stupid needles and we'll get on with our day. We're busy people. We've got things to do.
But it seemed that she was looking for something to lecture about, some reason to spout off all her "valuable knowledge". So she started asking me questions.
She asked about Ruby's doctor, and I told her that Ruby doesn't currently have a doctor - my family doctor closed his practice while I was pregnant and during my pregnancy I was cared for by a midwife. The midwife then cared for Ruby until she was 8 weeks old and since then I have had no reason to take her to a doctor since she's been perfectly healthy.
So that started her first lecture. Apparently I need to find Ruby a doctor ASAP because when she DOES get sick I will have to scramble around to get her records.
Oh but I already have all her records with me - the midwife provided me with copies.
Still, she insisted that I find a doctor and take Ruby to him/her ASAP. Even if nothing is wrong with her. Ok. Fine. I will. (For the record I have been poking around for a new doctor. I just haven't found one yet, but I know I eventually need to - there's just been no rush.)
Then we got on about the breastfeeding. This is where I need to be a better liar and just answer "yes" to the question, "Are you breastfeeding?", because we got the same lecture we always do:
You're pumping? Why are you doing that?
So I explained the breastfeeding situation and how we got to where we are today... Which sent her into a tirade about how my milk is probably going to dry up (Ha! Nice try! I already had another health nurse try that one on me two months ago. She said that when I reached 3 months my milk would likely dry up if I didn't stop pumping and start breastfeeding exclusively. At 4 1/2 months I am still going strong and have an abundance of milk. Freezer is FULL, thank you very much.) Then she said that Ruby is old enough and strong enough now that she should be taking the breast and not a bottle. And that she would like to refer me to a lactation consultant.
I told her that we are happy the way we are right now, so no thank you. (Seriously, it's been 4 1/2 months now. As if I'm going to start that shit up all over again when we're quite content with where we're at now. Get over it, Health Nurse!)
But she continued on to say that if I change my mind (and clearly I should) that I should call and let her know because health nurses are very resourceful and very helpful.
Great. I'll keep that in mind. Don't hold your breath for my call, though.
Finally we got to the dreaded needles. And it was all the horror that I expected it to be. I had heard that the 4 month shots were worse than the 2 month ones and indeed they were. It really broke my heart to see Ruby hurt like that. Her little lip quivering, her eyes wide with shock and her little face going red before she burst into painful tears.
At that point I got a little emotional myself, and I tried my best to hold back the tears that were welling up in my eyes as I held a sobbing little Ruby to my chest and tried to console her.
And it was at that precise moment that this bitch went for the jugular...
"Has anyone told you about tummy time???"
"Because I notice she's got a bit of a flat head. Right now her head is still forming it's shape but do you realize that at some point that flat head is going to be irreversible? You might want to increase the time she's on her tummy and decrease the time she's laying on her back. Of course you should always be in the room when she's doing tummy time."
Oh really? So I should stop leaving her laying on her back, unattended all day while I smoke crack and turn tricks in the back shed???
Fuck off already!
That one stung for some reason. Maybe it was because I was in such a vulnerable state at that very minute, or maybe it's because she TOOK A SHOT AT THE SHAPE OF MY BEAUTIFUL BABY'S HEAD, or maybe it was because that was the straw that broke the you-are-a-shitty-mommy camel's back.
When I got outside, I lost my shit. I stood under a tree with Ruby in her stroller staring at me like a freak, and I sobbed my pathetic little heart out. I continued to weep as we walked home. Steve called to ask how it went and I lost it again, and since he couldn't understand what I was saying he came and picked us up when I was halfway home.
I do not understand why these nurses insist on pushing the cookie cutter, by-the-book style of raising a baby? Do they not realize that everyone is different? Every baby, every mom, every dad, every situation is different? For them to go so overboard with their unsolicited, unwanted "advice" without knowing fuck all about me and my baby and my life really sends me over the edge.
YES, I DO realize that "breast is best" - but that doesn't always work out for everyone now, does it? I'm doing my best with my situation and I've made peace with that - a long time ago. So if I needed your help I would ASK for it! And YES, I DO realize that my baby will eventually need a family doctor and I am looking for one. But we're not the kind of people that go to the doctor every time someone coughs. There's been no need as of yet, but I assure you when there is a need, Ruby will be in good hands. And YES I DO know about tummy time (come on, she's 4 1/2 months old. How facetious of you to ask if anyone had told me about tummy time - ignorant), and YES I DO realize her head isn't perfectly shaped - this happened very early on and I have her up and off her head most of the day unless she is sleeping.
Now I know why she left her office door open during the whole visit. It was so that I resist the strong urge to launch across the room and kick the shit out of the self righteous little bitch. I couldn't do it with the door open, too many witnesses.