The day I had been looking forward to had finally arrived. A few weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail with her appointment time to get her first set of Vaccinations. I have to say that I was very impressed by the Italian Healthcare System for being so “on the ball” with everything. The first appointment is made automatically and your notice is sent to you. Of course there is a number to call if you need to reschedule, otherwise, it tells you where to go and at what time, along with consent forms to sign.
For 2 weeks, I had been talking to Valentina, telling her about the shots and how she should not be scared. As the day grew nearer, I spoke more and more about them. I even told her that I wished I could give her the shots. (my first job out of school was for a Family Doctor. i used to be the one giving the shots to kids)
The morning of the appointment, I dressed her up and we went on the bus to the clinic. I really like the fact that clinic is just for immunizations ONLY! It makes waiting for your appointment so much better, knowing that it will not take forever to be seen. As I sat and waiting for my appointment, I continued to talk to Valentina.. and I even had her smiling a lot. A few minutes after we arrived, a familiar face entered the clinic. It was my Romanian hospital roomie! Her son -Francesco- (who was born just a few hours after VJ) was getting his vaccines too! We talked about our babies and enjoyed catching up. Then.. it was time. Francesco was first. I heard a little whimper and that’s it. She came out holding him and he wasn’t crying or anything. He was so good.
Then they called Valentina. After talking to the nurse, she asked me to put her on the table and have her thighs exposed. I continued to smile and talk to VJ and she smiled and “talked” back. I held her legs, and rubbed them with my thumbs letting her know everything was ok.
Her smile was replaced with a scream with huge gigantic tears. I wanted to laugh but I felt so bad for her that I didn’t want her to feel worse. I held the other leg and tried to calm her down as her screams and crying went up another level with the 2nd injection. (Luckily, the vaccines were combined and so she only got 2 injections.)
I picked her up and hugged her tightly.. kissing her tears and calming her down. She had never cried like that before and she looked so adorable with her little nose running and her face red with tears rolling down her cheeks. I went back to the waiting room, sat in my spot and gave her a pacifier. 5 minutes later, she was a sleep in her carriage.