Midwives & Vaccinations 

Yesterday was a crazy busy day which started and ended with appointments. I had my 25 week midwife appointment at the Royal London in the morning and baby A had her 1 year vaccinations in the evening at our local policlinic.  I’ve opted to have my second baby at the Royal London in Whitechapel, which is not local to where I live but is where I had baby A, after some research, and also my experience, I decided it was the best option for to me. It can easily take us 40 minutes to get there by car and that’s not factoring in parking! 

The 25 week appointment is a quick check-up to make sure you’re doing ok and a listen to the babies heartbeat, which is always wonderful. It does take around 20/25 minutes as the midwives (for some reason it’s always been two for me, one is usually a student) go through your purple folder and fill in your bloods and any other information that’s relevant. They take your blood pressure, check your weight, do a urine test, discuss any concerns you might have and it’s a good time to get your MAT B form if you’re planning on taking maternity leave, as I am. They also book in your GTT test (if you need one) and your follow up appointment – from 25 weeks hospital visits become a lot more frequent. To be honest, I really enjoy my appointments. Thankfully so far I’ve not had any complications, other than baby A measuring a bit small around 30 weeks, but that turned out to be nothing. I’ve found them reassuring and my midwives have always been really helpful and kind. The only downside is that you do spend a long time waiting to be seen, but I guess that’s to be expected at a busy inner London hospital. In my first pregnancy I wasn’t too bothered as it was usually just me so I could catch up on my reading or web browsing but now with a baby it can be quite testing. I have to pack half the contents of my fridge to distract her from all the sitting around! Our appointment was around 11am and we left the hospital just after 1pm. As I was working from home yesterday we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then set off. 
Baby A had her vaccination appointment at 5.30pm. As that’s peak travel time we set off a little earlier and arrived 15 minutes before her appointment. Again, unfortunately we won’t seen by the nurse until 6pm so she was really agitated and worked up from all the sitting around in the waiting area, which really didn’t help with what was to follow. 
The 1 year vaccination is a series of 4 injections, one in each arm and leg. It’s also the first time a baby gets the MMR vaccine. So in total they are being injected with 6 different types viruses and their immune systems are working super hard to combat them all. It’s quite a scary concept but according to the NHS it’s not harmful or detrimental to babies in any way. As a parent however it’s difficult. My heart broke every time a needle pierced her perfect skin and she let out a sharp scream. Thankfully it’s over really quickly and after about 5 minutes of breathless crying baby A calmed down. (Make sure you stay at the clinic for at least 10 minutes after an injection in case your baby has an allergic reaction to it). After we left, we popped into a local shop and let her pick some fruit for the journey home, which thankfully she was OK during. 

The major downside to appointments is that they disrupt your daily routine. Baby A usually goes in for a nap a couple of hours after waking up and then again after lunch. Her naps are anywhere from 45 minutes to over 2 hours, but if she skips them we really feel the effects in the evening. Unfortunately she’s not one of those babies who falls asleep easily in the car, she wants to be entertained throughout the journey and with the warm weather we’ve been having, travelling in London traffic can be a bit of a nightmare. I’ve also only recently started to sit in the front again. I’m trying to get her used to being in the back without me, so in 3 months time, when she has her little sibling, she won’t be too disturbed by it. Yesterday she only got two very short naps, both around half an hour in her car seat so I was expecting a rough evening ahead. 
After getting home from the clinic baby A didn’t want to go to anyone other than me, and quite frankly after what she’d been through I was happy to hold her. Around 8pm I tried to giver her some food but she didn’t eat anything, which is very unusual for my daughter. Loss of appetite is quite normal when a child is unwell and as she’s still being breastfed I wasn’t too bothered, I took her upstairs to put her to sleep and give her a feed. It took over 2 hours for her to settle, she drank a little and cried a lot. My husband and I took turns going downstairs to have our dinner so she wasn’t alone. Around 2am she woke up again and this time in a feverish sweat. She felt hot to touch, her hands and feet were burning, and although it was a hot night, she didn’t have a cover on, just leggings and a t-shirt. I struggled to take her temperature as she kept resisting me putting the thermometer in her mouth, and decided that I’d give her a small amount of Calpol. I’m usually very anti giving baby A any medication, but she was so hot and I think her limbs may have been sore from the 4 injections that I thought it would be unkind not to give her anything. I spent the rest of the night with her downstairs on the breast. She eventually unlatched around 8am and we both slept until 1pm. 

It’s now early evening and she’s had a few naps throughout the day, all of them on me or her dad. She’s asleep now on her dad while I sit quietly typing away, not daring to disturb her. She had some porridge in the morning and some yogurt for a snack after her first nap. Her appetite isn’t quite back to normal but she is eating thankfully, and I’ve not given her any more Calpol. I’m praying she’ll be back to sleeping the whole night through tonight but if not I’m sort of prepared for a repeat of yesterday. Each of the vaccinations has different side effects, so for example the MMR might cause a rash and fever 11 to 16 days after the vaccination, so I imagine the next two weeks will be quite interesting. Remember every child is different, if you’re worried about your child, trust your instinct, speak to your DR or in the Uk call 111. Thankfully there are no more vaccinations now until 3 years and 4 months. My next appointment will be in 2 weeks, the GTT test, which involves fasting, so hopefully she’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed by then. 

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