Posts Tagged ‘Pertussis Whooping Cough’

“For your own good” Feeling guilty about giving shots

I’m sure every parent feels some guilt when they give their child shots. Today, after my son got his 2nd series of shots at 4 months, I felt this weird sort of guilt for every one of the 1000′s of kids I’ve ordered shots for.

At the time of the shots, I didn’t even mind that he cried for a moment. I took it in stride, knowing the immunizations are good for him. I’d rather see him cry, than see one of his limbs shrivel up from polio. Or even more saliently, rather than see him with Pertussis (Whooping Cough) snotty, unable to eat, and crying from a constant minute-long stacatto cough, then turning blue, then sucking in a breath (the Whoop) and crying some more, when the serial cough finally ends. And then see that cycle all over again a few minutes later…for a month. Yes, I’d much rather see him cry for a minute, or even a day, than have even a few days of any of the diseases the vaccines protect him against.

But later that day, I babysat for him for only the second mommyless (or more specifically boobiless) time. As he became increasingly fussy, I felt a weird, different sort of guilt. I felt like my child’s fussiness from the shots was some sort of karmic payback for those 1000′s of kids.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no doubt they are still worth it, and no regrets. I still had that tinge of guilt, bigger than just the guilt of doing something for my child’s own good. I felt like my child was paying for all the other children. Weird.

Actually in the end, it turned out he just missed the boob and needed a bottle. It was only my second time without Mommy and I didn’t think he could possibly need to eat again already! Welcome to the world of parenting, Daddy Dr.