Thursday, April 30, 2009
vaccines and colic
leon had his first DTaP vaccine on friday. now, i'm not an anti-vaccine person, although i hate seeing my baby in pain even for a tiny moment, but there is something strange about his behavior since then.
4 hours after the vaccine, leon woke up from a nap screaming at the top of his lungs. i tried feeding him, but he was super unhappy. he continued to wail for over 2 hours before matthew called the doctor. they told us to give him infant tylenol because he had a low fever (99-100 degrees) and was crying. he continued crying for another hour, no matter how hard we tried to soothe him. the vaccine info sheet says that inconsolable crying for more than 3 hours is considered a severe reaction and may result in him not continuing the booster shots. well, we'll see what the pediatrician has to say about that.
the next day his fever persisted, and the crying kept on going. we gave him more tylenol throughout the day. now, leon is an intense baby, but whenever he cries, i can usually localize the problem. there's the whine-cry that comes when he's sleepy but can't quite fall asleep. the sharp, sudden high-pitched cry means a diaper change (i.e., he just wet the diaper and needs it changed RIGHT NOW). there's also the hunger cry, which takes on a funny rhythm, almost like a cry-grunt. and when he's bored, well, that's a less severe cry.
but this new cry is really something else. it keeps going and going, he whips himself into a frenzy and starts choking because he's taking sharp fast breaths. his face and body turn red, and he seems so furious.
the fever subsided by the end of the second day, but i've noticed that he cries like this beginning around 7pm now. i'll feed him, put him down so i can eat dinner, and the crying commences. matthew picks him up and tries to soothe him, but the cries only intensify. i wait for as long as i can take it, and then i stop eating my dinner, run to leon, scoop him up, and the crying stops. he looks at me, and my response is: can you possibly still be hungry after eating for a solid 15 minutes 20 minutes ago? the answer is yes. so i feed him again for another 20 minutes. and then, if i'm lucky like tonight, he drifts off to sleep. if i'm unlucky, the cycle starts all over again. a diaper is changed, happy gurgling, and then in a flash, screaming and wailing that comes out of nowhere.
is this colic? is this a side effect of the vaccine? i don't know, but it's wearing us out. we've tried giving him the pacifier, but he keeps spitting it out. he wants me. this means feeding for 15 minutes and then sleeping and sucking for 20 minutes more before my arms fall asleep.
can a baby develop colic after 9 weeks? i don't know. but i suspect this new crying has something to do with the vaccine. he's always been a difficult to soothe baby, but the ferocity of his cry has completely taken us by surprise. usually it's a constant pathetic whine that is punctuated by sharp cries. i don't know what to do, but it seems that something is not right with him. i wish i knew what it was. i can't tell if he's hurting, or if it's more of a psychological thing. maybe he's going through a major growth spurt and is mighty pissed with me because i'm not feeding him every 20 minutes? he's a lucky boy that his mama doesn't have a milk supply issue. i am hoping things will improve next week. evenings and nights are the toughest. the only thing that keeps us going is that he wakes up in the morning smiling and chuckling as if the past 12 hours were a dream. if it weren't for those moments, i would be in a sorry state right now.