Wednesday, November 03, 2004

McKenna's 15 month appointment

She started the day niiiiiiice and early today. 6:30am. Mommy & Daddy were not too happy since 1) we had been up past midnight watching the election results and 2) this meant that she would want a nap at 8:30am...the time of her appointment today. Figures. Oh well, what can you do, right?

McKenna is now 29 inches and 19 lbs. She actually has lost weight since her last appointment. This had me a little worried but Dr. Cater assured us that McKenna is properly proportioned because she's going to be very petite. He said she'll have a model's figure. Well, a short model. She'll get Mommy's height for sure. I guess we're just destined to have a peanut on our hands. Not to mention that our picky eater has a preference for naturally lean foods - fruits, veggies, chicken, etc. And so far we can't get her to take anything that has sauce, she won't eat cheese chunks and she no longer likes avocado. She can't have peanut butter yet. So its difficult to get her to eat anything that has "good fats" in them. On top of that, she is very active. She's not a "bouncing-off-the-walls" kind of girl. Its not like she's running around shrieking all day. But she is just constantly on the go. She climbs on everything, she walks all over the apartment climbing up and down on anything she can, she loves to go for walks outside. We can barely keep her in her stroller or high chair for very long. She just likes to be on the go. So she burns off her calories so easily. I would gladly trade metabolism with her.

He said she is exceptionally smart and everything he asked about she had been doing for quite some time (walking, saying 2 or more words, climbing, using a cup instead of a bottle, brushing her teeth with help from us, etc.) I don't even know how many words she has anymore. I stopped counting after her first birthday. Today she said "door" and "fish" for the first time. She can group two words together in a sentence on occasion. She will say "Bye bye pee pee" when she pretends to flush the toilet and that one always cracks me up. And she knows that if she really wants something its not too hard to get if she just "makes the cute face" and then says "Dada peez?" (Dada, please?) They only expect 2 words at this age and McKenna is well beyond that. I don't know who she gets her talkative nature from (as I look guiltily at my lengthy post here, ha ha).

Anyway, back to the appointment - she got 3 vaccination shots today. I was unsure if we would do the chickenpox vaccination but after discussing it with him we decided that we would. We had read that the vax only lasts for about 20 years and then they can still contract CP as an adult. CP is much more dangerous for adults, so it seemed like a better idea to either wait and hope she gets a mild case as a child (and would therefore be immune for the rest of her life thereafter) or wait and get her the vax later in life - so it would last her later in life. But Dr. Cater lent us a book to read more about it and here are our reasons for getting the vax:

1) If we don't and she gets chicken pox as a kid she could later in life develop shingles as well. After you've had chicken pox you have a 20% chance of developing shingles later in your adult life.

2) If we don't and she gets chicken pox then she could easily pass the disease on to my sister who is an adult and has not yet had CP. So it could be very dangerous to her.

3) If we don't and she does contract chicken pox then there can be serious complications with childhood CP. There are 9000 hospitalizations, 4000 cases of CP-related pneumonia, 600 cases of CP-related brain infections and 100 CP-related deaths every year. Dr. Cater alone in his career has seen a large number of serious CP complications. He is a very gentle doctor and I know it is not his intention to scare us into receiving a vaccination. But he did share a few horrific stories with us of things he had personally seen related to CP and it was enough for me to realize that just hoping she gets chicken pox as a kid and "that would be that" was not all there was to it.

4) There is a booster shot in the works for the CP vax. A booster shot is a second dose of the vaccination given later in life. In this case, it would be given around the age of 5 or 6 years old. This would ensure that the vaccination lasts through their life. The vaccination is a 90% guarantee that they will not contract CP. The booster should be out in about a year. But definitely by the time McKenna would need it.

So that pretty much made the choice obvious for us. We went ahead and got her the vaccination. Dr. Cater generously lent us his copy of the book called What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines by Dr. Paul A. Offit and Dr. Louis M. Bell. I think we will probably pick up a copy of our own as well so that we can refer to it for our future children.

The shots were no fun (they never are). I always feel so bad for the nurses. They have the worst job and they always feel like the bad guy. Probably one of the most unappreciated jobs in the world. McKenna definitely did not appreciate them today. For being a little peanut, she's pretty strong and she managed to jerk her arm away right as the nurse stuck the needle in so she just had this needle sticking out of her arm. ACK!! I don't know who was more traumatized - McKenna or her Daddy who had to hold her through the whole ordeal. As tough as Erick is, I could see it was killing him to have her so upset. Aaaaah, parenthood.

We got home around 10:30am and gave her some Tylenol and she slept for 2 hours. She's been in a great mood all day and we took her to Toys R Us. Not to buy. Just to play and for Mommy & Daddy to get some ideas on Christmas gifts. We'd better get to writing that letter to Santa soon. He'll want some ideas too so that his elves can start working on them.

McKenna is napping again right now (that's why I have so much time to ramble on like this). Please pray that she doesn't have any side effects to the vaccinations. That's always a concern though she hasn't had even a fever from one so far. But nonetheless, I always get a little nervous after vaccination days.

Thanks for caring enough to check in on how her appointment went today!


Andy said...

Reminds me of when I was a kid, and my mom sent me around to the houses of kids that had illnesses so that I'd pick them up too and therefore be immune! That didn't work though, since I have some strange immune system that has only let me get two liver infections ever, and absolutely nothing else, no colds, no flus, nothing that I can recollect. Sweet.

Oh, and it's nice to hear that the shots wents relatively well; when I and by brother went to get shots as kids, we once escaped and ran around the room before my mom and the nurse could grab us! Be glad you didn't have twin boys!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon & McKenna! We are eagerly awaiting new pictures!!!!! Glad to hear of McKenna's healthy growth stats.

Love, Gina & Emily