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Of Needles & Overcoming Fears

Throughout my growing years, I teased my mom for one thing – whenever I would fall sick or be in pain, she would start crying. I remember once when a dog had bit me, on our way to the hospital, mom was crying more than me. She had heard how painful anti rabies injection was and she was scared about how I would tolerate the pain. As I joked that she looked more like the patient than me, she said, “You will understand my pain when you become a mother.”

Mom left me few years ago, but her words have echoed in my mind several times ever since I became a mother…
After my delivery, when my intravenous cannula was removed, I rejoiced thinking, “The pain is over!” Little did I know a new challenge awaited me – of witnessing my baby in pain during vaccination!

The initial mandatory vaccines were administered by the paediatrician while I was still bed ridden. But, as the date for the next monthly vaccination drew near, anxiety gripped me. The mere thought of the needle pricking my baby’s soft skin and the imaginary sight of my little angel wincing in pain gave me goose bumps. To add to the fear, I was told the vaccine would be painful with after effects like fever, pain and swelling. I would look at my baby’s innocent face and wonder how he would tolerate so much pain!

I asked a few moms with relatively older babies how they had faced this situation. However, their mixed responses puzzled me. Some echoed my fears when they said they had preferred to wait outside than see their baby in trouble. Luckily, for them, their husband or mom in law had managed the situation. Then, there were few who felt this wasn’t an issue serious enough to bother, for they had never feared taking injections themselves!

So, here I was – the overprotective, scared mom of a few weeks old baby, days away from the vaccination day. Unlike my friends, I didn’t have the luxury of someone else facing it for me for when it comes to the baby, my hubby is more emotional than me.

There are no perfect solutions or advice to raising a baby. Each mother devises her own hacks. I recalled how despite her tears and fears; my mom was always my pillar of strength, standing beside me during tough times. I asked myself, “Did I not want to be a mom as good as her?” Of course I did. So, the very first step to being my baby’s support system was being with him in facing and overcoming fears. I couldn’t expect my baby to be fearless when I was to chicken out at the sight of a mere needle. With great power comes great responsibility and I wasn’t going to let fears come in way of the desire to see my baby grow up as a strong individual.

On the D day, my baby and I faced our fears together. The metamorphosis for me as a mother had already begun. As I stroked his tiny hands in assurance and looked into his eyes, I promised him I would always stand by him through good and bad times.

The needle did cause pain to him, pricking a thousand needles in my heart as he cried inconsolably. However, that very same moment, I understood what it was like to be the pillar of support to my baby.

Shaivi says – Banker by day, blogger by night – that’s me. After a decade of dabbling into hospitality, corporate communications, training, employee engagement and banking, motherhood is the new role that keeps me on my toes! Nothing gives me more happiness than bringing a smile on someone’s face and learning something new each day; and blogging provides me a platform to do that. I blog at Shaivi ka funda. So here I am, to share my experiences as a new mom and get insights from experienced parents.