So the D-day finally arrived. The day for Kitty’s infant shots was yesterday. The hubby and I were to take Kitty for the injections – he holding the baby as he was being injected and me tucked away in a far corner looking on with my eyes shut but still yet giving moral support to both my men.
It being a public holiday, we enquired about the opening hours of the hospital, and were told they are between 9am – 6pm. So we overslept. Or rather I did not oversleep because breastfeeding requires you be awake a lot, and with Kitty’s new feeding habit, I was awake almost every other hour. But I remained in bed. Bottom line is that I basically did not feel like getting up and preparing. And the hubby had had a long workday the previous day so tired, he continued sleeping knowing the hospital didn’t close until 6pm. We would go in the afternoon, we reckoned.
My main reason for not feeling like preparing was because I wanted the day to drag on an on, so that the time for the injection would not arrive. I kept on hoping that by some miracle, the Ministry of Health (Public Sanitation or the other one – is it Medical Services) would announce that children don’t need to be vaccinated anymore, that somehow all diseases have been eliminated from earth. My imagination can really run wild sometimes.
So when we finally ‘woke up’ at around noon, we went and perched ourselves before the TV and began watching the Madaraka Day live celebrations. Postponing the vaccination trip was my goal for the day, and I kept hoping that the hubby was not noticing my procrastination. We watched the performances by the different groups and individuals, making idle comments here and there. We passed more time listening to the President make his rather BELATED comment on Migingo and Ugingo islands. Heck, we even tried to fumbua the Prime Minister’s kitendawili. Oh by the way, Kibaki kept coughing and clearing his throat which was quite distracting, and each time he did so I kept thinking – can’t someone give him a ‘koo’? (Koo is that green puru with a rough coating we used to enjoy when we were kids. Don’t know if they still make them anymore).
When the ceremony finally ended, we continued watching telly, tuning to AfroCinemah-oh and watching a film called ‘Keziah’ (the Naijos say Ke-za-ya). But Naijo movies are rather endless, and seeing as time was suddenly moving very fast, the inevitable began happening – it was time to prepare Kitty for his hospital date. So we bathed him and dressed him up cutely. If my baby was gonna cry in pain and agony, atleast let him do so in some funky outfit, I reckoned.
So when we finally got to the hospital, it was 4.30 pm.
At the hospital, the receptionist welcomed us and stated/asked (not sure which): “The child is sick?”
To which I replied: “No today we’re not doing sickness, today we’re doing immunization.”
The receptionist then gave me a rather startled look and said ‘pardon’. I repeated that we had brought our six-week old son for his six-week vaccinations. The time was 4.37pm.
The receptionist looked at us like we had landed from Mars.
“Vaccinations are only given in the morning hours. Where were you in the morning?”
“Where I was in the morning my good friend, was in bed sleeping and nursing,” I wanted to reply but held myself back.
So we were turned away and told to return the following day early in the morning.
Turns out that immunizations are only administered during the morning hours. And this apparently is the norm in all health facilities countrywide. Now who on earth was supposed to give us this information because as new parents, this is the first time we were learning about it? Aren’t they supposed to tell you this during prior visits to the hospital or better yet, when the mother is being discharged from the hospital? Jameni!
You would think that after postponing the whole exercise, that I was atleast relieved that Kitty wouldn’t receive his jabs. But no I was not. I had psychologically prepared myself for so long, I couldn’t imagine going through another torturous night thinking of the pain he would have to go through. I just wanted to get over and done with it as soon as possible.
But it appears that the hubby and I are the only ones who didn’t know that jabs are only given during morning hours. And that at times they even run out, so you have to be there as early as possible as they do so on a first come first serve basis.
Interestingly, almost everyone I’ve narrated this experience to is going like: “You mean didn’t know?” Imagine even those without children seem to have this information!
Clearly, we did not receive that memo.
So once again, stay tuned to this blog I’ll soon update you on how it went, in part 3 of this post.