Petra had an appointment with the pediatrician yesterday. He asked us questions about her responsiveness ("she's very alert," we said) and her eating habits ("she's very hungry," we said) before taking us into his little examination room. We stripped Petra of all her cute clothes and laid her on the sheet of paper the pediatrician wisely provided. Petra obligingly spilled and farted all over it. She was intrigued by the pediatrician and watched him attentively while he listened to her heart, palpated her stomach, checked her ears and throat, and weighed and measured her. She's 4.4 kg (up from 3.49 at birth) and 54.5 cm (up from 51 at birth) and is now, at 4 1/2 weeks, about the size of the average two-month old. Compared to all the petite Costa Rican babies she's an amazon child – muy grande as everyone says when they look at her.
The visit also involved a meningitis injection, a nasty pay back for her placidity. I held her thigh while the doctor injected her, but couldn't watch the actual injection. I'm not squeamish for myself but I was very much so for her. When she screamed I felt like a horrible traitor and wanted to scoop her up and run away with her. I can ignore the crying of other babies but Petra's cries hit me in the chest and make me desperate to protect and comfort her.
We have to go back on Wednesday for a round of vaccinations, so she'll be upset and Travis and I will feel badly for her all over again.