I took along a sucker, something he's never had, to try to distract him. Didn't work at all. He threw it across the room.
I told the woman at the desk that we would wait longer in order to have the most experienced person do his blood draw. The people who came out to get us were younger than me. They were giving each other instructions (as in, "I hold it here and pinch it there...") "You HAVE done this before, right?" I asked.
"Lots of times."
"On someone this small?"
"We do kids all the time."
Because the woman dug around in his little elbow pit with the needle as he screamed any my eyes teared, and she never did find the vein.
Really, I would have left after two.
"Is there another site that would be easier?" I asked.
"We're only allowed to draw from their arms here."
"I'm going to go get someone..."
The other woman, older and more experienced, got it on the first try, thank goodness, but they hadn't gotten out a second syringe, and they needed so many vials, and it took three of us to hold him down, and they had to call someone over to change the syringe while the needle hung out of my baby's arm, while leaning over one of the people who was helping us hold him, and he screamed and he screamed...
And I sang, "I am brave brave brave, I am brave. I am not afraid, I am brave," over and over, because it's what my mom used to sing to me. I realized, then, that she wasn't reminding us to be brave when she sang, she was reminding herself.
Then it was over, and I nursed him and cried, and on the way home I called BJ and said, "Are you sure it's worth putting him through all of this? Are we sure that it's this bad?" and he is, so we'll keep searching for an answer.
But damn, I hope the answer is in one of those vials.