Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vaccines, you either love them, or hate them.

I personally hate them. But let me just start off this post by saying that whether or not to vaccinate your child is a very personal choice, and whether you do or do not does not make you a bad parent. After loads of research, I have decided we are done. All this after my 7 year old is fully vaxed, my 4 year old is partially vaxed (about half) and my 2 year old...well, she has had 3.

As a new parent I was so afraid of everything. Especially having a child that was supposed to have profound disabilities. I was barely 24 when Jonathan was born, and all I wanted to do was protect him. He was vaccinated against EVERYTHING...if they had a shot, he was getting it. Although there were a few that the doctors wouldn't give him, because of the potential seizure side effect. It took me about 6 months to actually look into that, and then my research began. Fast forward to the birth of Jacob. The kid screamed if you touched him from the get go. So I started to be a bit cautious because I really didn't want to piss him off by giving him shots all the time. He screamed enough already, why add to his misery. And after all his food allergy issues came to light and I started to research all of that, info started popping up on vaccines also. ACK! Too much information for me to process! And then fast forward to Victoria. I she didn't get poked once in the hospital...well, she did get a heel stick to check her bili level for jaundice at the same time they did her PKU testing. She didn't receive the standard vitamin K shot, no eye goop, nothing. I didn't have gonorrhea so why in the hell would I need to put antibiotics in her eyes? And then, no vaccines. By standards they were supposed to get 4 shots at their 2 month well baby visit...barf. That is A LOT! We didn't start Victoria getting anything until after her first birthday. And then I read this article in my Mothering magazine called The Vaccine Debate. Awesome article! Very informative! I highly suggest it! PLEASE READ IT! So anyway, after doing more research and talking with my pediatrician (who by the way is pro-vaccine for the most part but doesn't get the flu vax himself, nor the H1N1, and thinks the chicken pox vaccine is for convenience only) and discovered that I will not be getting fired for choosing not to vaccinate my children anymore, that we have now stopped. For the time being. Victoria got a Hib_vaccine in January and ended up with a swollen leg and she refused to walk for 2 days. That was enough for me.
On to the chicken pox...we are on day 17 of a second exposure. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Ziltch. Talk about piss me off. I feel guilty about knowingly exposing them to this dreaded but virtually harmless virus. Yes I do. But I would much rather them get it now, like I did as a young child. The alternative is getting the vax, that who knows how effective it is, and hoping that they get the boosters as they get older. I have this gut feeling that in the future we are going to have a whole generation of adults that get incredibly sick from the chicken pox because they got vaccinated as children, but forgot about the boosters as adults. Just like the issue with pertussis. Yes, we all got vaccinated as children, but how many of us have gotten the boosters? I know I haven't!
Vaccinating is a hard question. You feel guilty if you do, yet freak out if you don't. And the pressure...oh the pressure. Here, let us tell you the horrible nasty things that can happen to your child if you don't get this vaccine. Ah yes, and in small print they will share with you what can happen if they DO get the vaccine. Listen to your heart. If you want to, then by all means, go ahead. But if you don't, please don't do it. You can always do it later. But after you inject whatever vaccine it is, you can't take it back out. My only request if you do vaccinate is this: go easy on them. It is suggested to get multiple shots at one visit...go for one shot. You don't have to pay a co-pay for a nurse visit! And if they do have a reaction, you will know which one they have reacted to. If you choose to get multiple shots, you will never know what caused the problem.

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