One thing I have tried the last few years not to talk about are vaccinations. When I first became a mom almost 10 years ago (wow…) I was 21 years old, lived in Ohio and the whole “going to a doctor” with a baby was completely new to me. I was clueless and young… and so I did everything the Dr. order. EVERYTHING. Those who follow my blog know some of the battles we faced with our 1st born in regards to vaccines. We battled high fevers. Rashes, bumps, soreness, ear infections and a constant issue with congestion. It got so bad at one point, after a 104+ spike in fever after a vaccine around 6 months (I believe he got 4 at once that visit), as a worried mom I called my Dr. asking if this was normal… that Caleb kept battling these things… despite our efforts to keep him home, well… etc… He was not in day care… I did not leave often… and yet, always sick. She assured me “Oh yes, totally normal.” In my gut though I did not feel this was right. Why was my baby always sick. Why was he battling ear infections EACH shot he got. Why was he congested in struggling month after month. At around 1 year old we even had him tested for allergies because we could not figure out how to keep this little guy well. It was so frustrating and consumed me constantly.
I then started to do some home work myself. I spoke to a few older mothers with much older kids, got their opinions. I read so many websites I cant even count. I watched documentaries. I asked questions… It was an on going journey of research that honestly went on for YEARS in my life… at one point I had to put my foot down and make the decision to stop vaccinating until I was comfortable and knew it was safe for my child.
All a mother ever wants is the best for their child.
We live in a constant state of fear it seems as moms these days. I remember after having my 2nd born (I was 23). Dr. after Dr. telling me the huge risk I was taking not to vaccinate Taite. How this could happen, or that.
I remember one Dr. in fact telling me “You have to get these shots. Or your baby will die.”
Im not even kidding. She said that to me.
Dr’s over the years, as my children grew and we still declined the vaccines, would continue to throw fear remarks at me… and would even bring up the whole “school thing.” You cannot send them to school or daycare without vaccines. I guess its a good thing we wouldnt need to send them to either but regardless, that is a lie in itself.
As a mom who does not vaccinate… I get constant remarks by others on how MY child is putting THEIR child at risk. Their vaccinated child… who is vaccinated against these things…. so why would my unvaccinated child put their vaccinated child at risk? It is a constant back and forth battle… and after honestly loosing friendship over this subject, I began to keep my mouth shut and try to stay neutral if all possible.
Do we vaccinate?…
Not right now, no.
Are we anti-vaccine? No. In fact last year when Owen was bit in the face by a dog… I had to make a decision on a vaccine. Tetanus. Which he got that day. I don’t know if it was the right decision but in that moment, I felt it was best. So he got it.
When I was in labor with Reed and he was born… a nurse looked at me with a sheet to sign consenting to give my 6 pound baby HEP B Vaccine… I looked at her and said “No Shots.” as they continued to mess with my girly parts and clean things up. A mom after birthing a baby is handed forms requesting permission to give their baby who has been out of the womb for all of 2 minutes, a shot. Why?! Have you read the risk of Hep B? I never did. Nor was I ever told. Did you know that “hepatitis B is a primarily blood-transmitted disease associated with risky lifestyle choices, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners and intravenous drug use involving sharing needles—it is NOT primarily a “children’s disease.” - yet they feel the need to give it to EVERY newborn born?
The thing is. I think vaccines have their place. I think they have been used for good in some situations… but in many cases I think it is TO MUCH too soon. Why so many, so fast? Why not spread them out a bit… If you look at this chart you will see around 6 mo. of age babies are pumped FULL of vaccines… tiny little bodies full of this stuff… it cannot be good and the dangers are real.
*Taken from the CDC website*
We each as mothers have to pray… do research…. and make a decision in regards to our child’s health care. No one should bully us into anything and often times when I went to Dr’s I felt bullied… unheard and disrespected.
I have mad props for any Dr. out there. The amount of schooling they are put through… the time they spend working… its hard… and I know they work for that and desire the best… and I am thankful for wise Dr’s who are used all over the globe to save lives and fight childhood illnesses that would otherwise kill. I am thankful for health care…. but what I am not thankful for is when I take my child into a Dr’s office and they act as if I am not worth hearing.
Last night I made the decision to take Taite into a very well known Urgent care for children in Atlanta. It is one of the highest rated and I have been there before. Because it was after 6pm we could not see Taite’s regular Dr… and the thought of waiting until morning and facing a Dr’s office with 4 young children, risking Reed being exposed to something in the Dr’s office… was not appealing to me. So I went to the urgent care while Travis stayed home with the other 3 boys.
Taite had been battling a fever for 7 days now. Off and on. One minute it would be 103. The next 99.9. One day he’d be fine, wanting to play. The next wouldnt even move from the sofa. Complained he had a sore throat and was obviously not feeling well. I am not one to rush to a Dr’s office… but yesterday Taite continued to feel bad and when I looked into his throat he had bumps all over the back of his tongue. I had never seen anything like it. It looked like his taste buds had become inflamed? very odd looking. It freaked me out enough to take him in.
As soon as you are seen for anything in regards to a child. One of the 1st questions you are asked is “Is your child up to date on their vaccines?” – If you respond “no” – you are then asked “Why not?” – and given looks. I have seen many nurses, doctors, etc… and each and every time, I get a look. The only Dr. who has not given me “a look” is the Dr. we see for their primary care. She has 2 boys and is very open minded and respectful.
After you explain that you do not vaccinate and the scribble a bit more on the clip board, they then do the general test. They checked Taite for strep (isnt that a fun test?) – and then we are sent to a room to wait results.
Strep Test, negative.
The Dr. then comes in to talk to us… and was so impersonal… and I realize she sees lots of people… but they could at least be kind… and smile or something.
She then goes on telling me that because Taite is not vaccinated they wanted to run lots of test to rule out possible infections. At this point I asked the Dr. could this possibly just be Influenza? She told me “No, theres no way its that. Its not circulating right now.” I then told her “Well… a close friend of Taite’s who he just saw less than a week ago was tested for Influenza B after having Xrays and blood work that all came back negative… yet after a respiratory type test she in fact had it.” She looked at me with surprise and I am not even kidding, acted as if I was telling her a story and dismissed the notion immediately.
She then told me that Taite needed to have 2 chest X-Rays. Blood drawn as well as a test for pertussis.
In the moment, as you sit in these Dr. rooms… you often times feel at a loss. Here I was with my child who was sick but not deathly sick. I knew he was ok I just wanted answers… and here this Dr. is wanting to torture your child running all sorts of test that honestly did not needed to be run.
Lets take a look at all these “vaccines” and possible “illnesses” Taite was tested for:
RV – Rotavirus – We actually have had this – Horrible experience … Taite had no signs at all of this at this moment though. Rotavirus is a pretty easy one to weed out.
DTAP – Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis – Taite clearly did not have Tetanus, Pertussis while it can seem like a common cold at first, this to me did not seem at all like Pertussis aka Whopping cough. He most def. did not have Diphtheria according to the symptoms listed from the MAYO clinic website.
HiB – Haemophilus influenzae type b – Symptoms for this include fever, lethargy, vomiting and a stiff neck. Taite had a fever bu the rest could clearly be weeded out.
PCV – Pneumococcal Vaccination – Most symptoms were similar to the above. Rapid breathing. Chest Pain. Those two things alone Taite did not have. He was breathing fine. No Chest Pain.
IPV – Polio – Symptoms include Fever, Sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue, back pain or stiffness, neck pain or stiffness, pain or stiffness in the arms or legs, muscle weakness or tenderness, meningitis. Taite had a slight fever and a sore throat. Both very common in many many things but he had none of the other symptoms of Polio.
MMR – Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella – He clearly did not have Measles, Mumps, Rubella or Varicella. Varicella btw is Chickenpox.
My head hurts honestly from the amount I have read up on vaccines. I get tired of reading about them – and it is a battle I do not ever enjoy.
I realize children die of some of the above. I realize whopping cough is a big deal! I realize children have been crippled and killed by polio and measles is no walk in the Park. Each disease has its risk and there is reason to be concerned if a child EVER contracts them. We live in a fallen world with diseases… with illnesses.. with terrible things happening to children. Cancer… car accidents… abusive homes, etc… we live in such a broken world and yet we cannot live by fear. Just as the concern for these illnesses happening, there is also reason to be concerned with the many countless risk that come with vaccinated children, esp tiny lil humans aka babies… those risk are also VERY REAL.
This situation was just frustrating…. and yet, I went ahead with the test… At that moment I remember just feeling annoyed… and didn’t want to fight this in front of m 7 year old… There are times you just go with the flow and ride it out.
All test were normal.
After it was all said and done, the Dr. said “Well… maybe it is the flu.” – and sent us on our way.
The only thing to me that made sense was the Flu. The entire reason I came in was to be given an explanation as to why Taite had bumps on his tongue… only to be ignored and not even given an answer. I did my own home work and found out what they were… and apparently it is common to get those tongue bumps with fevers and colds… The Dr. never explained this to me. I had to research it myself on google, website after website.
The trip was pointless.
The only thing it revealed to me was how awesomely strong Taite is. Who did not cry the entire time. Even after having a needle put into his arm to take blood, that kid didnt even flinch!! He was a champ and such a joy to be with those 3 hours we waited.
It is another lesson learned.
So to all the moms who may be reading this.
Hear me out.
I don’t think less of those who vaccinate. I don’t think I am better. I do not hate Doctors… although at times I hate how they treat me some times. I do not think one way is the only way. I have lots of close dear friends who vaccinate and I love them still the same. I dont shun people who vaccinate. I dont hang out in unvaccinated circles with hippies and sip on kefir, wearing a sling and showing off my cloth diapers. While I may have done many of those things haha I am very open minded… and very understanding to peoples choices. I respect people for their own ways and understand it is a decision we each have to make.
Thankful my child is well.
I just wish people… Doctors included, could respect a mothers decision more. Not judge. Understand. Listen… and make sure that mother leaves heard.