Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vaccines...Yes, I'm going there.

It's not a secret what my stance is on vaccines for my family.  But in case you don't know, I'll give you a little background.

I planned to have my son delayed and selectively vaccinated.  It was a constant fight with our pediatrician, and when I would question certain/most vaccines, she would only give me the benefits of the vaccine and the risks of not vaccinating.  This shot up A LOT of red flags for me.  But needless to say, I was pressured into getting vaccines that I did not want for my son (up to and including the Varicella vaccine).  :(  I took my son in for his 2 year appointment, VERY pregnant with my daughter, and mentioned to their doctor that I was having a homebirth and that there obviously wouldn't be a pediatrician on call for my birth.  She gasped, and said that I had to bring my baby in within 24 hours of the birth to make sure she was okay and get all of her shots....hahaha!  Yea right.  I smiled and nodded in order to avoid punching her in the face.  She left the room for a moment and arrived back quickly to let me know that they had added another 7 doses to the Prevnar (I think) vaccine and that she recommends it and would be bringing it in to give to my son.  FINALLY my Mama Bear kicked in.  I jumped up and told her she was nuts and let her know that she would never see my children again. 

I read more and more and more and more information about vaccines - mind you, I found most of this information on the CDC's very own website.  My daughter was born and we switched our care to a holistic family MD.  I was planning on holding off the few vaccinations I was considering until 2 years of age.  But I kept reading and researching and finally settled on refusing ALL vaccinations.  By the way, our doctor gave me the risks and benefits to both sides and FULLY supported my decision to discontinue vaccinations for my son and not give any to my daughter.  *sigh of more fighting*

So that is my experience and where I stand with vaccines in my family.

There are a lot of people searching for a "middle ground" in this gigantic and nasty vaccine debate we have going on.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the middle ground can only be found if we transport ourselves back to the 1980s.  Those who refuse to vaccinate are selfish and irresponsible and are putting not only their kids' lives in danger, but everyone around them in danger.  Those who do vaccinate are selfish and irresponsible and are putting not only their kids' lives in danger, but everyone around them in danger.  And if you are one of those who delays/selectively vaccinates, you get crapped on from both sides - you are obviously either anti-vaccination and are ruining our country or you are pro-vaccination and ruining our country.  Hmmm...can a middle ground be found?

Common responses I get from people everywhere - "I was vaccinated and I am fine.  You were vaccinated and you are fine.  My kids are vaccinated and they are fine" (this is the one that I get to argue with often because most people who use this as an excuse/response fail to see that their kids are on 18 different medications for ADHD, ADD, Autism, Aspergers, Asthma, Allergies, Chronic this and that - so NO, your kids are NOT fine).  And I can use a similar response.  Both my husband and I were vaccinated.  And yes, we are fine (eh hem, can you define fine? lol).  Here's the problem...
Maybe this is why most of us as adults are fine and our kids are suffering tremendously.

So here is MY MIDDLE GROUND.  Respect and Education.
Whether you refuse all vaccinations, delay or selectively vaccinate, or vaccinate entirely on the CDCs schedule, as long as you have TRULY researched and educated yourself on the risks/benefits and what exactly you are or aren't putting into your child's body, and you are continuously open to learning and educating yourself more, you are doing what is right for your children - because you are doing what you truly believe to be best. 

The only irresponsible thing to do, is to make ANY of these decisions without educating yourself (and continuing to educate even after you make that decision) and just doing it because someone told you to.  That my friends, is not doing what is right for you children - that is doing what is right for someone else. 

ALWAYS respect others' educated decisions and never close your ears and eyes to information that may or may not benefit our children's futures.

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