Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Did You or Didn't You? Would You or Wouldn't You?

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Have you guys heard the rumblings around town about children and vaccinations? No? Well let me catch you up to speed.

You know Dr. Nancy Snyderman? I mean not know her, know her but know of her I should say. Well on her "talk show" of sorts she broached the subject of vaccinations and how more and more parents are opting out of giving them to their kids and the irresponsibility of these parents and how dare they and she got pretty upset I could tell. She can be a little severe at times right? So there she goes saying that due to the lack of vigor by many parents, there are now some childhood illnesses that were once thought completely eradicated making a serious comeback like Betty White. i.e. whooping cough (aka pertussis) and measles.

She called parents that choose not to vaccinate "crazy people" and pretty much angered a whole bunch of folks I'm sure. But since everyone is entitled to their opinion, I took no offense.

Because guess what? I was one of those "crazy people"...gulp...yep, I sure was. And I'll tell you why. I was a young mom ready to deliver my first little baby boy and since I'm such a word nerd I was reading every single book, magazine, and website on babies, birth, and parenting I could get my hands on. Plus I was on bedrest for the last month before delivery so I had a ton of time on my hands! After reading up on many things related to vaccinations, my husband and I decided that for our family at that exact time, it just wasn't right for us. I was going to be a stay at home mom for the first 4-5 years of our childrens lives up until they started school and I was thinking "well if the CDC says that 1 in every 1,000 people could die from measles then I should be good because rarely am I around 1,000 people on a daily basis AND who brings a baby to a Megadeth concert anyway?" (Note: not that I listen to them as they are a bit heavy for my taste but just sayin'...)

So no. I didn't vaccinate right out of the womb. Sue me? But before you do, realize that I also didn't go anywhere with my baby, I kept sick family and relatives at arms length but not completely away, because a little dirt and germs are actually good for the immune system to grow now and again, and my kids didn't start mingling with other kids until almost 1. I didn't do it due to some religious beliefs although many do, but I just did it because it seemed to us to be...just...hmm..logical. There are adverse effects that can happen with any vaccine and that's why they tell you to monitor the child for the next 24 hours to see any signs of trouble. Essentially vaccines are giving your child that illness and hoping that the immune system rises to the occasion and kicks butt until it prevails. And the fact that they give them so many so soon was what really concerned me. My daughter was 3 I believe and I was talking with one of our dear family friends who is from England and he was asking about The Beans growth and "is she doing anything new?" kinda convo. so I was just telling him all the things and happened to say "She's getting ready to get her next series of vaccines tomorrow."

Okay let me just type this out conversationally line by line so I can eliminate alot of the "he said" "she said" "and then we both said"...s

"She's getting ready to get her next series of vaccines tomorrow."
"What do you mean?"
"You know. Shots. To ward off diseases. Don't they do that in Europe?"
"Yeah sure they do, but not to babies. They usually wait until they are in school first. Like 5."

And that shocked me. I did some more research and found that many parents don't do vaccines at all over there and if they do, they rarely finish them. But that may also be the reason that measles outbreaks are commonly happening over there too. So who knows?

I'll tell you what I do know. I know that I didn't feel good about giving such a tiny bean so many vaccines in one shot so to speak so early in their lives. I felt that with my due diligence and by keeping their exposure down I could dodge the statistics.

Did we ever vaccinate? Yes we did. But just on our timetable. We would drag out the amount of time between each one longer than the suggested vaccine schedule. We watched their child milestone markers closely to make sure they were meeting them without trouble (sitting up relatively on time, walking, talking, feeding themselves) and whenever things would check out, then we would visit the Doc and get a new shot.

Now that the kids are both in school and around other kids they are fully vaccinated and up to date with all their shots and so far so good. Other than them occasionally sticking something shiny or round up their noses, they seem to be pretty normal well adjusted kids. If there is such a thing these days. And despite their parents!

Okay so let's get this discussion going. Did you vaccinate your kids on schedule or did you hold off a bit or altogether? I'm curious. And tomorrow I will talk about this again but on a whole 'nother level.

My best,

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