7.28.2008

A Jaunt through a Confused Mother's Mind


  • Most doctors (Every one I have ever talked to in person) will say vaccines are important and children should get them without a doubt.
  • It is definitely in the country's best interest for everyone to be immunized without a doubt. The people most at risk are very small babies, (and non-breastfeed babies) and people with a weakened immune system. If the "Herd" is vaccinated, there is less of a chance that those who are more susceptible will be effected, and epidemics will not happen.
  • Some of the ingredients in the varying vaccines worry me as a mother. Things like the aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, animal proteins, and preservatives. Thankfully, mercury is almost gone from most vaccines in the last few years and the ones that do (one of the DTaP brands, and some flu shots) have 1/100th of what used to be in them.
  • The most alarming thing to me is the amount of aluminum that will be injected into a small body when many shots are given at once. The effects of the quantity has only been studied in the quantity for 1 vaccine, not 3 to 5 at once.
  • There are all these questions floating around about links to different illnesses such as autism and vaccines. So far, research has found no correlation, but then again, I have read some personal stories about before and immediately after vaccine that are chilling. Who and how do you trust anything???
  • There are so many of the diseases that they vaccinate for such as diphtheria, that if you are not leaving the country, your chance of contracting it is almost 0. However, the reason we can live with ease that it is 0 is because we vaccinate against it. If I didn't vaccinate Lili against Diphtheria I am relying on thousands of other babies to get the shot to keep diphtheria out of our country. That doesn't feel right to me...
  • But then again, do I make the decision on what is best for all, or for what I believe is best for Lili in my heart? What I came to is that there were many places this overlapped. It is in the world's best interest that Lili be vaccinated for polio, It is in Lili's best interest to be vaccinated for polio. (Polio is not considered a very risky vaccine comparitivly and contracting Polio can be devestating) I got her vaccinated for Polio.
  • I did not get her vaccinated for chicken pox or Hep B. Maybe when she is older, closer to being sexually active, and her immune system is older I will do the Hep B. If she doesn't contract Chicken Pox by age 10 or so I will get the vaccine then (Because the older you are when you contract that one, the worse it is.)
  • Technically, I shouldn't be allowed to just pick and choose which I want and what I don't. I have to claim a religious exemption, and really, if you were religiously against vaccines, you wouldn't get some vaccines. But the Doctor just said "Well, I am here to inform you that I think vaccines are safe, and you should get them, but I respect your decision. (In the beginning when I decided to delay them)
  • The country is dealing with an ever rising group of people who are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The laws in each state vary, and in all of them, it is a sticky subject. Can you lawfully force vaccines? Is it child abuse to not vaccinate? What if you think that the research done on vaccines is incomplete and in some cases funded by the vaccine makers themselves? Where is the balance, and how can we keep everyone healthy?
I read five books about vaccinations all in all. One was way over my head, one was so Pro-vaccine that it terrified me to even question vaccinating. The third was so Anti-vaccine that it terrified me to question vaccinating. (both the anti and the pro books made me feel nauseous with worry when I read them) But luckily (just like Goldilocks) I found two great books that fit me just right. They are written by Aviva Jill Romm, and Dr. Sears. I found the Dr. Sears most helpful of all, and it was what swayed me to choose to vaccinate Lili for many of the recommended vaccines. I anticipate this blog entry will upset some people. Especially if you feel that the vaccine question is not a question. I am sorry. This has been weighing very heavy on me since before Lili was born. My little list that I just spun off the top of my head is just a small sampling of the chaos roaming in my head about vaccines. I have much empathy for both sides of the debate, and can not point my finger to a right and a wrong. For me it came down to a balancing act. Weighing in what I feel is right for my child, and weighing that against what I think is best for the good of all. Trying to listen and respect my doctor, and yet at the same time trying to be a good mother and and find the path that is most healthy for Lili.

3 comments:

bottomland said...

Hello, my dear! Thanks for the window into your mind! It's incredible and I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!! I just had to post and say that, because I know that you know that we haven't vaxed C, I still very much thing it's a QUESTION, and I totally support you making the decision you made. I just got the Dr. Sears book from the library for Linds, who's due on Sunday! :)

Daisie said...

It's a bit of a mine field I know, my babies are all up to date with their vaccines (Nathaniel is due his MMR soon). I think vaccines may be slightly different where you are?
I too had a doubt in my mind and it was my Mum that made me want to vaccinate. When I was born there was huge debate about whooping cough vaccine as some children had died (the link wasn't established though), and she made the decision to vaccinate me. When I asked her about it when I had children I wanted to know how she made the decision. She said that she would rather something happened to me because she tried to protect me than something happened to me because she did nothing. I think of all the childhood illnesses my children could be exposed to (especially now so many people refuse to vaccinate) and could never bear the thought of them being deaf or blind because they caught one.
At Elizabeth's school there is a lovely boy who lost both his legs when he contracted meningitis last year. He no longer plays football. Nathaniel has been vaccinated against MenC.
The bottom line is that as a mother you will always do what's right and as long as you hold your convictions strong, all will be well.
May your mind be more rested today.
Love xxx

Erin said...

Thanks for your thoughts. Ours have been along very similar lines. We have also looked at the two books your recommended. We really liked reading what Dr. Sears had to say and Liked the way it was laid out. We said no to the Hep B too but we have our 2 month coming up and are trying to figure out what to do. I think we will go with most except the chicken pox as well. I appreciate hearing your thoughts!