This post was at the request of Beth, so here it goes sister!
I Believe it was best for our family to stop vaccinating our children. Alright, alright, I can hear the oxygen begin sucked from living rooms around the country as I type. Pull your hands away from you mouths y'all and read on. Really, it's not as bad as one might think.
Let me start by saying that we haven't always felt this way. We started out vaccinating all our children to the hilt. Five years ago I would have thought someone a bad parent who didn't immunize their children. I was pretty vocal about it as well. Ten years ago I was fairly vocal about how I didn't agree with homeschooling either. The amount of humble pie I have consumed over the years is a little sickening. I'm quite full of myself sometimes and my best advice to y'all would be never say never. I'm just sayin'.
What Happened to Make Us Change Our Minds
It all happened with a routine well baby check-up. Olivia, a.k.a. LiverPie, was being seen for her two month check-up and getting the routine vaccinations. Without a thought, I signed the I-won't-hold-you-accountable-if-something-horrible-happens-to-my-baby-should-she-have-a-reaction-papers. But don't worry, they're completely safe. I mean, that's what we're supposed to do, right? Not question the experts because they know best. They gave her all of her shots and we were on our way.
Everything was fine for about 2 hours and then it began. The crying. Oh, the crying. For two solid hours this poor baby screamed. It wasn't normal screaming mind you. It was screams full of pain. She was inconsolable. If I held her close and completely still it seemed to alleviate some of the crys, but if I even remotely moved her, the screams would begin again. For the first time ever, I was scared about this reaction. After enduring this pitiful scene for a while I called The Mad Monk at work, crying. He told me to go ahead and call the doctor's office. I called and they reassured me she would be fine, that sometimes this happens and not to worry. Hmpf! It wasn't their baby crying, now was it?
Let me just start by saying, NO, this wasn't a normal reaction. LiverPie was my fourth child and this had never happened to ANY of my other children. I know normal, and I can tell you, the excruciating screams coming from my little one was not normal. Actually, I'm glad it happened. Why? It made me anxious, fearful and mad all at the same time and that is when my research began.
I searched the web over and boy howdy, was I shocked at the amount of information I found. As with anything controversial, there are plenty of websites for and against vaccination. As a parent, it was my responsibility to gather the information, discuss it with my husband and then prayerfully make a decision for what is best for our family. And that we did.
This was the hardest part. It takes time and patience to read what is out there, but well worth it. I was completely overwhelmed at first. But after a little time and effort I managed to sort some facts out and things starting coming together for me. Let me start by giving y'all a few tidbits I found:
-By the time a child is 6-months-old they will be injected with 45 different vaccines ( counting DPT as 3, MMR as 3 and Prevnar as 7, etc... 2003 vaccination schedule).
-Did you know a 5 pound premature infant will receive the same dose of vaccine as say a 60 pound 6 year old? A single vaccine given to a 6 pound newborn is the equivalent of giving a 180 pound adult 30 vaccinations in the same day. Yikes!
-Vaccinations can increase the chance for crib death or SIDS. (There is a Japanese study to prove this, but for sake of space I'm not posting it. I will post the results later if anyone would like them.)
-Autism rates continue to climb as more vaccinations are added to the schedule. 20 years ago about 1 in 10,000 children were autistic. In 2002 the number was 1 in 86.
-Allergies, asthma, lupus, celiac disease have all been linked to vaccination damage.
The list goes on an on people.
When we made the choice to stop vaccinating I was shaking in my boots. I thought for sure some manly looking woman from CPS would show up at my door with a police officer ready to cuff me and take my children away from me. Obviously I am not writing this from prison, so that didn't happen (and thank goodness because I really would miss wearing my lipstick). There are legal reasons for not vaccinating and at this juncture, the government can't stop you from just saying, No.
However, our pediatrician did his best to make me feel like a lousy parent. He would tell me that LiverPie wouldn't be able to attend Mother's Day Out. I told him we didn't want her to, we liked her at home, thank-you-very-much. He said she wouldn't be able to go to kindergarten. I told him that we homeschooled so it wasn't an issue.
Then the fear mongering began. He had seen soooo many children die from such and such because they weren't vaccinated. Y'all it's just not true. There is no evidence to support it. Actually the evidence goes against it.
After almost 16 years with the same pediatrician we made the decision to change doctors. We have found a vaccine friendly doc that puts no pressure on us whatsoever. They are out there. As a matter of fact, Hope had her two month (two months? already?) well-check yesterday and all the doc did was say, "are we doing any vacs today?". I said nope and that was the end of the conversation. I did have to sign a government paper with the official title "Refusal of Vaccination". I chuckled at that one. Yep, it's a refusal. Not a choice or a well-researched decision, but a refusal. I felt like I was in 3rd grade getting a bad grade in citizenship or something.
Also, every state has a vaccination exemption for reasons such as: religious beliefs, reasons of conscience, etc... I have these forms signed and notarized (they are easy to obtain and free) and the schools cannot force me to have my children vaccinated. They inform you that if there is ever an epidemic then your child may have to stay home because they might be a threat. Say it with me now...s-c-a-r-e t-a-c-t-i-c. Because we all know how many epidemics have broken out in the schools lately, huh?
I realize I haven't given a comprehensive investigation into why we stopped vaccinating. Honestly, it would go on forever to do that and that was not my intention. I just wanted to be brief and to the point. I guess if I had to sum up my I Believe in a sentence it would be this: I believe childhood vaccinations are dangerous and unnecessary and could potentially harm our children whether it be now or twenty years from now.
It was a decision we made for our family. Period. We judge no one else for their decisions one way or another. We only ask the same courtesy.
If some of y'all are interested in a little more reading concerning vaccination issues then may I suggest a few websites:
And there you have it. This is what I Believe.
p.s. A lot of doctors won't report reactions even though they are supposed to. My doctor claimed I never called his office the day LiverPie had her reaction. It's not anywhere in her file. Isn't that convenient?