Thursday, September 20, 2007

What I Believe



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.



Gathering Information



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.


Scare Tactics


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?


And Finally



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:



http://www.nvic.org/ or http://www.vran.org/



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?

11 comments:

Shelly said...

I watched Oprah on Tuesday (don't worry, I'm not a crazy Oprah fan!) & she had Jenny McCarthy on there who's son has autism. She said she noticed a change in her son around age 2 when he got his MMR vaccination & was worried when he got it because she heard it was the "autism shot" but the doctor blew her off like she was crazy. Really got me thinking!

Michelle said...

Shelly,
Most people's reactions to our decision is one of horror. How could we? But it only takes a little (and I mean little) research to see what is out there. I'm glad y'all are "thinking". It really is the smart thing to do. :)

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

i applaud you for doing your research and what you believe is best for your children. you know them best. :)

amy

for the record we did selective and delayed vaxing with my daughter starting at 12 months. she's gotten dtap and polio.
my son is 10 months and we haven't done anything yet and he may not get any. the verdict is still out, but the more i learn, the less i believe in vaxing.

Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

Oh, I'll be bookmarking those links, thank-you-very-much!

Thanks for the info - you've really got me thinking! And I only have a few weeks before Benjamin turns 6 months... must... research... quickly...

Anonymous said...

What happened to your little girl? She was probably just experiencing soreness at the injection site. My babies do (they cry, a lot) and I give them Tylenol. They usually get a fever, too.

I feel very strong that you should vax because my friend's little 6 mos old died from Pertussis. She was not vax, nor did she think it was necessary. These childhood diseases are nothing to fool around with.

BTW, the ingredient that was added to the MMR (mercury) was thought to cause autism. They don't even put mercury in the vax anymore(or just trace amounts in some) and the rates have still continued to climb. I think autism has a genetic component that can be environmentally triggered ie. too much TV and not enough human interaction. This angle is not researched because it would be the fault of the parents and that isn't pc. It is much more pc to blame the establishment.

Please vax your kids. The reason there are so many baby graves in the graveyards was because no vax and no antibiotics.

The reason there are not many breakouts of these childhood diseases are because of vax. There was a breakout of whooping cough in my town. Boosters are needed for this.

I guess, I feel so strongly about this because the baby's funeral was devastating. Something I will never get over.

-Zan

Lisa said...

Re: 6 m.o. dying of pertussis:

1. Very sad
2. A 6 m.o. has not yet received the entire pertussis series. This could have happened whether the baby had the shots or not.

Re: MMR

The MMR is one vaccine that has *never* contained mercury. Lots of others, but not that one.

I think it's great that you researched & did what you felt was right. In this day and age, most people just don't seem to think very hard about their parenting decisions, especially if a dr. says so.

We should be careful "scaremongering" anyone into getting a vaccination. The CDC even admits now that the rate of serious adverse reactions appears to be higher than the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases. That should give anyone something to think about. Modern medicine can probably save you from most VPDs, but still can't do much about a vaccine reaction.

Michelle said...

Amy and Beth,
I'm glad you both are thinking about your decisions. It is just that - *your decisions*. I hope the Lord brings peace to both of you concerning your little ones. :)

Zan,
Thanks for chiming in. :) I really do appreciate you input.
Infant funerals are just so difficult. I've been to one for a 5 month old that died from SIDS. It was one of the worst things I've ever experienced.
I do realize children die from these diseases. Death is a part of life and none of us are promised tomorrow. However, I just cannot, in good conscience, put these substances into my childrens bodies because I'm *afraid* they're going to get something and die. My daughters reaction was not a "sore injection site". Like I said, I've seen reactions in my other children and this was NOT normal.
Also, I cannot disagree with you more on the autism issue. While I agree that *other* things can contribute to developmental issues in children, I have to question the fact that SO many parents have had normal, healthy children and then within weeks or sometimes days of getting a vaccination that child changes drastically. It just doesn't gel. If the government would be willing to do a genuine, non-biased study of vacinated children and non-vac children I might be more inclined to take their advice. Problem is, they won't.
I really do believe that it is each families choice to do what is best for their family. I'm not going to push *our* decision on anyone else. While I do enjoy hearing others opinions on the issue (good or bad) I don't want it to turn into a debate (not that you did that because I don't feel that way at all). My fear when I posted this was that a debate would ensue and things would get ugly. That is not my purpose. I'm just stating what "I" believe.

Thanks again for your genuine concern and your input. I really am very sorry for your friend in the death of her little one.

Anonymous said...

About my friend, I should have clarified: none of her children had been vax with any vaccinations and the baby had caught whooping cough from her siblings. All of the kids had been sick. Whooping cough is rarely fatal in children, but in little babies, it is a great strain on their hearts and though the baby had recovered from pertussis, it had done too much damage to her heart and she died from heart failure.

My little one screamed a lot during his first round of shots. He screamed all day. Just this last time of shots, he had a hard time walking the next day. I just wonder what the nurses had you do with you baby when she was having her reaction? My first baby had a much easier time with his reactions, but my second screamed all day long. I know it sounds mean to be OK with him screaming. I monitored his temp and just kept him with me and gave him Tylenol.

I will say that it is unfortunately common for nurses not to document phone calls from patients (I'm a nurse). This is probably why the dr didn't know you had called. It wasn't documented. This is more the fault of sloppy nursing due to a busy pedi office. I never worked in a pedi office, but I rarely get a hold of the dr and messages get confused all the time. You have to stay on top of these dr's offices.

I did a quick look up on MMR and mercury content. There is no mercury. I don't know where I read that there was. I guess I was thinking of the influenza vaccine. (I haven't worked in a few years and I never did pediatrics)There was a report out of Canada that said they had removed an ingredient from one of the vaccinations9thought to cause autism) and the rate of autism increased. Maybe I will be able to find that for you.

This is a good link/article http://www.immunizationinfo.org/thimerosal_mercury_detail.cfv?id=3

I am very careful what I read online. A lot of unqualified people make web sites dedicated to this vaccination debate. There is a lot of passion and bias from parents of autistic children who want to put the blame somewhere. I don't trust those kinds of sites.

Another thing (this may be biased), I took care of many patients with post-polio syndrome. I think these partially paralyzed people wish that there had been a vaccine when they were kids. These illnesses were/are very serious.

The reason there are more cases of vaccine reactions than the childhood illnesses(if that is the case) is because vaccines have nipped the illnesses in the bud.

I hope I don't seem "ugly" when disagreeing with you. If I do, let me know and I'll put some make-up on. ;-)

Have a great weekend.

-Zan

Anonymous said...

The whole vaccination program is one big gigantic con - all about making money for Big Pharma. It takes guts to go against the majority views, but once one investigates the evidence, it is very clear that vaccinations don't work and they never have.
I applaud your post and bravery.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of your friends lose. It is so traggic to lose a baby.

My sweet little niece born beautiful and healthy recieved her 2 month shots. Within hours she was screaming with pain. After hours of that mommy called the ped to be told that it was normal and to give pain meds. When my brother came home to find his dear daughter and dear wife on the floor both crying he took the baby to the ER. They were told the same thing there...this is a normal reaction, go home. By 3 am my niece had screamed as long as she could and passed out. She also passed away. They could not get her to breath again. We lost her that night 14 hours after her shots.

We have not and will not vax. Childhood diseases won't lie to me. They are what they are should they fall upon us. I just can not be certain of the outcome if I inject them so I chose to leave it with God.

God Bless you and your families. Knowledge is freedom so please continue to read and pray before making any choices for your family.

Milehimama said...

I've been reading your blog for a while but just browsed the archives and found this.

Very well said!

I cannot find a no-vax friendly doctor, and I desperately need one. My 5th child had an extreme reaction to vax, too - as did I! And my reaction was just "a virus". Even though it occurred within MINUTES of the shot while I was still at the doctor's office!

Anyway, thanks for posting.