Wednesday, December 1, 2010


H-Man is not vaccinated. I'll get that right out of the way.

Well, that's not entirely true. He was given his first Hep B shot in the NICU because you simply never know with all the other babies. I'd hate for I'm to get something from another baby just because he was sharing the same nurse.

After that though, he was never given a vaccination.

That has certainly been met with a few "good for you"s and much more "what are you thinking"s.

When I was pregnant, i didn't realize you could NOT give your child vaccinations. Okay. That sounds weird. I mean, obviously they aren't forced on kids and it's a total requirement. But I always assumed that I would just give my child vaccinations. Like the norm.

Then before his vaccination appointment, the doctor mentioned at the next appointment he would be getting his shots. I asked for a list of the vaccinations. I wanted to be an informed parent. I didn't want to just show up to the doctors in 2 weeks, have X amount of shots put into my child, and have no clue what they were. I wanted to KNOW what they were. What was IN them. She gave me the list no problem. And i have to admit, I was taken back by the sheer amount of vaccinations he was going to be given. In my tiny baby that just got out of the NICU. Seriously? There were five vaccinations! Two of which were combined vaccinations. We left and made an appointment for 2 weeks, agreeing to all the vaccinations.

Then, I went home and I researched.

I didn't go to an anti-vax website. I just googled the ingredients. And was completely taken back by WHAT was in these vaccinations. That's pretty much where I started to really think. Did I really want these things in my son? This tiny little boy that I was trying to protect from the whole world? Then I started reading about side effects. Chronic ear infections. ADHD. Autism (I know what was said, but I still think there be some correlation....). Crying baby. Rashes. Soreness. Irritability. I still wasn't sold. I mean, yeah..all this stuff was bad...but did I really want my son to catch what these vaccinations were protecting him against!? Then I many children in the United States have had polio in the last 5 years. How many children have had Diphtheria in the United States in the last 10 years. Yeah... I wasn't so impressed with what I found.

And that's when I made my decision. There was no way my son was getting vaccinations. At least not now.

I will tell you, it was the hardest decision. It was a complete double-edged sword. If my son got sick with something I chose not to vaccinate him for...I would be devastated. I would be so upset and would probably take the longest time to forgive myself. But..if my son came down with one of the side effects...side effects that have a lot higher chance of affecting him...I'd also be more than upset.

I don't advocate this for everyone. I'm not an advocate of no vaccinations. They have helped us have none of the diseases we used to. I do completely understand the pros of them.

They just aren't for MY family.

I am with H-Man. He is not in day-care. He is not around un-vaccinated people (to the best of my knowledge). He isn't in the care of other people. I know what he's around. (to the best that I can.)

Do I think I've made the best decision for my son? Of course I do. If not, I wouldn't have done it if I thought any differently.

H-Man may or may not ever be vaccinated, I honestly couldn't tell you either way right now.

This all started because I wanted to be informed. 

I didn't just want to be another parent at the doctors office, "yesing" them to death. Thinking that they know everything and it was all right. I wanted to be comfortable in the decision that I was making for my son. I wanted to be involved.

I wouldn't do it any differently, given the chance.


  1. Glad to see you stress the importance of being informed, no matter what your choice is.

  2. "I didn't just want to be another parent at the doctors office, "yesing" them to death. Thinking that they know everything and it was all right. I wanted to be comfortable in the decision that I was making for my son. I wanted to be involved."

    I agree - we should all be involved and feel okay declining health care if that's what we choose. I'm not saying this to change your mind or argue with you either - just adding to the conversation.

    Personally, I feel strongly that vaccinations are one of the most amazing inventions and they have saved so many lives, in particular the lives of babies. Saved small babies, like my own, who were born premature, with impaired immune systems yet who go out into the world with nothing more than the antibodies from mama's breastmilk. I'm in awe of the fact that this invention has saved so many of those mama's from holding their sick babies in their arms, frightened that their child will end up with disabilities like deafness or blindness or worse...

    I think everyone has the right to decline a vaccine (one, some or all) but that doesn't change the fact that I also think that by vaccinating my child I'm helping to save another mother from watching their child suffer from a preventable illness. And I also think about my friend, a fellow mom of a toddler, who has a weakened immune system because of the chemo she's receiving for cancer. And all the other people in my community with immune disorders, HIV and age-related risk factors that I'm helping to protect when I vaccinate my child.

    That's what I think about when I listen to or read other mama's thoughts on vaccinating. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this. I know one mom likened it to throwing her kid under a bus to save another but I guess this wasn't a sentiment I shared.


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