Pertussis is on my mind this month. It's supposedly going around in my area and DD with diagnosed with it although she got over it sooo fast that I'm questioning whether it was pertussis to begin with. She did have the characteristic whoop, but by that time I had started vitamin C therapy and although I never even got up to full dosage, the vitamin C seemed to have an instant effect and in a few days she didn't even have a hacking cough anymore, let alone the whoop.
DD had the first DTaP shot when she was 2 months old. Her reaction to it is what caused me to call a halt to the vaccinations and eventually after I researched and thought on it a lot, I decided no more vaxes at all.
She acted like she had had a stroke. I believe she had encephalatic fever. She was so hot and had hours of unconsolable crying that turned into glazed over eyes and acting like she had a stroke (totally out of it). Her twin brother had a more "normal" reaction of "normal" crying/crankiness.
Since that time I have learned DTaP is one of the more reactive vaccines. And that pertussis is one of the least effective vaccines (as in, vaxed people seem to get the disease a lot). Also, that when I read accounts of people who dealt with it and got through it, it became a lot less scary (my pedi told me scary stories). For me, I got them that first DTaP shot because although I had reservations about vaxing in general, I figured I was going to take the middle of the road and just spread out the vaxes. In retrospect I regret it. I got lucky -- DD seems to have suffered no ill effects and is perfectly fine today. But that night I knew something was wrong, even when everyone was telling me that it was a "normal" reaction. If I only had one baby, maybe I would have accepted that. But I had her twin there with her, and I could see that he did not react anywhere close to the same way. I have no way of knowing what would have happened if I didn't have that mother's intuition and gone ahead with the next DTaP and the next one after that (I later learned the reactions build and the real damage is often done on a second or later shot, after the body's been sensitized to it). Maybe nothing would have happened. But I'm glad I didn't risk it -- the first one was scary enough.