I made my decision. Now I'm scared s#$!less!
Many, my family included, have found sodium ascorbate to be a very effective treatment for pertussis (whooping cough). All the babies who died from pertussis in the recent outbreak were under 3 months. I would not be worried about a 14 month old.
What's your worry about mumps? Yes, it is painful in the cheek/jaw area, but I haven't heard of it being dangerous, especially in children.
With measles, you can supplement with vitamin A (one source is cod liver oil) to help with eye pain. African children who are blinded by measles are severely deficient in vitamin A from malnutrition. Measles is so rare in the U.S. anyway--about 60 diagnosed cases per year.
There are, absolutely, risks to not vaxing. But there are ALSO risks to vaxing. I think if you are willing to take the risks, you need to be okay w/explaining to the dr. that you were ready to help him in every way possible - early diax, therapeutic medicine, healthy diet, good sleep, and a safe and healthy home for healing from any/all illnesses. I hope that you can figure out a good way to process that thought, so that when/if it were to occur, you wouldn't freeze up! My kids have been tested twice for pertussis. It's a nasty test, but not one that hurts for a long time, and nothing goes into their little bodies chemically. That is the worst thing that's happened to them in 12+ yrs. I hope that you guys have as easy/healthy a time as we have had!
Why would you need to explain things to your doctor? Get "How to Raise a Healthy Child... In Spite of Your Doctor". It's a very helpful book on treating illness. Also, if you are fighting your child's doctor on how to best care for your child, find a new doctor. It makes little sense to go to someone when you don't agree on what it means to be and stay healthy.
You might like watching The Brady Bunch to feel better about the measles... they didn't think they were a big deal! (parts 2 and 3 are on the side of the you tube clip)
I was scared too when I decided against vaccinating my youngest who is now 3 years old and sometimes I do still consider some delayed vaccines (due to my own paranoia). My 8 year old and 5 year old are fully vaccinated and in public school.
At first I was afraid that my daughter would be a ticking time bomb of germs. I was so afraid that the Measles or Pertussis must be lurking around each corner just waiting to jump out and get us. heh.
Oddly enough, she so rarely gets sick. I think she's had a fever maybe once in her lifetime and has thrown up only one time ever due to illness.
My older two are the ones that end up with chronic colds and mysterious gastrointestinal crud. ALL of my kids play with other kids, play on a playground, constantly put their dirty paws in their mouths and who knows what else.
Finding a doctor that is accepting of your choice is really important. Mine doesn't necessarily agree that not vaccinating is good, but he respects our choice and never gives us any hassle for it.
Just remember that you can always change your mind and get the vaccines any time you want to. It's always your call, mama. My sister has 5 non vaxed boys ranging in age from 2 to 15 and in public schools and none of have ever caught any of the vaccine diseases. Come to think of it, I don't personally know any child non vaxed in my circle of friends that has picked up one of the diseases.
I think you've made a great decision! I am convinced that my sister is handicap due to vaxes (seizures as a baby which caused brain damage). She is in her 40's and still in diapers, still being fed, and still under the care of my parents. I myself was harmed as a baby, and as an adult, from vaccinations before I finally made the connection. To me, the lifelong damage vaxes can cause outweigh the risks of the disease.
We have many alternative therapies today that weren't available before... homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, etc, that you can find a doctor who will support you in your decision and will give treatment if needed. I think it will help you feel better if you make a plan and outline what you will do, what doctor you will visit, what treatments are available, were your child to become sick from one of the diseases in question.
Be courageous in front of your doctor! You are paying him, not the other way around. You are have the right to make your own and your child's health decisions. Always remember that and don't let any doctor bully you!
The only thing that truly does scare me is whooping cough. I know that if my son were to get it he would end up just fine but I honestly am scared of just the idea of him and us having to go through that. I also think about the social responsibility since it can be fatal to small infants. It's really the only vaccine I have waffled on.
All the comments are so helpful. It's good to be validated and to know i'm not alone!
I went through a stage of paranoia that we'd end up in the ER for some unrelated thing & DS being unvaxed would somehow turn into a big huge issue... it can be really really scary to go against the mainstream!!! I think having your doctor's support will be a big help should anything like that arise -- you could simply say something like, We've discussed this with his doctor & decided together that vaccinating him isn't in his best interests. Something like that. I also like the idea of, Pretend his vax status is unknown, because, if I tell you he's vaxed you might incorrectly rule out a VPD and if I tell you he's unvaxed, you might focus so much on VPD's that you miss his actual illness. Read back in some of the old threads, there were some great ideas on what to say in an ER or other situation... just having some educated, coherent, non-combatant responses prepared for various situations might help you feel more at ease about it.
And if your DS comes down with a VPD, you don't have to tell your mom. I love my mom & we have a great relationship but I certainly don't tell her every time DS gets a fever or a cough, she just doesn't need to know that, and I see no reason why she'd need to know if your DS had a VPD! Well unless you live with her & she's wondering what's wrong or something... anyway, maybe once she saw that it really wasn't a big deal, she wouldn't make a big deal out of it being preventable.
OH also if you don't want to wean at 14mos then you can probably get him to continue nursing at least through the winter & maybe longer, 14mos would be really young to self-wean...
And one more thing (why can't I write this all in one coherent paragraph lol!??!) -- go back & research the diseases themselves, because when I looked at 'not vaxing' as a whole, it sounded scary, but when I took each disease (rather than each vax) one by one & researched the typical course of illness, prevalence of each disease, treatments, etc. then it became much more manageable & less scary & I didn't feel like there were any diseases worth vaxing my DS against.