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Vaccinations - desperately need input!

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies!

 

I know there is an entire forum dedicated to this topic, but as I "know" you guys, I'd really love some feedback/opinions on this from you. I do NOT want to start a debate, I just want to know how you made this decision. I have researched vaccines to death and I just keep going around in circles. I am so torn. Everything else I do for/with this baby has been such an obvious decision, from cosleeping to cloth diapering to breastfeeding to babywearing... a little bit of research helped me make decisions relatively quickly and with confidence. Not so with the immunization issue.

 

KJ's 2-month appointment is coming up on Wednesday and I need to figure out what the heck I want to do. My gut says that I don't want to vaccinate her so early. But I am also petrified of her getting whooping cough, or Meningitis, or some awful disease that isn't totally rare (for example, I'm hardly afraid she'll get Polio).  I love this baby so much I can hardly stand it, and the thought of doing anything that would bring her harm is unbearable.

 

I don't know what to do, or how to make this decision.  Could you help me by letting me know:

 

-Did you decide to vax?  Why/why not?

-If you decided NOT to vax, are you afraid of your child(ren) getting sick from vaccine-preventable diseases?  How do you deal with that fear?  What other preventative measures do you take?

 

I know this can be a contentious topic, so if you don't want to respond or contribute I totally understand.

 

Thanks, everyone!

post #2 of 52

I'd rather PM you about it :-)

post #3 of 52

It is such a hard decision to make.

 

Ultimately we've decided not to vax. After reading a ton and watching several documentaries both for and against we made our decision. I think this documentary helped the most: http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/

 

Also, we plan to homeschool and I think that made it easier to make the decision. Rhyko's pediatrician (an ND)  is really great though and said if we ever change our minds she'll help us figure out what we want. For now I feel good about our decision and that's really all I can do! thumb.gif

 

Good luck! hug2.gif

post #4 of 52

I decided to stop vaxing when my ds was 13 months and the health department talked my dh into getting the varicella vaccine. I researched further and he hasn't had another since (he is 5 1/2 now). It has been a few years of researching for me to comfortably say my children will never have a vaccine as long as I have a say.

 

As for being afraid they will catch something there is a vaccine for, I'm not. I would rather my kids get measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc naturally and not have to worry about waning vaccine "immunity". They are not realistically going to get polio, diptheria, or tetanus. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways of preventing pertussis, the vaccine is actually one of the worst in terms of effectiveness and it is one of the most reactive.

 

Emily has her two month appointment on Tuesday, and I am glad we don't see a ped. The kids doctor is an internal medicine dr, he doesn't even do vaccines in office.

 

post #5 of 52

I also need some input and links supporting delayed/non-vax. Levi's pedi is going to try to talk me into it next week and I want to be as armed with info as possible, from good media resources. I made it clear to him that I want to delay vaccines or avoid them all together, but he also wants to see where I'm getting my information from, so I'm going to be printing out some of it too, to show him.

 

One question as well: Those who choose not to vaccinate, are you worried about whooping cough at all?

post #6 of 52

Yes, this..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajbaby View Post

 

As for being afraid they will catch something there is a vaccine for, I'm not. I would rather my kids get measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc naturally and not have to worry about waning vaccine "immunity". They are not realistically going to get polio, diptheria, or tetanus. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways of preventing pertussis, the vaccine is actually one of the worst in terms of effectiveness and it is one of the most reactive.

 

 


My kids are pretty much completely unvaccinated.  Both my DS and DD1 have had 1 tetanus shot after an injury.  It's easy to go to school in OR if you're not vaccinated.  It's a simple form that I fill out once a year that says that it's against my beliefs.  It's not an issue at all.  

 

post #7 of 52

i was scared about making this decision with my firstborn, and got his shots as recommended.  never had any obvious issues.  with my second, i had even stronger misgivings, but again, went along with the shots at her 2 month appt--and she had an obvious vaccine reaction.  

 

she went from sleeping thru the night, a responsive, happy baby--to screaming inconsolably and sleeping in 1-2 hour increments in between.  she acted dazed like this for several weeks, and I was beside myself with grief, panic, worry, etc.  after taking her to the same pedi, and then a different pedi (both dismissed my concerns), I finally got a referral for an immunologist.  He listened, observed her, and quickly diagnosed her as having had an adverse vaccine event, and reported to VAERS.  He said that since she had had five shots at once, there was no way to isolate which one caused the reaction without putting her at further risk.  He also said that she should NOT have any more vaccines (which i had already decided at that point, but still wanted to hear his opinion).  He couldn't tell me if she would improve or not, but said that she was exhibiting signs of autism.  Amazingly, luckily--it took several weeks, and her prior disposition started emerging again.  Her sleep patterns and other things took over a year to normalize.  it was an incredibly stressful and scary experience that i wouldn't wish on anyone.

 

So from that point on, none of my kids received vaccines.  as if that weren't enough to deter me, my husband (who's not the biological dad of my first two kids) has a dX of mild epilepsy, which is contraindicated with the MMR vaccine (at least).  So my youngest three have that as a medical reason to avoid vax (that virtually any doctor would concur with given their family history).  

 

Incidentally, my firstborn has never been diagnosed with anything, but he does have some mild to moderate sensory issues.  i'm sure if i woudl pursue a dX, he'd get one for Sensory Integration Dysfunction at the very least.  i know he's also got some Asperger's traits.  his "quirks" started very early in life, but being a first-time mom and very inexperienced with babies and children, I took his behavior as normal--at least normal for him...!  i now wonder if his exposure to vaccines played a role, but it's impossible to know one way or the other, of course.

 

i know there's loads of research out there re: vaccines, and I had "read it all" even before the above happened, but was still scared to make a decision either way.  and of course, doing nothing IS still making a decision.  

 

the point of my anecdotal ramblings??  Trust your gut, and follow your heart!! Big hugs, mama! heartbeat.gif

post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post

  Trust your gut, and follow your heart!! Big hugs, mama! heartbeat.gif



yeahthat.gif

 

My first is partially vaxed, I wish I hadn't given her any.  I have a huge phobia of vaccines (can give blood fine but putting something IN? AHHHHHH) and personally received all my childhood vaccines TWICE angry.gif against my will (even ran away from home for two hours) so I thought my bad gut feelings about vaxing her was my phobia getting in the way of my good judgement, but no, my phobia WAS my good judgement. 

 

 Anyway, I started researching when I asked why a couple vaccines had different names then I remembered getting and the (very mainstream) ped said it was because the old forms were causing lots of bad reactions and it made me really start researching.  I liked the Dr. Sears book a lot.  I never did tell my pediatrician I just kept saying "oh not today," and she was okay with that.  Then she finished her residency and left and I took my second daughter in for a suspected ear infection and got harassed by a couple different pediatricians in the office so I never went back.  I keep meaning to establish care with this other ped I've been referred to, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

I'd rather my kids get chicken pox, mumps, measles, rubella and have natural immunity.  Hib is one I would have gotten for my first in the low aluminum form, but there was a shortage of ALL Hib shots when she was due and my ped didn't seem at all concerned about it and now I don't want it.  I don't worry about rotovirus, pneumococcal, or the flu because I'm breastfeeding, and I will continue to breastfeed until the immune system is more developed. (DD1 got swine flu right after weaning and weathered it just fine and seems healthier for it) I seriously doubt they will get polio, or diptheria, and tetanus can be given after an injury.  Hep B isn't a big deal for obvious reasons.  

 

I'm not concerned about whooping cough while breastfeeding.  I HIGHLY suspect that we all caught it last spring on an airplane. Dh, DD1 and I all had a cold and a mild cough that went away quickly and we are all vaxed/partially vaxed.  DD2 seemed to get better as well, and then two weeks later developed a cough that lasted for about three months.  She had JUST stopped breastfeeding, that month.  It was a yucky cough, and it lasted FOREVER.  But I still wouldn't ever give DTaP to my breastfeeding newborn.  Maybe if there was just a pertussis single vaccine I might consider it right before they weaned, (three months is a looooong time to be sick) but since there isn't I'm not too worried about it. 

 

DD1 and I have sensory issues, DH has asthma, DH and I have ADD, we all have food sensitivities, and now I'm having gallbladder issues and I always wonder if we would be better off without having been vaccinated. 

 

post #9 of 52

We vaxed. 1) I got all of mine, as did all of my siblings, and none of us ended up damaged. 2) I felt the benefits outweighed the risks.

 

Basically, I know the government/whatever wouldn't allow doctors to vaccinate babies if the benefits didn't SUBSTANTIALLY outweigh the risks.

 

He actually got his today. 3 shots, one oral. He's a little fussy but he's pretty much just been sleeping all day.

 

I hope you find your answer!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paigekitten View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post

  Trust your gut, and follow your heart!! Big hugs, mama! heartbeat.gif



yeahthat.gif

 

My first is partially vaxed, I wish I hadn't given her any.  I have a huge phobia of vaccines (can give blood fine but putting something IN? AHHHHHH) and personally received all my childhood vaccines TWICE angry.gif against my will (even ran away from home for two hours) so I thought my bad gut feelings about vaxing her was my phobia getting in the way of my good judgement, but no, my phobia WAS my good judgement. 

 

 Anyway, I started researching when I asked why a couple vaccines had different names then I remembered getting and the (very mainstream) ped said it was because the old forms were causing lots of bad reactions and it made me really start researching.  I liked the Dr. Sears book a lot.  I never did tell my pediatrician I just kept saying "oh not today," and she was okay with that.  Then she finished her residency and left and I took my second daughter in for a suspected ear infection and got harassed by a couple different pediatricians in the office so I never went back.  I keep meaning to establish care with this other ped I've been referred to, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

I'd rather my kids get chicken pox, mumps, measles, rubella and have natural immunity.  Hib is one I would have gotten for my first in the low aluminum form, but there was a shortage of ALL Hib shots when she was due and my ped didn't seem at all concerned about it and now I don't want it.  I don't worry about rotovirus, pneumococcal, or the flu because I'm breastfeeding, and I will continue to breastfeed until the immune system is more developed. (DD1 got swine flu right after weaning and weathered it just fine and seems healthier for it) I seriously doubt they will get polio, or diptheria, and tetanus can be given after an injury.  Hep B isn't a big deal for obvious reasons.  

 

I'm not concerned about whooping cough while breastfeeding.  I HIGHLY suspect that we all caught it last spring on an airplane. Dh, DD1 and I all had a cold and a mild cough that went away quickly and we are all vaxed/partially vaxed.  DD2 seemed to get better as well, and then two weeks later developed a cough that lasted for about three months.  She had JUST stopped breastfeeding, that month.  It was a yucky cough, and it lasted FOREVER.  But I still wouldn't ever give DTaP to my breastfeeding newborn.  Maybe if there was just a pertussis single vaccine I might consider it right before they weaned, (three months is a looooong time to be sick) but since there isn't I'm not too worried about it. 

 

DD1 and I have sensory issues, DH has asthma, DH and I have ADD, we all have food sensitivities, and now I'm having gallbladder issues and I always wonder if we would be better off without having been vaccinated. 

 



 

post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by IwannaBanRN View Post
One question as well: Those who choose not to vaccinate, are you worried about whooping cough at all?


While I breastfeed and still vaxed my baby, I got the whopping cough vaccine while I was in the hospital. The doctor said for babies that do get it... Most get it from their mom, so if I was vaxed, the chances of him getting it were greatly decreased. Just a thought.

post #11 of 52

My thoughts on pertussis..

 

Pertussis is a bacteria that releases a toxin, and that toxin is what irritates your lungs and makes you cough. The vaccine is a toxoid vaccine. When the vaccine is effective, it creates an immunity to the toxin. The vaccine *in no way* gives any immunity to pertussis itself. NONE. If you are exposed, you are likely to catch it. So if a vaccinated person is infected with pertussis, they could have anything from no symptoms at all, mild cold symptoms, full blown whooping cough.. depending on how well the vax worked in them. Remember those commercials "do it for your baby"? encouraging parents to get vaccinated to protect their baby? The fine print at the bottom says that it is unsure whether the vaccine will prevent transmission. Thats because you still catch pertussis, you just dont have symptoms. And since you don't have symptoms.. why would you hesitate to kiss those squishy baby cheeks? Or order something at a restaurant "mm, this is excellent, try it!" and offer a bite off your fork to the friend you're dining with? Or a sip of your drink? 

 

pertussis cant be "eradicated" by vaccinating. It is always there. Every few years there's a natural peak in infections. Its also underreported because doctors are less likely to suspect it and test for it in vaccinated individuals. And with milder symptoms, many people wouldnt bother going to a dr anyway. Those people are no less likely to spread it around, but they are much less likely to quarantine themselves. That said, we don't vaccinate for it (or anything). Theres a few threads on sodium ascorbate in the vaccination and health & healing forums. We make sure to always have plenty on hand. giving mega doses can help lessen severity and duration. Theres also some threads where people share their experiences with pertussis. I personally feel reasonable confident that between breastfeeding, sodium ascorbate, and of course access to medical care, my family could make it through pertussis. As stated upthread, its one of the more reactive vaxes, and way out of my comfort level. I'm uncomfortable with vaxing as a whole largely because of a family history of autoimmune diseases. A general philosophy of don't tamper with young developing immune systems, lest that immune system start doing something we don't want it doing! (like, say, attack the nervous system)

post #12 of 52

Oh man, this was probably the hardest parenting decision I made. I felt like either way I went was at least a little bit wrong.

 

I think vaccinations are great and necessary in some instances. I also think our immune systems are wonderful things and we should let them do their job most of the time. So, we went with a more selective route. When considering a specific vaccination, I ask myself these questions. "How dangerous is this disease for my baby to get? How likely is she to die from it?" There are actually a lot of vaccinations we did not get for DD1 (rotavirus, flu shots, vericella, Hep B, and more that I can't remember right now). She did get polio, HIB, DTaP, has started her MMR series. As for Hep B, I'll talk to her about that one once she hits adolescence and ask her if she wants to get it. If she makes it through childhood without getting chickenpox, I might suggest her getting the vaccination in adulthood. We delayed vaccinations with our first only because we had such a hard time deciding which ones she would be getting. I don't plan to delay them this time. She's due for a 2 month and she'll get some vaccinations at that appointment.

post #13 of 52

See, I was always sure that I didn't want him to receive the HepB vaccine and had no hesitation showing my pedi a printout of a bad reaction an unfortunate baby had to it, but with the others, I wasn't sure. I'll have to tell him what I just read here about the pertussis vaccination. With the Polio vaccine, I don't even think anyone gets polio here anymore, do they?

post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post

Oh man, this was probably the hardest parenting decision I made. I felt like either way I went was at least a little bit wrong.

 

 



yeahthat.gif

 

My first is partiall vaxed. I think she has about 3/4 of the shots they are supposed to have by a year old, at 4.5 years old. We delayed and were very selective about what she got. She got the 2 month and 4 month shots on schedule, and she was miserable. Not for the 24 hours they say they will be, but for weeks. And at her 4 month visit, she still had knots on her legs from the 2 month shots. So after that, we took a few months off from shots, then gave her a few more very selectively. I got talked into the first MMR shot at 2 yrs old, and I immediately regretted it. None of my kids have had a vaccine since. (Heck, the new guy hasn't even seen a doctor yet.....)  After my research, I decided I'd rather take the miniscule risk of my kids contracting the diseases AND being seriously ill from them, than what I viewed as a much larger risk from intentionaly injecting my children with what I view as toxic materials. And some diseases - chickenpox for one - I'd rather they actually get, than be vaccinated against. Just my two  cents.

 

The way I look at it, is that you can always do them later. If you aren't sure about them now, you can put it off until you have had time to do more research.

 

post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by IwannaBanRN View Post

See, I was always sure that I didn't want him to receive the HepB vaccine and had no hesitation showing my pedi a printout of a bad reaction an unfortunate baby had to it, but with the others, I wasn't sure. I'll have to tell him what I just read here about the pertussis vaccination. With the Polio vaccine, I don't even think anyone gets polio here anymore, do they?



There hasn't been a case of wild polio in the USA since 1974.  Neither of our kids will ever be vaccinated and it is one of the hardest decisions we've ever made. As far as being afraid of Pertussis, I am a little bit.  There are 60 cases of it near where I live.  Of course my doctor is blaming the outbreak on unvaccinated kids which I totally disagree with.  Breastfeeding is the best immunity and I am trying to keep baby home as much as possible.  There is no right or wrong answer...just do what you think is best for your family.

 

Quote:

 

 

post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jill the pill View Post



There hasn't been a case of wild polio in the USA since 1974.  Neither of our kids will ever be vaccinated and it is one of the hardest decisions we've ever made. As far as being afraid of Pertussis, I am a little bit.  There are 60 cases of it near where I live.  Of course my doctor is blaming the outbreak on unvaccinated kids which I totally disagree with.  Breastfeeding is the best immunity and I am trying to keep baby home as much as possible.  There is no right or wrong answer...just do what you think is best for your family.

 

 


That's what Levi's pedi is blaming it on too. The local outbreak that occured over a month ago happened to high schoolers who'd been vaccinated. But he said that many many unvaccinated people would have gotten it and "spread it worse". eyesroll.gif  I still don't know what to do.... On the one hand, I don't want to vaccinate, but on the other, I don't want information shoved at me and being shamed for choosing not to vaccinate.
 

 

post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 

Becky - Levi's ped sounds like a bully.  NOT ok.  Don't let yourself be pushed around.  Look, I get it - I'm SUPER anxious about how my parents (my mom especially) will respond if I decide not to vax, or even to delay them.  But at least she's coming from a place of genuine love and concern.  Look - do what you feel is right.  Can DH come with you to the ped to help back you up?  We're here for you, at least!

 

Thanks so much, everyone, for your feedback and input.  I still feel torn and undecided, and yesterday was a VERY tough day for me.  I spent most of the day crying about stupid vaccines and stupid whooping cough and fear for my sweet baby.  I just love her so damn much, you know?

 

Thanks again.

post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

Becky - Levi's ped sounds like a bully.  NOT ok.  Don't let yourself be pushed around.  Look, I get it - I'm SUPER anxious about how my parents (my mom especially) will respond if I decide not to vax, or even to delay them.  But at least she's coming from a place of genuine love and concern.  Look - do what you feel is right.  Can DH come with you to the ped to help back you up?  We're here for you, at least!

 

He comes from a place of concern as well. Not only for Levi and my other kids, but the general public that would be "put at risk" for me not vaccinating. That's just what he believes. When a doctor believes that vaccinations are the way to keep everyone safe, they will do what they feel they need to do to get children vaccinated, bullying included. He's actually great about everything else, but spent some time talking to me about my choices about vaccinations and wanted to know my resources for my views. Billy wouldn't be much help, except to puff out his chest and nod in agreement with what I'm saying. lol

post #19 of 52

I think part of the difficulty in addressing this with doctors is that in general, they do come from a place of genuine concern. Both for individual patients and as a public health concern. And most doctors I've come into contact with are so tired of hearing "OMG! My baby's gonna get the autism if I vaccinate!" I can't tell you how many doctors have rolled their eyes at me and said "You know that autism study was disproven, right?" Frankly, I don't feel that I need to  defend my parenting choices to anyone - MDs included. When we took DS1 to the pedi for the first time, any time the nurses or doctors asked me about his vaccination status, I repeated "We choose not to vaccinate at this time." I probably repeated that one sentence a dozen times his first couple of visits. You don't have to justify anything to anyone, and being firm in this usually shuts people down pretty quickly. (And adding "at this time" to the end - whether you intend to vaccinate later or not - makes them think you'll come to your senses eventually, lol.) Our pedi did make me sign a form saying that I understood I was risking my child's life by not vaccinating eyesroll.gif but they've been good about it ever since.

post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by meesh933 View Post

I think part of the difficulty in addressing this with doctors is that in general, they do come from a place of genuine concern. Both for individual patients and as a public health concern. And most doctors I've come into contact with are so tired of hearing "OMG! My baby's gonna get the autism if I vaccinate!" I can't tell you how many doctors have rolled their eyes at me and said "You know that autism study was disproven, right?" Frankly, I don't feel that I need to  defend my parenting choices to anyone - MDs included. When we took DS1 to the pedi for the first time, any time the nurses or doctors asked me about his vaccination status, I repeated "We choose not to vaccinate at this time." I probably repeated that one sentence a dozen times his first couple of visits. You don't have to justify anything to anyone, and being firm in this usually shuts people down pretty quickly. (And adding "at this time" to the end - whether you intend to vaccinate later or not - makes them think you'll come to your senses eventually, lol.) Our pedi did make me sign a form saying that I understood I was risking my child's life by not vaccinating eyesroll.gif but they've been good about it ever since.



I agree.  If my doc asked for my sources I'd switch docs.  He can do his own research about it.

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