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chicken pox (and mini vent about my day)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ds2 (4) and Ds1 (7) are not vaccinated for chicken pox. There was an outbreak in DS2's class. A part of me is hoping he contracted it from his friend at school and will be able to develop a natural immunity (but that's besides the point). I had chicken pox as a kid so I'm assuming that I'm already immune. Do I need to worry about DS exposing me to varicella? Does it make a difference whether he simply came into contact with it vs actually getting sick? Are there any precautions I should take? Can I do anything now, to help DS get less sick from it if he doesn't end up getting chicken pox? Would it be worth supplementing with echinacea to boost his immune system so he can have as gentle of a response as possible? Aghh...all of this is making me question my decision to not vaccinate him...on the one hand I feel like it was the right choice and I still have my doubts about vaccines on a variety of levels...but I also will feel really bad if my boys get sick and i could have prevented it. Now it's making me wonder again about how I want to handle the vaccine issue with this new babe. I feel like there's no good answer. (then again, that's what I said this fall about birth control, so I avoided using anything for a month, and look where that got me! lol) anyways....this has been a weird, bizarre and endlessly stressful day (on top of finding out about the chicken pox outbreak, i found out my grandma is in the hospital, my aunt had surgery today for her lung cancer and it's worse than they thought, AND i woke up to find one of my single point chest piercings has half come out, but the other half is still well stuck in and i don't know if the piercing shop will remove them for me since i'm pregnant). But hey, at least the sun is shining right? 

post #2 of 4

I'm thankful DS got the Chicken Pox while he was still nursing and it amounted to nothing more than a few spots that cleared up in a day.


If you've already had them, there's no risk to you from what I could find.


As far as the vaccine debate, there are strong reasons for and against, and chances are that your child will be fine either way. I ultimately decided it came down to which worse-case scenario could you live with most: not vaxxing and your child getting seriously ill from a preventable disease or your perfectly healthy child reacting adversly to a vaccine you inflicted on him or her.


For me, I decided I'd be more comfortable with naturally contracting a disease than putting a perfectly healthy child at risk. Good luck finding peace with your decision though!


I hope things calm down and start looking up for you sooner rather than later!!

post #3 of 4

Oh man-- bad day.  Sending warm thoughts and hopes that you'll get a good foot rub.  It's funny you brought this up because a close friend just brought her child to be exposed and we've been trying to decide if we should keep DS from him for a while.  Our midwife advised against exposure, but another friend, who is due 2 weeks ahead of me, talked to her midwife about it and they said it wasn't a concern.  I guess the considerations are-- if you've had them yourself, and how close to your dd it is.  If there's a chance your baby will be born when your child is contagious, there's a risk, but much less so if you're breastfeeding.  The time period for them to erupt is usually days 7-21 after exposure, and the contagious period is obviously within that time frame until the last pox crust over (which can be 5-10 days after the first eruption.)  So the math for us is if DS is exposed and doesn't become contagious until the last possible time (say, 4 weeks to be conservative) and then takes a really long time to crust (2 weeks to be conservative), that's 6 weeks and I'll only be 33 weeks along.  I figure that if I deliver early, DS won't come into contact with the baby anyways, so we're good.  That's my long and detailed thought process.  And my opinion is obviously that I'd love for DS to catch it naturally.  He does really well with being sick though, so I don't have any reservations about putting him a little discomfort.  A friend in college never had chicken pox and came down with shingles...it was horrible... I wouldn't wish that on anyone-- I believe the vaccine puts you at a higher risk of getting shingles than natural exposure (don't quote me on that though... it could be a common myth.)  They also can be hard to catch for some kids-- so if your child wasn't coughed or sneezed on, or skin to skin, there's a chance he won't come down with them.  Hope this all works out well for you...((((HUGS)))))

post #4 of 4

I believe chicken pox exposure is only a big concern in the first trimester, but don't quote me on that.  As for the varicella vaccine, I am willing to bet that most of the children in your son's school who have it are actually vaccinated against it.  This holds true for many of the chicken pox outbreaks in schools.  The risk of your children developing a serious complication from the disease is less than the potential risks of the varicella vaccine at their ages.  They will also have much better immunity than they could get with the vaccine.  


I hope the shining sun helped you out today and you feel better!

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