H1N1/swine flu vaccination - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 10-06-2009, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so "they" say pregnant women should be vaccinated against H1N1 and we can;t get the nasal spray out this week but next week the shot should be ready and i am terrified! i know there is much debate about this on other MDC boards but when you've already had one healthy baby die it really changes this kind of decision making...

i feel sad that Milos was probably a totally healthy baby and that i am pregnant again now (during this possible pandemic ) only because our baby Milos died! so now i run two risks, exposing myself to a potentially deadly virus or exposing my baby to God know what?? they put in the damned vaccine! i've never had a flu vax in my life and have always been fine. i didn't get one last year when i was pregnant with Milos and got one cold that lasted a little longer than usual, no biggie. since i am unemployed and could avoid the subway, people, etc. could i really get away with not vaccinating? ugh! i am so mad and sad to have to make this difficult decision!

what are you PAL moms-to-be deciding? are you struggling with this too?

Abbey bow.gif (I surrender!) Mom to Milos Moonbeam candle.gif lost during labor at 39 weeks and born silently at home on 01/26/09...
AND my Monty Black-Bear rainbow1284.gifjoy.gif born 02/04/10
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#2 of 28 Old 10-06-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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I get the flu shot every year because I work for a health care authority. I did give it a second thought this year because of my m/c, but will be getting just the H1N1 vaccine. Even my midwife tells me it's recommended.

Our rainbow baby, Anna Beatrice was born April 11/2010 after 4 m/c. She joins 4 brothers and sisters.
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#3 of 28 Old 10-06-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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I have never received a flu shot. I don't have full confidence in the H1N1 vax, and have low exposure to others anyways. I will not be taking it.

Rachele Garrin ~ Missing Gideon and Butterball ~ Loving for our Jareth
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#4 of 28 Old 10-06-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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I've never had a flu shot and have only had the flu 2 times in my adult lifetime. I definitely won't be getting this one. I don't trust vaccines.....even though they have saved tons of lives, the ingredients scare me. Autism is 1 in 91 children now. THAT'S pretty scary.

Corinne, mommy to Angelina 3-06-07 and Miabella 6-4-10
 

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#5 of 28 Old 10-07-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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I reeeeeeeeally don't trust the H1N1 vaccine. I have never gotten a regular flu shot, but at least those have some history behind them so you know what you're getting into. The H1N1 vax is so experimental, and we're all supposed to be the guinea pigs? No thanks. I am fairly sure that most of the loud people on both sides of the debate are wrong... they usually are. I'm closer to the middle, but still on the no-way-in-hell side.

My family seems to have issues, possibly genetic, with heavy metals and aluminum. We just don't process it well. I say that because Asperger's, which is on the autism spectrum, runs rampant through both sides of my family. My oldest has it, too, and she's the one that got her first three rounds of shots. It's much more-common in boys, and she's the only female in the family with it. My son, who got no shots at all, doesn't have it. I *know* that proves nothing, but... no shots for my kids, no shots for me while pregnant.

Aaaand... I just recently recovered from a confirmed case of H1N1, so I don't actually have to worry about that one. I was really stinkin' sick, but now that I'm better, I can say "glad I got that over with!"

SAHM of Kayla (11/98) Hunter (8/03) Jo (1/04) : Jared (2/05) Camelia (12/07) Hope/Chance (11/08) and Jack (12/09)
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#6 of 28 Old 10-07-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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No one in my family will be getting it.

I also do not trust the vax, and do not feel it has been adequately tested. I do not even have 100% confidence in its ability to protect against H1N1.

Also, H1N1 has been around since April, and even though people have died from it, the last numbers I have heard (has been quite a while) show that the death rate is lower than what the season flu death rate generally is.

I work at home, we don't go to many crowded places so I am fairly fine without getting the vax.

Also, my MIL is a transplant patient, and because of her numerous health issues that have told her NOT to get it and she cannot be around those who have gotten it for a significant period of time. We have already spent 2 weeks away because the kids got HFM.
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#7 of 28 Old 10-07-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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Abbey I know how you feel about being the mother of an angel you want to do everything you can to protect this little one. How do we know which is better, the risks of the vaccine or the risks of the flu? Like you I can avoid people very easily. We work from home and if I wanted I could refuse to go to the supermarket and post office so that I really have minimal exposure. Also thankfully where we live in the south of Spain it's not actually that cold till after Christmas. I feel that my risk of exposure to the disease is so low that I wouldn't risk getting vaccinated. But then again my doctor and ob haven't actually ever mentioned it at all so who knows if it's even offered down here.

Clare briefly mother for 3 weeks to Isabel 25-12-08, Soaking up every precious moment with my little guy Dec-10. My blog link is in my profile.

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#8 of 28 Old 10-07-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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I am a RN and have never gotten the flu shot, despite working in healthcare for the last 15 years. I will not get one this year either. I will certainly pass on the H1N1 for many reasons.

I want to do all I can to make sure JingleBelle gets here safely. We are practicing good nutrition and good hand washing. Vaccinations are not something I am comfortable taking, especially when pregnant.

Amy

Wife to K since 6/95 Mommy to "The Fellas" ages 13, 10 and 8 and our rainbow girly 12/09.
Always remembering my babies who could not stay '08 '08 '09
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#9 of 28 Old 10-08-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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I'm not currently a PAL Mom, although I was one once, so I hope it's okay to respond here.

I struggled with the question of regular flu vaccination when I was pg. With #1, I was due in January and living in a big city (and taking the public bus every day). I also had suffered from the flu one year before and was horrendously sick at that time (high fever for one solid week where I literally couldn't move off the couch; didn't regain my energy for more than one month). I thought about what it would be like to have the flu at the end of pregnancy or with a newborn, and I also read the studies showing pg women are more vulnerable to the flu. I requested a flu vaccine, which shocked my crunchy midwife (a hospital-based CNM who I think didn't vaccinate her own kids). But she read the studies I showed her (sorry I don't have them now) and agreed with me. I sought out the children's version of the flu vaccine which was made with no thimerosal. (takes two shots to get the adult dose). I didn't get the flu and DD is a healthy 9-year old today. (For full disclosure, DD had a highly traumatic delivery, but that was due to a severe cord wrap and I can't see any link to the flu shot). I chose to also get a flu shot when I was pg with #2 -- she had an easy birth but does have developmental delays (but those are related to a chromosome disorder -- again, can't be traced to the flu shot). These are highly anecdotal stories, so not really worth much.

I personally approach these decisions by trying to avoid the worst-case scenario. For me, the worst-case scenario would be me being severely ill (or Gd forbid dying) from the flu and leaving DH to care for an infant. I'm also more comfortable with the vaccine than with the anti-retroviral drugs that would be recommended in case of the flu. I personally believe the reports right now that pg women appear to be especially vulnerable to H1N1.

Is it possible that a flu vaccine could predispose an infant to an increased likelihood of some kind of neurological or auto-immune issue? Maybe. But that isn't my worst-case scenario (especially because it would be impossible to trace back to the vaccine anyways). The H1N1 vaccine, as far as I know, is being produced exactly like the regular flu vaccine, and assuming that Mom has no allergies to eggs, I have never seen any credible evidence linking stillbirth or in-utero distress to Mom getting a flu shot.

I think if I were pregnant and chose not to get a flu shot, I would take enormous precautions to avoid the flu, including avoiding public gatherings, shopping, etc., and just be a hermit for the duration. I think I would ask my DH to get a flu shot to decrease my own risk. I also would do saline nasal washes twice a day which can rinse out viruses before they attach.

I'm not trying to fear-monger in any way and I clearly see how other people come to other conclusions, but that would be my own thought process.

There aren't easy answers. ((hugs))

Davidah



Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeyWH View Post
so "they" say pregnant women should be vaccinated against H1N1 and we can;t get the nasal spray out this week but next week the shot should be ready and i am terrified! i know there is much debate about this on other MDC boards but when you've already had one healthy baby die it really changes this kind of decision making...

i feel sad that Milos was probably a totally healthy baby and that i am pregnant again now (during this possible pandemic ) only because our baby Milos died! so now i run two risks, exposing myself to a potentially deadly virus or exposing my baby to God know what?? they put in the damned vaccine! i've never had a flu vax in my life and have always been fine. i didn't get one last year when i was pregnant with Milos and got one cold that lasted a little longer than usual, no biggie. since i am unemployed and could avoid the subway, people, etc. could i really get away with not vaccinating? ugh! i am so mad and sad to have to make this difficult decision!

what are you PAL moms-to-be deciding? are you struggling with this too?
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#10 of 28 Old 10-10-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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Neither myself, nor my DH or kids will be getting it. The CNM MW did ask about if I wanted a flu shot (first PG in 6 with trad prenatals. that I have even been asked), I said no, and she went on her way of measuring me and listening to the baby's heartbeat. She probably figured.

We don't vax, but I have been following this a little. I have worried over my medically fragile son. I considered on whether we should be vaxed for the sake of my son, and my asthmatic DD and DH. Maybe the healthy ones should be vaxed *although I wouldn't think getting it while PG is safe enough to give it a try*, to keep the exposure down for the rest of us. My son's pulmo ped did ask about the flu and pneumonia vaxes for my son. I said NO WAY. He pressed a little, and I mentioned my friend's 2 mo old baby getting whooping cough from the vax, my DH getting the worst flu ever from the vax 7 yrs ago. He didn't go into it any further, but gave us a grand emergency plan for him. The baby handles the flu and viral pneumonia fine at home, he gets hospitalized after a cold/asthma attack. Can't vax for a cold. Can't hardly keep our exposure down enough to avoid them anyway. We just have to live life.

We are taking plenty of precautions. And, I think that all the media hype is just that. It is way more dangerous for us to drive, then it is for us to get the flu even PG. Last PG on my due date, some motorcycle passed a truck and trailer while I was coming in the other lane in my DH's truck. He was right between us, as there was NO WHERE for me to go, not even much of a shoulder. God kept us on the road, because otherwise, I would have fallen off the road, rolled the truck, and no telling what else, on this not busy back highway between teeny tiny towns. That motorcycle didn't even look to see if anyone was coming, as it was too late for me to slow down, stop, or avoid any of it. I didn't know if I should swerve out of the way or hit him. I would have turned and chased him down if I wasn't so PG. I just pulled over shaking and cried with my 10yo in the truck with me. I called my DH on the phone to get calmed down. More car fatalities than flu deaths, even in the case of the dreaded swine flu, of what I have read. Kymberli
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#11 of 28 Old 10-10-2009, 08:35 AM
 
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I had swine flu when I was pregnant. I was sick in bed for about three weeks and it took about six weeks total to get over it completely (like lingering cough gone). I was really non functioning ill for about a week of that. It was difficult because my husband is deployed and I was alone, but I made it.

I hate that they are making this seem all life and death. Yes, some people DO die, but the same is true of the normal flu. I think we're hearing the worst stories from the media. I know many people whose children are immuno-compromised and their pulminologists are telling them to get regular flu vaccines but not h1n1.

I don't know. I am glad I got sick before the vaccine was available and was spared this decision. We homeschool and I am not working for a while so none of us are getting vaccinated.

Minions...I've got minions. Sheepish.gifblahblah.gifangel2.gifkid.gif  And dogs.  
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#12 of 28 Old 10-10-2009, 08:40 AM
 
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Noone here is receiveing it. I am probably going to pull all kids from public school for a while. Too rushed, too untested and the one year I DID get a flu shot, I got the flu. I'll pass.

 Mom of many minions . . . babyf.gif jumpers.gif     jumpers.gif     jumpers.gif
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#13 of 28 Old 10-10-2009, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your stories and responses and especially to clare and david for your sympathy over the struggle with this dilemma
i just wanted to respond with what i've been finding in my research
i plan to follow a (dr. sears) select vaccination schedule for this little guy
knowing just a little about the vax debates
since this h1n1 i've done some more poking around and found that
autism is still on the rise despite thimerosal (mercury) being removed from all childhood vax in 1999
and the anti-vax movement gaining such momentum
which would lead one to believe it would cause a decline if vax were the cause
there is some discussion about full spectrum diagnosis being the source of the increase

anyway, autism aside because you can get a thimerosal free h1n1 vax
and at least autism is a known issue
i am still afraid of the UNKNOWN!
i read some scary studies linking general flu exposure to babies and 3x increased rates of schizophrenia!

but re:h1n1... no one can tell me what effect this vax will have once my child is 2-3-4 yrs. on
my ob who i like and is very non-invasive suggests once the (dead virus shot) vax arrives that all his patients take it
because as he put... it we know that h1n1 is potentially lethal to pregnant women and the vax is "as far as they know" totally safe
humph!
am i really weighing death vs. putting my baby at risk for unknown chemical exposure
talk about being between rock and hard place!
i guess this might be a no brainer to most moms
but like i said once you've lost a baby it's so hard to face putting your rainbow baby at risk for anything!
aghk!

two things on the radio this week...
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episode...egments/142210
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episode...egments/142306

Abbey bow.gif (I surrender!) Mom to Milos Moonbeam candle.gif lost during labor at 39 weeks and born silently at home on 01/26/09...
AND my Monty Black-Bear rainbow1284.gifjoy.gif born 02/04/10
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#14 of 28 Old 10-12-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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#15 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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I'll probably be getting it as well, although I'm not thrilled. I will be doing everything in my power to get a thimerisol free one, though.

I live in the middle of a large university. DH is a PhD student and around undergraduates all day long-- he easily could bring it home, although, when/if the vax is available to him he'll get it.

DD is in preschool two mornings a week- also likely to come in contact with it. We've not decided about the vax for her- if it's thimerisol free I'm a little more comfortable with that.

I lead a weekly playgroup of toddlers/preschoolers-

So, unfortunately, we're really out and actively involved within the hotspots for flu. I wish it was feasible for us to just kinda lay low at home with little exposure and ride it out, but it's not.

I'm also asthmatic. My asthma is mild and rarely a concern for me- I've never felt it justified the seasonal flu vax for me in the past. But I got really sick with a bad cold a few weeks ago and was really suprised at how difficult, being 6 months preg., breathing became for me in what was otherwise the same cold I get every year. It kinda made me nervous- how much I needed my inhaler...

Then there's the whole having a newborn in January aspect.... with all of us still active in those same communities which are likely to get hard- college and preschool. I know breastfeeding will give him tons of antibodies/immunity. But... losing four babies has messed with my perspective so much... I'm terrified of finally getting through a pregnancy, finally getting my rainbow baby in my arms, and then losing him to flu. It may be somewhat irrational, but those are the thoughts that do go through my head.

So, that's where I stand right now.... although, I'm still not completely decided either.

Rebecca, wife to a hardworking PhD student DH and mama to one sweet girl (3), four angels in heaven, and joyfully welcomed our baby boy January 2010! blog link in profile
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#16 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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here is something to ponder... the hospital i am working at was have flu clinics and offering shots to all people who worked there. they handed out a sheet with H1N1 info... the symptoms are exactly the same as seasonal flu, you have a change of pnuemonia (like seasonal flu) and a chance to be hospitalized and a chance you could die... just like seasonal flu the numbers are the same. i am not trying to down play it at all, if you are really concerned then get it. but my thoughts are that they make this "scare" push the vaccine and then don't have enough to actually give it to everyone. this seems to happen every year... get the flu vaccine by october there is a rush people go to all the clinic line up at walmart and cvs etc and then they are "short" not enough, they keep reporting how there is a shortage of vaccine that so many people are ready had it so many went to the hospital etc and people start worrying... should we get it? what will happen if we don't? etc, then by december they have more vaccine, people go and get it and say it worked but all the time they were living in society doing their thing and following a few simple rules... cover your cough and sneeze, WASH YOUR HAND (use purell if you can't get to a sink... i am not a big fan of the stuff but if your out and about and worried...), stay home if you are sick or your kids are sick, take your vitamines and do things to boost your immune system (ie get sleep, take zinc, vitamin C, drink water, eat a well balanced diet, exersice... you know take care of yourself)

i guess one of my issues is that they try and scare everyone with horror stories from 100 years ago, well since then we have learned what a flu is, how to keep it under control (ie hand washing) we have a general better health then they did 100 years ago, clean water, and if worse comes to worse antibiotics for things like pneumonia, and antivirals if stuff gets really bad.
BUt like i said if you are really worried then get it.

h

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

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#17 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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To Abbey,

I know vaccinations are a hot-button issues these days, & every family has to decide what is right for them, but I did want to point out that thimerosal has NOT been removed from every childhood vaccine, the flu shots nearly always contain it (a limited number are available thimerosal-free, but only the single-dose injections, not those that come from a multi-dose vial). There was never an official BAN on thimerosal, only a recommendation that it be decreased/phased out, but each vaccine manufacturer still has the choice to use it.

Besides that, thimerosal is NOT the only vaccine ingredient that is a cause for concern amongst those that do not vaccinate. To say "autism aside b/c you can get a thimerosal free H1N1 shot" is simplifying the issue a bit too much. There's also aluminum, formaldehyde, antibiotics, ethylene glycol (antifreeze), etc. And besides autism, there's also the concern of other chronic diseases which are on the rise, such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, etc. You mentioned that you were planning on following a selective vax schedule, specifically Dr. Sears. His book talks about all of this in detail, & is incredibly informative. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. Chapter 16 is dedicated to vaccine ingredients. His website also has current info on the H1N1 vaccine. http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/

As for me, we will not be getting any shots in our family, & I am also a nurse working in a hospital & have an almost-3-yr-old, as well as being 12wks pregnant. Of course I worry about my family getting sick, but studies have shown that flu shots are not effective, & the H1N1 is too new regardless. Not that it would make me change my mind if it had been out for 10 years, I probably still wouldn't get it, but regardless it IS experimental currently. We are not about to be guinea pigs for the gov't! We're doing our regular multivitamins as well as extra Vitamin D supplementation.

That's just my 2 cents. Blessings to all, we all love our families more than anything & wish for them to be happy & healthy!

~Mamagrove --- Wife to DH, & Mama to DD joy.gif (2006), DS bouncy.gif (2010), & two Angel-babies angel.gif (2008)  angel3.gif (2012)

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#18 of 28 Old 10-15-2009, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamagrove View Post
To say "autism aside b/c you can get a thimerosal free H1N1 shot" is simplifying the issue a bit too much.
i mostly meant, i didn't want to get into an autism&vax debate because there are many forums and threads here for that. i really wanted to talk about how do you tackle these big decisions when you've already lost one baby. it makes me really sad to think about having an impaired child when i could have had a totally healthy one. and the UNKNOWN variables of this NEW vax scare me more than something like autism which is a debatable vax risk. where as this virtually untested vax brings up questions of "who knows what" you are exposing your baby to? thank you for your opinion as a nurse, wow! but i am not any closer to deciding taking it one day at a time

Abbey bow.gif (I surrender!) Mom to Milos Moonbeam candle.gif lost during labor at 39 weeks and born silently at home on 01/26/09...
AND my Monty Black-Bear rainbow1284.gifjoy.gif born 02/04/10
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#19 of 28 Old 10-15-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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Quote:
and the UNKNOWN variables of this NEW vax scare me more than something like autism which is a debatable vax risk. where as this virtually untested vax brings up questions of "who knows what" you are exposing your baby to?
Although this is a vaccine for a new strain of influenza, it uses the same technology as vaccines for other strains of the flu. Made the same way, iow. I'm not nearly as concerned about the "newness" of the H1N1 vax as I was about say, Guardasil. That was a completely new vaccine for a disease that had never been vaccinated for before.

I normally don't get the flu vaccine, nor my children. However, H1N1 differs from seasonal flu in significant ways, and I will get the shot. One big difference is that H1N1 has caused death in young, healthy people with no pre-existing conditions, and it wasn't the fever or vomiting that caused the death, but their body's own hyper-immune reaction to the virus. The risk of pneumonia is higher as well. And as someone who is pregnant, has a tendancy to have respiratory trouble anyway, has a scary tendency to have really heightened physical reactions to certain thigns, and in the age range that is at highest risk of dying if H1N1 is contracted, I'd rather take the very slight risk of the shot over the higher risk of getting so ill I either lose my baby or die. It is really scary, having lost a baby. But *both* options are scary. To me the vaccine is the less risky one, based on the information I have (from medical professions who I trust to be both intelligent and thoughtful in their assessment of all medical treatments, and who are also people who love me and care very much about me and my baby staying safe) and my medical history.
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#20 of 28 Old 10-20-2009, 04:26 AM
 
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It is rumor though, that people who assisted in getting this vaccine made and distributed won't get it, and they have told their families to avoid it at all costs. I am not sure that I have heard things like that about other vaccines, but this one, it seems to be a big thing that not even the makers will take it. So....

I think that the Lord, or nature if you will, has been keeping us humans alive for a very long time, before vaccines ever came out. We know more. We have better hygeine, and hopefully better nutrition. We have modern medical science. I think that with the rise of autoimmune diseases, diabetes, asthma, etc. in countries that have the highest vax rates, is a real eye opener. Yeah, we have other things too, like more factories, cars, etc, but what my research showed me is that ppl who don't vax are actually healthier than their vaxing counterparts. Countries with high vax rates, have more long term health issues. This is actually in the gov, drs, and hospitals best interest. Medicine is a business. Keep making the ppl sick, and they will make more money.

My Dh also got the flu from the shot, and it was the worst he has ever had before and since.

I think that doing what is natural, whether it is natural birthing, natural diapering, natural feeding and foods and supplements, it is just not natural to vax. We don't want formaldehyde in our carpets and manufactured homes, I can't imagine choosing to inject it into our bodies. Well, unless we are dead, I suppose. But, you get the idea.

I have already heard horror stories about mothers who did get the swine flu vax to lose their baby right before viability. Or, the mother is in one ICU and the baby is in the NICU. Losing a baby, or having one with medical needs or disabilities, this may be a small risk, but it is a great risk to those who have already dealt with these types of things. The risk being the loss being so much harder, to have to go through it all over again and wondering if what you chose to do was what caused it. We all deal with mother's guilt, I am sure.

I just saw a news thing that showed a beautiful young woman that had her whole life ahead of her. Now, she can't walk forward. She stutters. She walks terribly when she tries to walk forward. The stranger part? She can run fine, and she can walk backwards fine. But, she is struggling to walk normal forward and it wears her out. This was from the flu shot. It is a rare neurological disorder, and the drs said that "Yes" it came from the flu shot. There is no cure for her, I guess they called it "Dystonia". She is in her 20s, and this is how she will live the rest of her life. Would the flu do that to a person? I really don't think so, but they didn't mention that. I guess one could argue that had she gotten the real flu, she might have died instead. Maybe she got the shot, and then got the flu (as it was 2 wks later), and therefore it was a milder case for her than it would have been otherwise, aka JUST dystonia, not death. I am not sure that I would rather live like that then just die.

A couple winters ago, our state had a severe shortage of the flu vax. That spring, guess what the news related to us? They said that this year they had a lot less reports of the flu in drs/ERs. Hmmmm. Let me think on that. Coincidence? I think not.

Yes, ppl should do what they feel is best for their families. I just think that evidence speaks loads for itself. Kymberli
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#21 of 28 Old 10-22-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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I'm still on the fence about getting the vaccine. Everything just seems so rushed, and they are only doing clinical tests now (in Canada, anyway).

The vaccine comes out next week for the "high risk" group, but this is not the vaccine that they are promoting for pregnant women, and children at a young age. The vaccine for us (it doesn't contain adjuvents) will come out in two weeks.

...guess I have two more weeks to think about it.

_________________________

As for the flu shot, I have had it twice now and will not be getting it in the future. I can't remember if I became sick the first year I received it, but last year was horrible. I was so sick with the flu when I was pregnant (in December). Then, I lost my son in January, and then I had the flu two more times before April.

I know that there are various types of strains, but come on...to have the flu three times in a matter of 5 months with the flu shot does not make sense.

Mommy to Katherine (June '05) , Calvin (born an angel on January 25, 2009 at 29.5 weeks gestation) , and Samuel and Sabrina (December '09)
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#22 of 28 Old 10-22-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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I guess they called it "Dystonia". She is in her 20s, and this is how she will live the rest of her life. Would the flu do that to a person?
Coming from a medical family, I asked my folks about this, and yes, it could. She had the shot (which she'd had before with no problems), then 10 days later she came down with the flu, then, after that, she developed this dystonia.

It is a horrible, horrible thing to happen to someone. Truly tragic. But it's not a situation where you can point to a direct cause for it. It could be one, it could be the other, it could be a random co-incidence where something else set the dystonia off around the time she had both the vaccine, and influenza. It is also very, very, very rare, even though flu shots are wide-spread and have been for years. Developing this disorder is much more rare than people dying from the flu, for instance. ETA: the shot that preceded her dystonia was not H1N1, but the seasonal influenza vax.
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#23 of 28 Old 10-22-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I'm debating the shot too. In my head:

For:
I have lost 4 babies already and i don't want to lose another, and the 3rd loss was following a fever i got when i had 'flu.

I had a flu in December last year which might have been H1N1 (i know, they say it only came around in April, but i had just spent time with folk just back from south america who had had flu the week before...IDK) and i was SO sick, sicker than with the flu i had at 17 (the last time i had it, over a decade ago). On the Friday morning i had a mild headache and a slightly sore throat, by Saturday morning i was at an emergency department with sinus, bronchial, lung and throat infections, a high temperature and compromised oxygen sats, there was no time to see "how i would go" without help, kwim? I went from under the weather to really really ill within about 6 hours overnight, and woke to find my face swollen (from the sinus infection) and my throat and chest closing. I am terrified to go through that again when pregnant.

I am the sort of person who looks at medical studies to make my decisions in this regard usually (DD is mainly vaxed) and i haven't found evidence that the H1N1 vaccine should be feared. I know there are a lot of stories and anecdotes out there, but i just don't use them to make decisions - a close friend of mine lost a baby at a homebirth which may have lived in hospital, but i know she was unlucky, not foolish to have a HB. I don't know, it's just the way my brain works, i wouldn't be happy knowing i made a decision on anecdotal evidence.

My incredibly conservative GP (who has about 60% of new patients transfer their kids from his care because he won't give antibiotics unless they are so ill they need hospitalising, and who doesn't recommend ANY drugs for pregnant women (i.e. told me to be cautious with paracetamol)) said he would be really worried about me if i didn't get it and that he'd have his pregnant wife get it in a heartbeat. I really respect him, and he is generally incredibly supportive of my generally conservative-healthcare lifestyle (homebirth, no anti-B's, food-only vitamins etc.).

I live in a big city with high 'flu rates (was a major centre in summer) and there is no way i can avoid people. I have to use public transport, my DD is DESPERATE to join pre-school and due to this spring, and i just can't see how i could avoid infection, realistically.

Against:

Hello, it is a VACCINE and i am PREGNANT, why would i put something so new and untested in my body?! I don't EVEN take paracetamol when pregnant, i don't take ANYTHING when pregnant!

There haven't been enough people vaccinated for medical studies of clinical trials to be as revealing as i'd like.

Thalidomide (a long time ago and till really a concern in the sense that we KNOW that untrialled things can and are sometimes given out unwisely).

I might have already HAD H1N1 in December in which case i needn't worry about it as much.


In conclusion, i have no conclusion. I talked to the GP a bit about it on Tuesday and will have to have a phone consult with him next week (i have hypothyroidism too which is another complicating factor as it can affect my immune system at times, and am being monitored during pregnancy) and plan to talk to him more.

At the moment i am thinking that i will ask for an H1N1 antibody test, if they can/will do one. If i am negative i don't know what i'll do, but i won't do anything before 16 weeks no matter what.
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#24 of 28 Old 10-22-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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Bec

It is scary. For me it is weighing risks and benefits. There are risks to both. The question is, which has higher risks *for me*. The balance may be different for others, leading them to make a different decision. I am at very high risk of exposure, high risk for complications from the flu, higher risk for complications with H1N1 because of my age and pregnancy, so I'm getting the shot. If we were in a different living situation (little to no possibility of exposure, not pregnant, not asthmatic, etc), I'd probably skip it. It is not a pleasant decision to have to weigh, especially if it becomes available while I'm still in my first trimester.

Re: testing, the H1N1 vaccine is an influenza vaccine, made the same way other influenza vaccines are made. We've had influenza vaccines with varying strains for years. In that regard, I don't believe it can be compared to thalidomide or other brand-new drugs.

Some people feel that all vaccines are dangerous (probably a majority, on MDC), me, not so much, though I don't normally get flu shots just because I usually don't feel they are necessary. The only difference in production/form is that it is a different strain of the influenza virus. If you have egg allergies, you shouldn't get it, because the flu virus is grown in eggs (weird, huh). They're not recommending the nasal mist for pregnant women, because it is a live attenuated virus (my dad says a "wimpy" virus instead of a "dead" virus ) and can cause problems for people with already-compromised immune systems.
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#25 of 28 Old 10-25-2009, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just wanted to thank you mommas for weighing in on this--i do feel a little bit closer to just getting the damned thing but still not really sure and i really relate to your fears and woes...

GoBecGo-the constant weighing of pros and cons, sigh, i really hear you! so glad to hear a holistic GP votes yes for it. my OB who is really like a midwife with and MD also thinks it's important and i feel he is not a big medicine guy. i too live in a ground zero for the virus. i've been driving as much as possible but there are times i have to take public transport and just being in supermarkets make me feel like a sitting duck. i don't even usually like those alcohol hand sanitizes but i feel it's the least i can do now.

cappucinosmom-thanks for reminding us of the bare bones facts...

fwlady-i don't how these horror stories are possible since the injectable is the only vax going to be given to pregnant women and it is not out yet? i just want to keep the scare tactic misinformation on both the pro-vax and con-vax sides straight
it's hard enough with the real details to make up our minds!

so while we are waiting for the injectable to arrive and are forced to make this "between a rock and a hard place" decision there was a really scary article in the NYtimes this week...

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/1...sq=h1n1&st=cse



scary!

Abbey bow.gif (I surrender!) Mom to Milos Moonbeam candle.gif lost during labor at 39 weeks and born silently at home on 01/26/09...
AND my Monty Black-Bear rainbow1284.gifjoy.gif born 02/04/10
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#26 of 28 Old 10-25-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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(Hope you don't mind if I jump in again). Yes -- the story in the NY Times is scary, but they said that the woman was "healthy except for her smoking habit!" If you're smoking during pregnancy, then you're probably a serious cigarette addict and already have compromised lung function. I feel bad for her, but I don't think this is relevant for everyone.

This is another e-mail that is "going around" and I think is very helpful and positive and SAFE for pregnant women:

"The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications) .

2. "Hands-off-the- face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected o ne.. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.. *

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm."

My older DD has been sick with a high fever for a week and we've all been gargling and doing nasal irrigation and so far (knock wood), the rest of us have stayed healthy. (Simply Saline has an easy kit in the drugstore. I find a squeeze bottle much easier to use than a Neti pot).

(((hugs)))
Davidah
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#27 of 28 Old 10-25-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you davidah (no worries jumping in again-discussion is good )
this was my question exactly! how healthy was she really?
our house is trying to follow all the rules you described above but i would caution taking too much vitamin c in supplement form (boosting C rich foods is different) because i did a little research and it looks like that you can have too much vitamin C... especially when you're pregnant and already taking extra in your prenatals.
hoping for good health and healthy babies to all!

oh! wait another question i have (until i see the ob again) does anyone know if the vax protects the baby once he's born? that might provide some motivation to a PAL mom like me expecting at the height of flu season!

Abbey bow.gif (I surrender!) Mom to Milos Moonbeam candle.gif lost during labor at 39 weeks and born silently at home on 01/26/09...
AND my Monty Black-Bear rainbow1284.gifjoy.gif born 02/04/10
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#28 of 28 Old 10-26-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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Abbey you should check with your Ob, but my midwife said if i was vaccinated and the vaccine "took" (made me immune to some degree to H1N1, it apparently offers about 80% of those vaccinated immunity) then i would be passing those antibodies in my milk to my newborn, which should afford them coverage for the first year or so (if i breastfed that long). After that they're not too sure because for some the vaccine "wears off" (which is why they give an annual flu vaccine to some groups of people) and in that case those antibodies wouldn't appear in your milk anymore.

In the UK they are vaccinating the normal high-risk for seasonal flu groups for H1N1 (asthmatics, diabetics, those with COPD, and several other pulmonary, coronary and genetic conditions plus certain healthcare workers) and pregnant women, but NOT children or the elderly unless they fall into the first catergory too. In the UK they only routinely vaccinate those over 60 and those with the above mentioned issues against seasonal flu, they certainly don't offer the shot to everyone.

davidah, thanks so much for all that very useful advice! At the moment i'm "morning" (relentless all-day) sick and not going out much, but once i am past this stage i'm looking forward to getting out there again! All your advice made me feel much more empowered to keep myself and DD safe.

I am pretty sure i'm going to get vaccinated against H1N1. I also don't really believe vaccines are necessarily harmful - i definitely wasn't comparing vaccines to thalidomide except in that way of it being a scary-monster that springs to mind when we think of untested drugs given to pregnant women - to be fair, from what i've read i'd take the vaccine before i took Tamiflu! I also know several women who have seasonal flu shots, pregnant or not, due to health conditions they have, so again, it's good to have it reaffirmed once more that it's just the same as a normal flu shot (which we generally aren't told the strains of anyway) with a named strain of dead virus.

Another question for you all - if i get it, i was thinking i should wait until after 16 weeks (when the baby is formed) but my GP said he felt after 12 weeks would be safer (i'll be 12 weeks in mid-november, he feels the baby is not at increased potential risk from the vaccine after 12 weeks whereas i will be going through peak flu season without the shot if i wait until i'm 17weeks). Do any of you have thoughts on this?
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