This may seem like a cruel question, since both mom and dad were involved in creating a new life. But, I read these boards frequently and always notice mom's writing "I" when they describe their decisions regarding vaccination and child healthcare. I take the "I" for granted during prenatal care, since it is still Mom's body that they are wanting to test and treat until the cows come home. But where is the line drawn in your households when it comes to making decisions about healthcare for your children?
I am currently 5.5 months pregnant with my first baby. I have doctored naturally and alternatively for the last 10 years, and have lost pretty much all faith in the modern healthcare system. I recognize the value of doctors in emergencies -- to mend broken bones, to rescue my baby if it was suffocating from the cord, etc. My husband won't even take Tylenol for a headache, but he does believe that doctors "protect" us with all these tests and treatments.
He's had to educate himself about the thyroid, glucola, and Rhogam in order to support me at my prenatal appts. (I"m happy to report that today was our first appt with a new medical practice and he really showed support for my decisions and always says "we", not "she"! You wouldn't believe how much easier that makes things!) Without any real education on the topic at all, he believes in and is willing to compromise with me and delay vaccination ... and selectively vaccinate. I want NONE ... he believes that they are necessary. I have purchased The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears for him to read. I won't talk about it seriously with him until he knows the real score.
Our baby will not be in daycare, and I will breastfeed at least one year. As such, we are very low risk for the more severe childhood diseases. Still -- this is going to be a serious issue for us to conquer as a couple and as parents. I do fear that our relationship will suffer the consequences of sticking my feet in the sand, but it's worth it, right?! That's what I find myself asking, anyway ....
I have decided that I cannot and will not ever sign an informed consent for any vaccination for any of my kids. I won't live with it on my conscience. When we talk about it, I want to tell him that and, also, that I won't give him my blessing to do it either.
BUT, I feel like he's the Dad. He should have a say and some control over how this very serious issue is handled. Shouldn't he? I want to tell him that I can't stop him from doing it and just ask that he respect my feelings enough to follow Dr. Sear's recommendations for selective and delayed vax. That seems like consent, though. I don't feel like I'd harbor bad feelings toward him for doing it ... as long as I didn't endorse it at all ... it'd be all on him.
For God's sake! I don't even use normal deodorant so that I"m not rubbing aluminum into my glands! I'm certainly not going to let anyone inject it into my baby!
Anyway ... I'm just wondering how your husbands (particularly those who aren't accustomed to "natural" doctoring) react and get themselves involved with these types of issues and decisions? How do you deal with opposition? Have you conceded and regretted it? Have you rebelled and he became thankful for it? I'd love to hear the stories. I love my husband very much and want to treat him fairly ... but I feel an insanely strong sense to protect this child from things that I know are not good for it. :/
My DH knew my feelings on vaccinations long before we even got pregnant. I brought forth all my research and materials and asked him to look at it all so we could discuss it. He just told me he trusted my judgement and I have had no issues with him. Should he change his tune and start saying DS needed to have vaccinations, I again would make him read all of my research before even discussing it. If he was unwilling to do any research, then I would put my foot down and deal with the consequences whatever they might be.
In my family, the person who does more research gets to decide. This is why DH picks out our cars and deals with our taxes and I handle most of our children's medical decisions, diet, and other day-to-day household-related choices.
That aside, the burden of proof is on the person who wants to tamper with a healthy human body, not the person who wants to let it function as it was designed to function while supporting it with conservative care like good nutrition and proper hygiene. Vaccine-free is the default; if he can prove to me that not vaccinating is riskier than vaccinating and that vaccine side effects are less likely and more treatable than vaccine-available diseases, then maybe we'll talk about drugging our healthy children. Until then, I don't agree that Dad gets an equal say if Dad hasn't done as much research on the topic. This might not be a popular statement here, but I would never sacrifice my children's health on the altar of my husband's ego. Never. I can't imagine injecting our children with "just one" of the powerful pharmaceutical drugs on the vaccine schedule just to assuage my husband's uninformed and irrational fears. My babies' health is way more important than his feelings--or mine, for that matter.
Fortunately, DH and I are on the same page regarding most medical decisions including the practice of vaccination.
As with all parenting decisions, it comes down to:
-who has done the most research?
-who will have the most consequences (aside from the child) if there is an adverse reaction to a VPD or a vax?
I do not think it is a gender issue, where the mother's wishes are default.
I do think (and this is based solely on what I have seen) that the mothers I know do seem to be more involved in researching health decisions - and as such the decisions often fall to them. No one is keeping men from participating more in research or information collecting - so I am not sure why more men do not participate more heavily.
**This is the short version**
We each tend to have our own kind of specialties in our home. We overlap some, and we both certainly care that the kids are healthy and the car runs smoothly. We're able to have a deeper expertise if we learn to trust our partner in the area they excel. I excel at research, and dh knows that I want nothing but the best for our kids. He may ask me to explain things, site references, or even go back and look into something further. An important factor is that he doesn't feel that he has no say. I do present him with the info, and tell him what I think is best. I will tell him "this is VERY important to me" on things like vax. I won't tell him "I will never agree to have my kids vaxed". Trust and communication are absolutely key, and if either one of us ever came to a point that we said "This is what I think is right, so this is how it will be no matter what you thing" it would be a huge red flag that our relationship was on the rocks and the issue to address would be the lack of respect and trust between us.
***This is the long version***
With anything we give the kids...immunization, medication, food, whatever....we analyze it individually.
With vaccinations, we look up
- What is the vaccination meant to protect against?
- What is it's success rate in doing so?
- What is the potential danger of the illness(es) it protects against?
- How long does should the vaccine offer a boost against said illness(es)?
- How long does actually catching the illness offer a boost against it?
- Is the illness more or less dangerous to my child later in life when the vaccine wears off (if it does)?
- What kind of treatments are available for the illness, if my child were to catch it?
After looking at each vaccine as an individual case...there isn't a single one that presents less risk to my children now than actually catching what it is meant to prevent. I'm fond of raw data, and when dh looks at the data instead of someone else's interpretation he's come to the same conclusion. The only point we will have to readdress in the future is tetanus. We agreed that it's more dangerous than helpful in our current lifestyle, but we will be landing permanently on a farm in a couple years. At that point, the chance of ending up with tetanus increases and we have agree to go through our analysis again with whatever the current data is. There are also some non-standard vaccines we'll need to discuss next year as we'll be traveling through central america with the kids. At 11 and 13, they will be looking over the info too and dh and I will just be advising them in the process of making their own medical decisions, though.
Really? Dh knows that he's going to have to become an expert if he's going to disagree with me about something I feel strongly about...and I've usually developed strong feelings as a direct result of my depth of research...which means he's going to end up agreeing with me anyway once he does the work....so mostly he just asks me to explain why I think what I do, and trusts my assessment. Sometimes I email him a bunch of articles and give him a heads up that I'm not willing to make the decision myself so "here's your homework. we'll need to sit down and discuss this matter next week." It helps that my kids are preteens now, and healthy and strong, and I've been proven right about most things he questioned. lol
All decisions are discussed between me and dh. However, "I just think so" or "I just feel this way" doesn't fly when it's held against what another one has researched- especially when that is counter to our normal way of living. Quoting authorities that are regularly respected by our family would work, not ones that we normally disregard.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think all issues are up for compromise. There isn't always a middle ground. You can't circumcise "just a bit". You can't have an abuse-free relationship "most of the time". I feel the same way about vaccines. "Just a few" is just as awful to me as "just one affair".
Unless DH could give me solid reasons why vaccinating was safer and more effective than breastfeeding, healthy lifestyle, and natural treatments, there is no room to budge. He would also need to convince me that our kids are at a lower risk from a definite exposure to the vaccine risks than the possible exposure to the VAD and the possible side effects that may follow. And that the vaccine side effects are more manageable.
Fortunately, once DH started really looking into it, he turned more anti-vax than me.
Well, I think it really depends on the people involved and the relationship dynamics. In my case, I already had dd when I met dh. I already had my parenting decisions made and was practicing them. He isn't a researcher. His opinions were based on "that is what people do" or the way he was raised or what his friends with kids did. In some cases it took years to get him educated, like on circ. But he also trusts me because he knows I don't make most decisions lightly. So we really never had a disagreement I can remember on vaccination. I use the term I because these decisions really were made by me long before I met dh.
*This is my own opinion and experience*
When I was pregnant with DD, DH was not fully on board with the anti-vax stance. I finally told him I was serious enough about it that if he thought we were vaccinating our child, I would be leaving him and taking her with me. He got it then that I was very serious about this and, while not as passionate about it as I am, when it comes to our kids, he agrees there will be no vaccines for any reason.
In my case, the health of my children come before the opinion of my husband.
You seem to be reading an awful lot into that statement. Keep in mind this is the "I'm Not Vaccinating" forum, and making sweeping generalizations about non-vaxers is inappropriate IMO.
What part of her use of MY husband and My Children has anything to do with you and yours? She didn't make any blanket statements about vaxers, unlike yours about no vaxers.
She prefaced it with "this is my own opinion and experience." She is not talking about you. I don't get it .
If someone on the selective board said they wanted to vax their child to keep them from harm, I would not think they were using inflammatory language. Indeed the whole vax debate for many people centres on harm -on both sides. I don't vax because I think vaxxing might be more harmful than not vaxxing; I assume most vaxxers do so because they think not vaxxing might be more harmful.
the disagreement has nothing to do with the OP and her supposed newness to the forum, since the disagreement is between longtime members and what they posted not what the OP posted.
The foundational issue is the fact that some people for whatever reason will take anyones I/me/mine post and try and spin it as judgement against them even when the post was not directed at them, didn't quote them and wasn't in response to anything they posted. It doesn't matter what the topic is, I've seen this all over the boards at various times and on a multitude of subjects.
And that is exactly the kind of language that is used every day in the Circ forum. Acceptable there, and not acceptable in the "I'm Not Vaxing" forum?
I don't always agree with you, lol, but I do on the bolded!
I also agree with the bottom paragraph - divorcing or separating from someone who wants to vax is more likely to land your child vaxxed than if you had stayed and tried to work it out, due to court issues and such.
I just caught up on this thread from last week and was dismayed to see what it turned into. As to the bolded, I have to say after throughly reading all posts - the person that said she would leave her husband before vaxing her child is not giving advice. The OP asked to hear how other people have handled this issue, specifically she said she wanted to hear all "the stories". Saying the health of my children matters more than the opinion of my husband is not advice, it's an opinion statement. While I don't agree with her, she is still entitled to state how that particular issue was handled in her house and what the outcome was....this is precisely what the OP asked for. I don't see why reading a statement like that would make the OP not want to come back. What may make her not want to return is the bickering over the interpretation of language.
I am relatively new and was just scanning over this thread so I had to throw in my thoughts My DH and I must not be as advanced in our relationship as some of you all. I am fortunate that my DH is willing to go along with me on the nonvax issue and I compromised with him on the circ issue. I personally felt vaxxes were more damaging than circ. DH was not willing to research or argue so he trusted me on the vax issues since he knows we both want what is best for our kiddos. However I frequent boards like this so I have the research, background and ideas if needed (DH's mom is a NICU nurse) and so I feel secure in the choices I make. That is how we worked it out in our family. We have informally agreed I do the kids stuff and my health and he goes to his own docs. I hope I explained that well.
As far as the "I'll leave you and take the kids" statement maybe I can tell you my families side. I am not the person who originally said it but DH and I use it. When DH or I say that it is never said in a nasty way but more informative as this is where we draw the line in the sand type of statement. After finding out my DH's bro had a long term affair with a coworker and left his wife I told my DH- if you did that I would take the kids and leave..... which got us into a discussion on our personal ideals regarding affairs. Also I told DH if he gave me or my kiddos a CP or Flu vax I would leave. That is how strongly I feel about it and he is aware this is not something I would be very willing to compromise on. Knowing a couple's personal relationship behind closed doors is tough so maybe the previous poster just used that statement as her personal line in the sand. I hope I didnt violate any terms with this post- I was just amazed at how people reacted to that statement.