When I became pregnant, I remembered this conversation, which made me wonder if it hurts a dog, what can it do to a baby?
I coupled that perspective with the facts that A)vaccines are bread-and-butter profit-generators for pharmaceutical companies AND doctors and B) both are protected from liability for vaccine injury. I therefore began my research into vaccines from a place of deep skepticism. Nothing I've learned since then has influenced me in the other direction.
I am not globally anti-vaccine. I would certainly vaccinate myself or my child against a disease if I concluded or even suspected that the benefits would outweigh the risks. Given the time and place in which we live, no one vaccine has met that test.
After I made my decision, one of my closest friends told me that she would never vax her children before 2 years old, and she would re-evaluate from there. She works for a vaccine research and development company as an FDA compliance specialist, so that really firmed up my decision.
DD1 was vaccinated until 3 years. DD2 was vaccinated until 9 months. DS has NEVER had any vaccine. He is, by far, the healthiest, most cognitive and advanced of all three.
Kaiti, in with Shane, astrological mama to Sophie *12.27.05*, Maya *09.25.07*, Phoenix *08.23.09* & due *12.04.11* Having a after 3 cesareans!
I'm sure he had the Hep B at birth because he was in the nursery with XH and he would have agreed to anything they said he needed or should have except circ. He also had his 2 month shots. He hasn't had anything since then and he won't. My future kids won't have anything.
Loving wife of my gamer boy Michael. Blog link in my profile!
My mom is older than most of the moms of my generation - she had me at age 40 (which is common now, but quite rare for 1971 when I was born.)
Perhaps due to her age, but she had more of naturalistic/common sense way of mothering. She breastfed (and extended breastfed) at a time when formula was all the rage. She read somewhere about the immunities in breastmilk and that was enough for her to realize that there must be a reason mothers make milk for their babies.
About vaccines, she always told me from a young age about her distrust of them. She always thought that it seemed wrong to inject diseases into little babies. My sister (born in 1962) was completely unvaccinated and my mother even told the school it was against her religion (which wasn't exactly true - my mother did study to be a Jehovah's witness at one point, so I am not sure if that contributed at all to her decision.) To this day, my sister is the only one of her peers that does not have a smallpox vaccine scar on her arm, she she was of that generation.
My sister caught mumps as a child and my mother also came down with it at age 38. She said it was no big deal. Also, when she was a child, my mother's siblings all had the measles at the same time. My mother waited on them while they were sick, and she was the only one not to get the measles. She always wondered if she had natural immunity? Again, as someone who lived through the measles, pre-vaccine, it was not a big deal, just a matter of life. like chicken pox was to my generation as children.
With me, she withheld vaccines when I was a baby. I ended up getting a few for school, but because it was delayed I think I got far less. My shot record only had a few shots on it.
When I was in my early 20's, I had a boyfriend who caught the measles. He was sick for about a week, then recovered. The doc just said his vaccine immunity must have waned, told him to rest, and that was it. No media reporting of "outbreaks" like they do now. (Amazing how things have changed since 1994?!)
Fast forward to when I became a parent and I started researching vaccines. I had this mistrust already from my mom's common sense and I started hearing more about the autism link, which made perfect sense to me. The more I read, the more about other things started to make sense: allergies, SIDS, etc. The way they viciously attack anyone who questions vaccine safety just makes me more convinced. If vaccines were so great, they would not have to sell them so hard.
Jimmy's got the whooping cough
And Timmy's got the measles
That's the way the story goes
Pop! goes the weasel.
For me, it was hearing conflicting information on whether or not vaccines contained mercury. Some sources said vaccines contained mercury; others claimed they did not.
To make matters worse, I interviewed 4 different pediatricians within the same group, and all of them told me something very different regarding mercury in vaccines. One laughed and said mercury in vaccines is a myth...that there's never been mercury in vaccines. Another said there was mercury in vaccines, and recommended that we research all vaccine ingredients. Another said there used to be mercury in vaccines, but it had since all been removed from every vaccine. Yet another said the amount of mercury contained in vaccines was minute and harmless.
There was no truth found through interviewing these doctors, except that doctors operate on assumptions and opinions, just like everyone else.
After these interviews, I decided to delay vaccinations until I knew MUCH more. (We're still delaying, and it's been 4 years. )
What about you? Was there one piece of information that perked up your ears and got you really thinking about vaccine safety...ultimately leading to your not vaccinating or delay/selectively vaccinating?
Viera Schneibner's book on Cotdeath. I read it as a kid and it opened my eyes. The BS was utterly transparent to me. My mom tried to give me some mainstream information to 'balance me out.' It didn't work. My BS antennae was crying in agony.
It made me start looking into them all and decide none of them were for me.
I'm crunchy... Like a Dorito.
Mama to Sprout 4.09 and Bruises 7.11 handfasted to 9.07
After I challenged my thinking regarding childbirth I pretty much started questioning anything the medical model recommended.
#2 was hearing about the horrible dreaded disease of Chicken Pox and how over-the-top the public health nurses were in describing its ilks. I felt lucky to have direct personal history and observation of how it affects most people. I started wondering if parents 25 years in the future will be left to rely on public health's spin on Chicken Pox like I was relying on their spin on measles and other diseases.
all of the hardball tactics used to get parents to vaccinate. . . I started asking myself, why are they going to all of this trouble? Why do they resent parents asking questions and exercising some autonomy in their medical decisions? What are they trying to protect?
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
What started this process was the HPV vax. I will try to make a long story short, but I got my sex ed in a Christian school... aka great sex ed program but heavy on how STDs can kill you lol. We were taught time and time again that HPV could lead to cervical cancer in school and then I had people outside of a Christian environment basically tell me that was "bull-poop" and more of that Christian fear-mongering. Who can blame them... we Christians can be all about the fire and brimstone sometimes! Anyways, all of the sudden this HPV vaccine comes on the market and THEN people start recognizing that HPV leads to cervical cancer and it is all over the media. One minute no one believes there is a connection, and the next minute a vaccine has arrived and everyone thinks we all should get it. It completely creeped me out how quickly people changed their minds... and how they were rushing eight year old girls to the doctors office, and how I was suddenly being pushed by all my university docs to get it. I don't know how many times I explained to them that I had been with one man, and one man only, and if he had HPV, I probably already had it and there was no point in my getting vaccinated.... and they still kept pushing.
Then I heard people were getting kids vaccinated for chicken pox. Um, hello? Chicken Pox? I know I was one of the lucky few whose chicken pox consisted of like 6 spots and some flu-like symptoms that lasted a week or so... but no one I know had horrible chicken pox. We had pox parties lol. Why spend a bunch of money on a vaccine for a sickness that isn't a big deal for most people? I just didn't get it.
Then my son had a common reaction to DTaP, and while researching the reaction on PubMed, I was amazed at how little vax research bears the hallmarks of 'good research' (more than one author, testable hypothosis, etc)
Finally, being on mama boards and seeing that it is not the norm for children to get sick veeeery rarely, but it is the norm for most unvaccinated children.
I suppose I always knew not to. I very vividly remember getting the polio vaccine and losing the use of my legs soon after-I was two at the time. I was paralyzed only for a short time but I never will forget going to the doc, and not feeling right and hours later not even being able to stand. The doc's thought I'd never walk again and said it was a very 'rare' side effect. However, i did walk again but ever since then I have weird nerve pain in my legs so bad that I can't have them rubbed. (massage school was a trip)When I became pregnant with our first I was already way deep in the midwifery/natural healing bit and it all just followed suit.
i haven't vaccinated any of my children and I won't. period.
I started doubting vaccines after my child received all of the recommended shots upto six months. I happened to ask the pedi what are these shots and he just casually shrugged his shoulder and said the usual....diphtheria, polio etc etc. I was shocked by his callous attitude. Of course I should have done my research earlier too but I used to blindly trust the doctors. It occurred to me that I have handed over my precious bundle to this pedi who doesn't even feel it's important to tell me what vaccines he is administering to my baby! That was it. And I started reading about vaccines and never stopped since. Although I did stop vaccinating.
SAHM to my sweet girl born in fall 2009
I was not going to put DD in that position. And I did doubt our decision a little bit in the beginning but she is the healthiest little girl so I'm quite comfortable with not vaxing and if we have more children they're not getting vaxed either and I won't have any more doubts either!