My Journey Leaving The Vaccination Movement - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-24-2014, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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My Journey Leaving The Vaccination Movement

Didn't most of us who question vaccine safety and efficacy start out vaccinating our children on schedule? I sure did.

I allowed the hospital staff to vaccinate my 4.5 pound preemie with the hepatitis B vaccine, even though he was at ZERO risk to contract hepatitis B. They told me it was safe. They told me it was standard, all the babies were given this vaccine, they were all fine.

I allowed my preemie to receive every vaccine on schedule for his first 2 years. Most were thimerosal-preserved.

By the time he was a year old, he had something like 125 times the EPA cumulative limit of mercury exposure.

He had a seizure reaction to his 2-month vaccines. i had never seen a seizure before. I called the pediatrician's office in an absolute panic, and tried to describe the flailing and stiffening; I didn't think I needed to describe the horrible screaming that didn't sound like a baby, didn't even sound human, but sounded like an animal being tortured. I was sure the nurse could hear it. But all she said was, "yes, I guess he sounds a little fussy."

She told me I was an over-reacting, hysterical new mother, and that I should put him in the crib and walk away until I could calm down.

I begged her to let me talk to a doctor, and asked, "what if I just brought him in without an appointment, wouldn't the doctor see him? When he looks and sounds like this? Is this a reaction to the vaccines? He just got his vaccines a little over an hour ago"

She said, angrily, "NO. We won't see him, because he doesn't need to be seen. He was just here. We saw him. He was fine. VACCINES DON'T DO THAT."

I said, "Can I bring him to the ER?"

She said, "Not without a referral from us. Since we are open, you may not bring him to the ER for a little crying without a referral from us. You can go, but your insurance will not cover it, and they will charge you several thousand dollars, and he doesn't need to go to the ER, he's just a little fussy."

He did stop screaming and flailing over 3 hours later. And slept. It was days before he seemed back to himself.

Because of his tiny size, we had a check up shortly after that (thankfully, with no vaccines scheduled). The pediatrician listened gravely as I described the episode, and said, "that's actually a serious reaction to the vaccines, and should have been reported."

By the following visit, the nurse was gone. I never saw her again. I heard she was fired because of that episode. I hope she never got another nursing job.

By the time my second baby was born, I had an idea that vaccines just might be an issue, so, with the pediatrician's approval and signature, I included a note in my baby's chart that we were delaying the hepatitis vaccine until his 1-month appointment.

They vaccinated him anyway, without my knowledge or consent, while I was in the shower.

He had a severe reaction to his 4-month vaccines. Different age, different set of vaccines from his brother--and a totally different reaction. He developed a horrible red, blistering, oozing rash, all over his body, especially his trunk. The pediatrician said he'd never seen anything like it, but that it was a serious reaction to the vaccine, put him on prednisone, and sent him to a dermatologist. The dermatologist took one look and said, "that's a drug reaction, what is he on?" I said, "nothing until the prednisone this morning, and he has had only breastmilk. I'm not on any medications, I haven't changed my diet, and we have no new cleaners, detergents, and haven't used any pesticides or sprays."

"It's the vaccines," she said. "But we don't know which one or ones, because he was given 4 concurrently."

We went much more slowly with our 3rd child. She did not get the birth hep B dose. The pediatrician gave her only one or two vaccines at a time, and skipped the ones that he thought were not necessary, like the rotavirus, flu, and chicken pox vaccines.

She still had a severe reaction at 6 months, and was unconscious for 2 days.

It took a long time for me to leave the vaccine movement. I had trusted the doctors, trusted the pharmaceutical industry, and trusted the government who implemented the schedule. I believed all the propaganda, that urged me to inject my healthy children with unnecessary chemicals in order to "protect" them.

I didn't know that they never tested the vaccines against a true placebo for adverse outcome. I didn't know that there was a voluntary reporting system for adverse reactions. I didn't know that there had never been studies comparing adverse events between vaccinated and fully unvaccinated groups.

I didn't know that vaccines can cause seizures, autoimmune disorders (like severe blistering oozing rashes, asthma, arthritis, thyroid disorders), neurological sequelae, paralytic disorders, and brain damage.

I keep seeing articles posted by groups that, as far as I know, are front groups for the vaccine industry, groups that purport to be parent-driven, grass-roots "support" for the vaccine program. Not the vaccine program that COULD be but the existing vaccine program, that doesn't even pretend to prescreen children for susceptibility to vaccine reactions, that doesn't even admit that such reactions exist. And these articles are all written by mothers who say that they used to be members of the "antivax movement" (whatever that is), and that they left when they saw the light.

These articles are eerily similar. They start out with the author insisting that she had identified with a group of women she labels "anti-vaxxers," and then describes that group as a bunch of mindless idiots, who consult tarot cards, eat weird foods, and scream epithets at life-saving doctors.

Then, the author sees the light (well after the point where her children are old enough to receive vaccines with significantly less risk than when they were newborns), and decides to vaccinate her children after all. She does so, following a careful and conservative catchup schedule that exposes her children to far smaller amounts of heavy metals relative to their body weight than the original schedule (which she declined) would have.

Then she looks at her healthy, delayed-vax children and says that they are fine, therefore those poor ignorant fools who declined further vaccines for their (vaccine-damaged) children must be wrong, because hers are fine. And oh, those ignorant fools are putting HER (vaccinated) children at risk! And they are selfish, and should have their rights taken away! Because they are not accepting The Holy Medical Sacrament of Vaccines!

So I think it's high time we all start writing OUR journeys--our journey leaving the vaccine movement.

Just in case there are actually people out there who think that we left the vaccine movement because of, you know, Jenny Wakefield. Or Andrew McCarthy. Or some other reason that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that we were terrified beyond belief when our children had the reactions that the vaccine industry wants so desperately to deny and cover up.

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#2 of 8 Old 07-24-2014, 09:04 PM
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That first nurse was a monster...
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#3 of 8 Old 07-25-2014, 08:47 AM
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My story is little different. Scroll down to the last papragraph if you want the short version.

I was never pro-vaccine in a rah-rah sort of way. I didn't fall into parenthood well versed in informed choice. I simply did what the doctors said. Oh, I knew I had the right to say no, but I was young, a little timid, and frankly, it never occurred to me to question what the doctors did. They knew what they were doing. The doctor pulled out a syringe, and we all just rolled up the pant leg.

The birth of my first child had been fairly traumatic - for both me and him. In the first year of his life I was grappling with this. I did come to the conclusion that some of my labour and delivery was mismanaged. I also had some difficulties nursing in the first 8 weeks or so. I saw numerous health care professionals for guidance on nursing, and most were a little useless. One was brilliant, though. Thus, in the first year of my sons life I went from a passive receiver of health care to someone who believed it was vitally important, for the health of myself and child, to be involved in health care decisions. I am not anti-medicine in any way. Surgeons literally saved my youngests life, and I could write beautiful poems about the wonders of properly used antibiotics

Back to vaccines…..

With this newfound questioning attitude, I decided to question doctors on vaccines. I was less than thrilled with the responses I got. When they added a second MMR when my son was somewhere between 12 and 18 months, I asked why they needed a second dose. Wasn't one good enough? I was told they needed a second dose to capture the 5% or so of people for whom the measles vaccine did not work. I immediately said 95% sounded good enough to me, and then asked how common measles was. They did not know. They did not even have a ballpark. They told me to call the Canadian Pediatric Society who was also unable to answer my questions. So - let me get this straight: you want me to give my child a second dose of a vaccine, when the first should work in 95% of the cases, and you cannot even tell me how common or uncommon mumps, rubella and measles are? Don't think so.

Around the same time it came out that DTaP was safer than DTP - and that other places had been using DTaP for years, while the province I was living in continued to use DTP. So - once again, let me get this straight: you knew there was a safer vaccine, but for goodness knows what purposes, you continued to use DTP?

My days as a go with the flow vaxxer were over. It was 1997. I did know a bit about vaccines from 1997-2004, but not much. I knew what I could get from book, magazines, etc. I really did not have to know - the job of the medical community was to convince me the needles were a good idea - and through lack of basic knowledge on things like prevalence of disease they failed. I asked numerous doctors and nurses, btw. There was a systemic lack of knowledge. I do not think I heard of Wakefield and I predate Jenny McCarthy, lol.

Around 2004 I got online. I eventually fell into these forum where I was asked to defend my views. I started researching vaccines in a way I never had before. I would not say it solidified my position - there are some vaccines I like more than when I started and some I think are even more useless in their typical application. I have a lot of respect for the very selective/delayed postion, although I am ultimately non-vax.

In a nutshell, my decision to not vaccinate originated from a failure of medical professionals to answer basic question plus (eventual) research into vaccines that led to more question without a heck of a lot of answers.

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.


Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#4 of 8 Old 07-25-2014, 09:02 AM
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Around the same time it came out that DTaP was safer than DTP
Yes, oddly, the DTaP was used in Japan since the 1970s, so this was not news. And it has been common knowledge since the 1940s in the medical literature that the pertussis component of the DPT is neurologically toxic.

In a nutshell, my decision to not vaccinate originated from a failure of medical professionals to answer basic question plus (eventual) research into vaccines that led to more question without a heck of a lot of answers.
Excellent. And I have heard the "experts" say that they know better than us because they have put in the time to be educated, licensed, and are the professionals so we should respect that and listen to them.

Yeah, right.

The truth is, doctors learn very little about vaccines in med school, they learn less about the diseases that these vaccines prevent, and even less to nothing about nutrition; nutrition is an elective course in most medical schools - if there is a nutritional course, it is sponsored by the Kroc foundation or a similar financial concern.

So, folks, you are on your own. Do your own research. Make your own decisions because you live with the results.
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#5 of 8 Old 07-25-2014, 10:15 AM
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My Journey Leaving The Vaccination Movement

Cutting and pasting some info in here from another post I did about our experiences with leaving the vaccine movement.

I was a pre-vet major, very heavily influenced by pharma and vaccines as that was a very large portion of my undergrad degree. I had no problem spouting off "facts" about vaccines, medication, and even the necessity of milking dairy cows in order to drink their milk so we helped them avoid mastitis...

Graduated college, having dropped the pre-vet qualifications in my last year and just sticking to animal behavior, got my first puppy as a grad gift from the hubs (bf at the time) and well that became two pups since my parents wanted one too. Witnessed my first vaccine failure as they contracted kennel cough, followed by autoimmune induced by over-vaccintation, and spent the first year in the animal ER and over $10k in vet bills. Began to rethink the entire medical model at that point and slowly transitioned to grain free, then homemade and eventually raw diet for them, and learned about titering and homeopathic as well.

Fast forward 6yrs, I'm married and pregnant. I took the steps to find a practice that had midwives knowing I wanted alternative care. Spent some time reading about delayed/selective schedules, but always had other things going on, and still wanted to believe in the system so I didn't move completely away. I settled on no vit k, no eye ointment, and no heb B in hospital - delayed that to the first visit. Upon initial meetings with the ped, we discussed an alternative sched and she was fully on board.

At her 2mo WB, I was basically cornered into giving her everything on schedule: Pentacel, PCV, Hep B, Rotateq oral. There was a resident doc with the ped, and she took special care to use her "concerned doctor" tone in describing to me all the horrible things that were going to befall my LO if I didn't immediately vax her. It was 2 against one, I couldn't even remotely ask for a delay. DD became extremely lethargic, didn't nurse for almost 6 hours following her vaxxes (UNHEARD of for a baby who nursed every 45 mins to 2 hours) and when she woke from what seemed like a comatose sleep she began screaming.....a scream that I will never forget and never want to hear again. It was eery, high pitched, unearthly....just horrible and nothing I did made it stop completely. She would whine, lip quivering while she nursed, and only slept for 20-40 mins at a time and was back up to scream. This went on for over 2 weeks. (@Taximom5 - yes, it is animal like and something you never forget.) During that time she also vomited profusely and had major blowouts which lasted a few days. I later read these were side effects of the Rotateq...funny, the same side effects of rotavirus itself. She began to break out in a rash, very random across her body, but a large portion concentrated on her cheeks. I do not have a single picture of her between 2mos and a year where she doesn't have bright red bumpy cheeks - but she was born with perfectly smooth skin. She was a bit disoriented and not quite herself for 2-3 weeks following, but slowly her normal behaviors resumed and other than the rash, the other issues subsided with time.

All of these were reported to her pediatrician and during our visits she seemed to be typing up a storm as she asked about the reactions and even verbally agreed that they were pretty bad and that we could proceed slowly in the future (aka delayed as I had wished to in the first place).

At 4mos she was getting over a cold and we opted to do a "shot visit" at 5mos and at that point it was just the pentacel - I refused the others. Same reactions, same seemingly concerned response from the ped.

All along I expressed concern about what I felt were food intolerance to dairy in my diet while nursing. I was told that it's virtually unheard of for babies to be allergic to dairy, and that when they are, they all outgrow it by 3 but there was no reason to change my diet because *she* did not suspect dairy issues in my child and refused to send her for testing. I cut out dairy on my own at 12 weeks, lo and behold that diaper blowouts were a thing of the past and the fussing after nursing was no longer an issue. When telling this to the ped, she claimed it was just coincidence.

At 6mos DD had a physical reaction to eating oats - bright red ring around her lips. I was so angered by the dismissive nature in the past that I didn't bring it up at her well visit. At 10 mos she ate some apple crisp the night before a long road trip to see family. I noticed she looked a bit puffy at bedtime but we also had grandparents over and she was tired. At 3am when we woke up to embark on out trip and change her diaper, she was covered head to toe in hives, both eyes swollen and red and she was visibly puffy all over. I called the 24 hour on-call number and described in great detail her reaction and her previous reaction to oats. I didn't even ask for her "medical opinion" or "expertise" on allergic reactions or for any diagnosis - I simply wanted to know if there was a dosage for benadryl that would be safe to give an under 2yo based on her current weight. The response? "Oh this is a non-specific viral infection and it will pass in 7 days, and if it continues beyond that make an appointment with your regular doctor". ??? I was appalled that my child was borderline anaphylactic and BECAUSE I mentioned food, a not so common food for allergies at that, they were completely dismissive of me. Perhaps it was the lack of fear in my voice (DH is an EMT, I went through the EMT training as well) or the fact that I sounded like I knew what I was talking about and she didn't like that....but wow. It's a damn good thing we are medically trained and that I am aware of holistic alternatives and happened to have Rescue Remedy on me and was able to bring down the reaction on my own. I told the ped about it when we got back from vacation and she had no comment.

We had a 6mo, 9mo and 13mo visit where we did refuse all vaxxes. Following the 6mo visit, she was a bit taken aback that I came to that decision and was very abrupt in following visists. On our last one at 13mos she offered a catch up of all the shots we'd become "behind on" at that point. Knowing my DD's previous reactions, but bound and determined to get her up-to-date and make her own records look good, she was willing to inject my child with DTaP, Heb B, Hep A, Polio, Hib, Pneumococcal, MMRV (which she offered to "start early rather than waiting til 15mos), AND...she offered to throw in a seasonal flu shot in that visit if I didn't want to come back for that one....

Needless to say we stopped going and received a letter at 23mos that if we did not show up for a 2yr well check that we would be removed from the practice. I was ok with it because we'd already left for an ND and were quite happy with the care there.

Her last vaccination was in 2011 at 5mos old.....she's just shy of 33mos and still battling the skin issues and food intolerances that followed. I wish I could take the vaccines back and start from scratch with her, but I can't. All I can do is trust that we've done the research, done the right thing by stopping when we did, and not vax her or any future children and hope to NEVER have to hear that scream again.
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#6 of 8 Old 08-03-2014, 10:53 PM
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I refused to let them vax dd1 for hepB in the hospital. I knew there was some concern about vaxes but didn't have a clue what it was, and I was on morphine (surgical birth) so I assumed I wasn't competent to make a good judgement. It amazed me that they repeatedly asked me about it, anyway. How can that even be considered consent?

I did some light research and found a lot of pro-vax stuff, fatality rates for diptheria and tetanus, etc. I meditated and consulted my internal guidance which indicated that it would be fine to go along with the MDs. So at about 5 mos we got all the recommended shots. About 9 mos I figured it was about time to do it again, so I called and made an appt. for that day. As soon as I hung up the phone, I felt intense anxiety. I thought, I've already gone over this, it's going to be fine, so this is just some free-floating fear. Took her in for the 2nd round. The next day she cried constantly and had to be held every moment of the day. She was just starting to crawl, and if I put her down, she'd crawl about 4 steps, then turn around and look at me and cry. She had a fever which I controlled with tylenol. As soon as a dose wore off, the fever would come back, for about 48 hours. During that very long day when I could do nothing but hold and nurse my crying baby, I thought a lot about how I would feel if she never crawled again, or didn't develop in other ways. I thought about what questions I would ask the doctor when we saw her again.

When I described dd's reaction to the shots, the MD brushed me off and said, just give tylenol as long as necessary to keep the fever down. She didn't really say if there was greater chance of a worse reaction after that. She also told me that the reaction was probably due to having delayed the shots, because dd's immune system was more developed than it would have been at 2 mos. This seemed like the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. If she knew that would happen, why wasn't the dose adjusted? It was such an obvious question, such a weak excuse, that I decided not to take her advice on any vax-related question again.

We didn't get any more vaxes for dd1, and haven't done any for dd2.

I'm kind of thinking about maybe reconsidering some vaxes, such as polio, but I wouldn't consider MMR or any WP or CP vax. DH doesn't really agree with me on vaxes, but he defers to me. I think after the talk with the MD he was more skeptical, but over the years he's probably seen a lot of pro-vax propaganda. DDs are now age 9 and 7.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-24-2014, 11:14 AM
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Our exit was because of our pets, as I am still working on baby number 1.

I took in Connor as a rehab case. He had been found starved nearly to death by a garbage man. The previous owner had tried to kill him then thrown him away, evidently figuring that the dumpster would be emptied and the dog would be crushed. He was around 10 months old and weighed 29 pounds when he was found, he has not grown at all since we got him. The assumption is that his growth plates closed because of the starvation. He's 11 years old now, happy, healthy and 54 pounds. Due to immune system problems he has has Demodex mange three times. Because of this, we decided to stop vaccinating him and just have titer tests done. If a titer challenge ever came back low we would vaccinate. His last rabies titer came back at 4.9; it's important to note two things 1. a level of .5 is considered protected and 2. he hasn't had a rabies vaccine in seven years.

Personally I am needle phobic to the point of cold sweats, passing out and vomiting on sight of a needle, even when it's not intended for me. When I got hired at the hospital, they asked for my vaccination records which I could not produce. They offered to just give me "all of my shots" or I could elect to have titers drawn. Hmmmm, that was a tough one. I had successful titers for all five diseases. Of course, because I work at a hospital there is a yearly push for the flu vaccine. Last year and this year, I had to fill out an online form declining the vaccine, but the first two years I was here I had to sign a paper form that stated I acknowledged that I was risking the lives of patients and coworkers by refusing the shot.

We are currently planning to minimally vaccinate our children, spacing out the vaccines and not giving any combination shots or any shots that are for fully preventable diseases (like Hep B.) After one single round of vaccines, we will have titers drawn at some point and check immunity. My husband's mother is a polio survivor, so we are very aware of the results of that illness and don't wish to put our child at risk for that but also don't see the need for vaccines for all the "new" stuff.


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#8 of 8 Old 09-25-2014, 11:56 AM
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I had DS and 8 years ago and went the whole mainstream way, he had hep B at birth. After we were home, he had what I thought was a seizure. It scared me so much I called the nurse line. The nurse laughed at me and said she gets lots of mothers calling about that. I chalked it up to me being an unexperienced mother eventhough I had spent most my life around babies and young children and had lived with several newborn relatives babysitting little ones as young as a few days old and have never seen a newborn or infant jerk. Ds never did that again thankfully. I was also very concerned since I had a history of seizures coupled with my unknown paternal side. I had low milk supply and that is how I found I began reading up on vaccines and the big controversy and learned about vaccine reactions which I didn't realize were even a possibility. Ds continued to be vaxed until 1 year old. He developed normally during that time, but everytime he went for vaccines he would end up sick. In fact, he was never sick his entire infancy except for vaccines. I decided since he had had quite a bit of vaccines by 1 year I would stop and research the topic and decide if I wanted to continue. I began to question the amount of vaccines and couldn't grasp why there was even a chicken pox vaccine as I was 4 when I had it and remembered it as a mild illness (it was something I wouldn't be concerned if my own children contracted). During this time we moved and I took a long while to find a new dr for ds. I searched and found a dr. that was anti vax friendly. Around 3.5 ds developed seasonal allergies. I found it quite odd and tbh chalk it up to too many vaccines too young. Bot his father and I do not have such severe allergies.

With DD I was way more informed, I also had had 4 of 5 years of DS not being vaxed which included a month long trip to India without any issues or concerned. DD received a single Dtap shot at one year and that is the one vaccine she has received.

I know my ds is lucky to not have any major lasting affects from the vaccines. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt knowing that hep B causes seizures and I am quite certain he had one hours after receiving that vaccine.

That is our story.
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