When making medical decisions for my firstborn, I spent months while pregnant educating myself about infectious diseases. I looked at transmission (thank you, microbiology), at-risk populations, complications from contagious diseases, and carefully considered the indications for vaccination of an infant. I spent months following his birth looking into immunology and the developing immune system (thank you, physiology). I had already covered a lot in school, but an in-depth focus was invaluable.
I decided on a selective schedule. He was exclusively breastfed, and risk factors were low, as he wouldn’t be in daycare. I wanted to support his underdeveloped immune system in the best way I could reason. We decided to decline rotavirus, Prevnar, and Hib. We were unable to decline the rest due to them being in a combo vaccine. At my firstborn’s 3rd pediatrician visit for vaccines, he got the combo shot and that was it. I knew the following days would be of a sleepy, feverish baby. What I didn’t know is that by day 4, I would be in the worst panic of my life.
Day 4 rolled around and he was absent. He was more awake, but not responding like his usual 6-month self. He didn’t smile. He didn’t giggle. He didn’t react to anything I did. He didn’t want to nurse, but I continued to encourage it. I called our pediatrician and the nurse said his symptoms were “normal.” I called my husband and we agreed to take him in if he got worse. He didn’t get worse, but it took about a week before he started to come around again. What were they going to do, anyways? There wasn’t a reversal for vaccines.
From that day, I promised I would never vaccinate him again. The risks were too high and I didn’t want him to have an even worse reaction the next time. Each child has taught me something further and pushed me to be better and do better. My firstborn scared me into intense research and the controversial dialogue of childhood vaccinations.
Just remember two things going forward as this gets deeper. Cognitive dissonance is real (look it up). What is your life, if people don’t know your heart?
Shalom, light, and love.
I am wife to an awesome and supportive man, mother to three rambunctious boys, and a nurse. I have been burned out in many areas of nursing including Urgent Care, Med/Surg, and Emergency Medicine. Burn-out is a significant factor in today’s nursing shortage. It is hard to find value in our work when our expectations do not align with our daily actions. Reevaluating my goals, I recognized our sickest population were those heavily medicated. I wanted to know what went wrong and how we got here. I did not want to add to the problem any longer.
We define healthcare by treating symptoms with medications; when did we stop curing patients? How are we determining health in our children? Why do we see a rise in chronic childhood illnesses? Why do we predict costs of healthcare to rise when, if effective, we should be curing people and seeing decreased costs? Are children being primed for life-long medications? Why have we reframed health in our children? Why is sickness considered normal? I don’t see my generation as chronically ill, but my children have friends and family that fit that category. These are children. How will that impact their future and society?
I also realize environmental factors and our food supply significantly influence the growth and development of our children and maintenance of adult health. I plan to offer health and immune-boosting tips for your home and kitchen, take them or leave them! They are not MAD, Mainstream American Diet.
After a series of events that occurred over the course of becoming a mother to three, I feared the future of medical care for my children and their generations. I educated myself through formal measures as well as independently, through government websites and databases available publicly and with college-granted access. I fear the loss of informed consent in America. Several states usurp parental rights daily to push corporate interests. When informed consent is lost, medical tyranny is imminent. We must no longer sacrifice our children for a fallacy. I’m glad you’re here.
Shalom, light, and love.
Semmelweis reflex: The tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs, or paradigms. — Ignaz Semmelweis