Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The bubble.

Today the babies had their first shots.

I've held off on shots up until now because I think I'm smarter than the American Academy of Pediatrics and their "recommended vaccination schedule." Plus, since I'm not sleeping with all the drug companies who manufacture vaccines, I figure I have a much less biased view on what's really necessary.

And I've researched the issue. Beyond watching Jenny McCarthy on Oprah. Beyond word of mouth concerns about autism and mercury (incidentally, mercury is rarely used in vaccines these days). Beyond the popular conversations on vaccines is a lot of information that I find concerning. Like the fact that the FDA recommends an infant not receive more than 30 micrograms of aluminum in one day, yet most infant vaccines contain anywhere from 125-850 micrograms of it because the FDA doesn't regulate aluminum levels in vaccines. Although it has been established that aluminum can cause neurologic harm, aside from that we really don't know much about how toxic it really may be because it hasn't been thoroughly studied. So suffice to say, I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about injecting my sweet babies full of it. I also don't like the idea of injecting my babies with formaldehyde, MSG, human lung cells, or monkey kidney cells (to name just a few other savory vaccine ingredients). So.

We're lucky to have a fantastic doctor who is willing to customize a vaccination schedule that seems a little less in the pocket of drug companies. For instance, she agrees that our babies are at low risk for Hep B since it's mainly an STD and last I checked the babies aren't yet sexually active. So we're skipping that for now and waiting until they're a little more likely to get lucky.

Anyway, enough non-subtle harping. We are vaccinating, just at our own pace and only when it makes sense.

Today was time for their first shot. HIB, for those of you who are curious about which vaccine my high and mighty self deemed important enough to subject the babies to.

And ouch.

The way their little faces crumpled and their eyes formed tiny tears. The way they cried and then pulled themselves together. The way they fussed all afternoon. The way they refused to nurse. The way they cried without consolation every time they bumped their sore legs. Quin's little fever and swollen, red thigh. Rhys' insistence on continuing to play.

Maybe I'm a little overly dramatic. But they're my babies. And I chose this, knowing it would cause them pain but that it was for the greater good. So ouch. Ouch knowing that this was the first but certainly not the last time I will have to choose some bad with the good for them. Ouch because I can't protect them forever.

Ouch because a Hotwheels band aid and some infant Tylenol won't always fix it.



NiNi Bambini said...

I just love you!

Lauren said...

you're so sweet april! you are a very good mom, the babies are lucky to have you.

The Simpson Family said...

Thank you April! You just made me feel even better about creating my schedule for Zach! He just had the Hib last week! Love the pics...They are getting so big...and blonde...

Sades said...

Isn't it the worst thing to see them so sad. Audrey just screamed at the doctors today, and she didn't even need any shots. I have to say the male nurse they had should not be working with babies. We have reached the stranger anxiety stage, and he obviously didn't have experience with infants or children in this stage. I just hope we never see him again! I like to think a shot is a lot better than the things they are vaccinating against.

Daryl said...

Now I wonder how your mother and I survived along with the rest of our generation and yours ... however, they are your boys and you and your doc made an educated decision .. bravo!

Parsing Nonsense said...

Yeah, they keep pressuring me to do the Hep B vaccine at birth and I keep saying no way.

The side effects may include fever, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Don't those sound like perfect side effects for a newborn?

Anonymous said...

you are not smarter than the APA. Sorry.

April said...

So some follow up thoughts and things I didn't add in the original post.

I respect every parents' individual right to make the decisions that they feel will serve their children best. I have a lot of friends and family members who have fully vaccinated, and I love and respect all of those people AND their choice to vaccinate.

I don't argue with the importance of vaccines and am thankful that we have such an amazing tool against devastating diseases. BUT. I also feel as a consumer and parent that it is my job to do my own research and not just blindly trust in a medical community that has repeatedly proven itself susceptible to the influence of drug companies and lobbyists.

And finally. Anonymous. Dear, dear, anonymous. Whoever you are. Do I really believe that I'm smarter than the American Academy of Pediatrics? No. Do I think it's funny and fairly obnoxious to say that I am? Yes. Do I think it's funny that you mistakenly wrote APA, which is actually the American Psychological Association? Yes.

In summary?

Making your own educated decisions is good.

Vaccines, when used appropriately, are good.

I am the smartest woman in the history of the world.

G the V said...

Good post.