Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I'm posting about vaccines, because- hey why not jump into a huge controversial issue late on Tuesday night? One can hardly get away from the topic for the last week having been on any news or social site. I am kinda blown away at how heated the topic has become. But since some of you younger Moms have been asking my opinion on what to do in regards to vaccines, I'll tell you what I think, if that's worth anything at all.

First, I will say that all of my ten wonderful children are vaccinated. I think there are serious benefits that outweigh the risks some of you are legitimately concerned over. I may have never been personally exposed to many of these awful illnesses given the generation I was born into, but I knew a priest while we lived in VT who had polio as a kid, and only walked with great trouble and  double canes that alerted me to the raw facts of  that cruelty of life, when I had small children and had to make those decision.

I also know that some people have objections to vaccinations for very good reasons, I am reminded of a friend whose daughter had a severe reaction to a vaccine that landed her in the hospital  and I have prayed every single time I got my kids their shots something similar wouldn't happen to one of mine. Thankfully, these episodes are  very rare, but don't be so quick to jump the gun when you want to go kill an anti-vaxxer,  as there are real stories and faces and people behind these decisions, and they aren't all just uninformed Henny-Pennys. (I actually know two people personally, so there!)

Freddy and I wrestled with those questions when the kids were little, but not because we were afraid of autism ( I haven't heard that one in a long time to be honest) but simply because the actual schedule is grueling to  parents as well as kids. The doctors offices will give up to five shots to a kid who is pretty tiny in a single afternoon ( and they want to finish them all by age 2) and by golly, you are a braver soul than I- if you don't gulp a little bit at what is being pumped into those gorgeous tiny plump bodies God gave you responsibility over.

So whats a parent to do?  I can only tell you what made it way more manageable for Fred and I. We chose the middle road. We didn't want to NOT vaccinate, but we also didn't want to pump in five vaccines in a day. So, we followed OUR schedule for when our kids should get vaccinated. A novel idea, I know. What this meant was that when I would go into the doctors office for a "well child visit" I would ask my doctor what they wanted to give my kid that day, they would take out the laundry list, Fred and I would say "Ok that's more than we are comfortable with in one day" and we'd negotiate down to the two or the they felt were most important to give at that time, and wait til the next visit to negotiate again. My docs have always been awesome about this.

The downside to this is that my kids finished their shots a little older than most kids ( lets say by 4 or 5 instead of 2), but it also got done, and we were more comfortable with the slow and steady approach which allowed us to assess after each round how the kids managed, and also gave us confidence they wouldn't have poor reactions, cause they do in fact get fevers, and crankiness, and soreness at the sites etc. that needs to be monitored for a couple of days for all mamas to feel safe again.

So yeah, I had to buy them consolation prizes after I left the doctors office, but that is a small down side in my opinion.

That's my two cents. I hope it helps.

Vaccines are a good thing. If you are really just uncomfortable with the schedule, figure out a way to make it work so you are comfortable with it. It doesn't have to be all or nothing for your kids to get the needed protections, and also be a responsible citizen in a world full of lots of dangers, some of them very controllable.

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