Monday, August 16, 2010

Am I the Only One ?

Am I the only one who goes to the pediatrician appointment fully prepared to decline most vaccinations for the kidlets, and then slowly caves as said pediatrician tells disease horror story after disease horror story?

Am I smart to cave? Or wishy-washy?

What kind of idiot am I for thinking a five-in-one shot was the best thing for Melese this morning?

On the way home Steven says, "Don't freak out but look at your son." Sure enough I look at the car seat and Melese is completely passed out and much floppier than I have ever seen him. "PULL THE CAR OVER!" I yell. I quickly get him out of the seat, see that he is still breathing and I walk him around in a not so safe shoulder of the road. Meazi bursts into hysterics, "What has happened mom!!!" I put him back in his seat, get her, and give her a hug. I tell her everything is okay, and that I was just concerned because Melese fell asleep so quickly.( I was thinking back to when I had all of those travel vaccines in one day and was sick for a week). We continue on our way home. Steven takes Meazi into Jamba Juice to get a 'good job at the doctor' smoothie as I place my hand on Melese's chest. I quickly Google 'five in one vaccine' and begin reading horror story after horror story about vaccine side effects. Steven asks me what kind of Jamba Juice I would like. I say, " The scotch and vodka berry blend."

I am now lying in bed next to a sleeping Melese. I am hoping he wakes up soon so that I can stop worrying. I am pretty sure though that there is no end to the worry. Last night I had school anxiety dreams about KINDERGARTEN. I have already graduated from KINDERGARTEN. I can't possibly remain this anxious for my children.

How do you people do it?


  1. It's like this. You freak out over the first for everything. Then, you are just fine. Until the next new thing happens. Truthfully, you're only a parent as old as your oldest child. Like, I can rock it for an almost 6 year old boy. For a 4 year old girl? I know nothing. For example, did you know they like sunglasses? I did not. But I know you do.

  2. Which shot is it? MMR? Our dr convinced us to do vaccines too, but we figured out a schedule and now we don't deter from that.

  3. I think only time makes it easier. I worried about everything for my first. By #3 things were pretty good (with the occasional adoption related freak out thrown in for good measure). Oh and the girl thing Rebekah mentioned. Steep learning curve with that one.
    The internet is not your friend when it comes to medicine. The pros/ cons of immunizations have lead to a lot of fear mongering on both sides. It is unfortunate that mothers cannot just support one another...but that is another topic.
    Sending (((hugs))) momma. Hang in there!

  4. It is this shot:

  5. Boy, that Rebekah sure is smart. Ditto what she said.

    And hugs. He is totally fine.

  6. If you are nervous about vaccines themselves, please please please consider the following as carefully as you can;

    a statistics student and a fellow AP

  7. I'm sorry you are worrying and that jamba juice let you down when you needed them (no vodka-strawberry?! What?!)

    This worrying does not seem to ever, ever end. But for me with a 3-year-old, it seems to have abated somewhat. I used to walk into ANY situation, quickly determine the worst-case scenario and then situate myself so I could fling my body in harm's way to protect my daughter. Seriously. I just realized last week that I haven't done that in, like, months. (And the world probably isn't any safer.)

    We are so vulnerable, as mothers. It's like we've taken our hearts and wrapped them like shawls around our children's shoulders. They're out in the world, moving around, bumping into things, and we realize that we simply can't protect our hearts.

    But what a great thing to be a part of, huh?

  8. Vaccinate or not to vaccinate? You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Seriously, the worst parental conundrum until bullying and dating come around. Here's what we do:

    We don't do Hep B. Unless they are sharing needles or having unprotected baby sex, they're probably ok.

    We don't do the MMR. Just because it scares me.

    Other than that, I go in and tell my pediatrician to pick 2. That's all she gets to do at a time. I'll bring them back every 8 weeks for another 2, but she only gets to do 2 at a time. If you're gonna put poison into my babies, you have to go slow. That was my compromise, and it sounded rational to me.

  9. Um, no. You are totally not alone! We spread ours out the best we can, and the doctor always seems a little peeved. But you can't spread out those 5 in 1 or 3 in 1 boogers. Damn it. Hugs!

    (new blog

  10. At my daughter's 12 month check-up the doctor convinced us to give all the shots at once, even though we wanted to break it up into at least two visits. Twelve hours later my daughter had seizures that in total lasted over an hour, caused to her to aspirate and her lungs weren't working, and the anti-seizure meds wouldn't work. After finally stopping the seizures, tubes put in lungs to suction them, a chest x-ray, cat scan, and spinal tap in a children's hospital we were transferred to the conclusion was that her system could not handle all the vaccines and caused a high fever with atypical seizures. After that she had seizures once a month and her immune system was totally weakened. Oh, and we got a 35,000 bill that luckily our insurance paid. I think it would have been much cheaper to have let us had the shots in two batches.

    I did not share this to scare anyone, but let people know what sometimes happens. I am not anti-vaccine and have given her vaccines since then ( one at a time). Sometimes as mommies we need to listen to the little voice in our head and not let people pressure us.

    ~ Heather

  11. You are not the only one and I am sure that Melese is fine. But shame on your pediatrician. The time to find a new one is now! Not because it is wrong (or right) to vaccinate, but because there was no compromise. There was no acknowledgment of your concerns and flexibility in a plan to meet your needs and the needs of public health. People who see only in black and white and don't recognize the gray area (which is what actually makes up 99% of the world) are trying to oversimplify things. If someone wants to oversimplify things they should be a political pundit, not a physician.
    The anxiety is intense. I actually noticed my local school having their kindergarten welcome tonight and thought "I wonder if I can go"... my oldest is 27 months.
    Hang in there,

  12. i also like what rebekah said (as usual). being a mom who watched her kid in the hospital for a week with mumps, though, i take every vaccine they'll give us. but you CAN spread them out. you really can. 2 at a time is plenty, and he'll still get everything he needs. now, if i could just figure out how to stop freaking out about my son going to middle school and having a locker. it's awful!

  13. Okay, so I work with kids with Autism (it has not been proven that there is any link with Autism and vaccines, but I have talked to plenty of moms that think so) so...I was totally ready to march in there with my head held high and say, "No vaccines for my baby" and 10 minutes later with all the horror stories and guilt the Dr. gave me we got the 6 vaccine shot....he was 2 MONTHS old :( Now we were lucky and he didn't have any reactions, but he also slept alot and I read the computer and wanted to throw up. Once I got home and got a nap I called and complained and switched pediatricians immediately!! I beleive in vaccines and my kids do get them, but we NOW spread them out. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone ;) Hope you're drinking a glass of wine while reading this.

  14. No, you're not the only one. Selam had ALL of her shots in Ethiopia. And I tried to hold my ground on not immunizing her again until we'd drawn titers (and since they draw her blood 4X a year, it could be combined....) but I got beaten down, shot by shot. I'm not anti-immunization. But I felt like the ones she got in Ethiopia just might have been fine, and we shouldn't assume they weren't!

    I find it so hard to hold fast in the eyes of the medical profession.

    I hope Melease is just fine now. I'm sorry you had to do the stress walk.

    I don't think you ever get over the worrying thing. Not that I have extensive parenting experience to back that up.

  15. Kindergarten doesn't scare me but high school TERRIFIES me. I barely got out alive... WHY would I ever want to go back and live vicariously through another human being, albeit one I love dearly!?!

  16. Hey Julie as the mother of a kiddo with Asperger's I can tell you I do not, even for a second, think he has this because of some shot or series of shots he got. Both our kids have had all their vaccines. But I also know how scary it can be when they have a reaction to a shot. Hang in there - and the scotch and vodka berry blend sounds pretty good ; ) xoxo M.

  17. I'm not a parent yet, but I do listen to a lot of NPR ;)...and I am special ed. teacher. With those qualifications I personally will vaccinate my children. I may spread them out a bit (and find an understanding physician), but I will vaccinate. Measles, mumps and rubella have been rearing their very ugly heads these days and in my own personal opinion that shouldn't happen. Again, I'm not a mom yet so I hold the right to totally change my mind down the road =) Have that Jamba Vodka Juice and breathe, it sounds like you are doing a great job!

  18. Oh the worrying! I have been surprised at how intense and constant it is. I hope everything is ok with Melese, and that you found that stiff drink!

  19. I like this book

    because it's written by an MD who is pro vaccination, but on a different schedule. I created my plan for my son based on the book, asked the pediatrician if she'd change the order in which they were recommended and from that point on, she never gave me a hard time. Good's hard. My son had a reaction to a 5 in 1 and from that point on we do one at a time and he's been fine.

  20. Hey Julie,

    Every parent of a child with autism has a different opinion on this debate. I would never discount someone else's experience, but this is mine:
    My son has autism, and I don't think for a second it had anything to do with his vaccinations. He was diagnosed at age 2, but I knew he was diffferent from other babies as early as 4 months old. After his diagnosis, we did spread out his remaining vaccines, and his younger brothers. BUT- we did get them. Just spread out. There was a huge Measels outbreak in our community a few years ago. Last year, it was whooping cough. So I am glad I got their shots done. Not just thinking of the local playground germs, but we like to travel, and there is no way I'd put my kids on a plane and visit a foreign country where they could contract who knows what without giving them as much protection as I can.
    Just my two cents!

  21. parenting is the scariest thing, i agree. i wonder if the worrying will ever stop and i fear that it won't. i can't live like this either! my own mom seemed sooo relaxed! must talk to her about that.

    i had planned on going on a very delayed schedule for my daughter as well but daycare interferes with that. ugh. i don't have a religous excuse and there didnt' seem to be another one. i was coerced into doing 4 at once and although she survived in tact, i will not do that again.

    i believe the autism link because so many people say it happened to them. i'd be a fool to ignore them. they say they need to have autism in their background for the shots to affect this and as an adopted child i don't know.

    i am going to continue to do what i had planned: no more than two shots at a time and no more than one live virus at a time. she is switching preschools so i may have a battle on my hands but they did let me register without the records so i may have some time.

    good luck!

  22. sometimes it takes moments like this to realize that we had a certain opinions about things because we actually felt strongly about something. Doctors can be so intimidating and 90% of the time they will try to guilt trip you about immunizations....maybe even 98% of the time. This is one of those times where you just have to stick to your guns and say something like "I understand that you feel that way, however, WE have done a lot of research and have made the choice that we feel is best for our family. (you can even explain why if you want) I do not feel the need to discuss it with you now."

    the first time I had a run in with a doc on the subject with baby #2(after choosing to immunize our baby #1) I though I was going to puke....seriously, and I was so angry at the doctor for bullying me with his fear mongering. Why do they do that??

    Just remember mama, parenting is all about learning experiences...and since no 2 kids are the same we often have to learn different things for the same situations. It does get easier, especially with things like learn where you stand and your experiences help you to stand strongly there.

    mama hugs and strength to you!!

  23. The mind of my mind routinely and inexplicably plays nightmare scenario after nightmare scenario out with regard to Olly much to the chagrin of the heart of my heart.

    Obviously these things are fear / paranoia based. Sometimes when it comes to paranoia, I am Queen. e.g. the private blog. Sometimes it comes as quite a shock to the self of my self that I'm not in the corner drooling on myself and insanely blathing on about giant larva persecuting me or alien ghosts dissecting my unconscious flaccid body.

    Olly Ash got all the shots. So far he still exhibits normal behavior. Although for like two days he kept putting his hand in his naked buttcrack which was quite odd.

    You have to go with your gut on this, IMHO, because there are seemingly compelling arguments on both side of the immuno debate.

    Btw, not only am I scared somethings going to happen to my child / someone's going to do something to my child / my child will end up doing something to someone / my child will hate me someday / my child will hate other people / my child will never get to grow up / the world is cruel / why oh why does the world have to be so effing cruel

    But, I am also terrified of getting in the ocean.

    Solidarity! (nod to Julia)


  24. vaccines--gotta do it. imho.

    how do we manage the stress and worry--i have a 15 YO. you. just. do. they need us to.

    one step, one day at a time.

  25. How is little man today? How is momma today : )?

  26. I have never heard of 5 in 1! I'm either really old or this is new. And if it's new thanks for calling attention to it Julie so I can be prepared to tell my doctor that 5 in 1 won't fly with this mother. Two at a time is all I'm willing to roll with. It worked fine for my now 12 year old. I still can't wrap my head around 5 in 1..seriously 5 in 1--wtf?!! I hope Melese is feeling better.

  27. Mine are 10 and12, the bigger the kid, the bigger the worry.

  28. Thanks guys. Melese is full of piss and vinegar today, so all is well.

  29. I know, I know!!! The worry never ends... sorry to tell you. But I love what Rebekah had to say about it. :-)

    And the vaccines... I know. BUT... I heard there was a huge whooping cough outbreak in California! So, I think you did the right thing. Yes, the shots are scary, but our generation has no idea what all those diseases are like.

    It's all so hard, isn't it???

  30. Clearly you are not the only one. And holy shit, Heather. I'm very happy that Melese is doing his thing and calming your fears today. We've spaced out vaccines and ignored the eye rolling attitude of the dr. I know he has 30+ years of experience that leads him to beleive I'm being silly, but oh well. I always planned to do more research and eliminate some that I might find to be non-essential, but it didn't happen and we've caved to all that were recommended to us, I think. Except swine-flu.
    Re: how do you deal with the anxiety that something bad could happen to your kid? I haven't been at it that long, but I find a disciplined practice of extreme denial to be working pretty well.

  31. We happen to follow the recommended vaccine schedule (but have never had a 5-in-1....that DOES sound like a lot for one visit)! It is tough. My husband is an epidemiologist at the CDC (in the area of birth defects and developmental diseases) and believes strongly in doing the vaccines (his line of thinking goes something like this, I believe: if I didn't get the vaccines for my kid, that's my choice, but then if my child gets something and comes in contact with a child too young to be vaccinated yet or with a pregnant mama or something, my choice is affecting others to their significant detriment....kind of like non smokers having to deal with second hand smoke in a way)! The idea behind the shots is that the whole community benefits when the WHOLE COMMUNITY (and just about) gets them. Otherwise, I'd be hoping my kid doesn't happen to get one of these illnesses because other people got their kids the vaccines (thereby protecting my kid from exposure in the process). I'm not trying to push the vaccines on you - I'm far from an expert in the matter. You definitely need a doctor who will listen to you, to discuss alternative schedules, etc. We have switched pediatricians more than once. Hang in there....he's going to be fine and he's probably going to get some extra lovin' from you guys today just for the scare. :-)

  32. I worried so much with both my kids and read a number of stories on the internet of how sure parents were that it was the vaccines that affected their kids but still I vaccinated (with much hesitation). Make sure your kids are not sick when they get a vaccine. My son was on late on the vaccine sched. by quite a bit because I would not have him vaccinated when he had even a sniffle.


  33. I was strong armed into a bunch of shots all at once and an unnecessary and harmful test, the first time. Then my (4yo) boy got a very high fever, unresponsive to analgesics, he was down for almost a week. The Dr. and I had some words, now we are on the same page, and he has not tried to bully on any issue since. I'm gonna do most of them, eventually...