Vaccines seem to be one of the top hot button issues that ignites a firestorm at the mere mention of the word.

One one side of the argument, you’ve got those that are TOTALLY against vaccines no matter what and the other side where people are pro any and all vaccines. And I get, both sides are only trying to do what’s right for the kiddos and when it comes to kids, people can get pretty protective if they think they’re doing the right thing and the alternative is harmful…

But what about us middle of the road folks?

I talk to SO many parents that aren’t “against” vaccines, but certainly don’t like them and have genuine concerns about one more of them. But us “middle of the road” parents aren’t allowed to voice our fears and frustrations without someone jumping on them from one side or the other or both. This not only applies to social media, but even most doctors aren’t even willing to have a discussion with you about it.

When I had my first daughter, I didn’t really know better. I was terrified about vaccines because there’s enough bad PR out there that any sane person would have reservations. I tried to do my homework to understand both sides of the debate. Nonetheless, I followed the schedule like an obedient parent, not bucking the system much at all.

However, when I declined the flu shot for her, you’d have thought I was abusing my kid. I brought up legitimate concerns, totally willing to have the discussion, but all I was hit with was “I just have to tell you that babies die every year from the flu”.

I understand that, but what about the rest of the story… Were any of these kids compromised in any other ways? Did they have any other issues that caused them to get more sick than others? Did their parents not get them to a doctor soon enough to get Tamiflu?

But asking this questions just pissed the doctor off… So, as a result, I simply chose to decline the flu vaccine.

I DID reluctantly get one myself when both of my girls were infants after much browbeating…

Fast forward to 2017 when I had my second daughter…

We went through the first round of vaccines at 2 months, again… not feeling comfortable with the whole thing but not really feeling able to ask any questions. This time, my littlest peanut did NOT react well. She had her shots on Friday and we were hosting a holiday party on Saturday. She pretty much slept for FOUR days straight. I could barely get her up to feed her. At one point, we almost brought her to the ER, but another mom said “that can happen with vaccines. It happened to one of my kids too.” UGGHHHH… Still didn’t make it any less scary, but she pulled out on about day 5.

So, this time, when we had to go back for the next round, I was a bit stronger with the pediatrician and simply told her that what happened last time didn’t work for me and we needed a new strategy here. I explained that I was not trying to “get out of” doing vaccines, but there had to be a way to modify it where it wasn’t so much on her little body all at once.

She then asks me “well, what do you want to do?”

WHAT??? How the heck do I know. I’m just a mom for god-sakes. I can’t be the first person that’s asked for some sort of modification.

Now. I’m annoyed!

We ultimately agree that we’ll just come in every 2-3 weeks until she gets the complete round. It satisfies me, but I am still left feeling a little unsettled… like she just threw it out there to appease me and keep her practice by making sure I’m up to date on shots.

I do feel like that gives her little body time to recover from one before she gets to the next. Plus, it’s less of whatever substance the vaccine is suspended in to process from her system. But I’m really just going on a hunch I have and I’m FAR from a medical professional!

The plan seems to work. Ellie does well… only very mild side effects like icky diapers and loss of appetite for a day or so.

Before the next round, their pediatrician moves away and is replaced by another one with really good reviews and years of experience. So I feel at ease. When the time comes for the next round, I explain what we did the last time and she kind of looks at me with disdain, as if I’m being an idiot, or worse, putting my child in danger.

Reluctantly, she relents and we do the same thing, but only after she tells me “Now, you’re going to have to make sure you don’t forget or skip these, you know…”

For crying out loud… I think I’m competent enough to remember to come back to the damn doctor in two weeks.

We cart ourselves back to the doctor in 2 weeks to prove that I’m willing and able to keep the vaccination train going but I do mention that she has a cold and I’d heard that maybe we need to postpone until she’s better.

“Absolutely not. She’s fine”

Well.. she was NOT fine.

We ended up taking her in the following day because she was crying inconsolably, drooling buckets of fluid, not sleeping, not eating, and even tugging on her ears.

Turns out, when your child even has a mild cold, you should hold off on vaccines. It was a MISERABLE 3 days for everyone… Our hearts broke for her and there was nothing we could do. We used essential oils (please no debate here. We understand the safety)… we used Vicks… We used humidifiers and steam showers… and we got through it, but it wasn’t necessary to put her through all of that.

Waiting an extra week was not going to impact her one bit. In fact, some babies don’t even make it into their 1 year well visit until now….

At the end of the day, I don’t think that it needs to be anti-vaxxers vs pro vaccine folks… I think it needs to be “physicians having candid conversations with parents” about their concerns and working together to do what’s best for the kiddos.

So here’s the big question I have after all of this…

NOBODY questions anyone that wants to space out vaccines for a dog or a cat, but when you ask about it for a tiny human being, you’re totally crazy… What gives???


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