I know this is a touchy subject but I haven’t shied away from uncomfortable conversations in the past and I’m not going to start now. Those of you that know me know I spread awareness with the purest of intentions. This is not posted to try to sway your mind in one direction or the other. This is simply my story I’m sharing in hopes it will raise awareness and empower parents to inform themselves.
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I was neither pro nor anti-vaccine. I hadn’t contemplated whether or not I would vaccinate, I just did. I was vaccinated, I assumed it was the best thing to do, and I was told to vaccinate by doctors whose advice I didn’t think to question.
Once my daughter began to receive vaccinations during her well-check visits, a disturbing thing happened that peaked my curiosity. My daughter went to the appointment healthy but got sick every time. From high fevers to rashes, not eating, not sleeping, and weight loss. I made sure to sit in the “well” child waiting room. I’d leave her in the car with my husband and bring her in right when they called her. I’d leave her covered in her car seat while we sat in the empty waiting room. No matter what I did, she got sick every time.
When she was around 6 months old she started to get really sick. She’d never been sick aside from the fevers and symptoms she showed after her well check visits (usually starting within hours of receiving her shot). She began waking us up in the middle of the night projectile vomiting night after night. We’d go from the emergency room to the doctor’s office and they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. We had no diagnosis but the fact remained that something wasn’t right. I had this feeling that just wouldn’t go away. I didn’t think the explanations the doctors gave made sense and as the months went on and she just got worse. They blew me off because I wasn’t a doctor so what could I know? I just couldn’t let go of my mother’s intuition. My mom ended up finding a holistic doctor that was willing to explore the issue deeper. By this point, she was 8 months old visibly sickly and losing weight. To this day, there’s a six to eight month period of pictures I can’t look back on because it saddens me to see how ill she looked.
Here are some of the assumptions I had and beliefs I held around vaccines based on societal norms, not information, facts, or research.
I wasn’t prepared to receive the information I did during that visit. They ran tests in ways I didn’t know existed and asked questions so thorough I wasn’t even sure why they were relevant. After hours of tests and evaluations, the results were ready and they informed me my otherwise healthy strictly breastfed baby was suffering from vaccine injury. I didn’t even know what that was much less that it was possible. They began to educate me on vaccines, their ingredients, the way the immune system functioned, and I realized I hadn’t done my homework. I should have done more research, looked into the side effects, and read literature other than the information printout the pediatrician’s office provided me with. I would later discover the information provided was selective.
At this point I began doing research like her life depended on it. I didn’t go in search of “anti-vaxx” information, I didn’t even know such a thing existed at the time. I simply wanted to see information from every angle I could get my hands on. Just thinking about that time makes the fear, panic, and confusion come flooding back. I felt guilty for not having looked into this topic at all. When I was pregnant, I bought all of the recommended books for pregnancy and did more research on what stroller and car seat to get than what I allowed to be injected into her tiny body.
I began to read over the information provided by the pediatrician’s office again. I realized the generic packets were just black and white copies with clip art, all of the negative statistics on the disease, and vaccine reactions to look for that weren’t cause for alarm and ones that were. I had trusted the information without question because it was handed to me by a medical staff I trusted. I looked over the pages and saw no vaccination names were provided and no ingredients listed. Granted I understand that vaccine names may change or manufacturers might be different but it seemed odd to not make reference to any study or organization where further details could be found. The next time I went in for a well check, I asked for an insert or more detailed information about the actual vaccine. The nurse told me she would be back with an insert and returned empty handed. This sounded a major alarm bell within me. How could they provide vaccines several times a day every single day and not have any specific information available to give to parents?
The information available on a box of over the counter medication was more thorough than the generic packet for the vaccines I was provided by the pediatrician’s office.
As I began to research and ask her pediatrician questions, I was met with a lot of resistance. The pediatrician gave me the same blanket answer, handed me a printout, and pressured me to consent. I realized the main message communicated was one of fear and intimidation lacking any data. The very tone and dynamic of the conversation pivoted. Whenever I would raise a concern and provide studies and sources, they would tell me they weren’t interested, nothing had been proven to the contrary of their advice, and any study that stated so was fraudulent. I’d not only investigated the studies and sources but the professionals named, their background, and any information leading to insight on their motivation to conduct the studies.
As I continued to inform myself, I became more comfortable with my new decision to discontinue vaccinating. I had a better understanding of vaccines as well as how the immune system worked. I wasn’t afraid to decline vaccines at the well-check visits or sign the form confirming I had been offered the vaccines but declined them. I wasn’t afraid my daughter was suddenly going to contract a disease and pass away from one day to the next. I was armed with enough information that I was able to withstand the insults, putdowns, and belittling I received from pediatricians.
I no longer gave in when they told me I was opening up death’s door by not vaccinating. I’d informed myself of the ingredients in the vaccines, the side effects, and the schedule now compared to when I was a child among many other things. I didn’t just research vaccines, I also researched the diseases themselves. Aside from the four sentences summarizing the disease with a handful of statistics, I knew close to nothing about many of the illnesses. I learned about the symptoms, mortality rates, long-term effects, how they spread, how they could be prevented and treated.
This is what the vaccine schedule looked like when I was a child. 10 doses of 3 vaccines between the ages of 2 months and 6 years.
This is the current vaccination schedule. The 1st dose is administered within 12 hours of birth. A total of 29 doses of 10 vaccines by age 6. That’s 3 times the amount in just 1 generation.
I felt much more confident with my decision because I’d actually taken the time to inform myself in depth. I’d read research, studies, and statistics on both sides. I weighed the pros and cons and had a better understanding of the risks each choice carried. The decision I made the first time around was completely uninformed and fear based. I was scared I was leaving her susceptible to all kinds of fatal diseases which she would contract and die of. I made the choice based on assumptions, unfounded beliefs, and going with the social norm without question.
I know this is a very controversial subject and one that many people aren’t willing to read this far into. I know many will dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist, uneducated, ignorant, parent. I also know those things couldn’t be farther from the truth and when you see the negative impact vaccines have on the child you carried for 38 weeks you don’t let fear drive your choices. I know from first-hand experience what mild vaccine injury looks like. I also know several people who have confided stories of vaccine injury in their children to me and it’s heartbreaking. A mom whose son suffers seizures over 30 times a day, a mom whose son suffers a seizure every time he gets a cold that develops a fever (the first seizure was with a 105 degree fever hours after a vaccination), a mom whose son couldn’t walk after receiving an influenza vaccine at 8 years old and can barely do so years later. I share this because vaccines contain dangerous ingredients in them with very harmful long-term effects. Some of which are very severe and others less severe but chronic illness none the less.
I’m thankful I discontinued vaccinating my daughter and the damage doesn’t seem to have gone farther than the gut problem she had. I say “seem” because I’ve always thought if her reactions are what I see on the outside, what’s really going on inside that I can’t see? I share this because I know there are parents in this community I’ve developed a rapport with and might consider doing their research after reading this. Whether they come to the same decision as I did or not is up to them. I just want to share my experience because I had no idea of the negative implications of vaccinations and I think it’s important to make decisions after evaluating all of the information available. I’m sharing this because I wish I would’ve known all of this before my family went through the pain we did caring for a sick child with no answers for months. I’m grateful she’s a healthy 8-year-old with no complications and my heart goes out to all of the families caring for vaccine injured children of any capacity. ❤
For anyone interested in exploring the other side of this topic, I’ll leave you with a few resources I’ve found over the years. Each of these and many others have led to reports, literature, and information I’ve read tallying so many hours I stopped keeping track. Please keep in mind, I’m not a medical professional nor am I offering medical advice. I’m simply a mom sharing my personal experience along with some of the information I’ve read over the years. I will not be able to answer any questions in the comments as I’m not qualified to do so. I’m more than happy to leave you with these links that will hopefully lead you to the information you seek.
Be sure to put your reading glasses on, there is plenty of fine print to read!
- This is the first source that compelled me to dig deeper than the generic leaflet I was provided at the pediatrician’s office. I left this up on my laptop for weeks on end digging into the sidebar on the left that provided me with more information than I even knew was available on vaccination.
- You can find some basic information on this site with links to a couple of documentaries at the bottom of the page.
- This is one of the early pieces I read at the beginning of my quest for information that has always stuck in my mind because of the points raised and how it cross referenced with information I found through completely unrelated cited sources.
- This one stands out because it was the first time I understood that vaccination and immunization can’t be used interchangeably and why.
- If your eyes need a rest and you’d like to listen to something, I suggest watching this interview. Excellent points are made, questions raised and clarified, and information provided.
- When I first started researching, I was overwhelmed and still a little fearful. I was apprehensive about not vaccinating at all since that was a lifelong belief I’d never questioned. While this isn’t the exact schedule I used back then, I did want to share an alternate vaccine schedule for those interested in an option while you begin your research.
I think this is a pretty good list of resources to start off with. You can follow the trail of ingredients, side effects, and case studies wherever they may lead you in your quest to make an informed decision.
I respect everyone’s right to choose and understand this is a very controversial subject. While you may or may not agree with the choice my family made, I do ask the comments remain respectful. As parents, we all love our children and do our best to act on their behalf in their best interest. ❤