Thursday, June 30, 2011


To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question.
I'm not really a big supporter of not vaccinating,
BUT I'm extremely bothered by how many vaccines are given at one time.

Now, let me tell you, I was blind going in to this kid thing.
Especially being overwhelmed w/ triplets.
So when the docs told me they needed their vaccines, I blindly decided to go along w/ what they were suggesting.
Not that there is anything wrong w/ that but I wish I had gone in to it a bit more informed.
That is the honest truth.

Now, I didn't do any research.
I followed my mommy gut.
Again, this is a truth.

After Ian got so sick & lost almost all his skills, we (Todd & I) couldn't imagine giving him a shlew of vaccines.
We decided the little tike needed a break.
And from that point, it was only 1 combo shot or 2 single vaccine shots.
The trio was 10 months old at this point.
Before Ian's illness, we vaccinated on schedule.

It wasn't just for Ian either.
We chose to do the same w/ the girls.
The result?
Much less fussy babies after shots.

Their bodies didn't overreact to all the stuff.
No fevers, no fussing, good sleep, etc.
The other choice we made was to not give the kids the MMR until they were 3.
Even then, I have to admit, I had cold feet going in.
Todd really was the one to take the stand & say that they needed it since we were going out so much more.
Inside, I knew he was right so I grinned & bared it as the kids got their MMR.

I will say this much,
they got the MMR & only 1 more shot.
We are "behind" b/c of the spread out schedule.
And, I don't go between visits.
Can you imagine taking them in for just shots every other month?

Not I.
No way, no how.
ICK...sicky germs!

So, that is how we came about to be on an "alternative" vaccine schedule.
Oh, for the record, we believe in vaccines.
We understand they do more good than harm.
It is our duty to protect our children.
But that isn't to say we don't understand the other side.
This is what is best for OUR family.

In case you want to read up on the alternative vaccine schedule, here ya go...

Dr. Sears is well known for his position on the alternative vaccine schedule.
We didn't follow his recommended schedule.
We went with what we decided at the moment based on local viral threats (chicken pox outbreak, etc).
We always discussed this w/ our pedi.
She always had info for us & we really appreciated that.

Dr. Sears Alternative Vaccine Schedule

At the end of the day, it is a personal choice.
You have to do what is best for YOUR FAMILY.
Don't let anyone sway you either way.
Follow your gut feeling.


Stephanie said...

That has always been my way of thinking. You need to do what's right for YOUR family. Vaccines are not a one size fits all science. I have 2 older children, they were both vaccinated on schedule. Then I had my triplets. One of my triplets, Lilly, had a severe reaction to her DTaP vaccine at 2 months old. She was 100% a typically developing 2 month old baby, no signs of prematurity. Smiling, starting to coo, holding her head up like a champ. We didn't even make it to the car after that round of vaccines before the screaming started. The horrific, blood curdling screaming that is forever burned into my brain. By the time we got home, 10 minutes tops, her temperature was 104.9, rectally. Tylenol and cool baths, nothing was bringing it down. Frantic calls the the pediatrician. It kept rising until it topped out at about 105.6! (Now, this is where people usually ask me why I didn't haul ass to the ER with her. Those people don't usually have triplets and don't understand the exhaustion and minimal brain function that goes along with having infant triplets.) In hindsight, yes, I should have hauled ass to the ER but I was trusting our pediatrician. The same pediatrician we had used with our older kids for the previous 8.5 years! The pediatrician was telling me that she would be fine, some kids just run high fevers, watch her for seizures, keep doing what I was doing etc. The fever lasted for a full 28 hours before finally breaking. She screamed that blood curdling scream for 4 full DAYS, no sleep, at all. When that storm passed she was like a limp rag doll. The lights were on but nobody was home. She had a constant blank look on her face and the tip of her tongue was always protruding from her mouth. (Astrid, there are photos in my FB albums from when she was younger, you can visually see the difference.) It was as if all of her muscle tone was gone. She was like a little rag doll when we would pick her up. No expression on her face at all, off and on crying, not baby crying, hysterical, out of control crying for no reason. It was if her entire neurological system would just go crazy and she didn't know how to deal with it. After many trips to the pediatrician over the next 4 months and a 4lb. 3 ounce weight loss(She was born at 3lb. 8 oz., she weighed in at 12lb. 14 oz. at her 2 month visit), his reasoning, she was a preemie, she'd catch up, give her mommy gut told me she wasn't fine. I had to seek out help for her on my own. First stop, a new pediatrician. This pediatrician referred us to a GI, cardiologist and neurologist at the children's hospital. Numerous swallow studies, a diagnosis of failure to thrive, numerous sedated MRI's, numerous EEG's, a diagnosis of an unspecified neurological reaction, an innocent heart murmur and 2 full years of back and forth to doctors.

Stephanie said...

We started therapies through our early intervention program at 8 months old. OT, PT, Speech Pathologist, Nutritionist, Behavioral Therapist. Strangers in and out of our home 6 days a week, numerous times a day, strangers who eventually became like family to us. If I wouldn't have trusted my mommy gut, who knows where she would be today. She finally rolled over for the first time at 11 months old, sat up unassisted at 13 months old, crawled at 17 months and finally took her first steps at 19.5 months. She had no speech at all until she was 28 months old. It was the most horrific thing I have ever been through in my life. Today the triplets are 4 years old and they are all behind on their vaccines. My reaction child is FINALLY catching up, thanks to intensive therapies through early intervention and an awesome teacher in the Early Childhood prek program. None of them have had the MMR yet. The two reaction free of my trio will probably get the MMR before starting Kindergarten. Lilly will probably never have it. Combo vaccines scare the crap out of me and so does giving multiple single vaccines at one time. Yes, we have to be much more careful with her. They are all in a prek program at out public school. (Which I had to fight the state tooth and nail about because they were insisting that I have her caught up on all vaccines.) I had to jump through a million hoops and will have to do so every year. I'm willing to jump through those hoops though. We also have communication with the older kids schools. If there is any indication of Measles, Mumps, Rubella or Pertussis then I am notified immediately and all of my children are kept home from school and we quarantine ourselves. Yes, the older children are vaccinated but it would still be possible for them to carry the disease into our home. We take no chances. So, now that I wrote a novel and virtually hijacked your blog post, LOL! The bottom line is, you know your children better than anyone else ever will. The mommy gut is REAL. It's the most important piece of advice that I give to new moms. Doctor's are not always right, they don't know everything, you know your child better than anyone else so trust yourself and your ability to protect your children. :)

Surviving Triplets said...

Stephanie, thank you for sharing! We have a very similar situation w/ Ian except it didn't happen from a vaccine, it happened through the flu (but the resulting condition can also come from vaccines). It is called post-infection cerebellitis (for vaccines it is called post-vaccinal cerebellitis). Ian is still behind but not nearly like he was. It is a tough pill to swallow as a mother. HUGS to you & your clan!


lostlamb1986 said...

Hi, Astrid. I'm sure you don't remember me, but you sent me a teddy bear when I lost my baby. I just wanted to tell you "thanks" for your consideration and support during that time. I am the very proud mommy of a 2 1/2 year old boy now, but that was a terrible time in my life, and I appreciated your kindness.

Surviving Triplets said...

Awe, I'm sure I do remember you if I knew a name. I could only pay forward the kindness that was given to me in our horrible time as well. Congrats on your son! He isn't too much younger than the monsters. Life is great w/ kids!