Making Waves

 Photo from Google

I am not a fan of making waves. I go out of my way to keep things peaceful.  This is not always a good thing.  Some times it is good to rock the boat.  That being said, I am going to rock the boat today.  If you have a weak stomach, you may want to disembark at this point.  Otherwise, secure your life vests that are stored under your seats and let's get this boat moving.

A couple of weeks ago, I overheard a conversation that caught my attention.  I will admit right here and now, that I am a nosy person.  And if I find a conversation interesting, I will listen.  So be careful what you say around me.  I just might be listening, and then it will end up on the world wide web. 

This conversation was about not vaccinating your children.  Whoah now!  Sit down everyone.  Let's not throw anyone overboard.  We are all friends here.  The conversation was about how some doctors won't even treat a child if they haven't been immunized.  Now I think that is extreme.  You are a doctor, and you took an oath.  One person said they would rather risk the disease than the possible side effects of the vaccination and added that the disease in question is all but obliterated.    This conversation got me thinking.  It got me thinking about rocking the boat a little.

I am of the opinion that we should vaccinate our kids.  All three of my kids are healthy and strong.  All three are current on their shots.  Which by the way, you have to have special permission from schools, or work out an agreement to enroll your child if they are not vaccinated.  I had chicken pox.  Guess what, it sucked.  I itched like crazy.  I was miserable.  Guess what else?  My kids won't ever have to have it.  And I am okay with that.  They also will not be subjected to:  polio, rubella, measles, mumps, tetnus and a variety of other terrible diseases.  Yes, they are practically non-existent these days, but there is a reason for that.

Now, I did learn that our babies are given a total of 38 shots before they are 2.  Is it really 38???  Now I feel evil.  I need to go and look at the records and count.  It can't possibly be 38!  But even so, I still feel like vaccinations are the way to go.  The worse side effect I ever endured was a cranky baby.  And Tylenol was usually a great cure for that.  If not, it was short lived and they were good as new in a day or two. 

I do not believe there is a link to Autism and other like illnesses and vaccinations.  I do think in that last 20 years we have learned and discovered more about what Autism is.  40 years ago people with Autism were simply diagnosed as retarded.  But that is no longer a case.  Autism is a very young illness and we are still learning what it is, where it comes from and what causes it.

I want to know what your opinion is.  Now, before you speak get up slowly to allow others to steady themselves.  Use kind words and absolutely no throwing anyone overboard.  That will not be tolerated on this boat.  Seriously, I am just looking for opinions.  I want to know what you are thinking.  If you don't agree with me, or someone else, that is fine.  We just can agree to disagree.  It's good.

If you want some information here are some basic sites:



Tracie said…
Gulp. Am I really first. Deep breath.

I vaccinated my kids. If I got pregnant again (God forbid!) I would vaccinate that baby, too.

As for the link between autism and vaccinations.....I don't know. The logical part of me (it's in there somewhere) wants to say that there is no link due to the studies that have been done. Also, I like the security of trusting that medical professionals know what is right for us and always have our best interests at heart.

That being said, I'm a SLP and I have heard over and over and over again how a little one was doing fine - on track developmentally till they got a certain series of shots at 18 mths-2 yrs. Then they just started fading away. Some parents have said that the change was an overnight thing. Very powerful stories.

(Sorry for the long comment.)

PS I'm nosy too. It's the mark of a good blogger!
Jenny said…

Here's what I know.

One of my dearest friends has twin grandsons.

They were amazing little, energetic, inquisitive, outgoing.

Until they were three.

Within two months of a series of a vaccinations they left.

Just left.

They are eight now.

One boy is finally able to mainstream school due to severe diet restrictions, therapy, etc.

The other. No.

I saw this.

It broke my heart.

My friends daughter told me to caution my daughter-in-law about breaking up the vaccinations for children.

She recommends that you do vaccinate but just do not let the children have all of them at once.

I think by far the vast majority of children are not effected by vaccines.

But there are always exceptions.

And those are heartbreaking.

My friends daughter believes that it is not always just the vaccine that causes is all the chemicals the children ingest and with so many little ones their systems are just hyper-sensitized.

I dunno.

This is what I know.

And our youngest granddaughter, Morgan, is going to get her shots spaced out.

It costs a lot more but my husband and I are willing to bear that cost.

I think children today are flooded with things their bodies cannot process...artificial everything, pesticides, chemicals, growth hormones, etc. to the point that autism, aspergers, and allergies have become epidemic.

Good post.

Makes me sad, though, because I cannot help but see those little boys in my mind as I read this.
Emmy said…
Everything I have personally read overall points out more benefits than maybe possible side affects, which most haven't been confirmed to have been caused by the shots, to say yes I vaccinate.
Laura Lynn said…
We vaccinate but just on our time table. I don't think babies need so many shots all at once. My Dr. even said they don't really need anything before 6 months!

But living so closely to the Amish, who don't vaccinate, it's a good idea to keep up to date. My Dr. said she's seen everything we vaccinate for in their communities.

The autism debate continues but my question is, if Thimerosal wasn't harmful, why did the manufacturers take it out so quickly and without much debate?

It's good to make waves every now and then! When I wrote about immunizations, I lost a few followers. It was so benign too - oh well!
I'm not offended - I like debates!
Lourie said…
It was really hard for me to post this because it is such a hot issue. I hope I don't offend anyone today or ever. Thanks for your comments.
Shelley said…
I don't have babies but I believe even though it must be hard to watch them get shots and all's the best thing to do for them. Preventative measures! I had all my shots!
mormonhermitmom said…
I think it's perfectly okay to wait a while before the baby gets his/her first shots to give their immune systems time to develop. I don't believe it would be prudent to completely trust the pharmaceuticals' claims on newer vaccines. The older ones that prevent polio and mumps...I think most of the bugs have been sorted out. The chicken pox ones? Yes my kids have had them. I resist the urge to lump lots of shots all at once. No need. I think it's unfortunate that our medical science isn't advanced enough to test a child first and see whether or not a vaccination might harm him or not. I guess that's why they call it "medical practice" not "medical perfect". Most vaccinations are a good thing, but I'm not going to assume that those who make them know completely what they are doing. It's possible vaccines could harm some children and vaccines should admit that and take care of the ones who are harmed and do whatever they can to figure out why it happens with some and do what they can to prevent it.
Christina Lee said…
EEK- hot bed issue. I did vaccinate, and I can uinderstand both sides. The autism issue is confusing. I am a former Special Ed teacher and I know that autism signs become prominent around the same time as certain vaccinations--but I'm not sure it's b/c of those vaccinations!
Richard said…
One thing we don't hear about are the number of children that are NOT vaccinated and still develop autism. Why don't we hear about them? Could it be that there are just as many children that weren't vaccinated that are affected as those who do? That would skew the numbers a bit, wouldn't it? Just stirring the pot!
See Mom Smile said…
Yes a hot topic. I married into a family that did not vaccinate their last five kids (out of ten) and have a father-in-law that was a maverick in medicine and does not believe in immunizations. Most of the grandkids are not vaccinated. That being said, my hubby went to med school and we studied for ourselves and we do give our kids shots but not on the timetable that is suggested. Can't stand the thought of gving shots to new babies. We wait a couple of years actually. And that is just how we roll. So glad we all get to choose for ourselves.
Holly Lefevre said…
WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed and learned something from reading everyone's comments...and how nice it was to have a pleasant debate about such a controversial topic.

My kids are both vaccinated and if I had more (Oh No!) they would be vaccinated too. I am not sure what to think about the vaccination/autism link. I live in an area with a very high number (or so it seems) or autistic children and the area is pretty vaccinations, organic foods, etc.

Great post Lourie...what's next week circumcision (just kidding..I had to say it)
Nicole said…
Hi Lourie! I don't know how I could have missed this post before. This is a touchy but great subject. Right now we don't have children but we intend on having 1 or 2 in the near future. As you probably already know I attend an alternative medicine school where learn lots of interesting different ideas about medicines and vaccines. I've been vaccinated with measles mumps rubella and tetanus but not with chicken pox. I had chicken pox. It was probably annoying but I can't remember! :) I don't know if we would vaccinate, I do know that I would check to make sure that pesky preservative that they use that has been known to have mercury in it, isn't in the ones our kids will be taking. I don't think I'll vaccinate for chicken pox because I've heard that the child must be vaccinated every 10 years and if not, chicken pox as an adult can be very extreme and even fatal. Thats the only thing I really worry about with vaccines, the preservatives and ramifications of getting them in later life. I truly think its each persons personal decision whether to vaccinate, there are positives to vaccinating - like what you said about going to schools and making things a little easier with travelling I'm sure. I don't know we would do if we are blessed with children, we are talking about one day homeschooling, so maybe it wouldn't matter if we vaccinated or not.
Lourie- I'm going to be talking about vaccinations on my TTT next week. (I know. I dropped the ball today. i've dropped the ball a lot in the last two weeks.) I am wondering if you mind me referencing your blog here on this topic entry? I agree 100% with you. And do you mind if I also reference the sites you posted?
BTW- my brother and sister had chickenpox when they were very little. My other brother got them when I was 11. I'm the oldest and was exposed each time but never caught them. when I was 14, I got the chickenpox from someone at school. I had them for 4 weeks. Raging fevers. Vomiting. my tongue swelled up and got white and crusty because of dehydration. It was awful. At the ER they told me it was because of my older age. Chickenpox is simple and easy when it's a little child. the older the person, the more dangerous it is.

My children will never have to deal with having chicken pox. They will never have to worry about getting chickenpox when they are older, or even getting shingles (which actually was the cause of death for a 52 year old neighbor of mine) in older age.

I also know of a 4 month old who died of pertussis. He caught it from a child who was not vaccinated. Furthermore, I had a girl in my dorm-didn't know her personally, but her story was all over campus- that died of meningitis. Another thing that is easily easily avoided because of vaccinations.

People may not want to vaccinate their babies, and yes, people have awful reactions, but I don't think it's NORMALLY the fault of the vaccines. And people use the excuse that if everyone else is vaccinated, then no one else has the disease. It's simply not true. And I think i would feel awful if my baby died of something because I didn't give them a shot.

Some say that vaccinating is against their religion, but I, personally, believe that God inspires science, and has made it possible to protect our children.
How did I miss this post from you?

I have feet firmly planted in both camps, believe it or not.

As a nurse, I believe that vaccinations are very important. As a parent, I believe in making an informed decision, free from bias.

I vaccinated my first daughter according to schedule, right down the line.

With my younger children, I read Dr Sears Vaccine book, and began to take a hard look at the vaccine schedule, and question why we're signing up to fill our young children full of chemicals that can be toxic to an adult, much less a tiny baby.

So, with the younger children, I'm on a selective/delayed vaccine schedule. Instead of 4 shots at a time, or 6 vaccines, with the combo shots, I'll usually do no more than 2. Does it mean more visits to the doctor? Absolutely. That's a simple price to pay for my peace of mind.

I worry about the twins more than I ever have in my life. Maybe because they are boys, or maybe because they could be my last children. Who knows? I see stories like @Jenny above, and I just start to cry.
We're behind on the boys' shots now, and the dreaded 2 year check up is coming. I'm petrified of the MMR, and right now, just don't have the energy to fight to get it special ordered in three shots, etc.

I get incredibly weary of being treated like a crazy nutbag when I question the schedule. And, it's true. There are many pediatricians in our city who have fired patients for not following the schedule.

Thanks for covering a hot button topic with grace, dignity, and respect.
Amy said…
Here from Tickled Pink!

I don't have any kids, so I haven't had to make this particular decision.

I just wanted to commend you for actually being able to monitor a civil and constructive debate (on the internet, no less!) on such a hot button issue. Kudos to you, following now to see what else you have to say!

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