A mom who likes to live outside the norm

Archive for the tag “vaccines”

What’s the right thing to do?

So, I’ve been reading more about vaccines, and doctors, and nutrition.  I’m still happy with the decisions I’ve made so far, and am considering more “crazy” ones.  The more out of the mainstream I go, the more I see to change.  But this has opened a whole new set of questions for me.

Mainly: Why am I bringing my healthy kids to the doctor?

But there’s a whole lot of questions and things to consider with this question.  First, if I’m not vaccinating, why am I risking my kids getting sick at the doctors office just to turn down vax and to see how big they’re getting?  I can weight and measure them myself to ensure they’re growing.  I’m already doing so much for them by providing good nutrition…

Also, by not bringing my healthy kids to the doctor, I’m giving the office more time with kids who need it.

Why not bring my healthy kids to the doctor?  “Well-care” visits are free!  But then, isn’t that part of what’s driving up the cost of healthcare?  Labeling well-care as free, when the main purpose is to monitor what parents are doing and vaccinating kids?  And of course, it’s not free.  Taxpayers are paying for it.  I’m paying for it with my premiums…

Then the foster parent in me comes out, and I realize that especially for kids who aren’t in school, well care visits are often when abuse and neglect is noticed.  But, in all honesty, people like me who are stirring the pot by not vaccinating their kids are more at risk for getting Children’s Services called on them for neglect than the parent who is abusing their child or not feeding them properly.

Then alternative parent in me comes out and I realize that doctors are so busy, they barely have the time to come in and check the majors than to notice malnutrition or abuse.  Heck, the neglecters and abusers are the ones not bringing their kids to the doctor in the first place (along with crazy alternative parents that is).

There are so many kids who instead of a proper diagnosis and treatment are prescribed a myriad of psychotropic drugs and other meds.  Sadly, some of my foster kids will be and I’ll have no say in the matter…

Parents, trusting their doctor, don’t know that they can treat these things through proper nutrition, elimination of triggers, and exercise.  Or in extreme cases, find out what is really to blame and eliminate it.

And I’m not trying to shrink illness or disease. I have a family history of mental illness, but I’d rather find out what is really going on and try out nutrition and eliminating triggers than have my kids on a medication cocktail.  And I’ve dealt with depression for most of my adult life, but over the last year and a half when I’ve cut out all the medications, processed foods, and as many of the triggers as I find, I’ve had no instances of “the blues”, even in the postpartum period when I experienced it in the past.

But back on topic.  As a person who was home schooled as a child and plan on homeschooling my children into the future, there’s another problem.  Most homeschooling families are honestly doing the best they can for their kids, providing them with a great and personalized education.  But I know through the experience of friends that there are many kids that are in a cycle of neglect and abuse.  While those friends think there should be much more regulation on homeschooling families (which I honestly think will regulate some great parents out of HSing and scare off even more), they bring up a valid point of requiring annual visits to the doctor as part of their oversight.

While part of me on the inside screams “this is just more useless government regulation!”, part of me agrees that this is protecting kids that can’t speak up for themselves.  My friend as a teenager almost died from neglect because her mother wouldn’t bring her to the doctor because she didn’t want to be forced into vaccination and thought the whole medical establishment was corrupt.  Do I have the potential to turn into that?  I sure hope not.  So while part of me is seriously thinking about not bringing my kids to the doctor unless they are actually sick and natural remedies aren’t working, the other part of me realizes that my sinful human nature can take over.

So what’s the right thing to do?  In a time of insanely rising healthcare costs and doctors not having the time to consult with parents and discuss options and alternative care, skipping “well” visits and researching on my own seems like a great idea.

But then I think about the bad side, and how it could seem like I’m trying to hide something.  Or there might be a parent who has no idea what they’re doing, and take my advice either under the assumption that they’ve done due diligence.  And then the parents that simply don’t care for their children properly.  And the abuser and neglecters.   There are kids that suffer.

But when is oversight too much?  When is enough enough?  Abusers will abuse, and those who neglect will continue.  Is it worth it for good parents to jump through more hoops to prove they’re doing the best for their kids to catch a few more bad parents?  Or will good parents be hurt because those overseeing don’t agree with them and take away perfectly healthy and loved kids and scar them by taking them away?

It’s a topic very close to my heart and it just gives me more questions instead of giving me any answers.

For more reading on nutrition, health, and the medical establishment, a good read is: Why do Pediatricians Deny the Obvious?.

Now I’m angry at Hallmark

Who would have thought a greeting card would make me this angry?

Today, I received a card from Hallmark and Missouri’s Bureau of Immunizations.  The card tells me that “Every Missouri child is precious to us.  Please remember that your baby needs to begin his or her shots by two months of age.”  I received this within an hour of reading this disturbing article: Isn’t your baby’s life worth more than $250,000?  Basically, it talks about how most cases of SIDS are within days of the 2 and 4 month “well baby” vaccinations, and how if you can prove that your baby died of a vaccination, the most you can receive for malpractice is $250,000.  Now I’m not big on malpractice payouts, but $250,000 doesn’t seem like much considering that you have to pay for a funeral and take time off of work to grieve for your lost baby.

Also included on the card is a little immunization record on which I can write down the dates for the 27 individual injections my baby is expected to receive by 24 months.  (plus there’s a little * saying that there are additional vaccines recommended after the age of 2).  I mean seriously, look at all of these: 

And that’s just the injections.  So many are for combined illnesses (MMR) or have many different strains (I believe the rotavirus one has 5).

I think that the pharmaceutical industry is doing an amazing job pushing vaccines.  They have state governments spending our tax dollars.  They have greeting card companies sending out immunization records.  They don’t spend money doing real research on the safety of these vaccines, and they try their darndest to suppress those who have had problems with them.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think vaccines cause autism.  But I sure as heck think they can trigger it if your baby is a carrier for it.  I don’t think all vaccines are bad in all cases.  I just think there should be real safety studies, they shouldn’t all be pushed in all cases on every child, there should be true informed consent, and information on a natural immune system should be given!

So, I went to and searched “for america’s babies” and I contacted them, letting them know how upset I was that they were aiding the pharmaceutical industry in pushing vaccines.  I asked them to instead spend their donations providing breastfeeding awareness and support, which is actually proven to boost immunity and also decrease the chances of SIDS.  If this is something important to you, I encourage you to do the same thing.

Addition:  This page is difficult to access.  Here is a link to Hallmark’s FB page, you can contact them there!  Another great idea is to contact your local governor’s office.  It is actually your state that is paying for this, and they need to know their constituents are not happy with the way tax dollars are being spent! 

And, if you would like to learn more about vaccines, here is a great series from a mommy blogger who did a ton of research on the actual illnesses, their side effects and risks, and info on the vaccines.  It’s a lot of reading but it’s so worth it, she also provides where she got her information.  Modern Alternative Mama vaccine series.  And here is an article interviewing a pediatrician who is an expert in vaccines.

But overall, in anything recommended for your kids, be informed!  Read warning labels.  Research online.  Get your doctors to actually talk to you about stuff!  Yes, diseases are scary, but there are so many things that the pharmaceutical industry is hiding or not researching, like the SIDS link to vaccinations!

Addition: I don’t think this is a reason to boycott Hallmark or anything.  It’s just frustrating that there are so many ways that businesses can donate, and this one decides to jump onto the bandwagon that already does a great job of making alternative parents seem even more abnormal.  I’ll still buy Hallmark cards!

Had a bad visit at the pediatrician

So, until today I’ve totally loved my pediatrician’s office.  At our 1 month visit he wasn’t too thrilled that we decided against the Hepatitis B vaccine.  But he seemed to at least understand since our son wasn’t at risk and just had us sign a form saying we opted out.  He also sent me home with some general info on vaccines.

We had a long wait in the exam room, but part of that was my nursing when the nurse first came in, and she had to come back.  But when the Dr peeked in later he didn’t see our chart so he left and was gone at least 5 minutes before coming back…

I was expecting some discussion about vaccines again, but I wasn’t expecting a basic confirmation that we were denying, and then some harsh silence.  He made a comment that “we may need to move you to a different pediatricians office, we see a lot or whooping cough here”.  My husband and I made eye contact, and later realized that it felt like a veiled threat to drop us as patients.  I understand that he prefers to vaccinate, but as a parent, doesn’t he also understand the desire to do what you think is right for your kids?

I fully expected a conversation ensuring that we understood what our decision meant.  But I had to bring up that I’ve done a lot of research on the risks of the diseases, at the previous appointment I mentioned that I feel that we are low risk and that I’m uncomfortable with the side effects of the vaccines compared with the risks of the diseases for our situation.   He gave off the vibe that he felt that I was basically insane and it wasn’t worth the argument.

This is a huge disappointment.  I understand that Drs see the worst in an illness, but they should also do research on all sides of what they recommend and understand where parents are coming from.  And they shouldn’t totally shut down on you when they disagree.  I mean, there are warnings on the medication labels for heaven’s sakes, they should be willing to understand my concerns and discuss them.  They should ensure that I’m doing actual research and not just listening to scare tactics.

And I just now realized they didn’t give me any of the normal paperwork talking about how big my kid is growing, and recommendations for the age he’s at.  I guess I’m too wacko to waste it on.  I’m kinda sad because I like to read the lists of what is normal, and what should concern you at certain ages.  I’m really hoping it was an honest mistake.

On the plus side, my baby is growing well.  He’s nice and strong, developing well, and is right on track with all, and even ahead of some, of the 2 month milestones.  He’s also gained over 5 lbs since he was born, well above the recommended ounce a day…I feed my kids cream 🙂

I’m going to open a can of worms

Vaccines.  This is in no way telling you whether you should vaccinate your kids or not.  This is also not intending to share tons of research.  It is also not medical advice.  This is simply my viewpoint and interesting things I have found.  It is also to point out things that I think all parents should research themselves.  It is also to ensure my family and friends that I have really thought out my decisions regarding all the vaccines.  If you want to read a blog that goes into a lot of the research, try out Modern Alternative Mama.  Another great, thought provoking post is Six Reasons to Say NO to Vaccinations by The Healthy Home Economist.

My viewpoint is coming as a naturally minded mom as well as a foster mom.  In most cases, whether my kids are mine biologically or temporarily through the state, I can make the decisions affecting their daily lives.  But when it comes to medical decisions, with my foster kids I have to do whatever is medically recommended.  In many cases, THEY don’t even have a say (like with my former foster daughter who had to get the depo provera birth control shot…).

So, to people who want medical choice, especially with vaccinations, taken away from parents I say “No Way!”.

Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing.  It gets brought up in the argument for many things (many in my mind are horrible), and yet many of these same people want to take away the choice of whether or not to vaccinate children.  If you don’t want to vaccinate, then “you’re a wacko, you’re neglecting your children, you’re harming everyone else”, etc.  Some people want to force vaccination with no variation on every child, with the threat of taking away your children for neglect.  As someone who’s taken care of actual neglected children, this is completely ridiculous.

The choice of whether or not to vaccinate, and on which vaccines to give and at what ages, should be totally up to the parents.  You should be able to delay if desired.  If circumstances or the world around you changes, you can get them when they’re needed.  I’m all for the development of new vaccines too.  My oldest son has been in a flu vaccine study to test effectiveness of different timing and doses.  I’ve been in investigational studies for smallpox and different flu vaccines.  But that doesn’t mean I want my infant introduced to the toxins that make the vaccines work, or my kids to get a flu vaccine every year.

It all comes down to the risks you’re willing to take.

Yes, many of these illnesses are and were horrible.  But simply because we live in a developed country reduces most of the risks that were involved decades ago and around the world today.  We have clean water, good hygiene, great nutritional availability.  But we also live in concentrated populations, our kids are often in daycares and school, there is worldwide travel.

Many illnesses have low level symptoms to where you may not even realize you are sick, average symptoms where you stay home and take some painkillers or eat soup, and high level symptoms where you need medical attention.  In some rare cases, permanent injury or death can happen.  But if you read the warning labels on the vaccines, so do the vaccines themselves.

And then you have to think about the risks you can pass on to others.  Responsible people will stay home when they realize that they’re sick, but you can pass on an illness before you feel sick.  And there are people out there that don’t care if they or their kids are sick, they’ll still go to work or send their kids to school.  But especially with live vaccines, you can “shed” it and spread the illness, especially to those who are at risk like infants and the elderly.

This all goes into the difficulties of being a parent.  You have to decide what is best for you and your family.  You have to decide what risks you are willing to take in all areas of life.  For me, since I stay at home with my kids, breastfeed, and feed everyone a mostly natural and nutritionally full diet, I am willing to take the risk of not vaccinating.  If I were working, my kids were in daycare, or our eating were not as healthy, I would definitely consider many of the vaccines out there.

And I hate when people blame the non-vaccinators for the spread of diseases.  In the case of the current “outbreak” of Pertussis, or whooping cough, 93% of those with documented cases are vaccinated against it.  It is a mutating disease, so the strains change.  Also, you have to get regular boosters to retain immunity.  And people will blame those who don’t get vaccinated for getting the disease, passing it, and allowing mutation, but don’t forget that we live in a global community with regular world travel.  But don’t get me wrong, Pertussis is scary.  Those at highest risk are under one year old, and 97% of the deaths are in children under 3 months old.  But they can’t even get vaccinated until almost 2 months old, and the highest protection you can give them is nursing.  Since I’m doing that and he’s not in daycare, that’s a risk I’m willing to take as that vaccine has high (to me) incidences of side effects.

And in cases of blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis B, why are we giving this to all infants at birth?  I understand in instances where the mother has it, but this should really be done at an older age.  From what I’ve read and believe, it’s because those at risk aren’t responsible enough to get it, so the government is vaccinating everyone to irradiate it.

Polio is a widely pushed, scary disease that I always thought I would vaccinate against.  In most cases of Polio (I’ve heard as high as 95%, but there is no scientific proof), the disease is completely asymptomatic, which means you won’t even realize you have it.  But who wants to go back to that horrific time of our grandparents and great grandparents?   Any time before 1954, any cases of temporary or permanent paralysis was regarded as Polio.  Polio seemed to spike in the summer, not in the winter like most illnesses.  So most cases of “Polio” may actually be poisoning related to a toxin like the lead arsenate or DDT that was used in that era as pesticides, which we now know are highly toxic to humans.   We’ve been told that Polio was irradiated in the late 1970s, but today we still have:

It is my belief that we still have what was considered Polio, but we just now more accurately diagnose what the symptoms are.

Then there is Rotavirus, which is basically diarrhea.  It’s a live virus, oral vaccine.  It basically is giving your kids a mild case of Rotavirus, and since it’s live, they can pass it on to others.  We live in a developed country, I’m not worried enough about a case of diarrhea to give them a mild case.  Plus, 28% of reported side effects in 2011 had a bad reaction rate (VAERS), which is unacceptable to me.

I could go on about all the others, but that is your job as a parent.  Research the medical advice that is recommended.  Learn the risks of all the options.  Decide what is acceptable for you and your family.  Discuss it with your spouse, with other people you trust.  Go to “impartial” websites such as the CDC, WHO, etc.  Learn what the diseases actually entail.

An interesting side note is that a disease is considered “rare” if it affects less than 1 in 2000 people.  Currently, the “outbreaks” of so-called vaccine-preventable diseases affect far less than this, yet we are told they are basically epidemics by the media!  Very sad.

The last thing I want to add is that we have an amazing God who made all kinds of cures and treatments before sin was even in the world.  Yes, medical advances are amazing and save lives, but I believe many of these should be reserved for extreme cases.  There is so much knowledge that was passed down through the generations in using plants as medicines and for healing that has been lost in our modern era.  I am just starting to learn some of this, and it is an exciting journey.

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