Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Decision to Stop Vaccinating

Yep, I am an anti-vax parent. Whenever I mention to someone that my children are not up-to-date on their vaccines, or post an anti-vax article on facebook, people always respond the same. They politely (or not so politely) suggest that I do more research before coming to my decision. Or they will kindly (or not so kindly) remind me that whooping cough is a really bad disease, or that I really don't want my kids getting the flu. Parents who vaccinate their children assume that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are ignorant and uneducated, have not thought it through, are insane, lazy or are somehow purposefully trying to cause their children to develop harmful diseases. I've even seen people accuse anti-vax parents of being "unfit parents" and "neglectful parents". All of these judgements are completely untrue. In fact, as far as anti-vax parents being less educated about vaccines than parents who vaccinate, I personally have found the opposite to be true. I have yet to speak with an anti-vax parent who has not researched extensively before coming to their decision. Yet the majority of parents who vaccinate their children have no reason for it other than their doctor told them to.

It is a nice thought that every doctor who sees your child is looking out for your child's best interest. An even nicer thought is that every doctor who sees your child is all-knowing and will absolutely do what is best for your child in any and all situations. But the truth is, doctors do not know everything and they do not have a clue what is best for your specific child. As a mom, it is my job to research, pray and use my God-given mom instincts to decide for myself what is best for my specific children. Nobody knows what is best for my kids better than me. If you research, pray and use your God-given instincts in every single area of your child's life, then no one will know what's best for your child better than you. Sometimes this means questioning doctors, professionals, and whatever is the most popular thing to do at the time.

Thank God for parental instincts. I strongly believe that they are the best gift God gave parents to aid us in becoming the best parents possible for our specific children. For me, it started during pregnancy with my first daughter, magnified after her birth and continues to grow as my confidence as a mom grows. Using my instincts means first being informed when it comes to every area of my kids' lives. There are opinions flying around everywhere about the best way to raise our kids. Doctors, books, friends and family are always giving parents "the best way" to do things yet all of them tell us different things. To decide what is best for my kids, I first research extensively. Then I pray. Then I go with whatever my gut instinct is telling me. If I ever have a weird or funny feeling about anything that I am doing or that a doctor tells me to do or that my friends or family tell me to do, I don't stop researching and praying until I figure out the reason behind my feeling. So far I have never been wrong trusting my God-given instincts.

This decision-making technique is what led me to my decision to stop vaccinating. My mom instincts radar first went off during childbirth class, when the teacher explained that a Hep B vaccine was given to newborns at the hospital. Injecting anything into a baby who is 24 hours old just seemed ridiculous to me. When Mercedes was born, I refused the vaccine at the hospital and felt very good about my decision. I figured I'd just give it to her when she was a little bit older.

When it came time to give Mercedes her two month vaccines, the doctor gave me a hand out with a list of diseases, descriptions of the diseases, the vaccine that is suppose to protect from each disease and the possible side effects of the vaccines. Reading about the side effects of the vaccines scared me as much as reading about the diseases themselves. Seizures? Convulsions? Which could cause permanent neurological damage to my perfectly healthy (and very intelligent) baby? My instincts were screaming WHY WOULD I DO THAT TO MY CHILD???? I read the hand out the doctor gave me over and over again, prayed about it, tried to decide which vaccines I felt were most important for my daughter to have and which ones could wait until her immune system was a bit stronger. I ended up giving her about half of the vaccines and refusing the ones with serious side effects that could cause permanent damage or the ones to protect diseases which are typically not life threatening. That was the best I could do with the information I had at the time.

I never felt good about vaccinating. It was more than just that I didn't like seeing my baby get shots and hearing her cry. I never felt comfortable with the idea of injecting her with poisonous toxins to protect her from diseases she may or may not ever come into contact with. Through facebook groups, I "met" several moms with vaccine damaged children. One of them invited me to join an anti-vax facebook group which posted tons and tons of informative articles, blogs of moms with vaccine damaged (or dead) children, and videos by doctors. This led me to research even further on my own. The more I read and prayed, the more I realized that this was why my mom instincts kept sounding alarms at every doctor's visit. I learned that vaccines are not as safe or as effective as doctors would like us to think.

Every time I questioned a doctor, they would tell me, "vaccines are safe and effective". Or tell me that there are "almost never any serious side effects" or that "serious side effects and death are rare". But none of them could absolutely guarantee that if I vaccinated my baby she would be safe. If I asked a doctor to sign a paper saying "I guarantee that the vaccines your child receives today will not kill her", no doctor would be able to sign that paper. Because the truth is, vaccines are not as safe as doctors say. If I asked a doctor to sign a paper saying "I guarantee that with this vaccine also comes complete protection from (fill in the blank with disease)" no doctor would sign it either. Because the truth is, vaccines are not as effective as doctors say. For me, even if there is a one in a million chance that giving my babies a shot might kill them, or might permanently damage their body or brain, I am not willing to take that risk.

I stopped vaccinating Mercedes after her 15 month check up. Emerald and all of my future children will never receive a single vaccine until they are old enough to research and decide for themselves if they want to be vaccinated or not. As a parent, I have two options. I could either do my best to boost my children's immune systems with healthy food and vitamin supplements, make sure they wash their hands after going to the grocery store and other public places, teach them not to chew on other kids' toys or share food or drink with other kids, etc. and then trust God to protect them from harmful diseases. Or I could put their health in my own hands by injecting them with harmful toxins that may or may not protect them from diseases and also may or may not kill them. To me, it's a no brainer. This is my conclusion after research, prayer, and trusting my mom instincts.

I strongly believe in the research, prayer, and go-with-the-gut decision making process when it comes to doing what is best for our children. If a parent has researched extensively and prayed hard and come to the conclusion that yes, it is definitely the best thing for their children to be vaccinated to protect them from harmful diseases, then by all means they should vaccinate! God has obviously given them those instincts for a reason and maybe by following their instincts they are saving their child's life. But any parent who has not researched extensively and prayed about it very hard before choosing to vaccinate their child is not doing what is best for them. Every child deserves parents who are willing to educate themselves about every aspect of the child's life and make their decision based on what they discovered in their research and what they believe God is leading them to do because of what their instincts are telling them. "I vaccinate because my doctor told me to" is NOT a good enough reason. "I vaccinate because diseases are bad" is also not a good enough reason. Our children deserve better than that from us.

Below is a collection of my favorite articles, videos and websites I have stumbled upon during my research which led me to the decision to stop vaccinating. This is a small handful of articles out of hundreds that I have read but these are just a few I felt worth saving for future references. If any of this has sparked your interest or caused your parental instincts to flare, please click on a few of these links below. Research. Educate yourself. Think. Pray. See what decision you come to. If you still feel that vaccinating is the best option for your children, then definitely continue to vaccinate. But if by reading and researching and praying you find your parental instincts sounding alarms, trust them. Believe in them. God has given you these instincts so you can do the absolute best thing for your children.

Informative and Helpful Websites

Facts. Stats and charts

Personal Stories from Parents with Vaccine Damaged Children
Videos

4 comments:

  1. I am so glad I am not alone in this decision. I agree with everything you said here. My little one is 14 month old, she got her vaccines until 9 months, and than I decided not to continue anymore after days and days of researching, numerous book readings. I feel very confident I am doing the right thing. I recommend the book how to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor. And an other website with personal stories: http://www.vaccinetruth.org/6_out_of_10,000.htm plus http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Memorial/Search-Memorial.aspx click on filter results and by clicking on each magnifier there are the personal stories.
    I'm just glad I am not alone!
    Dolly

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    1. You are absolutely not alone! Check out the facebook group "Educate Before You Vaccinate" and the page "The Truth About Vaccines" to "meet" other parents who all have our same mindset. :)

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    2. Hello, this is me again. I would like to ask you a favor and I didn't know where else to contact you. I don't have a facebook account, and I really don't want one. There is a fundraiser started for my brother's family; they have a disabled child, but the best way to get the word out would be to post it on facebook. Can you post the website link for me on your facebook page, and ask others to do the same so words can get out? If you want me to I can prove it with medical papers and her birth certificate. Thank you so much in advance, and if you don't want to I also understand, as I am just a stranger. The link would be this: http://www.gofundme.com/fwyrj8
      Thank you
      Dolly

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  2. http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/169159/The_greater_good_Documentary/

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