Guest post: Shot from the Heart

While I’m on vacation until Aug. 9, I’m featuring several guest bloggers. This guest post is from Stephanie of Adventures In Babywearing.

Shot From The Heart
By Stephanie Precourt, Adventures In Babywearing

My decision to not vaccinate my children is something I get asked about a lot. This seems to be one of the hardest subjects to “agree to disagree” upon. Whether it is with your doctor, your mother, or your friend. I get the impression that when someone hears we do not vaccinate, they feel like they must put up their defenses and explain why they do. And all too often they think not vaccinating is neglectful and alarmist. But most of these people have never met someone with a vaccine-injured child. And many times they have not really researched- both sides or any side at all.

I do not vaccinate for a few different reasons that include adverse reactions immediately after vaccination for one of my children, neurological issues in my oldest son, as well as several years of research on the subject.

But I would never criticize those that do vaccinate. I understand that neither choice is easy. I am so glad that we at least have a choice and I hope everyone is making an absolutely informed choice- one made on their own and not only with the help and instruction of their doctor.

Some of the most common false assumptions parents have about vaccines are based on fear, and not on truth. They think their child won’t be able to attend school. You can see your state’s laws regarding that right here. Many parents think that since the mercury has been removed from vaccines, there’s nothing to worry about anymore. But not all mercury has been removed. You can see the CDC (Center For Disease Control) vaccine ingredient listing here. And one of the scariest thoughts of all is that your child will die if they get the chicken pox, measles, or tetanus. If you do your research on all the diseases children are “immunized” for and see the true statistics and treatment options, it’s not so scary anymore. To people like me, the ingredients alone in just one shot is what is frightening.

When we all are informed, aware, and concerned, then good changes can start happening. Until then, why shouldn’t they just continue giving your baby shots with formaldehyde, aluminum, and thimerosal if no one’s complaining?

Doctors and the men and women running our government are human. They can be helpful, but they are not God. They do not know everything- how something will turn out tomorrow or in five years. In the end, only you as the parent are the one who will be held accountable. Go with your heart, your gut, and your instinct, and above all, make your choice an informed one.

Stephanie blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing. You can also read more of her posts on the subject of vaccines in depth here.

16 thoughts on “Guest post: Shot from the Heart”

  1. Steph,

    You already know this, but thanks to you and our group of mama friends, I have been able to make an informed and educated decision regarding the vaccination of our son. And I want everyone to know how extremely helpful you were in the process.

    It came up one day at our park days, when I asked what everyone thought of vaccinations. At this point, I knew nothing of the vaccination choices of this amazing group of women, but something in my heart and my head was telling me that something just didn’t seem right with these shots, and I wanted to know what other people thought. They told me their beliefs, and where they got their information. Never once did I feel ambushed or ashamed for asking or for being uninformed like a majority of parents out there. I was encouraged by Steph and the other women to do my own research and make my own decisions, and that if I had questions (which I did) that they were there to answer them for me.

    To make a long story short, we decided to stop vaccinating our son, and do not plan on vaccinating our future baby that is due in March 2009. And it is a constant battle when the topic arises regarding our choices, but I have no problem standing behind my decision and I have no problem allowing you to make your own. But I too, wish everyone atleast had all the important information to make an educated decision. And if then, parents still chose to vaccinate, atleast they were doing it armed with the information, and not blindly following the crowd.

    Thanks for writing this Steph, I think it is an important issue that all parents need to be made aware of.


  2. I love your last line about going with your heart and making informed decisions. As a new mom, I’m learning that’s the ONLY way to parent.

    As for vaccinations, we are vaccinating our daughter, but on a very reduced and delayed scheduled from what is recommended by the CDC. It works for us.

  3. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in! Although I did vaccinate all 3 of my children (ages 16, 24, & 26) – I put my foot down with “sterilizing” everything they come in contact with. I think too many antibacterial solutions are on the market and if we kill all the bacteria, then our children never build an immune systems to fight bad bugs.

  4. Great post–you can imagine with 8 kids and mothering spanning from 1990 to present, we have run the gamut with this question and have held various philosophies at various times. I think your statement about making an informed decision, taking the responsibility to do that, is so key. It also takes some legwork to find docs who are willing to truly discuss this topic and not just throw recycled stats at you. We are blessed at this juncture to have such a pediatrician, but that has not always been the case.

    Thanks for being willing to open up about such a controversial topic.


  5. I think you hit the nail on the head saying that “as long as no one’s complaining” they will continue to inject our kids with toxic substances. I do NOT believe that eradicated (or practically eradicated) diseases will become an issue again because too many people choose not to vaccinate. Rather, I think that if enough people say no to the formaldehyde, aluminum, and aborted fetal tissue, these companies will start researching ways to make vaccines different and safer, and then more people may start to vaccinate again.

    We don’t vax either. It was a tough decision, but my instincts said no and when I explained that to my DH he agreed. Although Suzi was vaccinated for most of her first year, she has never been harmed by a vaccine–and we’d like to keep it that way! Dr. Sears’ Vaccine Book helped me a ton. He is amazing.

  6. Your child may not die from Rubella, but any pregnant women exposed to your child may give birth to a mentally retarded baby.
    But that’s not your problem, right?

  7. Thanks for sharing without condemning others for their choices. And thanks for encouraging others to do their own research… It’s important for us to alway research our decisions – from vaccinations to diet, medications and cloth diapering. And what may be right for us (or our children) might not be for the next person (or child).

  8. And goodness me, many of the other ingredients (mercury aside) can do short and long term damage. We’ve been told by our ND that my oldest does have vaccine damage…like we really needed to hear it from her. We knew.

    I also think it’s important for non vaccinating parents to understand that if they do vaccinate their kids and the vaccines do what they promise then their children aren’t at risk if “our” kids get chicken pox (for example). I know that is part of the argument…that we’re putting their kids at risk, but that simply isn’t true if you choose to believe the vaccines do in deed protect.

    Choosing to vaccinate or not isn’t always an easy decision. It wasn’t something we decided on a whim. Like you, we did a ton of research, went with our experiences, and our heart and we now feel confident in our choices.

    We don’t like the reactions we get or the fact that we’ll likely face a hard time with the schools when they do go, but all of that pales in comparission to doing what we know is right for our family.

    :–) Nell

  9. I will respond to Anonymous just this once- “my” responsibility is my own child and if I’ve seen vaccines do damage to my own child, I will not again risk more damage. I would hope that others like you would see both sides of the situation- that by you saying I’m being careless to others- are you not understanding I am doing this for the well-being of my own child?


  10. I’m the anonymous poster from above. I admit that mt response was a knee jerk reaction and unnecessarily harsh and I apologize for that. Your response was more diplomatic than my post deserved.
    I have an elderly family member who was exposed to rubella in utero. She is blind, deaf, and has the mental capacity of a 4 year old. She never got to grow up normally. Her parents never got to see her graduate, go off to college, or start a life of her own.
    I do realize that bad things can happen as a result of vaccination. I understand the desire to protect one’s own child. I would never want my child-or anyone else’s-to suffer needlessly. The decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate our children belongs to each parent, and rightly so. But I can’t help but think that we bear some responsibility for the well being of all children, so I’m still undecided on the issue.

  11. Thank you for the link about each state. As I do not yet have children, but am an environmental science teacher, I have thought a lot about the topic of vaccines and schools. From the link you provided, I learned that my state will allow children to go to school if you can prove immunity or if you provide a statement that immunization is against your religious beliefs.

    I don’t know what I’ll do when I have children. BUT- I really dislike that my state will only accept the “religious belief” arguement. What about all of the other rational, scientific arguments against vaccination? I guess some folks would classify me as an atheist, but I don’t classify myself at all religiously except that I don’t practice religion and don’t believe in a higher power. So the idea that religion is an acceptable reason and a conclusion drawn on scientific research is not acceptable touches a nerve for me. Of course, I guess I could always lie and say that it’s a religious belief, but I think that’s wrong. Any thoughts?

  12. Thank you so much for highlighting this issue. We too have chosen not to vaccinate and it is so nice to see others who have done the same. I enjoyed your interview at Blogher with!

  13. My husband and I are talking about starting a family. Whether or not to vacinate is an issue that has recently come to my attention, and I admit I am at a complete loss, and a little bit scared. I have a whole lot of research to do. Its rather daunting. Thank you for the information here and the links you provided. And thank you for showing me that the decision NOT to vacinate is becoming more common than I would have thought.

  14. some ppl REALLY need to get a grip around here. i would specifically appreciate hearing more about the negatives of immunization as well as stats to get a better idea. it seems it was written to ppl that already opt not to vaccinate & not as an informational or even remotely persuasive piece. no new info on this one…

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