Vaccinations: My Child, My Choice

I waited for several months before I allowed either of my boys to be vaccinated. Not only was I concerned about their well-being and all the possible side effects, but I didn’t really see the point in getting them vaccinated early since they were so young and their immune system so delicate. Besides, who comes down with two or three diseases at once? And, why would I allow a doctor to inject my child with two or more different viruses. I just was not willing to take that chance with my child’s life. Had I known a lot about holistic medicine, I would have opted out of having them vaccinated, though I could have taken the necessary steps to have them legally exempt.  

I bring this subject up because Mademoiselle is eight months now and yesterday she was given her third vaccine. I love my children’s new pediatrician. She listens and is willing to work with me as a team to ensure that my kids remain healthy. Every two months, we go over the list of vaccines and determine which one is needed the most at that particular time. I will not give Mademoiselle more than once shot because if she has a reaction I want to know which vaccine was the culprit. 

I mentioned that my children had a new doctor. Their old doctor got on my last nerves. I was tired of him thinking he knew more than I did because he was the doctor. I was sick of the tension between us that was created by me being right when he said I was wrong. Here’s a good example: I love nuts. I eat them on and in everything. Everyday I would prepare a salad with almonds for lunch, and sometimes I would have some eggs for breakfast. After eating the salad, I noticed that Mademoiselle would break out in a lot of tiny little bumps on her cheeks, neck, and stomach. I called the doctor and told him I thought she was allergic to nuts. This idiot tells me, “How do you know? I think you’re just wrapping her too tight. She has a heat rash.” First of all, this is my third child and I have a whole lot of common sense. I know how to put two and two together. 

When I got off the phone with him, I quickly scheduled a same day appointment with another doctor in his office who determined that the outbreak was due to an allergic reaction. I left a message on his voice-mail with my findings and a request to have my baby see an allergist (thanks to the advice of my friend, Nanora). Long story short, the allergist found that Mademoiselle is allergic to nuts, eggs, and dairy products, meaning I can’t have any of those things until I’m done nursing. Once the old doctor received the report we were at odds from that point on.  

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when he and another doctor in his office told me I had to have my two month old baby immunized or else I had to seek medical care some where else. “It is our office’s policy,” he said. Yeah, since when? It wasn’t a problem thirteen years ago. I told him if something was to happen to my child there is nothing you will be able to say to me besides a lousy I’m sorry. I am responsible for my child’s well-being. I gave birth to this child and I’m not only financially obligated to care for her, but I’m also responsible for her emotional and physical well-being. It’s my child and my choice! As a result, she had her first vaccine at four months old. She did not have a reaction to any so far; not even a fever.

I’m so thankful that another doctor in the same office understands my concerns and is willing to do whatever it takes to see that my daughter and sons have a healthy future ahead.

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14 Comments on “Vaccinations: My Child, My Choice”

  1. Shanessence says:

    Although I’m not a parent yet, I completely understand your viewpoint and applaud you for taking the stand against that seemingly egotistic doctor. My mother has the same intuition and understanding as you and would often treat my brothers with any of their illnesses at home because with her experience she knew exactly what to do, preventing the doctors from doing potentially harmful (or fatal!) guesswork on her children. Kudos to you and your dh for taking this route. I’m certain that it makes for the most positive, healthy and happy babies — and children. :OD

  2. Leila says:

    Girl, you know that I am right there with you. You already know that my last two are not immunized past the 1 year shot. It was the same situation with a former doctor. She really had a problem with that. She would ask me who I was talking to. She was basically very rude. She told me that she would give me a report that stated conclusively that there was no connection between autism and vaccinations. Well, fast forward five years later and I still have no report. Four other doctors have promised this report. I have yet to receive it. Stand strong girl. Stick to your guns. You’re right. It is your child and your choice.

  3. Yolanda says:

    Bravo for you standing up for you (and your mademoiseille!) Its so frustrating when doctors can’t trust you as a mother, we certainly know when something is wrong and its up to us to keep searching until we find someone to listen to our concerns. Thank goodness you found a new doctor (and an allergist, nut allergies can be so dangerous).

  4. lteefaw says:

    I can’t say that I totally argue with your decision to wait on getting your kids their shots. But I do applaude you on standing your ground. In 1999 my 2 year olds skin begin to darken. No big deal at first. Then his lips and gums turned darker as well. I took him to the doctors on many occasions. They all thought it was ezmeca. While it wasn’t. My son slipped into a coma and for three weeks no one, not even a team of doctor from the Ronald McDonald Hospital, could figure out what was wrong with him then on May 19, 2000 my son died. It took another week for the coroner to determine that my son had a rare disease called Addison’s disease.

    My point is, listen to your doctor after all they have been to medical school but you should ALWAYS TRUST YOUR HEART. Go with your gut feeling.

  5. It sounds like you have a perfect role model in your mother, Shanesha. You should have no problems when the time comes to have children of your own.

    Thanks, Carol and Yolanda.

    Dasha: I’m so sorry about what happened to your son. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    I nearly died at the hands of a doctor because I wasn’t listening to that little voice on the inside. I knew I was having a reaction to the medication prescribed, but because the doctor said it was something else I continued to take it. After a few days, I was unable to walk or feed myself. To make a long story short, after seven doctors an infectious disease specialist determined that I was allergic to penicillin. The penicillin created a totally different disease that took one year to leave my body. The medical profession is like teaching, you have to have a passion for your job. Medicine is constantly changing; what was true today may not be so the next day. Doctors must always be in learning mode and be willing to admit when they’re wrong. I listen to them, but I also follow my mother wit and what makes logical sense because only I know my body better than they do.

  6. JJ says:

    wow. good for you for standing up. i agree sometimes instincts are better to follow especially when deep in your heart you feel a certain way. my peds office for months kept insisting that Jarrod DID NOT have allergies even tho, both I and my husband have seasonal allergies, we live in a heavily wooded town and in an old house that most likely has mold in the basement. they kept insisting that it was uncommon for kids his age (then) to have allergies. I’m like , duh, you have to take into account individual factors of each child and not just lump my kid into one category.

    they are also resistant on medicating until the kid is breathing on one lung and got two nostrils full of green gunk. if i have to OTC to get the kids right, I do what i have to do and sometimes skip the docs altogether.

    but you all are right, you can’t trust docs all the time.

  7. Jamie says:

    I too applaud you for standing up for your kids when it comes to the doctor. I had different situation where I changed pediatricians in the same office beacause of way I was treated. When my twins were born I was a single unemployed mother living with my mom. So I opted for Medicaid at the time to insure my kids. Well the small town I live in has a pretty high unemployment/poverty rate so I alot of folks’kids are on Medicaid. So the majority of kids that come in are on Medicaid. The pediatrician that they were going to would talk “down” to me, ask me evasive questions, like”Do you work anywhere yet?”I had to get “in” her and let her know I was a college educated woman and it was none of her business! I felt she was being biased and nasty toward me because I was poor and what she assumed “uneducated” because the boys were on Medicaid. I paid and pay my taxes before I feel on hard luck and I needed the assistance. I changed the doctor’s right then and there. I much happier with the doctor they have now who respects me and kids. Good Luck:)

  8. Tarryn says:

    I really agree with your viewpoint on vaccinations. I believe that the current schedule that is set, is simply a matter of “convenience” for doctors offices. In addition, I think that doctors assume that we are all placing our babies in daycare, which isn’t the case. Good for you for standing up and not taking the “mainstream approach”. You are making informed decisions and your little one can only benefit from this.

  9. Yacine says:

    You know me and my hubby were just talking about this subject and what he brought to my attention was that if we decided to refuse some of these vaccination shots and something happen to our little girl they will put our decision against us. Which is where some might hold back from standing up, you know the “what if”.

    I was just reading that from 5,000 to 15,000 deaths are cause my doctors mistakes and the number might be more than that. I was researching this topic because my husband was so surprise when he heard on the news the percentage of deaths they estimated was caused my medical mistakes. I was not surprise by this, because we are all humans doctor or not, humans make mistakes and as humans we should never blind follow.

    If you have a feeling something is not right do your homework and do something about it. To me is very important to find a doctor you’re comfortable with and who respects your opinions and decisions.

  10. Jamie: I can’t stand that! I hate it when doctors assume the worse then treat me accordingly. I look young so they assume I started having kids at the age of 12; as a result, they talk down to me as if I don’t know any better. One doctor said in a condescending way, “Aren’t you a good mommy for cleaning under your baby’s neck.” What the hell did she mean by that? Or, here’s a good one: a nurse had the audacity to ask me if all my kids had the same father. When I told her that I had been married to the same man for almost 15 years she nearly had a heart attack. “You look so young,” she said. So, I agree with. Doctors can be a little biased when it comes to issues of class.

    Tarryn: Thanks! It is a matter of convenience without taking the child into consideration. Doctors don’t prescribe one type of medicine to all patients regardless of the ailment because each patient is different, and they must be treated differently. So why should it be different when it comes to vaccines. Every child has a different physiological make-up. One child may be able to handle several vaccines at once, but who is to say another child will be able to.

    Yacine: I didn’t want my child to be included in small percentage. I’m so glad I was able to find a doctor who understood exactly where I was coming from.

  11. goodnis says:

    I know this is a bit late, but I just got around to reading this and I have to agree with you. My son is three years old and has never been vaccinated. I have fought with MANY doctors over my choice and continue to stand firm. Fortunately, my cousin is a teacher who has her own day center so he attends school there and I have yet to worry about school regulations regarding immunizations. However, if we (me and the hubby) decide to send him to public school (which I pray we won’t have to) then we will choose which vaccinations our son will receive and which ones he won’t. Good for you for standing your ground. The more mother’s who do so make it easier for the rest of us!

  12. Yacine says:

    Here’s a very interesting documentary I found call “vaccination-the hidden truth” http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=8610554679207090010&autoPlay=true&playerMode=embedded

  13. Allergic Patient says:

    Nice blog, I think you have written this article very well, you bring up some solid information. Thank you for sharing this information with me I really do appreciate it. Keep up the good work. Look forward to seeing what else this blog has to offer. =) TY for taking so much time working on such a great blog.


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