Posted in Blog, Featured, Health and safety, Rebecca

Should I vaccinate? Why I said no

As you will see on this website, I have chosen to share intimate details of my life as a Mom. I am honest, open, and show absolute transparency. It’s what I expect in others and what I expect from myself. This journey was somewhat hard to share since it can be such a controversial topic, however I just feel compelled to share it with you. We all may differ in our viewpoints and that is not a thing to disdain, it is a thing to be respected. Just as my friend, Amelia, shared her views about vaccination, so I will share mine. We invite you to comment and share you opinions with us but we ask that you do so in a respectful way. Thank you.

 

About 7 years ago, I started learning how the body worked. I thought I had grown up eating healthy foods and lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. As I began to peel back the layers of the onion, each level of awareness helped me create new habits. As I learned things about what my body required to be healthy and what things were toxic to my system, I just couldn’t go on doing things like drinking a caramel mocha frappucino every morning for breakfast (yes, ONLY that). I began to ask more questions and I found more and more answers. It wasn’t a book I read, or a seminar I attended or a fad diet I was trying. I was deep into understanding the physiology of the human body.

I learned about deficiencies and toxicities. I began to understand homeostasis (the state of balance in the body) and how to achieve the balance that my body so cried out for. I saw how my eating, moving and thinking were all connected to my health. These were the core pillars of why I was either moving towards health or moving away from it. See, I don’t believe anyone can ever achieve perfect health. I believe it’s a process and a movement. You are in constant motion either towards being more healthy or you are moving towards being more sick. I have never seen any evidence that there is a person that is perfectly healthy. You have to bring up this question. What is health? Do you define it as a lack of symptoms? You feel great therefore you are healthy? I’m just asking.

I studied the stress response in great detail. The “fight or flight” response. When stresses are introduced in our body, our body has a physiological response to it. Wow. I could really go into this in detail, but it’ll be another time.

As I learned all of this, things just made sense. I began to change my eating, drinking, and many other habits. I wasn’t changing things because one person told me to. I had seen the research and did my own homework. It was the first time I’d ever really changed any habits and honestly, it was easy. I now knew what my body’s physical response was to those darn frappucinos what I loved so dearly (pathetic, I know). And it just came to a point that I decided I wanted to be moving towards health every day I possibly could. I wanted to be on that journey. (I’m not saying I’m perfect. I do still drink coffee with caffeine and make unwise choices sometimes.)

 

When I got pregnant, I decided I wanted a natural childbirth as much as I could create it. This was based on my beliefs that my body was intelligent and was created perfect. It knew how to create a human life inside me. It knew how to birth a baby. I believed this and wanted the least amount of intervention possible. (That didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, but I did my best. You can read about it here but be warned, there are 12 chapters.)

I also decided that I wanted to raise my son with these values also. What was the human body capable of if we helped it to have the best environment possible? Every day I could choose for my child so many things that would affect him for the rest of his life. (My friend, Cara, wrote a great post about this. Her personal decision to raise a vegan baby) This is every parent’s personal choice and it’s all based on their individual belief systems. (see above as I’ve explained my path towards good health).

When it came down to whether or not I was going to vaccinate, the choice was rather simple. It was a No! for my family. My husband and I spent hours researching all the different vaccines that are now given. We read the popular and well-known Vaccine Book by Dr Sears. We talked to our doctors and care providers. The decision came down to a few points.

1.) We believe that our cells are all genetically programmed with the perfect recipe for health; it is our choices and our living environment that determine whether or not the perfect ingredients are supplied.

2.) In order to function properly and produce health, cells must have all requirements met and be free of toxicity.

Our goal is to help our son be as healthy as he can be. If we do that, then his body has the best chance (we feel) to fight off stresses when sickness intrudes. We’ve also researched the ingredients in vaccines. Under no circumstances would I willingly inject my child with the following (just to name a few):

(referenced from the PDF posted on the CDC’s website – Vaccine ingredients sorted by ingredient)

1.) formaldehyde

2.) aluminum

3.) thimerosal

4.) antibiotics

5.) calcium chloride

6.) animal dna

7.) egg products (especially not knowing if my kid was allergic or not)

and the list goes on and on and on…..

This all comes down to my right as a parent to make the best choice I feel is right for my children. God willing it will always be our choice as parents. And I believe it is your right, just the same as me, to make it for your child.

Every choice we make has a benefit and a price. You make choices based on your values and belief system. My husband and I believe that the price that we could pay (and our child could pay) outweighs the “possible and perceived” benefits of vaccinating. I say it in that way because I’ve never seen evidence that any vaccine has been proven to provide 100% immunity nor 100% safe. I could be wrong though. If you’ve read that study somewhere, can you send me a copy?

I plan on writing a follow-up post to talk about how I worked through all of the arguments that were thrown my way when I started thinking about not vaccinating. More on that soon…..

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  1. Choosing not to vaccinate is not 100% effective or 100% safe. Nothing is 100% effective or 100% safe. There are proven benefits to vaccines like the erradication of smallpox and the decreases in polio and other vaccinated serious childhood diseases. Vaccines are a very personal choice for parents and have become a hot button topic. Both choices have their own risks. I chose to vaccinate because the risk of not vaccinating was greater to me than the risk of vaccinating. I understand the fear associated with the ingredient list for vaccines but let me just say some of them, like formaldehyde, are naturally occurring in the human body and they are all at such low levels as to be in my opinion basically negligible. Between car exhaust and the pesticides/fertilizers people use on their yards, we are exposed to much higher levels of chemicals everyday just by breathing outside. What really gets under my skin is the way the topic is argued. Both sides seem to say “You’re a bad parent!” to the opposing side. We all do the best we can for our children. I hope for good health for all babies and kids out there!

  2. Reyna,
    Thanks for your comment. First of all, I just want to say that I never said that Choosing not to vaccinate is 100% safe. Where I have a problem is that the drug companies that make the vaccines say that the vaccines are 100% safe. I have never seen any long term studies showing or proving they are safe. Have you? So it’s not that I feel that I’m taking the safe route by not vaccinating, I know there are risks involved in that. But I also will not choose to do vaccinations until they can show me the proof that he will be “safer” and “healthier” having had the vaccination.

    I do realize that in our environments we face many toxins and that is unfortunate. I wish I could eliminate all of those too. As parents we just have to do the best we can. I choose to take my son swimming in pools that are chlorinated. I’m sure there are risks to that too.

    I agree with you that the way people tend to argue their side is a bit over the top. I would never say or imply that someone is a bad parent for doing something different than what I chose.

    We have Moms on this site sharing all different points of view and what’s important to me is that we share our experiences. I met a lot of Moms in newborn classes that struggle with this decision of vaccinating or not. I don’t want to preach at someone, but I will share “how” I came to my decision. Whether or not someone choose to vaccinate or not is up to them, but sharing our experiences may help other Moms navigate to find their own way.

  3. Rebecca, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System has been collecting data since 1990, and a number of studies use that data to test vaccine safety. Here is a link to an article that uses the data to look at the safety of several different vaccines, for what it’s worth: http://www.who.int/docstore/bulletin/pdf/2000/issue2/bu0338.pdf
    A couple other abstracts re: long-term studies I found (I’m happy to get you copies of the actual articles, BTW): Guillian-Barre: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19388722
    Chickenpox: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19171574
    Hope that’s helpful! 🙂

  4. We all mean well. I have to say, I’m always posting links on my facebook page to studies demonstrating the inefficacy, and often, the dangers of vaccines. I’m not going to share them here because I don’t think it’s the place. But I will say, I don’t post them on facebook to make parents who do choose to vaccinate feel badly or somehow like lesser parents. I only do it in the hopes of perhaps educating people in things they may not be aware of. We all know, educating ourselves REGARDLESS of which decision we make in the end, is the most important part. Knowing both sides is key. You can’t ever expect to have a full understanding of any situation when you only look at one side. I think that’s the intention here and this is a great forum for this type of thing, as long as people remember not to get too defensive, which can be hard because we’re moms and we’re passionate when it comes to our kids.

  5. I haven’t done the research on this, but are kids who are not “up-to-date” on their vaccinations allowed in public school? I’ve always thought they weren’t. If so, does that mean you’ll have to homeschool your son? Or does it vary from state to state?

    • Sarah,

      It does vary from state to state. Each state has allowed “exemptions” that you can use to still allow your kid to enter public school. Most states only have a religious and a medical exemption. Some states, I think only 11, allow for a “philosophical” exemption. This allows the parent to fill out a form stating their philosophical reasons why they chose not to vaccinate. By law, the school cannot deny their kids entry into the school.

      Some states are cracking down on this though and as more legislation passes, we may see changes in the future. We did just see a change in the law here in WA state. You now have to have your doctor sign a form for your exemption. What they want to do is make sure you talked it over with your doctor and that you are aware of the risks of not vaccinating, etc.

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