The day a mother gives birth for the first time, is the day their life changes for good. In an ideal world, the general expectation is to be saying hello to a perfect, healthy new baby boy, or baby girl. Today I am talking about that ideal world.
Let me reiterate. A perfect, healthy baby is laid into your arms for you to love and nurture, as he or she grows into a real human being. Their life is on you, now. Your life is no longer your own. What you do; your every move and decision will impact upon your child's life too.
Hours into your new life as a parent, the medical professionals place information into your palms. Advice books... Forms... Immunization requirements.
Your perfectly healthy baby is hours old, and they're already talking about exposing your loved one to viruses. In America, the medical professionals expect to give your child the first vaccine (hepatitis B) at just twelve hours old.
By the time American children have reached the age of six, they will have been exposed to 49 doses of 14 different vaccines.
British children will have received 33 doses of nine vaccines (including the rotavirus vaccine - introduced in 2013).
The difference between America and Britain - apart from how needle happy America seems to be - is in Britain, the immunisations are offered. Here in America, parents are forced to vaccinate their children. Or, better put - the powers that be are trying to enforce vaccination.
How? By this mantra: "No shots, No School, No Exception". I have the proof. I received a phone call last week from Mini Man's school nurse, and after a lengthy discussion was told to sign a "religious" waiver. Right. I never thought my method of finding god, would be lying about a religion I don't have to uphold the belief that I do have!
A letter from Mini Madam's school today stated that children entering Kindergarten needed certain shots, and she is missing some. If we don't get her up to date by September 15, she will be excluded. Never mind the fact she's not even in Kindergarten yet (she's still a pre-schooler). I called the busybody who had sent the letter, asking for a waiver. No waiver. We could try a religious exemption, but it might not be accepted by The State of Illinois.
The person I spoke with was rude, and she said she was just following state law. Right.
Let me set the record straight. I'm not a complete moron, in that I can't be bothered to vaccinate my child. I also am not somebody who subscribes to the now discredited research of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who's 1998 research paper in The Lancet triggered a mass debate and controversy surrounding the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine.
Wakefield's research identified a link between the vaccine and the neurological disorder autism, but was later discredited because his research was flawed, and biased. I don't believe he was right, because his research was limited, but I don't believe he was wrong either.
Being a mother to a boy with autism, I've read enough reports, looked at studies and questioned many factors which could have caused his condition. They say there is no proven link between vaccinations, and autism - but there is no disproven link either.
Here's a link between vaccines and autism for you. Valentino Bocca.
This landmark case, in June 2012, strongly suggests there is a link. Valentino was diagnosed with autism following the MMR, and his family WON the case. If there is no link, like so many medical professionals insist - then why are cases outside the UK (where there is a ban on legal aid on such cases) still being won?
It was at the time of the case of Valentino Bocca, that Mini Man was due his pre-school booster shots of Diptheria, Tetanus and Polio, and the MMR. Valentino's case prompted me to research more into vaccines, and I didn't like what I found. I decided then that I wouldn't be giving my children any more immunisations, unless absolutely critical.
To come to a needle happy country and be told that my child's education will be denied because of my own personal beliefs is not fair. It's wrong. To have to cite religious reasons (although I don't have to give the nature of those beliefs) to avoid immunization is wrong. If I had known that the schools would employ scare tactics to get me to comply, then I would never have agreed to move here.
I do not wish to vaccinate my children any further, because of the risk of vaccine related injury. It might be a small one, but it's a risk. The medical professionals are protected, the State is protected. Who is protecting my child? Me.
Following my article, I considered it from the point of view of other parents and how my children not being immunized would impact upon other children. EDIT - By other children, I mean children who have not been vaccinated, and are exposed to my children during any incubation period following any contamination of illnesses that can be immunized against.
As a result I took the steps to actually take my children to a physician, and they had the required vaccines and are now up to date. The vaccines were against my own personal preference, but I put my feelings aside and took steps to protect (edit - in the eyes of the professionals) not just my own children, but ultimately other children, as well. I'm not a die hard anti-vac person, but I don't believe parents should be threatened in order to get them to vaccinate.
Join the conversation! Leave a comment, or you can tweet me, or follow me on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you. If you like my rambling, then pop your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button, and you'll be first to hear what's up next at EPM HQ! My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.