So my little girl isn’t so little anymore. This fall she’ll be starting Kindergarten, complete with school supplies list and mandatory physical. Which in my house means starting up vaccinations. When I was pregnant with Noodle, I started researching vaccinations. I read the pros as well as the cons, including side effects, effectiveness and statistics. I read many many testimonies from the government/doctors/concerned parents on why parents should insist on every single vaccination out there. I read testimonies and studies against vaccinations, I read studies about side effects as well as studies regarding the effectiveness in relation to age at time of vaccination.
The long story short is, at her first pediatrician appointment, I sat down with her doctor and asked his opinion before I made my final decision. He was very helpful, he mentioned studies I had already read and brought up other statistics I hadn’t heard about. What tipped the scales for me was “Regardless of what the guidelines are, remember, it is your child, not the governments. You get to make the decision.” He went on to say that he had chosen a delayed vaccination schedule for his children and after some discussion I chose that route. With the pediatricians help, I decided to delay vaccination based off of several studies until age 4/5 (Kindergarten). He also explained the different types of exemptions in the state of Illinois, which helped me continue to delay-vaccination through pre-school.
Now we could argue left and right when it comes to the old classic of no-vax vs vax. That’s old news to me (hello ladies from CafeMom). What I’m actually getting at is making an informed decision. We as parents are forced to make serious choices, some with possible negative outcomes, several times before our children are old enough to move out on their own. Hell, my own Dad will argue that those decisions don’t even stop there. You know what? We may even make decisions that other parents or even strangers think are not the best, but what matters is that YOU believe it’s the best. Just make sure you make an informed decision, do your research, talk to professionals if it applies and make sure that you weigh in the pros and cons from both sides. Whether we’re talking about vaccinations, changing school districts, to moving across the country, even to start a new healthy diet or exercise. We run the show, and I want parents to remember that. Ultimately we are the decision makers, we need to make informed choices for our children and do what we think is best.
Today, as I expected and as Noodle’s previous pediatrician warned (we switched doctors due to a change in insurance), I came across negative opinions. Those opinions from the nurses and doctors bordered on bullying. However, once I sat down with her new doctor and made him aware that I was very educated on the topic and had come up with the delayed/selective vaccination schedule with her previous pediatrician, it went much smoother. It was much easier to get my point across and come up with a schedule that I agreed with. The fact that I showed knowledge impressed not only the doctor but the nurses as well as the doctor’s assistant.
I’m glad I made the choice I did. I feel it was fit for my family. Raising kids is tough, making the decisions that effect their lives is even tougher. It helps if you do a little bit of research and go with what you’re comfortable with. Just remember they are our children, we need to make the best decisions for them, for our families.