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When I first had my son, I thought a friend of mine was NUTS not to vaccinate. I didn't argue with her about it or tell her not to do it (because I "knew" that it wouldn't hurt my own kids since they would be vaccinated and protected). I didn't educate myself first, because what was there to know? You HAVE to vaccinate to protect your kids! I look back on my arrogance and ignorance now, as naive and innocent as it was, and cringe. But none-the-less, maybe that has prepared me for where I am now, and why I am able to understand why so many people don't understand my decision not to vaccinate.
When my son was 15 months old, he had a bad reaction to a vaccine. He got violently ill for the first time in his life. High fever, vomiting. After that, he wasn't the same. He stopped talking. His motor skills crashed. He began having severe sensory aversions. I'm not saying that the vaccine gave my son autism, but I do think it took whatever was there and made it 1000 times worse. That's when I started my research. My original plan had been to use a delayed and selective vaccinating schedule for my son's remaining vaccines and my daughter's vaccines. I knew I was gonna split up the MMR. My daughter just got the first M. But the more I researched, the more vaccines made it to my "no" column on my selective schedule. Soon, there was nothing left. I stopped vaccinating my son and her.
Then came my youngest. From day one he was never vaccinated. When he was 2 weeks old, my husband, my oldest, my daughter, and I all got sick with pertussis (whooping cough). Keep in mind, we all had the vaccine for that one. The only one who didn't get sick was my youngest (he couldn't have had it anyway because they don't give DTaP that early). For THREE MONTHS we were all sick, and yet this little newborn didn't so much as catch a cold or a slight fever. It may sound silly to some, but to others who have done research on the effects of vaccines on the immune system, this might come as no surprise. For me, it solidified what I had learn.
Fast forward for nearly 5 years later. I can count on one hand how many times my little one has been sick. It's always been VERY mild. Like throwing up once. Or having a fever for 8 hours that isn't very high and goes away on it's own. Last night, my younger two caught a 24 hour virus of some kind. Within 5 hours, this 24 hour bug was out of his system. He was a little tired today, but that's it! Meanwhile, my vaccinated child has had is going on hour 20 and still getting sick and spent most of her morning and afternoon sleeping She's with her grandma now. Again I look at what I know and what I've experienced and I think, it's the vaccines. I really do think now that they affect the immune system in a negative away.
I won't get into all the science or all the comments we've gotten for not vaccinating or my rebuttles or any of that, but I will say that my experience does back up all the scientific data I've looked into. I do think some people vaccinate and never have a problem, and maybe vaccines "agree" with them, and if that's the case, why not take them if they want to, if for them they don't have to worry about the possible negative effects and can possibly reap some sort of benefits. However, I look at my family history and think--there's something about my family and vaccines. We have a history of bad reactions. And while there might not be a gene they can pinpoint that causes it, I know that it's not right for my family. Of course, I also think you can never know how your child will react. You have to know the risks of both and decide which risks you can live with.
I wish I had know the risks BEFORE I vaccinated my first child. I wish I had done my research then. I wish I had believed in "Educate before you Vaccinate". But I didn't, and I can't go back now. I can't undo the permanent damage to my oldest child, but I'm glad I haven't made it worse and I'm glad I could learn from it what is best for my family. And I know I'm not alone and many people have walked this same road I walk now.
I hope sharing my experience will help someone in some way, either to feel like they aren't alone or maybe a lurker to commit to educating themselves first. I believe some people may educate and still decide to vaccinate. But some may not. And there's one thing about vaccines that everyone needs to know (IMO): You can't take them back.
All that said, my youngest, though never vaccinated, does have PDDNOS (which is now considered on the autism spectrum). I think he is how my son would have been if he hadn't had that vaccine reaction. I am also certain that if I had vaccinated my youngest, he'd have a more moderate to severe case of autism than he has now. I know I can't prove this--that it's only speculation--but also think there's a lot to be said of a mother's intuition, and I also think that sometimes there can only be a "coincidence" so many times before it's fair to speculate on certain ideas.
I mostly lurk here, but hopefully I'll be able to pop in from time to time to discuss some things regarding vaccines and choosing not to vaccinate and how to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong. I know too many people now that have lost their children to vaccines. Too many baby's who have died. Too many toddlers who now have seizure disorders. Too many kids who now have autism.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.
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PM me if have questions about autism, TTC gender swaying, natural childbirth, going "vaccine-free", or if you are looking for gentle discipline advice.