The people who stabbed my baby

20 Jun

I feel awful today. It was my son’s 15 month vaccinations this morning. He had no idea what was coming, but I have been dreading it all week since I forced myself to make the appointment. At his 6 week, 3 month and 5 month shots, I didn’t feel quite so bad, because he didn’t have much understanding of what was going on. It hurt, he screamed, got a cuddle, and he went to sleep. There were two injections at the last three batches, but three this time – one in each leg and one in his arm. This time, I had to hold him down so he didn’t wriggle away. He cried so hard, that awful cry when you can’t quite catch your breath. I had his dummy on hand and gave him a big cuddle and lots of kisses, and yes, I was crying too. I told him that he had a big ouch-y but that he would feel better soon and he was such a brave little boy.

We had to sit in the consult room for 20 minutes in case he had a reaction, and every time he heard footsteps along the hall, he clutched on to me and started crying again. Oh, my heart! I felt mad at his Dad because our son has had four lots of vaccinations now and he hasn’t seen a single one. He was determined to get him vaccinated (I wasn’t sure either way so I went along with his decision) and yet he has never seen him in pain like that.

I still can’t make up my mind about vaccinations, and I hope we’ve done the right thing. I couldn’t find any convincing research against vaccinations. The autism link was shaky, and disproved not long ago. There have been stories of bad reactions to vaccinations, but there are stories about bad reactions to everything. Children die in car crashes but I still take my son in the car. Children have severe reactions to peanuts, dairy, strawberries, fish, etc., but I offer my son all types of food. A little boy choked to death on a piece of apple a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean that no one should ever eat apples again. Children die of all sorts of things, and it’s awful awful awful, but that doesn’t mean we should all live in bubbles. Although I tend to err on the natural side of things, I also didn’t want my son to contract whooping cough, or meningitis. To me that is scarier than a possible and unproven link to a side effect. The rates of the diseases we vaccinate against have plummeted since they developed vaccinations, and there is a sense of community responsibility too.

I have had asthma since I was seven, and diabetes since I was eight, and I wouldn’t have survived my pregnancy if it weren’t for the hospital, so I am more inclined than some to trust medical science. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for taking pharmaceuticals every day. The list of ingredients in vaccinations is intimidating, but like I said, I didn’t feel strongly enough about not doing it to go against my husbands wishes to do it. But how I hate it. I hate those huge needles that go into my son’s tiny tender thighs, and the way he cries with betrayal.

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