The Need to Be Mommy Perfect by Heather Bowles

This week, my little one had her month 2 pediatric appointment. You know what that means, ladies. Immunizations.

Normally, I research everything. I am not one to take someone’s word that something is good for me or my family simply because they have a few extra letters after their name. I went to plenty of quacks as a kid. Doctors who were in good standing with the current insurance company we used, but who for whatever reason they felt justified in doing so, did not spend any time maintaining their education on current diagnoses, treatments and practices.  Those doctors are everywhere, in every setting, from large hospitals to tiny clinics. So it falls on me to know which questions to ask, and to judge whether the doctor knows what he or she is talking about based on the swiftness and content of their response. This week, I dropped the ball.

I knew when we went in to this appointment that they would be offering a range of shots for Tabitha, but when it came time to get them done, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of bacteria and viruses they planned to expose her to. For the first time since she was born, I didn’t know what to do. I knew when we went that she was definitely getting the polio and DTaP vaccines. Unfortunately, the DTaP now contains an influenza virus I wasn’t aware of, and I’ve been dead set again flu shots for as long as I can remember. The HiB vaccine doesn’t even protect against the flu specifically. It does protect against certain forms of meningitis though, and that particular childhood illness has always frightened me. There’s nothing quite like watching a friend contract it and the effects it causes. Even mild cases scar patients in ways that are obvious and irreversible. It’s also a terrible way to die.

So what is an unprepared mom to do? I  never believed the hype that childhood immunizations cause autism, but the mercury and other environmental contaminants delivered in the vaccines seem so unnecessary. We’re already exposing the child to four bacteria and a couple of viruses all at once. It’s an unnatural assault on the youngest of immune systems.

Out of the panic driven by my sheer ignorance, I just went along with the doctor’s suggestion and she got all the shots. Tabitha has now been running a  mild fever for 3 nights in a row. Hearing her cry is always awful when I can’t figure out what is wrong, but knowing what is, being unable to fix it, and knowing I’m the one who approved them to do it to her is so much worse. I don’t care if I never sleep again. I’ll be better educated at her month 4 checkup.


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  1. One Response to “The Need to Be Mommy Perfect by Heather Bowles”

  2. Be careful at the 18 month check-up, too. My son developed 104 degree fevers for 5 days. The doctor said it was the flu. I know in my heart that it wasn’t. After that, we asked for shots to be either staggered or divided. My son hasn’t had a reaction since.

    By Cara Meyers on Jun 16, 2012