Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Have you finished your homework?

***************************** WARNING *****************************
This topic is a touchy one. We know people might not agree with us, but Brian and I felt it was important to share the information so other parents become aware that they have a say in this area of their children's health care. Please read this post with an open mind and know that we only want to increase awareness so you can make the best decision for your family.

The back story:
My mom has been studying to be a nutrition therapist for a while now and has graciously shared the information she's acquired through her studies with me. Back in September she got really sick and spent the night a hospital. They found a cyst on her kidney and tried different antibiotics to treat it. This was not successful and she spent the next two and a half months very ill. She was able to work and go about her daily routine, but she was very weak and lost a bunch of weight. By mid-December she was back in the hospital where they discovered that the cyst had ruptured. They drained the fluid and sent it off to be tested. Lo and behold it turns out she had had E. Coli for MONTHS. I am so grateful to the doctors who prescribed the correct antibiotic that finally made my mom well again. She's pretty sure she picked up the E. Coli from spinach right around the time there was an outbreak of E. Coli in September. I tell this story because I have a new found respect for the vitamins and supplements my mom takes religiously. She eats an incredibly healthy diet as well. I believe that these are the reasons (along with lots of prayers) that she is alive today. Now when she tells me about something she's read that seems a bit out there I'm more open to the idea. Like I said in a previous post, I'm learning. When it comes to our kids health there is nothing we won't at least look into. The rest of this entry is about a subject that until two months ago we'd not thought much about.

Over the past eight weeks Brian and I have been looking closely at the possibility of not continuing with the usual regiment of childhood vaccinations. After careful research and prayerful consideration we have come to the decision to not vaccinate Sam and Julia any further (Sam has had all of the recommended shots for his age, but Julia only had her newborn shots and the ones they give at two months).
We have read many books, checked numerous websites
( 909shot.com was especially helpful), and had lots of discussions on the subject. A determining factor for us was the lack of studies to test the safety of vaccinations. There are no long-term (months to years) safety studies on any vaccinations – only studies lasting days or weeks. We feel that there are too many unanswered questions about side effects and whether vaccines work like the pharmaceutical companies say they do. For us the benefits do not outweigh the risks since nobody can tell us for sure that the shots are safe.

So why are we sharing this very personal information about our family's decision? Well, as I mentioned earlier my hope is that other parents will do what we didn't do when Sam was a baby, and that is do your homework and then make the decision that is best for your family.

****March 15, 2007 - An update*****
We have continued our discussion on this topic and thought we'd update our blog readers.....It's come to our attention that some physicians believe that delaying shots until babies are older and limiting the amount of shots given at one time reduces the risks associated with some vaccines. This might be a good options for us. If anyone has found any books, websites, or other sources of information they'd like to share with us, we'd love to hear from you.


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