“To vaccinate or not”

Vaccinations.

Here I am, new to the blogging world, and I am about to blog about the dreaded vaccination debate.

People often ask my opinion on vaccinations, so here it is.

These are the facts.

I have three children. image
One of them is vaccinated, and two of them are not.
One of my kids is on the Autism spectrum, and he is the one that is vaccinated.

Now hold on a second there before you go reading into my words !
I am in no way saying that his vaccinations caused his Autism.
It just so happens he is vaccinated and has been diagnosed with Autism.

If you were to ask me whether I think his vaccinations led to his Autism, my answer will be “I do not know.”

I DO believe that his vaccinations along with other factors *may have* played a role in his Autism, but that is my own personal theory, because I have no way of proving it.
Any of it.

NO ONE can prove ANYTHING.

As of today, there is NO KNOWN cause for Autism.
It is believed that genetics play a role and/or environmental factors.

If you Google the word “Autism”, you are likely to come across information indicating a possible link to vaccinations.
Our googling of Autism, led us to various resources of vaccination information.
Whether that information is 100% accurate or not, it doesn’t matter.
It was enough for us to question it.

When further researching vaccinations, Autism aside, we found information we weren’t completely comfortable with.
So, for that reason, we decided not to vaccinate our other children.

That’s where our “opinion” stands.

Usually, I am not one to publicly express my vaccination opinion, because there will always be that one person whose comment takes a condescending tone and turns the discussion into an ugly debate.
The tone that implies you are an imbecile if your opinion differs from theirs in any way.
Like they have done more research than any person EVER BEFORE and they have ALL the answers.

And to that person, I say….don’t.
DON’T DO THAT !

Did you do all your own research and talk to various medical professionals before making your vaccination decision ?
I’m sure you did.

So, can we just assume that everyone did ? Please.

There is no need to insult each others intelligence and assume they’re uneducated in their decision.

If you really want to help them, encourage them to do their own research, and come to their own conclusions.

We have a right to make the decisions we see fit for our own families, and parenting is hard enough without a judgy mcjudgerson making us feel bad about our choices every step of the way.

It does not matter if our decisions reflect your own.

How about we just band together as parents and assume we are all doing the best we can with the information we have at hand.

There is no right or wrong here.

Unless you decide not to vaccinate, or you decide that you will.

‘Cause most likely whatever decision you make, you will be making the WRONG decision.

Let’s face it here folks, our kids will probably grow up to be dysfunctional adults either way.  😉

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“White Noise”

photo (2)I heard Carter crying out from his room at bed time, so I went upstairs to check on him.
I walked through the door and saw that he was covering his ears.
I said to him, “What’s wrong?”
“What’s the matter?”
He said, “My ears hurt”, (sensory), and continued to cover his ears.
I said, “Do you want me to turn the rain off?” (Which is the sound of rainfall from his white noise machine)
He said “On.”
So I asked, “Do you want me to turn the (ceiling) fan on?”
And he said “Yes please.”
I turned on the fan, and then I knelt down beside his bed.
With the night light of stars shining above us, I ran my fingers through his hair like I did when he smaller. I rested my head on his pillow beside him, and I gazed into his eyes.
I told him I loved him, and he whispered something back to me.
I asked him “pardon?”

He lifted his head, leaned in towards me and said “See you later Mommy!”

Which, in Carter lingo translates to, “Get the hell out of my room!”

“The same boy”

photo (4)

A year after we got married, we decided to start our family.
I got pregnant right away.
I was so body aware, that I knew we had conceived two weeks before I peed on the stick.

We were SO excited !
We were going to be parents !!!
We told everyone.
How could we possibly contain this information until week 12 ?!

9 weeks in, I miscarried.

Dreams were shattered, and our hearts were broken.
“Probably for the best”, I heard, “something must’ve been wrong with the baby”, and, “everything happens for a reason.”

All good intentions I’m sure, but to me it meant, “your baby wasn’t perfect, you wouldn’t want that one.”
“What a burden that would’ve been on your family.”

It was devastating !

I cried myself to sleep.
Many, many nights.

When we were ready to try for another baby, I became pregnant again rather quickly.
I was terrified.
We didn’t tell anyone.
We were cautiously excited.
As the 9 week mark approached, the anxiety of another miscarriage was too much to bear.
I broke down at my OB appointment and she arranged for an ultrasound to confirm viability.

One week later, we saw our little bean for the first time !
I instantly fell in love !!
You’d think the vision of our teeny baby on the screen was enough viability confirmation to put my mind at ease, but later that night I had an anxiety attack while lying in bed.
I couldn’t contain my tears.
The thought of losing another baby, was overwhelming me.
I pleaded to the universe to please let me carry this baby to term !
This baby deserved a chance, and I proclaimed that I would love this baby with every ounce of my being, “perfect” or “not”.
I longed to keep this baby.

The rest of the pregnancy went on without a hitch.

Carter, our first, was a dream baby !
My heart was bursting with love for him.
He was happy. All.the.time.
He was a good sleeper.
He transitioned to his crib with no problems !
He travelled well. In the car, on an airplane, it didn’t matter.
His two bottom baby teeth emerged without me even knowing.
He never complained.
He was so content and delightfully perfect !
It was like God had offered a condolence gift to us, for having suffered a loss.
Or at least, that’s how I saw it.
He was wonderful, and I felt honoured to be his Mom !

Just after his first birthday, we noticed he wasn’t meeting his milestones. The most prominent, was a speech delay.

We brought up our concerns with our Doctor.
Another 6 months passed and he wasn’t progressing.
We knew it was something more.

In April 2010, at 3.5 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism.
Before we left the specialists office, she said to us “Carter is the same boy you walked in here with, the diagnosis doesn’t change that.”

Those words resonated with me on the drive home.
She was right !
Well, sort of.
Our lives had just been turned upside down, and nothing was ever going to be the same.
Nothing, except Carter.
HE is the same.

The same little boy we walked in with.

The one I wished for and proclaimed to love with all of my being, no matter what.
And I did.

I still do.