On Friday, Mira went to the doctor for her 2 month check up. While there, she got 6 vaccines: 5 shots and one given orally. Yikes! Poor gal. After going through that experience, I can see why vaccines get a bad rap from lots of parents. Mira had been so cute and sweet to everyone at the doctor's office, smiling and cooing and being the most adorable thing on the planet, and how did she get repaid??? The nurse stabbed her repeatedly in the leg, that's how!!! As a parent, there's some visceral response to this: your guts just cry out "This is wrong! Don't do this to my baby!" I had to remind myself that this was for her own good. I think I even said out loud, "It's better than getting Polio, Mira." And then over the next two days she got a bruise on her leg, had a hard time sleeping, ran a mild fever, and was generally fussy. It's no wonder that some parents use excuses to try to get out of vaccinating their kids. Mumbo jumbo like: "Vaccines have mercury." (Actually, it's thimerosal, a derivative of mercury that, unlike mercury, can be metabolized normally and is used to preserve the vaccine and prevent Staphylococcus infection.) Or "Vaccines cause autism." (There's no scientifically founded evidence of this. The one study that has ever made this claim was since disreputed and shown to be biased.) Or "Vaccines make kids sick." (Usually the slight fever that people get after a vaccination is simply a slight allergic reaction to the vaccine, rather than an actual illness. And I'd much rather my child have a mild fever and be achy and fussy than to contract, oh say, Diptheria or Pertussis.)
So my logical mind knows that vaccinating my children is the best thing to do. I'm a strong advocate of vaccines. I'll probably even get Mira vaccinated against chicken pox, which is one vaccine that is considered to be optional. But I was surprised to find that even *my* mommy bone seemed to be making a different argument.