Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. We’re starting off the morning with Liam’s first round of immunizations. I’m prepared for some flack. We’re a full year behind according to the recommended schedule for vaccines. It’s already raised some eyebrows with our local health unit when I have called to book this appointment “When were you last here & which shots did he receive? Oh you haven’t been here? He’s had no shots before?? Oh. Um. Well. K.” Awkward silence. However, I am going to raise a few more eyebrows tomorrow when I refuse, or rather postpone, two of the three shots he’s slated for. Yea. That’s going to go over well.
I’m not actually against immunizations. In fact, I can see how beneficial they are. I’ve heard how harmful they can be. I know the arguments are fraught with extreme emotion on both sides. I’m not interested in arguing or choosing sides. I am interested in my child.
I have chosen to delay my son’s immunizations based solely on my gut instincts. I have chosen to delay them as well as stagger them because I have felt very uneasy about having them administered to my child before now. I still don’t feel comfortable with him getting all of the ones recommended all at one time. So we’ll be scheduling a few appointments over the next few months. By the time he’s 2 years old he will have had all of the ones he’s supposed to have just a year behind. I feel good about that. My husband is okay with that. It’s what works for our son and our family.
Here’s the part that makes me wonder about my gut instincts though – I never felt this way with my older two children when it was time for their shots. On schedule at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months & a year I took them into the local health unit and they received those pokes in the thighs and arms. They received every shot available at the time. I didn’t have a moment’s doubt or hesitation. I knew it needed to be done and I did it.
So why the difference? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is this: I’ve been a mom for almost 14 years now. Whenever I have had a gut instinct about something, I’ve had a choice – listen to it or ignore it. I trust my instincts. I can’t remember very many occasions when I have regretted listening to them. That doesn’t mean I blindly follow whatever my stomach is telling me – I do research. I talk to others who have been where I am contemplating going (or not going). I pray. I seek advice from professionals. I gather as much knowledge as I can and then, at some point, I sit back and check my gut.
If there is any message I wish I could tell every new mom unsure of things, every experienced mom facing a tough decision – listen to your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t ignore them. The outcome may be veiled from view and the possibilities may be scary at times but trust. You’ve got this.
*Due to the nature of the “to immunize or not to immunize” debate, any comments with regards to that from EITHER SIDE in ANY tone will not be approved. I AM NOT HERE TO DEBATE THAT ISSUE!! I will be delighted to approve any comments that deal with the heart of this post if they are respectfully worded. Thanks. – Jocelyn