I was Scared to Vaccinate

I was Scared to Vaccinate | Baby Chick

I was Scared to Vaccinate

No fear is greater than that of a new, young mother. You’ve been handed an adorably petite and squishy person, and essentially made aware of the fact that “you’ve got it from here.”

Yep, that’s what a nurse said to me as we left the hospital with our daughter. She patted my hand and smiled at me knowingly; walking away with the wheelchair she all but dumped me out of on the curb as my husband brought the car around. I was petrified—there were so many ways I could mess this up.

All I’ve ever wanted is to be a mom, and to be the best one that I could be. So, there I was: one of my biggest dreams made a reality was in my arms, and her tiny 6 pound body felt immensely heavy in that moment. I’d be making a lot of tough calls, and had been for my entire pregnancy thus far. An important one I made, though, came after a lot of research and backing down from social media.

I was scared to vaccinate my daughter.

The common reasons for choosing not to vaccinate were ones I had little interest in: I’d long ago decided I would love and cherish a child with any medical needs, and that would include autism if it were to arise. This common misconception is one that did not deter my decision-making at all.

No, my fears were based purely on the seething words and images posted by a friend for the entire duration of my pregnancy, encouraging others to “do their research” and to “look into vaccine injury.” I did, of course, fall down quite the rabbit hole—Google is both friend and foe during pregnancy and early motherhood while you’re figuring it all out.

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I spent hours before giving birth to my daughter poring over medical literature, statistics, and more. I spoke about it with trusted healthcare professionals, friends, other moms, and family. Though most were supportive of my research and understood why I was taking extra precautions in protecting this tiny person, others were less empathetic. Those who were dismissive, irritable, or condescending towards me and my fears only furthered them: I began to panic and fear that my friend was right. I slowly became scared to vaccinate. I’d become accustomed to getting shots myself as a child, with no regard until pregnancy that they could have negative effects on babies and small children.

I was worried about damaging my daughter, and I needed time to process the information before me and to consider alternative options. Would a delayed schedule prove to be less intense on her little body, or would we nix the idea of vaccinating altogether?

Scared to vaccinate, but having to make a decision.

Before I knew it, the final hour was upon us: I began to labor, was admitted to the hospital, and spent time distracting myself from the pain in talking with the nurses and doctors present about my concerns. Their compassion and true regard for my difficulty in making a decision is what helped me to land on one: my daughter would be cared for not by a big pharmaceutical company, not by a group of government conspirators, and not exclusively by cold and unfeeling healthcare providers. She would be born into a world largely eradicated of disease, and into a sterile environment that would allow her to thrive well in her earliest days. She would be under the most capable care and, above all else, I would be there to make decisions and adapt to her changing needs. She was born healthy, and will be for the long haul—because I chose to vaccinate her.

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I nearly didn’t vaccinate my daughter on the strongest negative emotion there is: fear.

I feared what I didn’t know, what I couldn’t predict, and what I couldn’t prevent. I wracked my brain over possible outcomes, how to soothe her, and what worked best as we moved forward. My eyes stung with tears when thinking of children and families who have been the unfortunate victims of illness due to their lack of access to these medical innovations. I reflected on my Aunt: one of the last known living people who contracted Polio before the vaccine was made widely available, and how she has struggled with this disease for her entire life. Armed with these feelings and what I’d discovered in looking into the issue deeper, I removed my selfishness from the equation of not wanting to hear her cry when she got vaccines at her well-visits. We’d move forward on a normal schedule and adjust if we needed to.

I acknowledge that things do not always work out as well as they have for my healthy daughter, and that the increasing number of parents who opt to not vaccinate do feel as though they are doing what is right for their little ones. So many decisions made in parenthood are taken too lightly, and I am proud of the people I know and love for doing their due diligence and having a reason behind the way they do things.

With that being said, I couldn’t be more relieved that I decided to vaccinate my daughter in the end. I’d love to say I no longer let fear or negative emotions run rampant in my mind when it comes to making parenting decisions, but I do put much less emphasis on what I feel than what I understand to be necessary. My daughter is thriving as a toddler, and her father and I will continue to do what we feel is best for her—and beyond feeling what’s best, knowing what’s best. We do this based on facts and understanding our child well, and we call the shots accordingly.

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About the Author /

Old mom to a chocolate lab and new mom to a baby girl, former teacher and current higher education professional.

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📷: @healthline⁠
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Instagram post 18004974676264288 Or try to open the door mid-pee⁠. 😑😑😑 Thanks, kid.⁠
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Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
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Instagram post 17853985321641015 I feel like several people have been going over a week past their due dates lately . . . Is it something in the water? 🤔 How many days before or after your due date did you have your baby? 👶❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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