Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Shots

Yesterday, Audrey got her very first round of shots. It was traumatic, for me more than her, I think. We made it through, though, and it seems this morning that she's forgotten all about it.

We decided before Audrey was born to delay all vaccinations until she was 2 years old. We based our decision on several sources, one being Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide by Aviva Jill Romm, another being an alternative shot schedule based on Dr. Donald Miller's research and work for

Basically, we chose to wait on Audrey's shots (not to forgo them completely) because we were convinced by the research we did that it was what was best for her as a member of our family. By waiting, we were able to confirm that she had no subtle health issues that would be complicated by 'normal' vaccination side-effects, we were able to establish a baseline of usual Audrey behavior and personality traits to measure side effect impact against, and we were also able to take control of her health care and the choices made on her behalf. Make no mistake- it was a very hard decision to make. However, once we settled on our choice, we could feel in our guts that it was the right decision for us.

We have a wonderful pediatrician who offered her advice and her own research and resources to add to what we were gathering to make our decision, and once we settled on delaying vaccinations, Dr. Longshaw had no further objections.

We were also able to make our decision knowing that Audrey wouldn't be going out of the country within her first two years, wouldn't be regularly exposed to people with, say, hepatitis, and wouldn't be attending daycare or pre-school programs prior to her first round of shots.

SO, all that being said, the Tuesday after Little A turned two years old, we found ourselves sitting in Dr. Longshaw's office, waiting on the nurse to prep her chubby little thighs for their first round of non-mercury based immunizations. The hardest part of the whole visit was the eye contact during the administration of the shots, as Audrey looked up at me with tears streaming down her cheeks, wordlessly asking me why I was letting a stranger hold her down and hurt her... but I think the long term trauma rested solely on her Mama. I still feel like poo from the experience, and am dreading the boosters scheduled for the Monday before Christmas.

Oh well, it is a necessary evil, no matter how delayed you can manage to make it. Aside from very wee red prick marks where the three needles punctured her skin, she has no other signs or side effects that would indicate her experience at the doctor's office, and today, everything is back to normal.

Side Note: Audrey is still in the 3rd percentile for her weight (22lbs even), 20th percentile for her height (32 inches), and 45th percentile for her head circumference (18.5 inches)!

This parenting stuff is hard, people... but I guess no one ever said it wouldn't be.


  1. Hi I'm a friend of your mother in law and have been going through this decision with my 2 month old. I wanted to get an update on how Audrey's 2nd round went. Did she seem to feel ok? After getting my daughter's dtap and hib shots the other day as recommended, I couldn't stop worrying about her being ok. Every little change I noticed concerned me. Being a parent IS hard. Thanks for sharing your story.!

  2. Audrey's second round of shots (the equivalent of her 4-month shots) went well... she cried less and got over it faster, and it didn't hurt me as much the first time, either! We actually postponed her second round of shots for a week due to a stomach virus she caught Monday the 20th. We're at the 24+ hour mark now and she's shown no reactions, just like after the first round, so so far, so good.

    One thing I've been happy about in reference to waiting until the 2-year mark to vaccinate is I know her behaviors and quirks, etc. so much better now, and can tell with more certainty if she's acting like herself or not after shots. However, there are plenty of arguments against what we decided to do, so it still has to go back to what's best for your own family.

    Hope this helped! One thing I still firmly believe: if you make an informed decision for your child out of love, it's not a wrong decision. :)