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One of my easiest decisions as a parent so far was the choice to vaccinate my baby. I feel 100 percent confident that protecting him from potentially deadly diseases is my responsibility as a mother and vaccines are a safe, effective way to do that. I’ve done my research (although the internet is a hard hard place to do vaccine research, especially if you’re actually in favor of vaccinating) and I’ve talked to my doctor and I choose my choice. It’s chosen. My blogger friend Brigid posted a video from the CDC a while back addressing some of the concerns and facts about vaccinations in a non-terrifying way. My feelings can basically be boiled down to even though I doubt my baby will ever be exposed to measles or rubella or hepatitis, it’s the herd immunity that prevents epidemics and I’m doing my part. And for the record, I don’t really want to hear about your cousin’s sister-in-law’s best friend’s baby who totally got autism right after his shots. For every anecdote you’ve heard there’s a child who never had a single shot and was still diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. So, like I said, I am on the vaccination train.
Until this H1N1 thing came along. Suddenly I’m not so confident. I don’t know if I want to add another shot to my baby’s 6 month appointment. For myself, no problem. I will probably get both a regular seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 shot. E’s going to get both flu shots as well (the Navy actually requires him to get them). I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid (I get strep every year instead, so if they start vaccinating against THAT sign me up!) and I don’t spend a lot of time in crowded disease-filled places like malls or day care centers, but again, herd immunity! As parents, we’re doing our part. But my baby doesn’t hang out in those places either. And the info out there on the Swine Flu vaccine is too scary to just dismiss. Younger children need to get two shots instead of one, and Baby Evan is just barely old enough to fall in the 6 months – 24 year suggested age group. Some states are lifting the restrictions on how much mercury can be in the vaccines (I can’t find info for my state but I know California and Washington have). The last time a Swine Flu vaccine was distributed in the 70’s the side effects were terrible and much more widespread than I am comfortable with. I just don’t know what the right choice is this time.
I’m not the only mom who feels this way. One of the mommy bloggers I follow, All & Sundry, just posted something about choosing to get the vaccine (or not). She got almost two hundred comments and every single one made me think “Oh good point!” on both sides. I hope I don’t have to make a decision right away since the vaccine may not be available in time for our 6 month appointment and I’ll get a couple more weeks to think about it. Are you – and/or your children – getting the H1N1 vaccine?
How in the world has the human race survived this long? I mean, you barely recover from giving birth soon enough to deal with sleep deprivation and sore nipples and just when the baby starts getting all cute and mobile and human-like, TEETHING STARTS. You want to prevent teen pregnancy? SEND ‘EM THIS WAY. I guarantee an hour with my baby and any teen’s knees with slam together so hard they’ll be limping for a month. I have no job, no pressing responsibilities (beyond keeping my child alive), no other kids to care for, no neighbors close enough to disturb if the baby screams and I am almost at the end of my rope. I cannot imagine what dealing with a teething baby would be like in a mud hut or a covered wagon or an 800 square foot apartment. If you have teeth, go kiss your mama right now.
By the time E got home from work yesterday I was lying on the floor of the nursery begging the baby to take a nap. I know E was secretly thinking “Geez woman pull yourself together, he’s not that bad” – until Baby started screaming his head off because someone smiled at him the wrong way or said his mama was funny looking. I wouldn’t blame E if he suddenly had to start “working late” so he would miss the afternoon meltdown. I would totally kill him, but I wouldn’t BLAME him.
The real problem is the child cannot make up his mind. Cutting just one tiny tooth has thrown any semblance of a schedule out the window. Two nights ago I was totally ready to throw in the co-sleeping towel because Baby Evan thrashed and tossed and nursed ALL NIGHT and I can’t deal with a cranky baby during the day without at least five hours of sleep. But then last night he slept from 9pm – 2am, nursed, and then went back to sleep until 5:30 am, still and quiet as a mouse. Unfortunately, GETTING him to sleep was a nightmare. I don’t think it counts as cry-it-out if E is holding him and rocking him and shushing him in the nursery…but the baby cried himself to sleep anyway. During the day he’s just as unpredictable. One minute Baby Evan wants to nurse non-stop and the next he thrashed and screams if I put him anywhere near a boob. I was not expecting engorgement to be a problem anymore but yeah, it is, AGAIN. One second he’s playing in his exersaucer happily and the next he’s screaming bloody murder. One minute the teether toy is his favorite thing ever until he sees me holding the remote and then he wants THAT RIGHT NOW INHISMOUTH GUMGUMGUMDROOOOOOOOL.
I wish there was a definitive answer as to how long teething lasts. It would really help me deal with this if I knew “OK, he’s horrible now but I only have two more weeks (or months) to go”. But the internet has very little to say on the subject, except that he has 20 teeth to get through and that the molars can be worse. WORSE. My heart actually stopped beating for a second.