Vaccinations

Vaccinations seem to be a tricky subject.  I honestly debated not even writing about this, simply because I don’t want to jump into a landmine of comments on a controversial subject. But, in the end, I decided to share.  But, I’ll start by saying we are pro-vaccinations/immunizations, and I’ll also add this isn’t intended to initiate a debate on if one should vaccinate their child or not.  This is simply our decision and how we chose to handle it.

As I said, we are pro-vaccinations so for us there was no debate on vaccinations – if Baby MPB was healthy enough to get them, he would get them.  However, until he is old enough to get his vaccinations, we have made a simple rule

No matter who you are, if you don’t have your flu shot, you are not welcome to visit until Baby MPB turns 6 months old and can get his own vaccination.

It turns out nearly everyone in our families gets their flu shot.  Except, of course one set of grandparents.  And this set of grandparents lives far enough away that when they visit they will be staying in our house for an extended period of time.  Needless to say, it did not go over well when we told them our rule. They paraphrased highlights of the conversation included:

  • I’ve never had my flu shot before and I’m always healthy.  We gave them a little education on how seniors and babies are at the highest risk of dying from the flu.  If they are willing to risk their health, that’s their choice.  But we are not okay with them risking our son’s life.
  • It doesn’t matter because we’ve already seen our other grandchild multiple times without having the flu shot.  It was fun having to explain to them that we know the level of prenatal care that our niece received was second to none, and we know that Baby MPB may not have had the same level of care given the different circumstances of the pregnancies.  The differences are as simple as access to healthy food during pregnancy and adequate medical care.  And, it turns out, they never told the other sibling this fact, so this news was also not well received by them either.
  • Your sibling doesn’t care that we’ve seen their baby without having shots, so you shouldn’t either. In response to that, we said, we are not them make our own decisions on how to raise our son.  We are doing what we believe is best, just like you did with your kids. Period.
  • It’s too expensive to get the flu shot.  Seriously, it’s like 5 dollars. You can afford it.  Heck, we’ll pay for it.
  • I don’t like needles.  Do you like sick children more?  It’s 2 seconds, you can handle it.
  • How will you know if we get them, we’ll just say we did and you’ll never know.  Ummm….this is 100% unacceptable and if you are even going to think about doing that, then don’t bother visiting at all.

In the end, we called a pharmacy near their house and booked them appointments.  We gave the pharmacy our visa number to charge us for the shot.  This would also ensure we knew they got it because we’d get the bill.

In the end, they got it.  But rather then just saying, yup, we got our shots, they decided to keep telling us that they wouldn’t get it.  They seemed to think they were funny, and somehow we’d see the humor in this.  Needless to say, we didn’t and still don’t.  For us, there simply is no humor in risking our child’s health and well being.

Maybe we are being over-protective parents.  But you know what, I’d rather be an over-protective parent then to have a sick infant.  Their bodies are so vulnerable at this age and I really feel that the least we can do is try to keep him healthy until his immune system is more developed.

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48 Comments on “Vaccinations

  1. You are NOT being overprotective. That is YOUR baby and you do whatever you want. I applaud you for sticking to your guns!

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  2. Parents can be so annoying, overconfident and selfish – except for all of us, of course!! It can be so difficult to stand your ground; I find it upsetting and somehow, like if we do about things that are fundamentally important to us, the issue becomes the family discord WE have caused – makes me incredulous. I think it’s fabulous you put your foot down despite the dismissal of your values and reasoning in return. Your baby, your time, your turn to make decisions and live your life! Bravo!

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  3. Good for you for standing your ground! I could stand to take some lessons from you. You handled that really well.

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  4. Way to go! I hate that family would behave so immaturely, but way to go for holding them accountable and keeping baby MPB safe. My mom did not make such a fuss, and she did get her flu shot, but she did proclaim that she was afraid the flu shot would kill her. Lol, incredibly ridiculous, and I wasn’t letting her irrational fear get in the way of my babies’ safety.

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  5. Excellent. Can you believe my parents argued with me, a pediatrician, on getting their Tdap shots and they were going to stay with us for a month? Yeah, that was fun…

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  6. I can’t believe they argued with you! I’m glad it all worked out but I’m not sure how you made it through without wringing their necks!!

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  7. I really, really, really need to take a page from your book and learn how to stand up for myself more! You’re really good at it. Well done!

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  8. As someone who’s baby got Type A Influenza at 3 months old I completely understand where you are coming from. Baby got it from me despite not nursing or holding him for 48 hours after I found out about it. I had the vaccine too : (

    It was so sad and scary to see him so sick. We were very fortunate that he handled it very well and recovered quickly but we know friends whose babies weren’t so lucky and ended up hospitalized. You have to do what you know is for your son and everyone else needs to understand that. Hoping you all stay healthy this flu season!

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  9. Gaaaah, that is so ignorant that they would argue about getting it. I had the same rule, luckily our family’s were all on board. Good for you, being a momma bear is protecting your babe above all else, period.

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  10. I am a pediatric ICU nurse and let me tell you that babies getting the flu is NO JOKE! I’m so glad you stood up for your beliefs.

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  11. Good for you! Someone has to stand up for that baby because he can’t yet! He is so lucky to have parents like you too look out for his health! I see this being a problem with B’s family when we have a baby, because I have the same rule too.

    And you had to pay for it? That is super generous of you! But you are right, it is super cheap.

    Basically, you go girl!

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  12. Ugh we had this play out with TDAP shots before Amora was born. We said anyone who didn’t have it wasn’t allowed to visit until 2 months when she gets her first set. Sorry, but whooping cough KILLS. If protecting the health of my baby isn’t your priority then making her available to you isn’t mine!! Vaccinating isn’t even debatable in my mind.

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  13. Not at all overprotective. I rarely have gotten the flu shot because I haven’t been a part of, or in contact with at-risk populations much, but you know the first time I did? When my sister-in-law requested we have them to meet our first nephew. Know what I did? I got it, no question. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this.

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  14. I cannot believe grandparents would talk about lying, or be so resistant to getting a flu shot! I 100% agree with this approach, and its one we’ve taken as well. Good for you!

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  15. I had to send an email to family re the whooping cough vaccine recently. We are in the lowest vaccine area in the country (very hippy area) and whooping cough is rife. It terrifies me to be honest. Luckily baby gets her first shot at 6 weeks so good for her but I insisted everyone have it as they are all 5+ years since last shot. Even my lovely neighbour is topping up. I’m so grateful. Good on you for doing this xx

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  16. Stand your ground girly. You have gone with your gut this entire process…and it has been for the best. You have your child and you do whatever you believe is best for his future…you are his parents…and you make the decisions….period 🙂

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  17. Oh geez! Glad you stood up for yourselves and what you believe is best for Baby MPB. I think I only got it once (I know crazy because I’m a daycare provider but I just never think about it), when I had a premie starting and his parents asked me to do a flu and whooping cough vaccine. I had no problem with that. Got to keep the babies as safe and healthy as possible!

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  18. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your decisions at all!! You’re trying to do what’s best for your baby. If others don’t agree or don’t want to honor your wishes, then they won’t see him. Period. I don’t understand why they thought it was funny to still keep trying to push your buttons, even after they got the shots. I would tell them that they weren’t welcome to come just on principal based on that. So annoying!!

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  19. I am very pro vaccine too. My brother and his wife are very anti vaccine. I have a 3 year old nephew who has not had any vaccines. Am I being crazy to not want him around me while I am pregnant and when my baby is an infant? What do you think?

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    • I think you are absolutely in your rights not to have an uncaccinated child around you while you are pregnant or when your baby is an infant! It’s hard to take the stand and from my experience not everyone is respectful of such a decision. But your the babies parent and your decisions are final, so I respect your decision to should you make it.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Good for you. I am so proud of you for this. Dumplin’ and I are sick with a nasty cold right now, and I’m not gonna lie, I’m super ticked with the friend whose kids we got it from- as she knowingly arranged a play date with us despite their illness. It’s been a week now, and we’re both still hacking and feeling under the weather… Trying our best not to get DW sick!

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  21. I suppose for me this would make me sad, not that you stood up for what you believe in, but that if I was a family member I couldn’t see your baby. I have almost all the vaccines you can get, but I will never get the flu vacinne again. I have wegeners, an autoimmune condition , so along with the pnemonia shot got a flu one this year, even though it has been over 20 years since I had the flu. My family rarely gets flues or colds, I ended up in the ER a few hour later, violently ill, and on IV pain meds, it lasted 48 hours till the pain started to break, I have never felt like that before , and never want to again. The docs said it happens with vaccinnes in ppl that already have a natural immunity to it. The problem now, I am seen as wanting to get ppl sick, even though I have not gotten the flu in years. I am treated like I am a horrible person and how dare I make the decison to not get that vaccine again….If i worked in the medical profession I don’t know what I would do as it is mandatory, no exceptions. I think vaccines are a good thing, but the way they sold as the be all and end all isn’t right, as one of your commentators wrote she got the shot and she still got sick. The flu shot for me is not an option, I cannot gamble with that, it was worse than ending up in the hospital again a couple of months after with lung clots, due to wegeners. If the flu shot was a standard shot protecting against certain ones, that would be different, but its changed every year and its a guess at best which flu is gonna hit that year….it should protect against up to 3 viruses that they think is gonna be the most prevalent that year. I hope that your sweet one, doesn’t have to deal with the flu for years to come, And while it would make me sad to have to wait to see your baby, I would never lie about it, or think it was a joke, like his grandparents did. Such parental things seem so easy but they are not, its a tough call, on so many things in a child life…wishing you laughter , hugs , and a sick free zone, for at least the first year.

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    • I really appreciate your perspective. And honestly, if someone couldn’t get it, like yourself, that would be completely different. I think we are pretty reasonable. And we do understand that it’s not always possible. And I would never encourage someone to get a shot when they aren’t medically able to, I’d just ask that they make sure they aren’t feeling sick when they do visit.
      But when people, like these grandparents, who are sick every single year, were staying in our house for multiple days/night and are perfectly able to get the shot and yet respond the way they did, it’s just not okay.

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      • I am one of those ppl that never go anywhere when I am sick with the flu and or colds, I suppose because I get them so seldom, I can’t imagine risking sharing it with anyone else. If I got that sick even once a year from the flu , I would have to try to figure out a way to get the vaccine, I have friends that always pick up the latest virus going around, I cannot imagine…I deal with constant medical issues, if any of them were fixable with one shot a year I would be there asap. I hope with all issues, nanny, viruses, grandparents,, lack of sleep, I hope you are still able to enjoy your little one, I am sure he is growing like a weed, and time will fly by. And if my children’s grandparents thought my parenting decisions were funny, they might not find it so funny when they are not as involed as they would like. hugs

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  22. Short of it: we have the same rule!!! I just read your post about being sick as well (I am behind what’s new!). I haven’t blogged about it yet but we had to take Kennedy to the ER last Saturday because she had a fever. All is good, but I was so frustrated because we have not allowed anyone hardly to see her except family who have had tons of vaccines because we asked them to. Lesson learned: babies get sick no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep being overprotective and having “rules”. You are doing great!

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  23. I can’t believe they actually suggested they might lie about getting it. And tried to make a joke out of it. Ridiculous. Good for you for putting your foot down, but sad that you had to at all.

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  24. I think you are doing what’s best for you and your family! Being respectful of people’s decisions and requests are just common sense. We have chosen not to vaccinate (I’ve had a vaccine injury and also very allergic to how the flu shot, as well as others, is cultured). But in the end preference for or against vaccines shouldn’t matter…. Your family, your decision. Good for you for sticking to your guns. And to think someone would lie about it makes me angry.

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  25. This post makes me happy. Since Nora can’t have all her vaccinations yet, I’m a strong believer in others getting their kids vaccinated. They aren’t only putting their own kids in danger when they don’t vaccinate, but other’s kids too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! And same goes for adults who refuse to get vaccinated. They might not see the benefit of getting vaccinated personally, but every child they come in contact will feel the benefits when they don’t get sick!

      Liked by 1 person

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