It was recently brought to my attention that my children were lacking in some of their immunizations and needed to be vaccinated immediately to bring them up to date. I agreed, mostly, except that there are a few exceptions I make to their vaccination schedules, particularly with my 9 year old child who experienced a severe brain injury prior to birth. I have done my research, thoroughly, and completely understand the risks involved by omitting one or two of these chemicals from passing through this specific child’s system. This being said, it has been insinuated that if I don’t accomplish these immunizations by a particular date my children will be legally banned from public school; immunizations that cost $20.00 a piece without Medicaid, immunizations that I think should be free if they are a required for public school attendance. I was informed that I could opt out of these immunizations if I filled out a form declaring my religious opposition, asserting under penalty of perjury that I did truly believe this as part of my religion and then having this form notarized by a complete stranger who willingly had to attest to the validity of my private belief system. Mission accomplished, finally, notarized form completed and appointment made for the remainder of the vaccinations. Done. Right? Wrong…
The day of reckoning arrived, a day of fear and trembling, a day of desolate sadness for all smaller Ronne beings (until the promised treat was in hand after the mortal danger had passed). I faced the day with a sense of anxiety because in past experiences any opposition towards these chemicals being pumped into my offspring has been met with the passive aggressive implication that I am not only harming my children by electing out of these shots, but I am harming the entire human race by a lack of responsibility.
Early that morning I stepped into the clinic with three of my children, one in a wheelchair, and signed the necessary forms. I gently disclosed the fact that I did not want a few specific immunizations administered to which I heard the reply,
“But they need them.”
I thought, not aloud of course, “Yes, I understand that you believe that they need them, but I do not so we will not be having these pumped into their veins today, thank you very much.”
Instead I said, “I understand, but I don’t want them to have these today.” End of story, Right? Wrong….
“Perhaps dear, you need some literature about these particular immunizations?”
Again, my thoughts, “Perhaps I do not, I’ve already made an informed, educated decision, but thank you again.” My angst building and breathing a silent prayer, “Lord, guard my tongue.”
But instead I vocalized, “Nope, we’re not getting those.”
Simple and to the point, my response met with quiet despondency.
I’m sitting in the clinic now, awkward silence descending upon the room, and I start to think about life and mothering, and all sorts of ridiculousness. In the process of these profound thoughts, I look around the room and notice cute murals of Cookie Monster and Big Bird, lots of informative posters, and then I see something on a shelf, a picture that catches my attention, a picture that looks like a REAL LIVE WHOO WHOO, a Whoo Whoo covered in numerous red, enlarged dots which upon closer inspection are actually genital warts and then my oldest daughter follows my gaze and declares in pure horror, “Mom!! WHAT IS THAT? AND WHAT’S ON IT ?!?!” I read the scare tactic above the picture which is something about these ghastly projections happening to your private parts if you don’t protect your daughters against HPV, and I realize that the picture is indeed exactly what I think it is and my daughter realizes this as well although she can’t quite figure out what all those hardened, bulging dots are, and she exclaims loudly, “GROSS!!”
I think viewing this picture alone might be enough to keep my boys sexually pure throughout their teenage years; I think maybe I’ll request this room for their next visit… at least that’s how the plan goes down in my fantasy world.
I continued to wait, now trying desperately to get the disgusting whoo whoo out of my brain, my thoughts beginning to wander, going to some odd places, for example, the fact that there is absolutely no accountability as a parent if you want to feed your child Twinkies and a two liter of Mountain Dew every day of his life. Or perhaps filling her baby bottle with Diet Pepsi, maybe even leading to a type 1 Diabetes diagnosis when she’s 30 and then having tax payers foot the bill for insulin shots for the rest of her short life. It makes zero sense to me. Sure, nice, informative nutrition pamphlets line the walls, but no one is in your face, questioning your parenting rights, or passively aggressively breathing down your back about it. Or how about allowing your child to watch 8 hours of violent television per day forever and ever and never suggesting that they should exert their little heart rates just a tiny bit by playing outdoors, a weird idea… Or those who don’t breast feed, admittedly the best nutrition for a child; however, the medical community doesn’t clamp down or question any mother who makes the decision to choose formula after having a baby, an absolutely inferior option to breast milk, something no one will deny. BUT - if you deny any immunizations you become enemy number one, even immunizations for a unique child that the medical community repeatedly projects all important decision making to the mother because they undeniably agree that she knows best – except in the case of vaccinations. Parents so called “rights” in this area are rights but they surely are not socially acceptable rights if you try to execute them for your children. Instead you hear declarations such as,
“You don’t agree with the live virus? Have your children been exposed to this particular virus? Do you understand the potential risks associated with this? Do you understand how you are endangering others by opting out of these immunizations?”
I want to turn around and say, “Do you understand that I have a severely handicapped child who cannot adequately inform me if something were to go horribly wrong with one of these vaccinations? Do you understand that I am not willing to subject his brain to any more brain damage, no matter what the statistics say about it occurring because statistics do happen to him as seen in his extremely limited abilities as a 9 year old? Do you understand that I am his mother, and I 100% have his best interest in mind and NO ONE loves him or will fight for him like I will, surprisingly not you Ms. Nurse, or you, Mr. Doctor, or even (shockingly, I know) you, the government of the United States of America which has proven yourself to be so superiorly intelligent in the past few days and weeks. You, FOR SURE, have our best interests in mind.
Just because the government or the medical profession says that we must do something, doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do it as parents. In my opinion, we MUST feed our children properly, we MUST get rid of the chemicals and preservatives in our foods, we MUST encourage fitness and movement, and we MUST get rid of the idleness that straps our youth to their gaming chairs, encouraging hour upon hour of engagement in horrific violent mutilation, these are things we MUST do. Immunizations yes, most are absolutely needed, but medical community, world, I beseech you, allow for the fact that you may not be entirely correct in ALL of your assumptions regarding ALL parents, or ALL children; allow for the fact that the parent may just know a thing or two about her child that you are not aware of, and allow for the fact that most mothers, above all else, want the best for their children.
It is disturbing to me that a woman who wants to abort her child can walk into a medical facility and not be pressured at all to change her mind but an educated woman, who has done her research, cannot walk into a medical facility with facts in hand and request that her child not receive all of the recommended chemicals to be pumped into his young, fragile body without receiving pressure to change her mind.
I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, I don’t care in the least if you follow the CDC’s vaccination schedule to a T, I am simply asking that the community at large respect my decision as my children’s mother, and I will respect your decision to feed your child processed chicken nuggets from a box 7 days a week, seems pretty clear cut to me.
I’ve proven myself to be pretty competent in most of my choices as a mother, I tend to ere on the sacrificial side, sacrificing my body for a year to nurse, sacrificing time and energy to make food from scratch to eliminate my kid’s exposure to preservatives and chemicals, which I believe can harm them, part of this I do out of the fact that they all have a birth parent who has passed away from cancer and part of it I do because I absolutely believe in it. I do these things because I don’t generally believe in short cuts. I believe that it takes work to keep my kids healthy and it takes work to educate myself about vaccinations and it’s not something I’m willing to blindly follow the crowds regarding, especially when it comes to a child who is not a part of the “normal” crowd. Allow me the grace to be able to make an educated choice for my children in this arena as well. I have weighed the risks and benefits, I have looked at all of the information, I have researched both sides of this issue, and I have made my decision which is my right to do living in the United States of America, thank you very much. Trust me as a mother who has proven herself in many other spectrums of motherhood to make the best possible decision for my situation and for my children, trust me please, this I beseech of you America. Thank you.
Just keep livin!!