Vaccinations. Hot topic, I know. Controversial? Absolutely. Blood boiling? For some, yep. But let me tell you why I feel the need to talk about this.
As a mother to be, I made a choice; same as you. I researched the valid information, the relevant information and I made a choice. To vaccinate. This choice, was my husband and I’s to make. And it’s one of the most important choices we will ever make in regards to our children’s well-being, health and ultimately, their lives.
I am not pro-vax. Nor am I anti-vax. I am pro-choice. I believe that every parent is able to make this choice and they should be able to make it without judgement, without offending and without being attacked.
Vaccinations have been in the media a lot lately, and it’s fired many debates between the so-called ‘pro-vaxxers’ and ‘anti-vaxxers’. Why are we fighting? Why are we arguing over what is better for other people’s children when we should be looking out for our own?
We took my 16 month old boy for his vaccinations the other day, and let me be honest. It was absolutely friggin’ horrible. I cried. While my husband held out brave little boy so that he could be stuck with needles, I turned away and cried (being almost 38 weeks pregnant may also have played a part in this but I digress,) then swooped him up as soon as possible to soothe him. But for the lifestyle we live, it was for the best. And I knew this. Just like having surgery at 13 weeks old, was for the best. You may not like what you are having to do, but it’s for the best so you do it anyway. As adults, we practice this constantly.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a choice our beautiful babies can make. They are not old enough, mature enough, nor do they understand the benefits or ramifications of vaccinations. So this is one time where we take choice away from them. But this choice we take away from them? It’s not as simple as my toddler wanting the blue sippy cup over the green one. It can mean the difference between life and death. And that, that is one choice that NO parent takes lightly, whatever their stance.
I respect your choice – whether you chose to vaccinate or not, I respect that. If you made an INFORMED choice not to vaccinate, that is your choice to make. If you made an INFORMED choice to vaccinate, that is your choice to make and I respect that.
But please know, that as someone who has chosen to vaccinate, that when my second beautiful boy is born, if you have chosen not to vaccinate, I may ask you not to visit until he has had his first shots. And this isn’t to judge or offend you as I promise, like I said, I respect your choice. But please respect mine also, I choose to vaccinate, and I won’t put my precious newborn at risk by having unvaccinated children in my home. I am pro-choice and I chose to vaccinate and I respect your choices. I hope that you are pro-choice and can respect my choices too.
And please, let’s not forget that there are people out there who have no choice in this matter. There are parents who wish they could vaccinate to protect their children but are unable to due to illness, allergies and other circumstances that they can’t change. It’s important we all realise, whether we choose to vaccinate or not, that these people rely on those who do vaccinate (herd immunity) to keep them from being even more vulnerable.
We also need to respect that they have no choice in the matter. None at all. They are victims of circumstance and it’s important we factor the impact of our choices on those who have no choice as well. Ultimately, for those of us who are given the opportunity to choose, it is your right to do what you feel is best for you and family, and it is important that your choice is respected. So let’s change the theme. Let’s band together as hard-working, loving parents and be pro-choice and respect the choices of all parents and not just those who make the same decisions as us.
***Hi, I’m Shayne and I’m a stay at home Mum to one gorgeous little boy who is going to be a big brother in a few months time!***