Roman’s First Fever & Please Vote for Us!

DenaAugust 10, 2013

I haven’t talk too much about vaccinations here on the blog. It seems to be a touchy/controversial issue and the last thing that I want to do — ever — is offend anybody. I’ve been called judgmental before and ever since then I try really hard to be non-judgmental and supportive. Personally, when it comes to motherhood I feel like I am being judged all the time. There is so much pressure around parenting decisions. Breastfeeding, formula, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, food choices (organic vs. non, etc.), cloth diapering, and so on, and so forth. There are so many choices to make and it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing anything right. Since becoming a mother myself, I’ve made a conscious effort to support all mamas — no matter what their choices. The only thing that matters is that we put our babies first and we always do our best.

Now getting back to vaccines. The vaccine decision has probably been the toughest one we’ve had to make. We started talking about it long before we ever even got pregnant. And even after all of the research and all of the conversations, we still don’t have an answer. But Roman was born and we had to make some decisions. We decided to give him the vaccines that we feel are critical (i.e. the ones that are said to prevent serious/life-threatening illness) but to space them out to no more than two per visit (as opposed to the 4-5 per visit that the CDC recommends).

Roman got his first set of vaccines at his two-month visit and it was terrifying. We were so relieved when everything went smooth and he had no side-effects. Then on Thursday, at his three-month visit, he got his second round. This time we weren’t so lucky. That night he developed a fever that lasted until the next afternoon and, two days later, the injection site is still puffy & red.

Roman’s fever was one of the worst things that I’ve ever been through. Seeing my baby in pain broke my heart. I told Matthew that I would go through the pain of natural labor every day for the rest of my life if it meant preventing Roman from ever being sick again. And I meant it! Watching him get sick like that was really hard and I can’t imagine going through it over and over again, for the next however many years until he is through with all of his vaccinations. The whole experience has got my head spinning. The fact that I haven’t really slept in two nights isn’t helping either. Watching him suffer through that fever (even with the baby Tylenol) has got us questioning the whole vaccine thing all over again.

I guess this post is to be continued but I’d love to hear your thoughts on vaccinations if you’d like to share.

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On another topic, our little blog has been slowly climbing the charts over at Top Baby Blogs. If you’re not familiar, TBB is a listings site of baby blogs from all over the Internet. It helps bloggers to promote their work, increase traffic, and grow their followings. If you enjoy my blog, I would so much appreciate your vote. You can click here to vote and you can vote for us one time every 24 hours. Thank you so much for your support. It means the world.

Now I am off to bed and hopefully I’ll be getting some sleep for the first time in a couple of nights. Wish me luck! xo

Comments (13)

  • amy

    August 11, 2013 at 1:37 am

    it seems like you get more vaccines over there?
    babies get 2 shots at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 5 months and then 3 at the 15month visit. then no more until age 4.
    i can understand both sides of the vaccine fence; but after our start there was no doubt in my mind. it is strongly reccommended for immune compromised babies & knowing how easily things can go bad, there was just no way i wouldn’t do every little thing to protect my boy. we got asked if we were planning to immunise when in hospital, i said yes, they said thankgod. he needs all the help he can get.
    i always planned on immunising anyway, whatever the start to his life, but i guess i am saying that a glimpse into something being wrong or seeing babies fighting for life, it just makes you want to protect with your mama bear heart all you can!!

    we often get mild fevers here with the shots too; but in my mind, a fever is nothing in comparison to what they can get without these shots, you know? it is heartbreaking to see them in ANY pain, a fever when they are that young is horrible. and it never doesn’t hurt your heart, but the first is most DEFINITELY the worst time– we went from the 12 week shots fever, right into his first cold, then into terrible silent reflux (as you know) –you’ve been through that now, you’re stronger from it. <3

    hope you got some sleep and i hope roman is back to his 100% self soon. much love.

    1. denabotbyl

      August 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you, as always, Amy. <3

      I just checked out the vaccine schedule for NZ and there is a big difference! There are several more vaccines over here. Have a look at this: On the top you will see the schedule that the pediatrician/U.S CDC recommends. On the bottom you will see the schedule that we are currently following. However, we are definitely going to be leaving some of these off (Hepatitis, Chickenpox, at least). At any rate — it frustrates me to no end that the US has more vaccinations than most other countries and at the same time we’re one of the only developed nations that CHARGES for these vaccines. But that is a whole separate topic. I’m trying really hard not to make these decisions political.

      I so much agree with everything you’ve said — especially your rationale for giving the vaccines. That’s exactly why we decided to go ahead with them. Thank you so much.

      1. amy

        August 12, 2013 at 2:24 am

        wow! i can’t believe the difference & that you have to pay!
        we can opt to pay for the chickenpox or the flu vaccine too. although i think chickenpox is quite pricey. i contemplated the flu one, since he gets sick a lot and worse than most, but decided against it.

  • Andra Watkins

    August 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I am not a parent, and I’m not going to be a parent. I knew I would never make it in our hyper-judgmental, nosy-body society. I admire you for embarking upon parenthood, Dena. It has got to be the hardest thing in the world.

    I had a long skype conference with my guide son’s mother about a month ago. She wanted my advice about motherhood, in a weird way. It seems she has some very vocal friends in her life, who upset her to the point of tears when she was trying to make a very important decision for her family.

    And, here’s the thing.

    At the end of the day, it does not matter what anyone outside of your household thinks about how your rear your son. As long as you’re not abusing him, you two have to lean on each other and make the best decisions you know how to make for him, and to hell with what anyone else thinks of it. Be strong, and know that the love that consumes your soul will help you do the right things – regardless of what all the harpies in books and magazines and television and your extended circle of friends and family try to tell you. God gave you this very precious gift because He knew you could handle it. He knew you’d do well.

    And I know you will, too.


    1. denabotbyl

      August 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you, Dear Andra. You are wonderful and your words of encouragement are so much appreciated. You are overwhelmingly right and you’ve hit every nail on the head about this hyper-judgmental society. Your guide son is so lucky to have you in his life, as his mother. I am also so lucky to have a friend like you to give me just the pep talk that I needed! Much love to you and thank you so very much for your faith in me. xo

  • Gillian

    August 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Ugh vaccines, right? Sometimes I kind of wish I had raised my children maybe 40 years ago in a time where it seemed like more parents just blindly listened to doctor’s orders. Although I am thankful to live in a time where more women are making informed decisions as far as vaccinations go, it can be very stressful to make such important decisions regarded our children’s lives. For Roman we did most of the recommended vaccines but spread them out and had one or two given at a time. We also opted out of some. Asher has only had 2 vaccines. I do plan to give him some more vaccines now that he is 2. I read somewhere in my vaccine research that as a parent, you just have to make the bet choice you can and feel confident in that. It has been hard for me, but both of my children are healthy and I am thankful that for us our choices have worked out so far.

    1. denabotbyl

      August 12, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gillian. It is soooo good to hear other mama’s perspectives and to know that we’re all in this together! I like the idea of waiting until a little bit older, too. It’s not something that I had considered too much because the pediatrician has been pushing “now, now, now” but it makes sense.

  • Mary Linn Lombardo

    August 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I am not a mother, other than to furry four-legged children, so I don’t know if I qualify to comment. I am also only slightly knowledgeable about canine and feline vaccinations – which is also a controversy by the way. I question my judgement with them, so i don’t know how I would know what to do with a human child.
    I just want to simply share something I experienced when my nephew’s son was born and you can take what you know much better about the meaning behind it. I was in the room when the Doctor came in after my nephew told them they would not be vaccinating. I don’t think I had ever seen a Doctor so emotional and passionate about a patient. His anger was in that he had served in countries where he could not save babies and children who were dying because vaccinations were not available to them and here they were fortunate enough to have access to them and turning them away. They did end up going with vaccinations after all. It has to be hard with all the information and mis-information. I hate that it has to be a concern for mothers at all. I trust what is in your heart for your own son.

    1. denabotbyl

      August 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      thanks so much for your thoughts, mary linn. it is tough and i get why it’s such a hot button issue for sure. making these hard choices is the toughest part of parenthood — both for furry parents and human parents alike! xo

  • Suzy

    August 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

    We also decided to space out Sam’s vaccines, which I had to sign a form saying he’s on an alternate schedule. Ooh very alternate; ) It’s just so tricky! You want to do the right thing, but what is truly the right thing? I am really beginning to believe in the trust your instincts style of parenting . There’s just so much conflicting things, it’s hurts the brain AND heart.

    I’m sorry to hear Roman got a fever from it, but feel better that you spaced them out rather than him getting sick with double the shots in him.

    1. denabotbyl

      August 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Aw, thank you, Suzy! It’s so good to hear from other mamas & know that we’re all in this together. xo

  • Angelique

    August 14, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Someone at worked responded with “Ugghhh, you’re doing vaccinations?” when I told them Isabella had an appointment coming up and I felt really judged upon. I started to question if I was doing the right thing, did she know something that I didn’t, or maybe I didn’t do enough research? I started second guessing all those shots she already had, but a good friend reminded me that you do your best for your children because after all, we only want the best for them so we need to be confident in the decisions we make for them. You’re doing your best as a mama and in mommy-world, you are absolutely right…the options are endless, but Roman is trusting you with all his little heart and have no doubt that you are always making the best decisions you can make when it comes to him. Hoping you both are getting more sleep these days and the little guy is feeling better!

    1. denabotbyl

      August 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      You are wonderful. I am so sorry to hear that someone would question you like that. Unfortunately some people just don’t think, nor know how to mind their manners. The good news is that you’ve got such a wonderful perspective on the whole thing. You couldn’t be more right — it’s all about knowing that we are doing the best that we can and being confident in our decisions. <3 Thank you for your support as always. xo

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