This is such a hard post to write, and I really don’t know how to word what it is I’m feeling.
Nevertheless I need to try.
Tomorrow the 25 th March 2011 is the day I will make an appointment for my youngest child, (Little mans baby brother) to have his immunisation (MMR) with our local GP.
He is almost 16 months old and should have had the vaccine almost 4 months ago. I wish I could just keep my baby under house arrest away from the worlds harmful viruses, but with two school age children how is this possible!
As a mother to a child with Aspergers this has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s one I must make as a parent. Both little man and his sister had the MMR jab with little man having his at the height of the controversy over the possible link between that of the MMR and autism.
I decided to opt for single vaccinations but sadly with the country having no supplies of the mumps vaccine this is a no, no. So, I called the local surgery and arranged the baby’s appointment for his immunisation with much fear and dread.
With reported cases of measles rapidly affecting a huge proportion of the UK, the pressure rises.
Do I want my child to be autistic? No!
Do I want my child to catch a virus that can potently cause him brain damage, even death?
I don’t wish for either. However with their being proven risks associated with each of these conditions (especially that of measles) do I want to realistically take that chance on my son’s life? Again, No!
I don’t think I can live with myself if anything happened to him!
Measles can kill, It’s not some myth, but a fact that a child’s life can be taken by a virus that has the capability of becoming deadly.
I think I would rather have an autistic child then run the risk of having no child at all.
Some may say that is selfish! Then again some may say the same to those who choose against such immunizations as it’s not only their own child’s life in danger but those around them, particularly that of pregnant women! Regardless of what society thinks, I love this little person with all my heart and I can’t help that.
It’s not like I haven’t spent time going over this in my mind! It’s been there since the day he was born December 2009′ Its something that’s always been there niggling away at me.
Since I discovered I was having a boy I’ve faced that worry of him having an ASD. Of course girls have this condition too but the risk seem much higher for boys (regardless of the number of girls who remain un-diagnosis). Whenever Harley does something ‘odd’ or someone comments how like Little man he is I feel my body freeze. Don’t get me wrong, I love little man just as much as I love his siblings, and though I see his Aspergers as a gift, it’s not something I choose for him. I would never change him but this isn’t the point.
Little man has AS and if anything as a baby/toddler I didn’t notice any developmental delays! My child seemed very advanced. His language was amazing and he was out of nappies being dry throughout the day & the night by the age of 2. I didn’t notice any regression once he had received the immunisation. However what I did notice after this time was his in-tensed interests, obsessions, poor play skills etc. However these were things that I would not have noticed prior to the MMR and would have only become noticeable with age! I believe little man has always had some degree of sensory sensitivity and sensory seeking behaviours from the day he was born. He only eats certain food, would gag if given a dummy, screamed if his blanket was in the washing machine, and had his bottle to age 6 (just for bed) I also remember his interest in trains from a very young age, he loved lining them up. By around the age of two, he was absorbed in Thomas the tank engine mesmerized by it whenever it was on the telly he was there eyes glued to the scene
There was one change I noticed in little man after the immunisation was given. His sleep pattern become a whole lot more unpredictable. Before this time he would sleep well but only in my arms or my chest (would never sleep in a cot, which is funny as he isn’t a cuddle seeker at least not no more) As a newborn he had bad colic that kept him awake for hours on end screaming, otherwise he slept through anything.
He wasn’t pre-term but 4 days over due. I did have quite a difficult delivery, with him being born with the cord tightly around his neck, very swollen head and features due to becoming stuck in the birth canal and a very strange tone of blue. His little lips trembled and he was placed under the light to warm him up.
He never cried (apart from them few times he had colic), he never went through the terrible twos, he actually didn’t start the meltdowns till he was around 4 years old.
Harley (baby brother) had a great delivery despite him weighing a whopping 9lb. He was ten days overdue which was quite a surprise given the doctors were trying to keep him in there from week 30!
His extremely advanced! At first I didn’t think so, but he said his first word at 5 months, was taking steps at 7 months and wait for it, “having huge full-blown tantrums at 6 months” these involve head-butting everything, resulting in him looking a tad like Mr bump.
Harley is very advanced in his language, even stringing together a three word sentence and he could count to three by 13 months.
Little sister who was born 3 weeks early and the smallest out the three, met all her milestones at a pretty average pace. She is two years younger than little man and isn’t on the spectrum. She had the MMR jab at 12 months.
I know there is a huge proportion of the world who are very anti vaccine, I also know that many of these parents claim their child/children have been affected by the vaccine! I’m not here to say whether I agree or disagree, that’s not the plan at all. I’m writing this as a parent who needs to make an informed decision on what’s best for her own child!
Harley was very sick at five weeks old and we stayed in the hospital by his side for over a week. He had developed a chest infection that progressed into pneumonia and then he went on to contract H1N1 even through I had already contracted the flu virus while in the latter stages of pregnancy. I never want to see my child with feeding tubs and relying oxygen ever, ever again. If Harley caught measles, mumps or rubella and it affected him in such away how could I cope knowing I basically put him there! Contributed somehow.
Harley’s appointment is in 2 weeks time, he will be sixteen months old. Yes, I will sit pondering questioning my decision for that entire time, but I will also be clinging to the hope he doesn’t contract measles, mumps or rubella either.
I could go on forever writing this, reasoning with my own mind while putting it down for the world to see! But I won’t drive my head crazy no more (at least for the rest of today anyway)
This topic has always produced a debate and is bound to for many years to come! Science is a wonderful thing that sadly normally leads to worry. With medical professionals working hard to prove each other wrong which is mainly done in a display of public statements smeared all over the press, us parents hold little hope of maintaining a smooth ride. Faced with choices that have become some of the most frightening choices we will ever have to make!
I guess this is one us parents will never escape.
This is a personal opinion and choice! I am not stating that those that chose not to vaccinate are bad parents etc. For this reason please have respect if commenting. Although I’m happy for all to comment what ever the opinion, abuse and rude comments will not be published.