Two kids (and hours of research) later, Tim and I are still undecided.
We've read "The Vaccine Book" (an excellent book, by the way). We've interviewed Dr. Sears on phone and by e-mail. We've scribbled down questions for our pediatrician. We've read blog posts and heard reasons. We've looked at what Dr. Tenpenny has to say and we've considered the stats from the CDC.
Sometimes we'll hear someone tell a story about how their child had the XYZ vaccine and ended up with autism or seizures. And we'll think, "Okay. That's it. No more vaccines. Our kids never get sick. They are breastfeed. They're not in daycare. We barely even give them Tylenol. Why would we inject some unknown chemical into their bodies?"
Then, we'll hear someone tell a story about how their child DIDN'T get ABC vaccine and they ended up with Rotavirus and had to be hospitalized...or we'll see a news story about an outbreak of measles. And we'll think, "We see the merits of vaccines. They've been used for ages. They're well-researched. Doctors and researchers wouldn't knowingly lead us to harm our kids. Let's do this (and I'll cry in the corner)."
The worst part about all of this is that both camps use the most potent weapon when advocating their case - the potential that our child might be harmed. FEAR creeps in, grips our hearts, keeps us up at night, googling about vaccines side effects and the prevalence of diseases.
It's a horrible feeling...being scared into making decisions. We don't want it to be this way. We want to be able to wave our flag with confidence, knowing that we are making the right choice for our kids.
For now, we selectively vaccinate and we delay vaccinations. Most of all, we PRAY. We pray that our kids will be strong and healthy even if we make the "wrong" decision. We pray for peace.
Here is a letter that we'd really love to send to all pediatricians and to the CDC. [clearing throat].
Do you vaccinate your children? Why or why not? What books, blogs, and/or research studies have been most helpful to you in your research?