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Thursday, May 8, 2008

there is always something

Zoe’s hair and eyelashes are coming in. Her hair, a lovely auburn red, stands on end after a bath, and there are five or six long strands (each about an inch and half long) sprouting from the crown of her head. I admire their tenacity, hanging on they way do.

It’s odd to think back to the pregnancy and recall how worried I was—about her being full-term and healthy, and about the birth and whether I should have another C-section. It all seems so far away now—she is here, and I’m counting her lovely hairs.

But there is always something to worry about, isn’t there? Yesterday I took her in for her two-month check up and I felt so stressed out about immunizations. I’m not against immunizing, but I don’t trust pharmaceutical companies, and I recently read “The Needle and the Studies Done,” an article by Sari Weston in Brain, Child. It raised some concerns for me about the levels of aluminum in immunization shots. (I’m already paranoid about thimerosal in flu shots.)

The article, which I thought was very helpful, quotes Dr. Robert Sears and sites his new book, The Vaccine Book. He suggests that vaccines are spaced out, so an infant doesn’t receive, say, six shots in one day. Since no one has studied the effects of large doses of aluminum on infants, and many of the shots do contain aluminum, it makes sense to space them out, so your baby isn’t getting mega doses in one day.

I was a little worried about what our pediatrician would say. Would he think I didn’t trust him because I wanted to do things a little differently? But he was wonderful, as always, and agreed to space the shots out for us. It means we have to go in every month for three, but that feels so much safer than giving them all to Zoe at once.

That said, I still hate to give my kids shots. And the nurse yesterday seemed to man-handle Zoe, pressing her weight against Zoe’s legs to keep them still. It’s a problem if your kid is crying before the shot, no? But it all happened so fast, the pressing of her legs to the table, the shots, little Zoe wailing. I wish I had told the nurse to stop. I could have held Zoe’s arms and legs (she’s only 12 pounds—I think I can handle it), but I didn’t act quickly enough. And she just wailed and wailed.

I felt bad for the rest of the day, and kept checking on her as she slept, just to make sure she wasn’t having some weird reaction to the vaccines.


Anonymous said...

Yes, it is always something. But try to be kind to yourself as you worry (and worry...and worry...and...) It's the nature of being mom, don't you think?

Andria said...

I hate that stress. I hate when they get shots. They seem so small....

I'm glad your doctor supported you on spacing out the shots. Seems like they are FINALLY starting to realize not all concerned parents are over-protective and irrational. (I really respect doctors -- I've just been treated like an ignoramus before, when I was concerned about immunizations.)

Good for you for being Zoe's advocate. You are a great mama!

Sheri said...

all i can say is motherhood is frickin' hard sometimes. we're currently having a dental crisis, which has made me a teary, guilt-ridden mess of a mom. in other words, i have no words...only a nod because i understand.

Emilie said...

The vaccination issue has kept me awake many a night. I am glad your doctor was respectful of your concerns. I actually switched our son's pediatrician because the first one we chose made me feel like I was some kind of wierdo for questioning the CDC's schedule. (I've read Dr. Sears' book, by the way, and it's pretty helpful.)

Shana said...

we found the Dr. Sears book to be the most helpful of everything we read on the topic (or rather I read, and I swear I read everything) this issue is freaky, anyway thanks for posting about it here, it is also go to note that at you can look up Dr.'s in your area willing to work on an alternate schedule, we lucked into one but it might help some other moms out there.