Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Hindsight

"Perception of the significance and nature of events after they have occurred"...

As a parent, you always want to make the best decisions possible for your children. However, when a decision you make as a parent affects someone else's chid, you think, "maybe that decision wasn't the best or right decision after all".

Many of you know my household has been dealing with the chickenpox over the past three weeks (read about it here: "Cluck, Cluck, Cluck", Goes The Chicken), and P-man is currently on his sixth day of this miserable illness. He came down with it exactly 14 days after we first notice a blister on his brother. He has been handling it like any 13-month-old would...fussy, crying in pain, crying in discomfort, not sleeping, etc. At first, I thought he was getting a milder case compared to his brothers, he only had about 20 or so blisters for the first three days in, but it all changed on day 4 (the worst, and the peak of the illness). He currently has close to 500 give or so, with 70-100 located around his diaper area alone. The pox are starting to finally cloud and crust, so we are definitely on the up and up. While dealing with a baby miserable with the chickenpox, Jess and I are extremely grateful both our children didn't suffer any complications.

As I stated earlier, when a decision you make as a parent affects someone else's child, you wish you could rewind the clock and change that particular decision. After being misdiagnosed (I'm still undecided if I want to go there), W ended up exposing a few of our friend's children. I knew there was a 90% chance of one if not all of them coming down with chickepox, and of course made phone calls to all the parents of children we came into contact with over those few days. This past Wednesday, I got a phone call from one of my closest friends here, her 7 month-old had come down with the chickenpox. Of course, I felt horrible, blaming myself, blaming the doctors who misdiagnosed W, and was praying nothing bad would happen. See, not only was this baby under 12 months of age, but also suffers from eczema. A child or baby who has both chickenpox and eczema can mean not only more spots (sometimes over 1,000), but added complications.

Over the weekend, the baby was admitted to a local children's hospital with a high fever, dehydration, and possible pneumonia. I had know clue what to do, what to say, what to think, but I did know who to blame, myself. I never stopped praying. I prayed for healing, prayed for guidance, prayed for forgiveness, prayed for my continuing friendship with the baby's mother, etc. I constantly checked in, and was happy to hear the baby was doing better. He was responding better to the medicine, and was finally able to intake liquids. He is now home from the hospital, and doing better.

My decision to not vaccinate my children against varicella put a lot of strain on not only myself and children, but my friend, her family, and most importantly her baby. I've never been one to bring up debatable topics, especially on a public blog, but feel it's only necessary.

Back when W was 12 months-old, the MMR was still in a hot debate, did or did it not cause autism? With what we knew then, we knew the best decision was to hold off on that particular vaccine until W was 18 months of age. Another decision, the varicella vaccine, was it truly necessary? Isn't the Chickenpox a pretty harmless (yet miserable) illness? With the advice from our pediatrician at the time, we choose not to vaccinate W, knowing 100% he would receive natural immunity by getting the chickenpox the old fashioned way. This pediatrician didn't have a lot of faith in this vaccine, and said there really wasn't any proof on how long this vaccine would protect against varicella, or if it would at all (there is only an 85%-95% of 100% protection).

In hindsight, I would have changed our decision, the decision to vaccinate against the chickenpox. I know there are a lot of people out there against vaccinations due to toxicity, autism, etc. My question to all of you is, are you prepared to handle not only your child's illness, but the other's who become sick with something that could have been prevented with a vaccine? In this case, all the children who were age appropriate to receive the varicella vaccine were vaccinated, but the babies (under 12 months of age) were not. W exposed (again not purposely, was misdiagnosed) three babies under 12-months of age, and one of those babies who came down with chickenpox ended up in the hospital.

The purpose of this blog wasn't to point fingers, or to say those who vaccinate/don't vaccinate are bad people, but to spread awareness as to why vaccines are important. They were developed for a reason, to potentially save people from not only suffering through/developing major complications from certain diseases, but to save their lives. Not only could I have saved my babies from being extremely miserable for 7+ days, but could have spared those 7 miserable and nerve wracking days from my friend and her child.

**Please respect my opinion regarding this topic, I do respect yours.**


  1. Girl~ It's your blog! Post any opinions you want! I am only too happy to read about what people think about this as we are soon to approach the age where we will have to decide what to do. Know that you did NOTHING wrong. As a parent, you do the best thing for your child at the time.
    Keep your chin up, keep praying and know that your friends support your parenting decisions. Hang in there.

  2. It is also helpful to point out that the "scientist" who published on autism stemming from vaccinations was found to be fraudulant in his finding and the journal and all over authors of the publication retracted the paper.

    That being said, I think your story speaks volumes...vaccines only work if everyone does if. If more start opting out there will epidemics.

  3. Leyna, this is very nicely written!! I know how you have agonized over this whole experience, and I too, have felt horrible for you and the other families involved. You speak the truth from your heart and you are a loving and caring friend and mommy. Your experience is something that I have always been concerned with....the fact that so many are opting out on vaccinations, and we are going to be in trouble some day. I am just sorry that you had to go through this and that there were other complications as well. Your experience is only negative, if we don't learn from it! I love you! Mom.....

  4. I'm so sorry to hear how bad all of this has been for you. I just got the chickenpox vaccine at 23 years old. I was a very lucky child and never got chickenpox. Now that I'm looking to start a family, I made sure to get the vaccine to protect myself. I can only imagine how much of a debate it would be to vaccinate your children as it was a big enough debate for me just to vaccinate myself, a grown adult!

  5. Thanks everyone for your kind words. I appreciate it more than you know! Hugs to you all!

  6. Leyna, I can feel your pain in this post, and as a non-vaccinating parent I can only hope that this is something I don't have to deal with one day, as I know it's a small risk. My reasoning, though, is that vaccines have risks. Serious ones - and I'm going way beyond autism. I can't subject my children to the risks associated with vaccines just to potentially protect someone else's child from getting a disease. My child has to be my number one priority, and I'm sure every mother would agree with that.
    But don't beat yourself up - you did NOTHING wrong! A doctor made a mistake! And don't feel that if they were vaccinated this wouldn't have happened - there's simply no way of knowing. If vaccines were a sure-fire protection from illness I would probably consider them much more seriously. But the fact that they don't provide full immunity just goes to show that this still could have happened if you had vaccinated. You're such a sweet and caring person - I'm sure your friend knows that and wouldn't hold this against you :)

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