7.16.2008

The Great Debate

Noah was so brave for his shots today!

Noah became two months old yesterday, which is an exciting milestone for us! He is smiling all of the time and is sleeping really well at night on most occasions. On the flip side, hitting the two month mark also means getting vaccines. Now you hear in the news all the time about the great debate with autism. Are vaccines somehow causing or contributing to the high rates of autism we have now. Since I work as a school psychologist, I see lots of kids with autism and understand what kinds of challenges these kids and their families face over time. As much as I want to believe that vaccines have nothing to do with the rates of autism increasing to 1 out of 150 kids, no one knows for sure what is causing it to increase. In my mind, I believe that we are all predisposed to get certain types of diseases/conditions due to our genetic makeup. Whether or not any of those conditions surface depends on our environment. Something in the environment may trigger a condition, in this case possibly a high fever from getting a vaccine. Again, these are just my thoughts! So, if Noah is predisposed to getting autism or have any other types of developmental challenges, I want to make sure that I do what I can to prevent the environmental trigger.

Kids today just get so many shots. Today, Noah was supposed to get immunized against Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP), Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib), Inactivated Polio (IPV), Pneumococcal (PCV), and Rotavirus. In case you didn't count, that makes EIGHT different diseases. Can you imagine getting shots that would take care of eight diseases all in one day? I think that's enough to wear out anyone. Not only is a child scheduled to receive eight vaccinations (some of them in combination shots so the child doesn't get poked as much), but they are supposed to get them at 2, 4, and 6 months to build up complete immunity. That is a lot!

I was talking to a girlfriend last night who has been really cautious about vaccinations because I wanted her opinion. She made some really good points, one of which was about the Hepatitis B virus. If Hep B is only transmitted through bodily fluids (e.g., blood), during intercourse, and/or through sharing needles, why would Noah need to have a Hep B shot now?? I joked with the doctor that I don't expect him to experiment with those things until at least preschool! Again, it was a joke. :) So, I told the doctor that I don't want Noah to have his Hep B vaccine until later down the road. I didn't get mine until I was leaving for college, and while we probably won't wait that long, it will be awhile still.

With that one off the list, I asked Dr. Gloyeske about Rotavirus, which sends several hundred thousand children to the hospital each year due to severe diarrhea and dehydration. Only 74% of kids who get the rotavirus vaccine are actually immunized against rotavirus, meaning that 26% of kids will still get it. I asked Dr. Gloyeske his opinion, and he highly recommended it, staying that out of those 26% of kids who do get rotavirus, 95% of them will NOT go to the hospital, meaning it is manageable at home. With that said, I felt comfortable and happy to have Noah receive the Rotavirus vaccine. As a bonus, I learned that it is given orally, so that was one less poke for Noah. :) I also felt comfortable with Noah getting the DTaP vaccine today, too. It takes care of three different diseases. Since it can have bigger side effects than some of the other shots, Ryan and I felt comfortable getting just that shot this morning. Noah will then get the polio, Hib, and neumococcal vaccines next month. Rather than getting everything at once during 2, 4, and 6 month visits, this is how we decided to do it:

2 months: DTaP and Rotavirus
3 months: Hib, Polio, and PCV
4 months: DTaP and Rotavirus
5 months: Hib, Polio, and PCV
6 months: DTaP and Rotavirus
7 months: Hib, Polio, and PCV

This means that Noah will vaccinated against 3-4 diseases/conditions each month for six months. I hate the idea of taking him in each month for shots, but I feel more worried about him getting everything in 3 visits.

When it came time for Noah to drink the Rotavirus vaccine, he did great! No problems there. I dipped one of his pacifiers in a little bit of sugar. Right before he was about to get stuck with the DTaP shot, I gave him the pacifier. What was pure joy was quickly followed by Noah looking like a deer in headlights when the nurse poked him! :( Then, he just screamed! :( She finished administering the shot and told me to cuddle with him. I put the pacifier back in his mouth and held him, telling him he was so brave. He quit crying right away! PHEW! Two things make me feel SOOO good as a mom. One, Noah smiling at me. Two, picking him up when he's crying and being able to comfort him. It's bliss! After he had calmed down, we went to a different room where I fed him. Noah slipped right into a milk coma and was relaxed as could be. I loaded him in the car seat, and put him in my CR-V. I stopped for a second to look at him, and he was awake. I said, "Noah, I love you so much, and I hope mommy and daddy did the right thing for you today." He just gave me the BIGGEST smile ever, and it was at that moment I knew that we did the right thing.

I just couldn't resist this onesie!

2 comments:

dntill said...

Great photo of Noah smiling (and I love the onesie)!!

Angie said...

I didn't know you used Dr. Gloyeske. That's who we use and we just love him! I always felt like he took the time to thoroughly explain everything so that I could make an informed decision on my child's care. On more than 1 occasion he's given me a prescription that I could fill later if I couldn't beat things with home care. He's even on occassion personally called me to check on the children after they had been in to see him and been feeling pretty bad. We will miss him! You are in great hands with him!

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