Monday, September 17, 2012

Moms Who Vax: The Greatest (Non) Story Never Told

By Humble Mom

Among friends and family, I have a bit of a reputation for telling non-stories. Let me set the scene for you. Imagine you're not curled up in a big, comfortable chair. Imagine you don't have a warm hand-knit blanket around you, and you're not holding a mug of hot chocolate. Imagine that the fire isn't crackling in the fireplace, and, in fact, that there isn't a fireplace at all. Now you're ready for a non-story.

As a child and teenager, I received all recommended vaccines, including Gardasil and the chicken pox vaccine. Nothing happened.

When I was pregnant in 2009, I received the H1N1 vaccine. My arm hurt.
A few weeks later, I received the seasonal flu shot. Nothing happened to me, nothing happened to my baby.

When my son was two days old, he received his first hepatitis B shot. Nothing happened.

When my son was one month old, he received a second hepatitis B shot. Nothing happened.

When he was two months old, he received the rotavirus vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine, and Pentacel, a shot that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae b, and polio. Nothing happened, and nothing happened at four months when he received another dose of each.

So it went, with my son uneventfully receiving all vaccines as recommended by the AAP, until his 18 month appointment, when he got his second hepatitis A vaccine, and...nothing happened. No fevers, rashes, second heads, or heinous bouts of fussiness. Nothing dreamed up by a paranoid lawyer.

He is now nearly two and a half years old. He's healthy, active, fun, and seems pretty smart. Yawn.

Before I can end this non-story of mine, there's something I need to clear up.

Earlier I said "nothing happened" but that just isn't true. Behind the scenes, my son's body was mounting antibodies to the antigens in the vaccines, a response that, should he ever be exposed to the actual disease, will help protect him. 

Look, this vaccination thing... it's not exciting. Seeing as this is a non-story, it's only fitting that my son, upon being vaccinated, didn't suddenly sprout a shiny purple superhero cape with the words "I'm immune!" on it (I expect royalty checks from Marvel Comics when they introduce the character Immunity Man!).

The anti-vaccine movement, to be honest, is a lot more interesting than reality. Their rants and theories are the stuff of trashy novels and Michael Bay movies. I can't compete with their creativity. All I've got for you is this non-story, and with the help of these boring vaccines, I hope my son's medical records remain unworthy of a blockbuster.

Humble Mom is a young vaccinating mom living in a place where neither of those things is common. She runs a Facebook page called Vaccinated and Awesome. 

Note: If you are a parent or a grandparent who vaccinates, we would love to help you share your story. Please e-mail us at momswhovax AT

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