As a nurse, I was always very pro-vaccine. I was the first to sign up for my flu shot without hesitation. My 1st two children were fully vaccinated on schedule. I never questioned anything in regards to the vaccination schedules. In most other ways I am a pretty natural minded individual. For some unknown reason, I started having a little sliver of what some would call vaccine hesitancy towards the end of my 3rd pregnancy. After her birth, Lily received all the normal newborn medications including the Vitamin K shot, Hepatitis B vaccine, and Erythromycin eye ointment.
At her 2 month check up, she received the typical round of 2 month shots including HIB, Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hep B, and Polio. Around 12 hours after her visit she had what I assumed was a stomach bug. Large amounts of vomiting, high pitched crying, and general malaise. Everything was back to normal about 12 hours later.
The next check up at 4 months, I ended up leaving unintentionally before it was time for her shots. No one said anything about getting any that day and after I waited for a bit, I just thought maybe there weren’t any to get. I felt a huge sense of relief leaving that day, but have no explanation as to why. I was called shortly after asking why I left before getting her shots and I explained that I wasn’t aware she needed any. I was told to come back as soon as I could to get them. We returned a few days later. I had her in a baby carrier and she never even was removed from the carrier. They just walked us straight into a room, gave her all of the same shots as her 2 month ones and we left. In and out of the building in less than 5 minutes.
Again, about 12 hours later the same symptoms she had at 2 months happened again, except 10 times worse. She proceeded to have projectile vomiting that would go from one side of our king sized bed to the other and onto the floor. My once very happy baby would continuously scream and cry this horrible high pitched inconsolable cry until she wore herself out and passed out. She also had very loose poop and diarrhea.
After 36 hours of this, I was very worried, so I called the pediatricians office. They assured me that she was fine and probably picked up a bug in the office. We were literally only there for 5 minutes. She told me they didn’t want to see her unless she stopped urinating or stopped having tears when she cried. I called again on day 4 and she told me the same thing. These extreme symptoms lasted for an entire 5 days straight.
Imagine having to see your infant screaming in obvious discomfort until she “fell asleep” from exhaustion, watching all the breast milk you feed her be projectile vomited across the room over and over, her bottom be sore and painful because of all of the loose poop she is having for 5 DAYS STRAIGHT. Then when you call the person who is supposed to take care of her medically she tells you not to come in.
My husband and I barely slept those 5 days and nights. I was so worried that she would just get worse, that she would become so dehydrated that she could no longer urinate or make tears. I had that gut feeling, that maternal instinct that her getting those shots was not a good idea and I did it anyways. I will never doubt that gut instinct again. I knew what was the cause of her symptoms and it surely wasn’t a stomach bug from the pediatricians office.
I started researching the very next day about the potential dangers of vaccines. I found a community of others with similar and even worse experiences. I read every vaccine insert. Not the little one they give you at the doctors office, but the real one that is large with tiny print so you have to squint to read it. I made a report to VAERS since my pediatrician refused to do so. My husband and I vowed to never subject our children to those risks ever again.
I know, deep in my soul, that if I had taken her back for another round of vaccines at 6 months, my daughter would not have survived. Her reaction went from 12 hours to 5 days the very next time. Who knows what that would have done to her had she received a 3rd round. I have since learned that the continuous high pitched screaming and crying is called an encephalitic cry because it is caused by inflammation and swelling in the brain most often associated with the DTap.
Lily did make a complete recovery after those 5 days, but it is not something I would wish for anyone to have to experience with their baby, nor would I ever sign up to do again. Our 4th child is completely unvaccinated and none of our other children have received another vaccine since that time. They are incredibly healthy children and we are very grateful for them. For our family, we will take the risks of developing some of these so called vaccine preventable diseases, none of which our children have ever had, over the risk of another vaccine.