Friday, November 18, 2011


Sigh. I have been achy with a sore throat, tight chest, and my chapped hands show the proof of excessive hand washing, worried I was going to get the baby sick. I remember asking my mom once: how do you handle being a mom and getting sick (I never remember seeing her sick in bed). And she told me, "you just have to do it." That is, life continues, through the aches and pains, you just have to do it. [Sarah, we are so German, too ;) ]

I am so thankful for the advice and the old adages that we all hear over and over. Yesterday was the babe's 2 month well-check-or-first round of shots day.

During pregnancy I tried to research and I hopelessly fell into the scary world of internet information. Most of which I found was anti-vaccine. I am a hypochondriac, I don't like medicine, I don't take any, mostly because I don't trust it. I don't know how it all works, and yeah, I feel like my, admitted, ignorance is alot smarter than years of research. Yet, being the hypochondriac I am, the slightest sniffle or cough would be enough to send me into the dark world of , "what if:" What if that could be the start of pertussis?! I knew we'd be doing vaccines at some point, but when? Would I ever feel okay about this?

Then at family night, I asked in semi-desperation my mother-in-law (then NICU nurse, now Nani to 12 grandchildren) "I'm scared about these vaccines--are they safe? Can you just tell me?" And she told me (also drawing from knowledge from her pediatrician husband, Dr. Poppa), it is scary, it's usually really scary for parents, but the vaccines are really safe. And then she said, what we all have heard before, but I never understood, "You will NEVER know what all the answers are." I will never know completely what's best for my kids. But I can only try. Processing this, I realize, I really do have a fear of failure--of making a mistake with my kid. And maybe that mistake would be too great. Unforgivable. But knowing my limits as simple housewife and mom, I feel so much more freedom in NOT knowing the answers. I just have to try.

So what did it look like for me to try? Reading on the 2 mo. vaccines, knowing the diseases they protect against, taking note of my initial reaction of said research and take it all to the doctor. This year for thanksgiving, I must recognize my extreme thanks for the care that our doctor gives to little Asa. I couldn't have been more impressed with him and his nurse when we went in yesterday. And it turns out, the shots I thought seemed extra important were the ones he felt were highest priority. He told us which ones we simply didn't really need right now and I feel we all left happy after that appointment. [Except for poor Asa; I have never heard the kid scream that high before--but he was a trooper and didn't seem affected by it at all, afterwards]

I am so glad to have relations that, rather than insulate us, make us seemingly more transparent. I am so thankful that we have help in this life, that there are those of us who are smarter, stronger than us, and those who need our help. What a wonderful place to be--to experience both roles. We have much to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. I don't remember my mom EVER being sick either! She said she never had the opportunity to get sick. How crazy is that? As usual I recommend staying away from dairy products to protect yourself from getting sick:-) The vaccine dilemma certainly is a dilemma. Even with my cat I struggle with the decisions! With Hummy I didn't vaccinate and she got sick, so now I wonder...but I think over-vaccinating is insane. I guess nobody has ALL the answers:-l