Yesterday I learned that another baby died after receiving vaccines. This 8 week old baby received 9 (nine!) different vaccines on Thursday and died on Friday. And I have to wonder - where is the outrage? Where are the front page headlines?
Recently a baby that had measles WAS headline news in a mainstream publication. Today? The baby is alive and well, completely recovered. She had measles months ago - but it is headline news. Ask yourself: Why?!
Another baby died on March 1st, a day and a half after receiving her 6 month vaccines. Silence.
People say that sharing these stories is fear mongering. I say: if you are a parent these stories SHOULD scare you. I've read hundreds of stories of vaccine injury and death over the years and they never become less heart breaking. It should scare you because these parents DID vaccinate, they DID trust their doctors, they DID believe in vaccines - and they never thought this would happen to them. Their message is always the same: Parents - do your research!
What they DON'T immediately say? Stop Vaccinating. Even after death and permanent injury they are not audacious enough to say such a thing. They do not presume to be an expert or offer medical advice. They simply say: Dig in. And yet, this message - to seek information - is turned into the "biggest health threat" of our time. Is that rational?
These stories absolutely break my heart. But believe it or not - it gets WORSE. What can be worse than your child dying or being permanently harmed by vaccines? Being told that you are: crazy, wrong, selfish, a monster, a threat to society and worse. These families enter an entirely new dimension where they are ridiculed and ostracized and COMPLETELY IGNORED by the majority. They are abandoned by friends, loved ones, and medicine when they need them the most. All because something horrific happened to them and they want to share their stories. They NEED to share their stories. Because being heard and seen is an essential human need and crucial to our healing process. Beyond their personal pain though, they want to WARN others, to prevent their personal nightmare from happening to others. And for this noble desire they are called child abusers, dangerous, misinformation spreaders, ignorant, stupid and on and on. It is absolute cruelty and insanity.
This "debate" has heated up to the boiling point these past couple of months. I have dipped my toes in - commenting on a few friends' posts on Facebook, sharing a few posts with friends. It is not an exaggeration to say that this issue has completely captured my mind and heart - I am quite obsessed. Every day I read, every day I learn, and every day my heart breaks. I have wept and agonized about it. I saw this Venn diagram a while ago and I realized (again) that I must speak up. What am I good at? I am good at talking to people - especially people I love - about hard things. I am exceptionally empathetic and strive to remain in love. As much as I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS... it is my present calling.
People who are strongly for vaccines express anger at people who question vaccine safety. They say we are putting others in danger. They say we are selfish and arrogant to believe that we could know better than "Science" and "Experts".
But I am angry too. I am angry that children must continue to suffer for our human arrogance and pride. I am angry that people continue to choose ignorance. The only way the extreme Pro-vax message can survive and dominate the conversation - "Vaccinate your damn kids!" - is by willful ignorance.
I am angry at myself: For my silence; For not being braver. If Harriet Tubman can escape SLAVERY and then GO BACK - not once, but REPEATEDLY - to save others, then why can't I at least speak up?? I have reasons, possibly good reasons, to be scared. I see what happens to people that speak up: they lose friends; they are ridiculed and called names; some receive death threats. But still, I am angry at myself for my silence. And it over time it manifests itself inside of me - I become despondent, full of despair and depressed. I think of how some people say, "Depression is Anger turned inward."
This morning I am not angry. I am light. Speaking up lets the light in. I started this blog almost exactly 7 1/2 years ago, inspired by a friend who encouraged me to use my voice. Ironically, that same friend later shared that he thought parents who don't vaccinate should be jailed and/or die a horrible death by disease. Not coincidentally, I have not written on this blog in almost 2 1/2 years. My last 2 posts were about vaccines before I went silent. I will not be silent anymore and let fear dictate my course.
I am scared, yes. But I am also grateful. Grateful for those who share, who dig, who listen, and who pave the way with their bravery. I am grateful for my life and my family's health. I am incredibly fortunate for the life I am living, and I owe a huge debt to those who share their stories.
It's time for me to be brave.
It's time for you to be brave too. Start where you are. If you have chosen to ignore this issue - Stop. There is so much information out there and it is absolutely overwhelming. You will not find all of the answers in a couple of hours. A quick google search for the "Science" supporting vaccines will not suffice. You. Must. Dig. And if you must take a break, then take a break. And then dig some more.
It's time. Start where you are. If you learn something that blows your mind - share it. Or "like" it. Or leave a comment.
It's time. Start where you are. Say something to someone you love and trust about what you have learned, or what you fear.
It's time. Start where you are. Call your legislator. Write a letter.
It's time. The conversation around vaccines MUST change. But first it must begin.
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Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.