Just the four of us

I’ve finally realized that if I keep waiting for the perfect time to write a post, I’ll never get to it. I’m typing on my phone right now as Maddox sleeps on me. His favorite way to sleep is with a boob in his mouth which gives me lots of time to catch up on my social media and not much time to do anything else.

Many people have asked me how it is going from one to two kids and the answer I usually give is, “busy”. My life is like an ill run circus. I’m constantly juggling and generally falling just a tad bit short. Getting out of the house with these two and our endless stuff feels like an Olympic event. Often I’m sweating by the time we are all in the car and no matter how hard I try we are always running 5 minutes late (probably more like 15, don’t judge). If one or both of them aren’t crying though, we’re having a good day.

Many people warned me that it’s “exponentially” more difficult going from 1 to 2 and although I agree it’s challenging, I also find that some parts are easier. For one, I don’t have time to be completely anal about everything like I did when it was only Brooks. I find this to be kind of liberating. Perfection is light years away so good enough is suddenly looking really great. Secondly, going from 0 to 1 child is a huge life style change. I remember being overwhelmed with the task of caring for another person 24 hours a day. Since I’ve already been doing that for the past two years, this doesn’t seem to be nearly as daunting. Chris and I have learned to be less selfish and more planned out which helps a ton. Also, let’s face it, this time around I have a great care giver that I love and trust so I already have help (a much needed two days per week).

Overall I would say being a family of four has been good for us. Brooks has adjusted surprisingly well and as much as I feel guilty that he has to share me, I also know it’s the best thing for him. Chris has stepped up to the plate (post IronMan) putting Brooks to bed, helping me clean up, etc. As for me, I have great days and really hard ones but overall it’s been good for me too. I know how blessed I am to have two healthy babies and not a day goes by without me thanking God and reflecting on that. Sure, I may often walk around like a zombie with spit up on my clothes, but then I look at these adorable little faces and for the moment, it’s all that matters.

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Dear forgotten blog…

Dear forgotten blog,

I’m sorry if you feel neglected. I do realize that it has been 2, maybe 3 months, since I last wrote. I think of you often. I have sat down to write many times. Usually I get interrupted by a screaming newborn or an equally angry toddler. On the days when I do actually get a few minutes of quiet time, I’m often too tired or to distracted by the mound of things on my to-do-list to actually form sentences. You see, we were blessed with a baby boy two months ago and life is well, busy. Other than a few extra minutes to myself or a full night of uninterrupted sleep, I wouldn’t change a thing, but I don’t exactly have a lot of free time these days.

I have to go. I’m sorry this is so short. I promise to write again soon. I have mounds of topics I’d like to discuss but right now I need to pick up this messy house for the thousandth time today so that my 2 year old can destroy it in about an hour.

Love to all,

Mel

Not so patiently waiting…

I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been busy nesting. I’ve been working on my “to-do-before-baby” list for weeks now. The car seat is installed, my hospital bag is packed, the nursery is ready. Now, it’s just time to wait.

It’s funny this time around because I know what’s coming. Before having a baby I don’t think anyone can be truly 100% prepared. The lack of sleep, the constant nursing, the weight of caring for another human being 24 hours a day can all be daunting. Yet, here we are fully knowing the challenges that lay ahead and still this baby can’t come soon enough.

I can say though that I’ve made the most of the last few weeks. I’ve taken the time to really enjoy my one on one time with Brooks. It still makes me a tiny bit sad that I won’t have so much attention to give him but I believe with all of my heart that a sibling is the best thing for him. Some day in the not so distant future Brooks will no longer remember life before being a big brother.

I know that this waiting game plays it’s own purpose. Motherhood, above all things, has taught me that we can’t control everything. Here I am wanting so badly to know when our baby will arrive and I have to remind myself that he or she will come when he or she is supposed to. This, like all things, is in Gods hands. Labor is the biggest example that I have of just being able to surrender. I find each day that if I can let go a bit of my need to control things and truly just be, I am happier and more at peace. Waiting for this baby is just more practice. There is nothing more I can do. It is not in my hands.

When I allow myself to go to this place, I feel very peaceful about everything. I’m so grateful to be given another child. I’m so grateful that he or she has had almost 39 weeks to grow and prepare for the outside world. I’m grateful for my growing family and the love that we all share. This is what I will choose to focus on in the remaining days (hopefully) or weeks before we meet the newest member of our family. Thank you God….for we are so blessed.

I pray that this baby will be brought safely into this world and that he or is is healthy. At the end of the day, boy or girl, that’s all that really matters.

Perfection is my enemy

With my due date only 5 weeks away, I have been busy preparing for the new addition to our family. Although I’m certainly excited, I definitely have some anxiety too. I worry about sharing my time between Brooks and the new baby. I worry about how Brooks will handle not being the center of attention. I worry that he’ll push me away. I worry that his tantrums will only get worse. I worry about Chris’s training, about me getting enough sleep, and about having enough help. The list goes on and on….

Meanwhile, Brooks has been going through some challenging times lately. Some days he seems to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and he is disagreeable about everything. Other days go really well but at the drop of a bucket he can go from happy go lucky to a full blown temper tantrum. Unfortunately I don’t deal with these tantrums like I would like to. When he hits me, screams, or throws himself on the floor, I usually get wrapped up in it. I get upset, sometimes to the point of tears myself. Nothing I’ve been doing seems to help and I end up feeling like I’m failing him. I wonder what I can do differently and I take responsibility for his bad behaviors.

Although I do think I can do a better job (I just finished watching The Happiest Toddler on the Block), I also know that I need to let myself off the hook. I hold myself to such a high standard. I have high expectations of both myself and the people that I am closest to. I realize that I can’t expect my almost two year old to act like an adult. He’s learning how to navigate his world and control his emotions. I certainly haven’t learned to master my emotions so how can I expect him to? Maybe more importantly, his tantrums aren’t necessarily a reflection on me. This doesn’t mean that I’m a bad mom or that I’m failing him in some way. I put too much emphasize on myself. I know in my heart that I can’t control everything and that I have to stop trying but this is a daily struggle for me.

When I was talking to my sister-in-law about going from one to two kids (she has three now), she told me that the only advice she has is to “learn to go with the flow”. I know without a doubt that this is the perfect advice for me. As I mentally prepare to be a family of four, I have been trying to practice letting go a little bit. I need to remember that it doesn’t matter if dinner is made or the house is clean. I need to put my to-do-lists on hold for a while, brush aside my agenda (I alway have one), and just go with the flow. I already know that we’ll have great days as well as really challenging days. Just like in my preparation for labor, I need to learn to surrender. Life is never going to be perfect. When my kids look back on their childhood, it won’t matter if the laundry was always done, if I had time to put on make-up everyday, or if we ate cereal for dinner occasionally. I know that the time spent with my family will be the most important thing in the world. This is what I hope to remember in the days ahead. Enjoy each day- even if it’s not going at all like it was planned. Or even better, stop planning and just enjoy.

Getting away

Tulum

Those of you who are parents know that once you have a little one, your schedule goes out the window. Your little one dictates much of your time. Activities are planned around naps and/or bedtimes. Travel is planned around how long the flight is and how easy it is to get somewhere after you land. Everything needs to be planned ahead including snacks, activities, and sleep. Packing for a family takes preparation and planning. Days of carrying your suitcase on and sleeping on the plane seem to be behind you. Unless, of course you are lucky enough to have someone watch your little one while you get away…

My parents offered to come and watch Brooks so that Chris and I could go on a trip. This past weekend, the two of us went to Tulum, Mexico. We carried on our bags. I had plenty of room in my suitcase because it wasn’t packed with diapers, sippy cups, and toys. We left early Thursday morning; took a 3 hour and 15 minute flight and then drove an hour and a half to our destination. We stayed in a beautiful one bedroom “house” right on the beach. We spent our days doing exactly what we wanted. We laid at the beach, we did yoga together, we got a couples massage. We went to dinner when we were hungry (without the ipad and without having to walk around the restaurant) and slept when we were tired. The time together was priceless.

Prior to our trip, I looked forward to sleeping late but surprisingly we never slept past 7:30 or 8. Tulum is a very relaxing, low-key place. There are no night-clubs or wild parties. Since I’m pregnant and Chris hates missing things, this was the perfect destination for us. We enjoyed the days, had wonderful dinners, and then went to bed by 10 every night. It was good for me to realize that most likely, I can’t sleep in any more anyway. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, but feeling like I have to get up because Brooks gets up versus just knowing that I would be up anyway, does make me feel better.

There were a few families staying at our hotel and I watched adorable toddlers running around the beach in diapers or in nothing at all. As I watched them, I certainly missed Brooks. I missed his smile and his laugh. I missed holding him and seeing his face. Still, as I sat in the sun with a book in my hand thinking about him, I was happy that Chris and I came by ourselves. We were gone for 4 1/2 days which was the perfect amount of time. Chris and I left feeling refreshed and Brooks did great with my parents.

I look forward to taking Brooks to the beach in the coming months. I know he’ll love it and he’ll be so much fun. I certainly don’t want to take anything away from family vacations or our time with him. I also know though that the time Chris and I got to spend together is a blessing. Our relationship is the foundation of our family and nurturing that relationship is time well spent.

Tiny little lessons

I’ve always known that a big part of being a parent is teaching your child. Each day presents new opportunities to teach both big and small lessons. Everything from teaching him right from wrong to how to hold a crayon is a learning experience. The part that I didn’t expect was that he would teach me so much in return.

Brooks, being the full-blown toddler that he is, is definitely a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute he is squealing in delight and literally the next he is screaming and throwing himself on the floor. Last week he was particularly mad at me when I went to put him down for a nap. He tried repeatedly to smack me in the face when I picked him up to take him upstairs and his melt-down continued until he used the back of his head to full-on head-butt me. It struck me with such force and such shock that I literally started crying. My first reaction was to be mad. I thought of yelling at him, putting him in his crib, and storming out. Luckily, I got myself together. I explained that he hurt me and that it wasn’t nice. I asked if he was sorry and he replied with a soft, “yeah”. I asked for a kiss and afterwards he put his head down on my chest for longer than he ever has before.

I wish that I could say that I’ve dealt with all of his moods with such grace. Truth is that I haven’t. I’ve yelled at him. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve slapped his hand. None of these things seem to work but more importantly they make me feel horrible.

I’m certainly not advocating not disciplining our children. I believe discipline is an important and necessary job as a parent. The difference how I’m reacting to his tantrum. Chris and I recently had this discussion. Brooks is still too young to know how to regulate all of his emotions. Being the parents and the adults, we should be much better at this. Unfortunately though, this doesn’t come easily to me. Losing my temper and my patience with every tantrum he throws isn’t beneficial for either of us. Even worse, I found myself getting pissed when he was acting out and then holding on to that anger.

I’ve always admired Chris’s ability to forgive. He can get over something almost instantly. I, on the other hand, usually stew over things. I have to think them through and then make my peace. Brooks, with his rollercoaster of moods, is slowing teaching me how to instantly and whole-heartedly forgive.

Patience is another one of my short-comings. My mind races a mile a minute. I’m thinking about my next task even before I’ve completed my first one. I love to-do-lists, checking off tasks, and feeling accomplished. These days I don’t write as many to-do-lists and the ones that I do write get checked off much more slowly. Actually everything in my life now takes longer. I used to think I would rock at that Super-Market Sweepstakes show. I can take down a grocery store in no time. That; however, is now only when Brooks isn’t with me. Slowly I’m learning that I don’t have to rush through all of my daily activities. Yesterday after I picked Brooks up at the gym day-care we headed up to get a smoothie. After hanging out for a while enjoying it we started making the long trek down multiple flights of stairs to the parking garage. Brooks wanted to walk and even though it takes a lot more time and the steps are border-line scary (obviously while holding my hand), I let him walk the entire way himself. Multiple people passed us and a few commented that we weren’t getting anywhere. While we were getting nowhere fast, it didn’t matter. Brooks was happy and so was I.

As an adult my parents have often told me how much I’ve taught them. I suppose I saw this from an egocentric point of view. I thought it was because I had so much to offer ( feels ridiculous to write that but it’s true). I realize now, that it is another wonderful gift of parenting. As long as we are open to the lessons, each day allows us to improve upon something in our lives that we aren’t so good at. I’m certainly not healed of my many flaws, but Brooks is helping me reevaluate things and make small changes for the better. I’m sure he will teach me many lessons in life. Unconditional love is certainly at the top. As for what’s to come, I guess we’ll see.

My legacy

Last night my husband and I had dinner with a very successful entrepreneur and her boyfriend. She and Chris talked a lot of shop throughout dinner which was to be expected. To her credit, she was also very thoughtful throughout dinner and made sure to ask about Brooks and include me in the conversation whenever possible. Still, at the end of the night, I left feeling insecure about myself. Being a stay at home mom carries a certain stigma. I feel that others look at me like I’m not intelligent, driven, or even interesting. Often in our society, your worth is measured by the status of your position and the amount of money you make. I remember when I quit my job doing medical device sales and started doing personal training I felt slightly the same way. I suppose people may feel the same way when they retire. Like it or not, our identity is tied to what we do. I often find myself wanting to tell people who I just met that I had a successful career in sales prior to being a mom and a personal trainer. When I discussed the matter with my husband (with tears of course), he pointed out that the issue is actually the way I view being a stay at home mom. In his opinion people don’t view me any differently, I just think they do. To be honest, I don’t totally believe this but I do think he has a point. Why do I need validation from other people (especially people I hardly know) that I’m smart and interesting? Why don’t I have enough confidence in myself to know that I’m both and that I’m also a really good mother? I remember when I was doing medical device sales and I was at the top of my game, I still told one of my co-workers that at the end of my life I didn’t feel that my success at work meant anything. I didn’t want people talking about how I was really good at sales at my funeral. I realized at that point that even though society may have thought more of me because I was making good money, my value in this life comes from who I am, not what I do. Funny now, because that’s not entirely true. I do believe what I do each day is really important. Sure, I’m not going to cure cancer, but I hope to raise a kind, loving, intelligent son who does good in the world. What I spend my days doing now is more important to me than what I used to do. On top of that, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. I want to be the one to teach Brooks his first words, to pick him up and kiss his boo-boos, and to teach him to say “please” and “thank you”. So why even after I know all of this, do I feel so small sitting across from a self-made successful business-woman? I guess I just need to remind myself each day that even though I may not have a glamorous job, I have an important one and the only one that I want right now. At the end of my life, I pray that people will tell my children that they had a really good mother, that I loved them with all of my heart, and that I loved raising them. And, I hope that as people say this, my children will already know all of this to be true.

Toddler tales

Brooks september 2013

I’m sitting in the kitchen as we speak watching Brooks rearrange my cupboards. So far he has put his pear in the drawer where the pans are and the prunes have a new home under the oven. I’ve been thinking a lot these days of what it means to be a mom of a toddler. I continue to amaze myself by the things that I will do for this child. I’m not talking big stuff…of course I would do anything to keep him safe and healthy. I’m talking the day to day stuff. A little over a month ago, we flew to Ohio and Brooks was eating the complimentary little bag of pretzels. Well actually he was eating the salt off of the pretzels and then taking the soggy pretzels out of his mouth and putting them into mine. Obviously they were disgusting but I still ate them. About a week ago, Chris and I were putting him to bed. He had just gotten out of the tub so he was walking around his room in his birthday suit. I was trying to get lotion on him and he bent over right in front of me and farted in my face. Chris and I died laughing. He is definitely the only person in the entire world who can get away with this. Having a toddler means eating the crust on the pb&J even though I hate the crust. It means giving him the last bite of whatever I’m having, holding him until my arm feels like it’s numb, wiping his nose with whatever I have on hand including my hand or sleeve (gross, I know). It means dragging myself out of bed in the morning with only enough time to pee and brush my teeth. It means being covered in food, drool, and occasionally snot. As I watch Chris come down the stairs looking very GQ as he leaves for work, I’m painfully aware of what I look like. Usually though I have Brooks in one arm and a spatula in the other, so I’m too busy to care for long. I have gotten crazy good at doing things with one hand. The other day, I was holding Brooks on one hip, talking to Chris on the phone, and kicking a ball to Brooks’s delight to my brother-in-law. None of these skills would get me very far in corporate America but in my day to day life, they are becoming quite useful.

As I write this I’m only half with you. The other half of me is keeping an eye on his every move. Brooks is very energetic, curious, and busy. He’s into everything and really only occupies himself without my help for a few minutes at a time. Some days I find this exhausting. Today, I find it amusing. Days like today I want to have a handful of Brooks running around the house. There are other days when I can barely find the energy and the patience to survive until nap time.

Last Saturday, Brooks took his first nose dive down two stairs at the park. He succeeded in skinning his forehead and nose and screaming bloody murder for quite sometime. Yesterday, he gave his forehead a new bruise when he banged it on our dining room table. In both instances, I was less than two feet away from him. I have caught him about a thousand times so I guess the odds are against me. He’s bound to fall and fall he does. Often I feel like a helicopter mom, hovering over his every move. I have no idea how much space a toddler needs but I don’t feel like I give much to Brooks and yet his face still looks like he lost a fight at the playground.

Brooks September 2013 (2)

I suppose I’m rambling. Most of my posts have a point or some advice or whatever. I definitely don’t have any advice in this one. Fact is that each day brings something new. Brooks is figuring out how to explore his world and I’m figuring out how to get him through.

Regardless though of how crazy some of our days get, or how frustrated I get when his new “thing” is repeatedly hitting me in the face, I also love this age. Everyday he learns something new. Seeing the world through his eyes is both exciting and challenging. With a coffee cup in one hand, I welcome the challenge.

Being present

It has occurred to me several times that I’ll most likely never have a “successful blog”.  I stink at social media and therefore  I’m not good at promoting my blog. Truth is, I’m just busy being a Mom. Often I think of tweeting or posting on my blog’s facebook page. Sometimes I even have my phone out and I’m mid-tweet but I get interrupted and I never get around to finishing it. That interruption is usually Brooks tugging at my leg wanting to be picked up, or Brooks falling down and me rushing to his side. I love capturing pictures of Brooks. I love sharing them with our family in Ohio and with our friends all over. Time on my phone; however, no matter the reason, is still time away from Brooks. Yes, I’m with him all day. It’s not that I think that I need to be engaged with him 24 hours a day. It’s just that sometimes we get too caught up sharing the moment and not enough time actually living it.

Chris and I had this conversation recently. Like all working parents, Chris only gets to spend a couple of hours with Brooks on workdays. Chris loves social media and unlike me, he actually knows how to use it all. Often, he’ll catch himself checking Instagram or Facebook when he’s spending time with Brooks. I do it too so I definintely understand. Everything on Instagram looks cooler than it actually is. Too often we are looking at pictures of other people having fun and feeling like we are missing something rather than just being present in our own lives. Recently, I have started praying that I will become more present in whatever I’m doing. This is especially important to me when it comes to Brooks. I’m already realizing how fast time goes. He’s getting bigger by the day. It seems that he’s turned into a toddler overnight.

I know that each day with him is a blessing. These years are so formative and I know I’ll look back on them with such fond memories. The most important thing to me is my relationship with my family. Raising my son is not a glamorous job but that doesn’t make it any less important. In five or ten years, if I still only have a handful of blog followers, but I have a strong relationship with Brooks and endless memories of all of his “firsts”, then I will know that things are exactly as they should be.

Today, regardless of how tired I am, regardless of my case of the Monday’s, today, I will be present. I will enjoy the beauty that is my son.

Vaccine cheat sheet

I realize that I’m not making many friends by posting about vaccines. Honestly though, I don’t care. I’m not here to try to make friends. I’m here to try to get the facts for myself and to share information that I feel is valuable. You can take what you want and disregard the rest. If you think I’m crazy, well you are not the first one. I’m not losing sleep over that. What I am losing sleep over; however, is the health of my child. Talking about vaccines is so taboo it makes me crazy. I’m not trying to fight with anyone but I also don’t understand why we can’t have open and honest conversations about vaccines. Chris and I tried to have a conversation with a pediatrician at one of Brooks’s early appointments and I thought I was going to cry. She was down-right mean and clearly was not open to having a conversation. Luckily we found a pediatrician who doesn’t necessarily agree with our views but is at least flexible enough to work with us and allow us to discuss our concerns.

I believe that as educated adults we have an obligation to educate ourselves about what is going into our child’s body. What we do with that information is a very individual choice. I’m not anti-vaccine. I’m pro-information. I believe in weighing the risks and benefits and making educated choices. What is right for our family may not be right for yours. I’m certainly not trying to push my views on anyone. I’m a fact finder who likes to share.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for information on vaccines since before Brooks was born. Recently, I came across a book that was really helpful to me. Dr. Laura Feder is a doctor practicing in L.A. She is an M.D. who also practices holistic medicine. I found her through the Holistic Moms Network. The book is called “The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations”. A few weeks ago after reading part of the book, I laid in bed and cried to Chris because I was so stressed out about the vaccination issue. He’s amazing so he told me that he would read the book too and together we would make the right decisions. Since he is crazy busy with work, I just spent the last hour or so making a cliff note version for him to skim. I think it’s valuable enough to share so here you have it. Basically what you’ll find is a breakdown of each illness, complications of the disease, information about the vaccine, and possible complications associated with the vaccine. Please keep in mind that everything listed below is directly from Dr. Feder’s book. I did not input any of my opinions. I highly recommend downloading this book since I’m only sharing a portion of it.

Hep B: 

– Not a common childhood disease, not contagious

– Complications of disease include liver damage, liver cancer, liver failure

– Mothers can pass to babies during childbirth

– Vaccine used to be “recommended for newborns who mothers tested positive for hepatitis B”; now given at birth, 1-2 months, 6-18 months

– Vaccine contains mercury and is linked to multiple sclerosis., Guillain-Barré syndrome, diabetes, arthritis

– “The FDA licensed the current hepatitis B vaccine despite a lack of adequate long-term follow-up studies; they primarily used data that studied children for only 4-5 days following the vaccine.”

Rotavirus

– Causes acute diarrhea

– 3 doses recommended at 2, 4, and 6 months

– Vaccine linked to bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, fever, UTI, severe bowel obstruction

DTap

– 3 in 1: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping-cough

– 5 recommended doses: 2, 3, 6, 15-18 months, 4-6 yrs

Diphtheria: bacterial infection, contagious, can cause damage to heart, kidney, neuritis, temporary paralysis of limbs and muscles

– 5-10% fatality, common in poor underdeveloped areas. Treatable if caught early

– Vaccine risks: swelling, redness, fever, systemic complications (less common)

– Rare. Early treatment results in full recovery

Tetanus

– Bacteria, causes difficulty swallowing, painful spasms, tightening in the jaw, symptoms last 3-4 weeks, full recovery can take several months, complications can cause pneumonia, fractures, brain damage

– More common in developing countries and adults

– Vaccine made of tetanus toxoid which is “a deadly poison”

– There are questions about the effectiveness 60% of people who contract have been vaccinated

– Risks of vaccine: same as diphtheria as well as Guillain-Barré  syndrome and arthritis

– Parents can give TIG following an injury instead of tetanus

Pertussis- Whooping Cough

– Bacterial infection, contagious

– Coughing can last 1-6 weeks, can lead to pneumonia, ear infections, dehydration, convulsions, and in rare cases brain damage and death

– Greatest risk in babies younger than 6 months

– Risks of vaccine: original vaccine caused severe complications including mental retardation. It ha been reformulated but still can cause encephalitis and death

Hib

– Bacterial infection, normally lives dormant in the mouth and nose of most people and causes mild ear, nose, and throat infections. On rare occasions it becomes more invasive leading to meningitis.

– Contagious, the longer the baby is breastfed the less risk for meningitis; protection can possibly last 5-10 years after weaning

– Complications of Hib: pneumonia, arthritis, infections around the heart, hearing loss, seizures, brain damage, learning disabilities

– Vaccine: 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months; risks include: fever, irritability, prolonged crying, diarrhea, convulsions, shock, collapse, meningitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome

– Considered more important vaccine by many parents

Pneumococcal

– Bacterium similar to Hib that can cause severe ear/sinus infections, pneumonia, meningitis, blood infections

– 8% mortality, causes 100 deaths/year

– Prevnar vaccine: 2, 3, 6 months, 4th booster shot at 12-15 months, contains only 7 strains out of 90 pneumococcus

– National Vaccine Info Center questions its effectiveness

– Risks of vaccine: swelling, fever, irritability, loss of appetite, seizures, gastritis, asthma, death

– No long-term studies (approved in 2000)

– Many parents consider this a low priority vaccine due to the lack of long-term studies and question of effectiveness

Polio

– Caused by virus spread by contact with stool

– 95% of polio cases go unnoticed, most common in 3-5 year olds, only 1% of cases become paralytic when virus attacks brain and spinal cord (approximately 8 cases/year)

– IPV vaccine changed in 2000 due to its links with paralytic polio

– 2, 4, 6-18 months, 4-6 yrs, child has 99% immunity after 3 doses

– Risks of immunity: swelling, pain, redness, fever, fussiness, fatigue, vomiting, Guillain-Barré  syndrome, possible cancer connection

MMR

– 3 in 1 at 1 year and again 4-6 years

– Strongly linked to autism and developmental disorder

– In London, Dr thinks measles causes inflammatory bowel diseases

Measles

– Was very common, very contagious, most children recover fully, occasionally can cause secondary infections including diarrhea, ear infections, croup, or possibly deafness, blindness, pneumonia, encephalitis

– Mortality rate 1 in 1,000

– Vaccine: live virus, risks include: colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, swelling, fever, dizziness, headache, convulsing, Guillain-Barré syndrome, autism

– “Nearly every American child born before 1957 had measles…most recovered without serious consequences”

Mumps

– Mild viral infection used to be very common

– 20% of cases have no symptoms, complications are rare, death rate of 2 out of 10,000 cases

– Risks of mumps vaccine: meningitis, diabetes

– Not a high priority vaccine for many parents

Rubella

– Mild viral infection, aka: “3 day measles”, was very common, contagious, more severe in adults

– Complications are rare but include diabetes, arthritis

– Risks of vaccine: arthritis, Guillain-Barré  syndrome, thrombocytopenia (blood-clotting issue)

– Complications can occur during pregnancy so maybe consider for girls

Varicella chickenpox

– Mild disease was very common

– Complications include: bacterial skin infections, encephalitis, septicemia, osteomyelitis

– Less than 1% of children who get chickenpox suffer rare complications

– Vaccine: live virus; 12-15 months again 4-6 years old, risks include: pain, redness, swelling, fever, Guillain-Barré syndrome, shingles, shock, encephalitis, blood disorder, rare death

Hep A

– Can be spread through diaper changes, travelers eating infected food, Hep A lasts around 2 months. Symptoms: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice

– Up to 70% kids have no symptoms

– Death rare, mortality .6%, most deaths in adults over 49 years old

– Other than prolonged symptoms, no long-term complications

– Hep A more common in areas of poor hygiene

– Vaccine approved in 1996, 2 doses 12-18 months and again 6-12 months after first vaccine or for travelers within 14 days after exposure

– Risks of vaccine: headache, fatigue, joint pain, diarrhea

– “More common priority vaccine given in first year”

So there you have it. Thank you to Dr. Laura Feder. For information on homeopathic medicine please visit her website at: http://www.drfeder.com/.