I’m going to attempt to write a post that I would never choose to write. I don’t particularly know how to write it, but I know exactly what I need to ask of you.

I need to ask you to understand.

For many years I didn’t need this understanding from Society, as it wasn’t part of general discussion for rule setting or law making when I chose my path on this issue. It was just something you did, or didn’t do. For whatever reason.

There was no internet to provide me with information, no pamphlets or indeed groups to support or negate it. There were no celebrities Tweeting about it, or TV shows making comedy routines about it. As far as I know, I never saw a single thing or heard anything about it until it became necessary for me to find information about it.

I’m not going to tell you what it is yet, because I’ll lose you to the infernal shout of SCIENCE IDIOT! I ask you to read this first, don’t skip ahead, okay?

First, some stories.

When my youngest son was weaning, he would throw up cow’s milk formula, nearly all of it. He was unsettled and had a nappy rash. I consulted my baby health nurse, who advised a non-cow’s milk formula such as Soy. Having tried Soy, and having similar results a friend suggested Goat’s milk. This one was great, he immediately settled and kept the formula down.

My baby suggested to me, by way of symptoms, that the formula wasn’t good for him. I continued to follow his signals with other dairy foods later. If he had a reaction the food was stopped. That’s what you do. If I kept feeding him the cow’s formula, that would make me a bad, neglectful parent? Failing to notice the symptoms would have been just as bad, right?

All my children wore cloth nappies of the old fashioned kind which were soaked and washed at home. I found they all reacted to any soap residue from commercial soaps, and would get rashes and irritated looking skin, in the nappy area, underarms and thigh folds, where the clothing would rub. So I began to use soap flakes, and rinse like a demon, resulting in healthy skin for my babies.

Again, good parenting. Less would be neglectful, right?

Here it is now, and I’m telling you, my gut is wrenching going so public with this. I know how this goes. I’ve seen all the abuse, but I’m not afraid, because my perspective is unique to me, my story is in it’s own right, a success story.

Still I am fearful of your response.

I am often, (too often), asked “Do you really think that?”

My standard response is that I don’t argue the point with people who haven’t researched the topic. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you will immediately defend your view, (from experience), and communication at that level is pointless to me, when the issue is so contentious and cloudy.

When I fell pregnant with my first child, I read a few books, but felt like I was fairly up on how to look after a newborn. He was born with an infection, and was administered antibiotics within hours. I didn’t question anything. Nor do I feel I should have. The treatment was necessary to save his life.

When he was 8 weeks old, I was told he needed his first vaccination. I dutifully took him in to have his shot. He cried a little, and had a little raised lump on his thigh.

I took him home. He began to cry, so I fed him. His back arched and he began to scream. He seemed to want to feed, but his little back was arching away. He felt hot. His face was red, and he screamed!

“Pain, pain, pain, what am I doing wrong?” I desperately moved his leg away from my body, thinking where the needle went in was sore? Nope. I rang the hospital, and took him over. We lived smack-bang across the road from the District Hospital.

Do you know what the Nurse said, simply and without judgement? She said, “He looks like he’s having a reaction to the vaccines, maybe he shouldn’t have them.”

Simple as that. No police were called. Nobody assumed I’d hurt my baby. Nobody reported me, or him to any service or had anything negative to say about it at all.

Life used to be like that….

I didn’t race off to the library then and there, that came later, but I did stop and think about what I did know.

I knew I’d had the childhood diseases. They were unpleasant, but I can remember making bunk bed forts with my sister and brother, himself being well enough to dive off the top and split his head open. So I took the “known-to-me” risk and opted out of his future shots as opposed to heading into very scarey back-archy-screamy territory.

I knew he’d been fully breastfed during the crucial first few months and had received my antibodies to the diseases.

I had another baby. My second was Vaccinated at 8 weeks. A similar story, without the back arching, but this time the red lump on the leg was growing bigger. The screaming was around the same level, but took longer to begin.

I felt terrible. My rationale was that he had a different biological father from my first, and therefore may not be allergic(?) or sensitive to the Vaccines. Couple of hours at Doctor. No diagnosis, red lump on thigh after vaccination noted. Baby Panadol given. No questions asked about first child vaccination until I brought it up. Doctor said “Hmmm, it would seem to be a reaction to the Vaccine.” No direct or “official” statement.

It was up to me.

That baby never got another needle either.

When I had my last child, I had probably read more about Vaccines than the average person. Nobody directed my search, and I had to go looking very hard for info, I couldn’t find much at all to support either that Vaccines were harmful or that they were unnecessary, but I did find a lot of case studies similar to mine. I chose not to Vaccinate my last child, based on the reactions of his brothers.

Why? Because this approach had worked with all the other issues. If something isn’t right or causes your child direct harm, you don’t do it again.

Turned out my last was Vaccinated, I was coerced and told a hernia operation wouldn’t be done unless he’d had his first Vaccinations. I agreed because he needed the operation, and he was in Hospital at the time, and would be monitored constantly.

The risk was acceptable to me. But I was very uncomfortable not having been given the right to say no after my prior experiences.

It seems all these changes over the years are boiling to a head now. I could care less for the argument. The Pro’s and Anti’s.

For a while I got caught up in the need to let people know that they simply cannot believe studies funded, executed and reported by Vaccine Companies, but I soon burned out because the internet is a very unfriendly place if you maybe have a personal experience or something that makes you question something?

So I shut up again in the interests of not being publicly shamed as an IDIOT ANTI SCIENCE MORON. I just wanted people to read, and know that the so called Anti-Vax movement is made up of people with stories just like mine, only mostly more severe.

I’m not typically Anti-vax. If they could make one that didn’t make my kids scream, welt-up and burn a temp for days, I’d be on board? (Now that I have researched the topic so thoroughly however, I think some pretty shady stuff has been done in the name of Science.)

Also, I know now, that my kids had typical Vaccine Reactions. My youngest has a swathe of allergies, my middle child has eczema brought about by allergies. Why not allergies to the Vaccine ingredients?

It ain’t rocket science, Science?

Are my kids a threat to yours? Not on your life, they had the naturally occurring strains of the diseases, so are actually better off than a lot of other kids, real immunity cannot be imitated. So that’s great news, my kids are as healthy as yours!

Please, next time you go to label someone, think about how they arrived at their decision first?

And please do whatever you can to understand? We aren’t a car load of Jim Carey’s Clowns for the most part, just people who make decisions based on the symptoms?

Typical people have atypical experiences. It would be wrong not to treat those people with respect.