Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We finally seem to have gotten over our little epidemic that invaded our home... in the space of ten days, we had 4 colds/flus, 2 cases of pink eye, 2 chest infections and strep. Other than a few residual coughs, we're mostly mended.

I was watching Rachael nurse today, and I got to thinking about how perfect she is. Rosy cheeks, perfectly formed little lips, adorable hair that stands on end, and the endearing blue eyes. She grasps and holds my hand while nursing, giving herself reassurance and I suppose reassuring me in the process. I've been agonizing whether or not to bring Rachael to the doctor's for her 4-month check-up. So far, the doctor seems to be okay with me not giving her vaccinations, but I wonder when that will change.

I know the vaccines didn't cause Abby's epilepsy and autism. I don't even know for sure if the influenced the way her conditions unfolded, although deep down inside my heart I think they probably did. I can see how different my children are from one another, and how unaverage Abby was from the very first days of her life. Really, there's no logical justification to not vaccinate Rachael.

But I look at her, and she seems so perfect just the way she is. I'm scared to mess with perfection.

When Abby was born, my mom was always saying how perfect she was. I agreed. On that terrible day when she was 7 months old, I joked that she was still perfect, and that we were just taking her in for "warranty work". That was the day we drove to the Children's Hospital two hours away to start her first course of ACTH.

As the months and years pass, I struggled with the idea that my child was less-than-perfect. Was I somehow betraying her with the idea that she was somehow defective? Would the seed of that idea alter the way I treated her, raised her, and loved her?

Now, two years later, I've come to an uncertain peace within myself. I've come to realize that my child may not be the normal picture of perfect, but to me she still is perfection. I love her just as fiercely, just as intensely, and just as deeply as I did the day before our lives changed. She is still my pretty perfect baby.

And now I watch my new, perfect little daughter, as she sucks eagerly at my breast. I know that, she too, is perfect, just like her sister.

I think I'll hold off taking her for her checkup.