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.


  1. Well thank you very much! I actually took the time to apply makeup today. And now it's all for naught! *smile*

    Beautiful post!


    ps. The vaccine question is huge...and heavy. We're there with Trevy. His last was at 6 months. I finally found a pedi who will seperate the vaccines for us. And that at least makes it a little more comfortable...I think?

  2. Can I play devil's advocate here? I am pro-vaccine. I have worked in places where communicable disease runs rampant thanks to poor sanitation and deplorable living conditions. Those of us who live in clean, safe places with high vaccination rates can sometimes be lulled into a false sense of security due to "herd immunity". The safety of herd immunity is diminishing now that vaccination rates have dropped in recent years. I chose to vaccinate my kids because I knew that I couldn't live with myself if they came down with a disease I know I could have prevented. I do not believe in blindly following everything the doc says. I am wary of flu shots, very much on the fence about Char's upcoming HPV vaccination, and think the chicken pox shot is overkill. Whooping cough is still out there. So are measles and mumps.

    That being said, I also believe everyone has the right to choose what they want for themselves and their own families. You are a fantastic mom, Carolyn, with great judgment. Only you know which decision is the one that will allow you to sleep the best at night.