My babies were born small, both under 2.785kg. I breastfeed, use probiotic powder, and rely on homeopathics for both protection and remedy. I treat my children very empathically, like they are little humans with self-determination and individual rights, because they are and they have.
Before I was a parent, I had many idealistic notions of what parenting decisions I would make. During my four years of parenting, through experience, I have changed my position on almost every one of those parenting notions. I believe changing my position on vaccination has been the most important change of them all; I am so pleased I have opened my eyes to the truth and evidence of vaccination.
When I had my first son I was very much in an alternative scene and was influenced by friends not to immunise. My views changed when I began to work in sexual health and was exposed to evidence based medicine. This led us to commence a catch up programme for our older son, to immunise ourselves and to follow the schedule entirely with our second baby.
With our second son, Kash, Neil and I had both the flu vax and whooping cough vax to help keep him safe. When Kash was one month old he contracted viral meningitis. That frightening experience absolutely cemented vaccination for me.
I always said with parenting, you have to be OK with the choices you make; you have to know you can live with the consequences of those decisions. Before I was informed, I thought the chances of my unimmunised child making someone else sick were so remote that I would not have to live with those consequences.
Having seen my baby so sick I now know just how easy disease can be spread, I feel like I have a responsibility to vaccinate, not only for my children’s health but also the health of my community, especially those too young to be vaccinated or those with compromised immune systems.