Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Controversy War

I was scrolling through my facebook feed when I started seeing a lot of people bringing up some never-ending controversies: breast feeding vs formula feeding and vaccination vs natural immunity are the two I have seen most often.

I was curious and started reading all the comments and some of these people are educated on only one side.  Now I normally do not like bringing up controversy, I normally just keep my mouth shut because I do not feel adequately educated about all aspects of these controversies to have much of a public opinion on them.

So why am I bringing them up now? Good question, maybe I just cannot keep quiet any longer, I do not know; but some of the comments got under my skin.

On breast vs formula:
I see both sides of this argument.  Breast feeding does strengthen the bond between mama and baby, as well as helps to pass certain immunities to the baby.  Formula does help to give some nutrients, yes they might be chemically made but they are nutrients none the less, to the baby that might be lacking in the mother's milk or diet.  When I had Mister Taterbutt, I fully planned to breast feed, I went out and got all the nice cute little milk storage containers, an amazing pump, and all the bells and whistles for it.  I was going to breast feed my baby.  Two weeks after he was born, he was getting sick on my milk and had lost quite a bit of weight.  The doctor told me that my milk was making him sick, so I had to switch to formula.  Yes, I was devastated, but I knew in my heart that that was the only thing I could do to make him better.  So I switched him to formula and I watched our savings account go down quickly because formula is not cheap.  After months of trying to find the right formula for him, it is much harder than just going and picking out the first one you see, we had to give him the preemie non-allergenic formula.  It was the only one that he could keep down, but he quickly started gaining weight and was a healthy little boy.  Fast forward to when I had Mister Fister, I chose not to breast feed him from the get go.  I decided that the trouble we had with his brother, I was not going to put him through the same thing.  I am glad I made that decision because as it turned out, he could only have the lactose free formula, so he would not have been able to have my milk anyways.  So all this b****ing about which is better, neither is better, it is a personal decision, and a tough one at that, for the mother to make.  No one knows exactly what goes into that decision for the mother as it is different for each person and situation.  I just think that some of these overly opinionated women, and some men, need to get off their high horse about breast feeding, because it is not always the best choice, and sometimes is not even a choice, for the baby and they need to stop chastising anyone who uses formula.  There is no point to the bickering and it only makes that mother feel even worse about one of the toughest decisions she has had to make.

On vaccinating vs not:
Again, I can see both sides to this controversy and I really do not see the point in all the bickering going on around it.  It is a personal decision that the family makes.  Yes, some vaccines have been found to have harmful effects, and yes some do not even prevent the disease they are vaccinated against.  That is a gamble that all families who do vaccinate take, but one that happens fairly seldom and usually there are other reasons behind the harmful effects.  But I see the reason behind wanting a child to grow his or her own immunity.  That is the healthy way, but when doing so, the parents must keep a close eye on any symptoms, as measles and mumps are treatable diseases if caught early, but yes, they can cause death if not treated in a timely manner.  But the only people who will be hurt are those who chose not to vaccinate and I am sure they understand that risk; so they do not need that thrown in their faces by the pro-vaccinators.  I have chosen to vaccinate my children, well Mister Taterbutt anyways.  He can have the vaccines, and has never had a reaction to them, so he is going to get vaccinated.  I was vaccinated when I was a child and I turned out just fine, so why shouldn't he?  As for Mister Fister, well he has been vaccinated all the way up to his 2 year vaccines.  He had a horrible reaction to one of the vaccines, his leg swelled up and he could not move it.  He was in so much pain for the three days it was like that.  After that we decided that since the doctor's office did not keep on file which shots he got in what leg to pin point the cause, we are not vaccinating him any more.  Luckily, this past fall we found out what was probably the cause, Scott is allergic to eggs.  Several of the vaccines, including the flu vaccine and the MMR vaccine, which were two of the vaccines he received the day he had that horrible reaction.  Mister Fister is our allergy kiddo, we are still continuing to find more and more items that he is allergic to and so we have decided to not vaccinate him.  So we have one child who is getting vaccines, and another who is not; where do we fit into this controversy?  Sure we could continue to give Mister Fister the vaccines that do not contain any of his known allergies, but we have decided to not do that as he already has several health issues. He is pumped full of medications on a daily basis, he gets two to three breathing treatments daily, sometimes more if it is a bad day; he gets Benedryl and Claritin on a daily basis as well as if he goes into anaphylaxis he gets his epi pen; and because of his nebulizer treatments causing him to bounce off the walls, we have to give him melatonin at night just so he gets the little bit of sleep that he gets, normally 6-8 hours, which is very little for a four year old.  This is not to mention the times when he is sick and he is on several different antibiotics.  We have to carry around a miniature doctors bag anytime we go out with Mister Fister because we have to carry just about everything mentioned above, plus we have to take his pulse ox periodically throughout the day.  Because of all these chemicals that are being put in his body, we have decided to not put any more in by vaccinating him, not because we think it causes autism, Mister Taterbutt was diagnosed before he got the one vaccine that is thought to have caused it; but because he has enough going on we do not need to stress him any more.  Plus we take every precaution the doctor tells us to so if he gets sick with one of these preventable diseases, well we'll catch it early enough for treatment anyways.  So I see both sides of the argument and I do not see the point behind all this vaccines cause this, vaccines hurt the children more than they help, or non vaccinators are hurting their child by making them susceptible to diseases.

Both of these controversies are incredibly intimate decisions that a family makes on their own.  It is their personal decision and one they make for themselves and no one can make it for them.  I do not see the point behind all the name calling and forcing of opinions on others.  There is no point to it all other than making each other feel horrible about nothing that will make a difference.  Breast feeding is not any better than formula feeding, and vice versa. Vaccination is a personal decision and one that a parent makes because they do what they feel is best for their child and again, vice versa for those who choose not to vaccinate.  To me it makes no difference; I am not going to stop my friends from coming over because they are breast feeding their children and I do not want to see that, or because they are formula feeding and I do not agree with them, that's ridiculous.  And again on the vaccinations, I have one child who is and one who is not, and I am not going to stop my friends and ask them if their child is or is not vaccinated before I let them hang out with us.  I think this whole public shaming of one decision or the other is complete buttocks.  To each their own decision, and let it be at that.