Buxom Blonde Scientists and the Vaccine Controversy
I’m one of those non-vaccinating mothers.
(*If you came here from the Editor’s Pick page, please note: my kids ARE now vaccinated. Not sure how to point that out to the editors, though…)
In 2004, my 1 ½-year-old son had no immunizations at all and my three-year-old daughter had one round of the basics, which included the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. As we unpacked our stuff in our new digs, a kid from down the street came to see us. He had a pretty bad cough. Soon, our kids were coughing, too, on the tail end of a visit back East to see their uncle and aunt and new baby cousin. It was a cough like none I’d ever heard: loud, barking, intense, leaving the child breathless and almost always (in the case of my son) leading to vomiting. My daughter’s cough wasn’t as bad. Off to the doctor we went, and sure enough, they had pertussis.
Pertussis is sometimes called the “ninety-day cough,” and for just about ninety days, my son coughed himself blue and vomited on everything we owned. The daughter got better much more quickly, likely due to being older and bigger. Maybe having had one round of the vaccine had something to do with it.
I thanked God over and over that my brother had decided to vaccinate his child against pertussis, because if that baby had caught it from my children, his five-month-old body might have succumbed to it entirely. I did load after load after load of pukey laundry. And as soon as he got better, I took him and his sister to the doctor to catch up on their shots – not every one, but the ones most kids have gotten since I was a kid.