Monday, April 28, 2008

Extra! Extra... Read all about it

Here are my latest and greatest book reviews. I have been a busy reading fool lately. These latest two books I can not get out of my mind!!

A Thousand Splendid Suns-I laughed, I cried... okay, mainly just cried actually. About 100 pages into this book, I was happy that this book didn't appear to be as depressing as "The Kite Runner" (they are by the same author). Ohhh was I wrong. I can not stop thinking about this book. I feel like I need to go to therapy to process all of my thoughts about the book... so maybe you can all spare me the cost of a therapist and talk about this book with me if you have read it. This book also takes place in Afghanistan, but this one is about strong women, and I for some reason a huge sucker for strong women books. After reading this book, I just can't believe myself when I am thinking that I have it rough in any sort of way. I seriously feel like weeping when I think about this book too much (and I am not a weep when I think about a book sort of person usually). Maybe this book didn't touch some of you like it did me, but please let me know your thoughts on it anyway!!!

The Vaccine Book-Hopefully this review won't stir up to much controversy, but is anyone else out there freaked out by vaccines? I got almost all of the vaccines for Sofia, and as a first time mom, I didn't really question the vaccine schedule recommended by the AAP, but I always felt so ignorant when I went to the well baby check ups and I didn't know anything about vaccinations (what disease they were each for, contents of vaccinations, side effects etc). I also started getting some of the vaccines for Gabe at his 2 and 4 month check ups (I postponed a couple), but now I am thinking that I am going to postpone even more. Dr. Sears is not at all against vaccinating your children, in fact, he seems to recommend most of the immunizations, but he suggests thinking about doing them on a different schedule. He sets up a schedule where only one aluminum containing vaccination is given at one time. Since I have already done some of Gabe's immunizations, I had the Dr. office print me off his record so that I can sit and make a more spread out schedule for Gabe so that he is not getting more than one aluminum containing vaccination at a time as well. I must say that I, as well most moms that I talk to are very confused about the whole vaccine issue. There has not been a lot of research done to really pinpoint whether or not vaccinations are related to autism, but a lot of parents with autistic children seem to think so. The vaccine that really freaks me out is the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and I know that I for sure plan on delaying that one for Gabe. I know that half of you may think that I am cooky right now, but hopefully this will get some of you thinking. If you plan on vaccinating your children... that is great, but you may want to consider postponing or spreading out some of the immunizations. At the very least, read this book (which I felt discussed pros and cons of vaccinations very wel) and educate yourself on the issue. Even after reading this book, I still have tons of questions and feel confused, but I feel a little bit better about the fact that I can make a plan for my family and that I can walking into Gabe's next appointment with more knowledge to go along with my many questions. Please share your opinions on the matter!!!


Margaret said...

Vaccinations are such a touchy subject. Ultimately I think every parent should do what they feel is best. If they don't have issues with the vaccines, then do them. And vice versa. From my own research and gut feeling I postponed Amelia's MMR shot. She is up to date on everything else. I haven't looked into many other vaccines, mostly the MMR. I'm still figuring it all out.
But question for dr. said that he doesn't use any vaccines with mercury. My understanding is that those should all be off the market by now. Are your kiddos getting ones with mercury? Maybe you could set me straight on it.
Maybe I should check out that book.

K Harker said...

I am so uneducated with the whole Vaccines thing and I have been meaning to research it more. I think by accident I delayed J's MMR he was sick a the time and so I told them I'd come back but now I think I'll wait. How old are they when the Dr. typically have them get the MMR? do you know? I'm not even 100% sure that is the one's I skipped for J. Any way I think you've inspired me to learn more about the vaccines, I do think it is good to be educated about the things they put into our children's bodies. I just might go to the library today :)

Elisa said...

After reading your blog, I googled "vaccine scheduling". I came across this article: well worth reading. I would postpone Alessandra's vaccines if we were not living in Peru...This article has some interesting ideas, especially regarding immunity development and the roll that vaccination has on it. Miss you..and by the way I love your music choices!

Kara's Blog said...

I need to call my Dr. Office and ask specifically, because I am confused and I thought that some of ours still have mercury, but you may be able to ask for brands without. See... I am confused. The book went over different brands and stated the content, and many brands still have mercury in certain vaccinations, so I guess I need to know which brands my Dr.s office uses?? I think that I will also at some point to most of the vaccinations, but the mmr I will postpone... for I'm not sure how long. Was your Dr. supportive of postponing it? Isn't it hard to know which things to freak out about, and what things to chill out about, because I don't want to be one of those freak out parents, but I do want to make educated decisions. You are right, every family has to do what they feel is best, because it also worries me a little when parents (there are several here) who choose to not do any vaccinations at all. I will get back to you when I found out about my Dr.s office and mercury.

They usually get the MMR at 12 months, and it was wise of you to postpone it if he wasn't feeling well since it can sometimes have a lot of side effects. Hopefully I didn't freak you out... so not the intention of the post, but it would definitely be a good book to check out. I know lots' of books are biased in either direction, and I felt like this book was very open minded, and it is a quick read. If you end up reading on it let me know if you find out anything interesting!!

Kara's Blog said...

Living in another country where many of the diseases are more common is a different story. If we end up going to Honduras next summer, I will have to obviously get almost all of the vaccinations. Thanks.. I will check out that article and tell you what I think!!

Kara's Blog said...

Margaret and everyone,
I feel so dumb.. I was getting mercury and aluminum confused (so I changed it to aluminum in my post so I won't confuse anyone els). Yes, our vaccinations are mercury free now, but not all are aluminum free. So.. aluminum is what I was talking about, not mercury. Sorry.. I probably confused you all even more.

adrienne said...

Oooh! Very contraversial! I actually feel pretty strongly about this as well (for my own family), but more as a pro-vaccination point. But I really believe that everyone has to do their own research and make an INFORMED decision. I have 2 brothers that are doctors and a sister-in-law who is a nurse (actually she works in the community doing vaccinations) so I've had some very interesting and informative conversations with them. My sis-in-law was telling me about a lot of history of vaccinations and it's amazing what has been irradicated because of them, which is the goal of vaccinations in general. My big "strong" opinion is related to the myth regarding autism. I have worked a lot with autism and many families affected by it. I have to say that there is absolutely no reliable evidence linking vaccines to autism. There was one study that claimed that and later all but one of the Dr's working on the study took back their findings and most of them have lost their licences (so I've been told by my brother in med school). The only link really is timing, but that's probably due to the fact that autism can't really be diagnosed until about 2 years old (so sometimes parents feel it's in direct relation to the vaccination schedule). Of course, it's still a possibility but there's really not enough evidence to support that at this point. More research is needed. Also, I think that with a global community like the world we live in, our children are not necessarily safe from many of the illnesses we don't see so much anymore. We had a huge outbreak here of Mumps this past year and it's much more serious than people tend to think. It was very interesting. This being said, I would definitely love to see more research done with vaccines to make sure they are as safe as possible. I don't know the difference with the vaccines here in Canada, so I can't really comment on that, but, of course it's a little scary to see some of the ingredients. I'm not much of a worrier, because if I start to think about that then I start to think about all the other toxins and chemicals all around us and I can't possibly protect my children from all of it. I REALLY hope I don't offend anyone who reads your blog, Kara, because I DO NOT judge others for choosing not to vaccinate. For me, I feel that the benefits outweigh the costs. I had a friend who did some holistic more natural vaccinations with her homeopath, but even he told her that there are some vaccinations that can't be done that way and it's best to just go with the regular ones for that. I don't remember which ones specifically, but I found that interesting.

Kara's Blog said...

Thanks for you perspective. I think I will do most vaccinations, but like I said, maybe just on a different schedule. There does need to be more research done on vaccinations and their link to autism. That's just it.. we can't say that it is for sure correlated or that it is not, because there has not been enough research done. So we need more research. The one study cited in this book traces the bloodstream I believe of Autistic children and their siblings, and it found that a much higher number of the autistic kids had traces of the measles vaccination in their blood streams, and their non-autistic siblings didn't. (I hope I explained that right). You are right about not being able to protect our kids from all of the toxins. I have tried to convert to mainly BPA free water bottles and sippy cups, and I am also freaked out about the lead in all of these toys made in China. I guess we have to choose our battles, because it is all pretty overwhelming. By the way, could you email me a number to reach you at, because I tried calling you last week at your old number, and then realized that you aren't there anymore!!!

Amanda Nemelka said...

I haven't read all the comments yet b/c I am at work. BUT...I have to say that I definitely noticed a big difference with Chance at his 12 month check up/shot appt. He WAS sick and like an IDIOT I didn't postpone his shots and what a nightmare it has been since. He got sooo sick! This past week has been nothing but fevers, rashes, colds, etc. He's been so miserable that I WISH I HAD WAITED.

Margaret said...

Kara, okay, aluminum makes much more sense. I need to look into that more. I don't know much about it.
My dr. was extremely supportive and respectful, even though he said that he with everything he would still recommend doing the shot, but he sat and discussed vaccines with me (mostly MMR and the chickenpox one) for about 20 minutes. I do plan on having Amelia fully vaccinated by the time she is 5 (which I think you must do in most states to enroll your kiddo in school, unless you can prove its against religious beliefs or something) but my gut just said postpone, so I went with it. But, I would love to discuss what my dr. said and everything. It was interesting, a bit lengthy for a blog comment though. This comment is probably lengthy enough.

Jaime said...

Very interesting, I have never herd of spreading them out like that! I'll have to check this book out!!

royceandtori said...

Hey Kara! I used to work in a Pediatric Clinic, and I was the one giving the immunizations, so obviously my standpoint is going to be biased.:) And it's been so long, I can't remember a lot of the information, but I do remember our doctors talking to us about the Autism thing; the problem used to be a preservative that they used in the vaccines, and that's still a big controversy. (apparently one of the doctor's in charge of researching/testing the issue said it did cause autism, but later said that he had falsified his reports...) But weather the preservative did or didn't cause problems, they don't use that preservative any more.
I'm a big fan of immunizations. I know that they're not perfect, and any kind of medication/treatment comes with some kind of risks, but I think the benefit outweighs the risk. (Obviously some people shouldn't get vaccines, like people who have had reactions to the vaccines in the past; people who are allergic to eggs can't have the flu vaccine, etc.)
As for the schedule, I don't know all of the reasons why they give the shots when they do, but when a baby is first born and is nursing, they get antibodies from their mother that protect them from certain diseases, and the antibodies keep working until the baby is around 2mo old (which is when they start their first round of immunizations.) Also with the varicella vaccine (chicken pox) no one is supposed to get it until they are 12mo old, and in our clinic if the child was in day-care, our doctor would suggest getting the immunization at 12mo,because they have more exposure, but if they weren't in day-care we would give the babies the shot at 15mo. So I do know that there are reasons for the schedule. At the same time, though, they've recently (in the past 3-4yrs) started giving the first Hepatitis B shot in the hospital right after the baby is born, but we decided to wait until Emmaline's 2mo check-up to have the Hep B, because Royce and I had both been immunized, and there was no immediate risk for her to be exposed to Hep B. (And if they get the Pediarix, the shot that combines DTaP, Polio, and Hep B, they'll just get an extra dose of Hep B) So I would talk to your doctor about it, and if you aren't comfortable with what he says, keep asking more doctors until you find an answer that you feel comfortable with. Because our doctors were also very respectful with, and listened to a mother's intuition. (It helped that we were in Provo, and most of our doctors were LDS)
The final thing I'd say about immunizations is that there are some little ones that can't have immunizations, because they're too young, or have a compromised immune system, and sometimes by avoiding or delaying getting immunizations for a healthy child, they could be passing it on to someone else. (I hope that makes sense...for example when there's a new baby in the house, a doctor will recommend that the rest of the family get a flu shot to protect the newborn from getting influenza)
So there you go! I hope that this was helpful...and I hope I haven't given you any incorrect information. (It has been a few years since I have been working with immunizations.) So I guess I would recommend that you keep researching, and then try and make an educated decision for what is best for your little ones! (And your kids are so cute by the's lots of fun looking at your blog :) )

Cami said...

My kids have had all of their shots. I also feel the benefits outweigh the costs. It is definitely a personally thing for each family. And such a good idea to be educated.

Marianne said...

As a very educated mother, I chose not to vaccinate George and I have never regretted it. I have had my share of people who are quite angry with me about it, but my decision was not an easy one or made without researching the topic. People research buying baby gear more than thinking about immunizations, the history of them, why we have them, me just letting someone inject your child with a chemical substance without knowing about it is mind blowing.
I'm a trained researcher and I'm not going to pretend like I know anything about autism, but I do know statistics and that they can (and many times are) be interpreted to say what you want them to say. So when the research that is government funded (and funded by drug companies that *surprise* make money from immunizations (does anyone else think that's twisted) says there is no 'significant' evidence to show a link between immunizations and autism one needs to understand what exactly that means. Significant does not mean 'no link'. IT means not enough evidence to say that 10 times out of 10 times there is a link.
I have nothing against people who immunize their kids, they seem to have a problem with me and blame my lack of immunization as the reason it still is spread. Immunizations are not 100% nothing is. Oh and has anyone read the ingredients of an immunization?

Kara's Blog said...

First I have to say that this is quite the discussion... I love it. I never get offended with hearing other people's opinions... even if they aren't the same as mine, seriously.. so hopefully you are all the same.

I am so sorry that Chance didn't handle the vaccinations well. I will have to talk to you and see what what down. Hope your enchiladas turned out good!!
I might call you, because I am wondering what your dr. said about the chickenpox vaccination.
Read the book and let me know what you think. If you can't find it at your library, I think that it only costs like $8.00
Thanks.. you bring an interesting perspective. That is nice that the Doctors at your office were so open to listening to parents.
Most people do vaccinations... so you are for sure the norm.
My sweet Marianne,
Who is pissed at your for not getting them? It's like any other parenting decision.. and we all don't have the same opinion on any topic. I totally agree with you that people do more research on baby gear than vaccinations, and that is what got me interested in doing research, because I felt ignorant. I didn't realize that you haven't done any at all... I for sure want to talk to you about it my dear. It is also great that you are nursing still and that George isn't in childcare, because I know that Dr. Sears said that if you aren't going to vaccinate that those are important things to do. I have heard some parents don't want to vaccinate at all in the first 2 years and then they will do applicable ones after 2 years. Is that what you are doing, or do you plan on not getting them done at all? Anywho.. I need to give you a call, and I couldn't come on Monday, because I was waiting for someone to come to my house who never showed up :). I need to see you soon!!

Steve & Sarabeth said...

Wow...note to self: if you want lots of comments, talk about something controversial! Actually, I just wanted to tell you that I just checked out the other book you recommended, the "Suns" one, and I'm excited to read it! I'll let you know when I finish...

Also, I plan on making a trip to K. Falls this summer, and I'd like to stop by and see you...I'll let you know when a date is set.

Elizabeth said...

I'm a supporter of vaccines. I just feel the risk is greater in this germy world if they don't get them. But I understand the concern -- it crosses my mind every time my kids get a vaccination. I think it also helps if you trust your doctor. Our pediatrician is amazing. When Sam was born (early -- and hospitalized his first week of life) she was so sweet with him. She NURTURED him as she examined him, unlike other doctors who are business only. I trust her because she has 3 young children she cares for and she always says, "I do this for my children." So I feel like I'm giving my children a great benefit in life when I have them vaccinated. That's my view.