Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

I’m a vaccine advocate. If you know me on Facebook, you’re aware of my myriad of posts encouraging people to go get their flu shots (seriously, go get it). What most people don’t know is why I’m a vaccine advocate. Why do I take every single opportunity to yammer on about polio and measles and the flu shot?

It started with Brady. I was pregnant with J and I came across this little baby’s story. I broke down and cried; I sobbed. My heart hurt in one of the worst ways, but I know it was nothing compared to how Brady’s mother felt. That pain started me onto this journey from being a parent who vaccinates to a pro-vaccine parent.

I started reading. Then I got angry.

See, pertussis has a vaccine. It’s not a perfect vaccine. It’s not the best vaccine, but it’s what we have and people are refusing to vaccinate their kids or themselves. Vaccines have done such a fantastic job that first world mothers are going “Well, really, was measles so bad?” and “What about all the toxins?” without understanding half of what they’re saying because they’re educated and know more than their doctor with a medical degree and their “thousands of hours of research” on Google is somehow equivalent to the research done in labs by scientists (who, again, have actual degrees).

If you didn’t pick up on my tone, I’m still angry two years later.

My anger, my frustration, has taken a new form, however. I’m a pastor’s wife. I have held the hand of the broken, the sick, and the dying. I have prayed with them. I have wept with them.

So imagine my frustration – my fury – when I found out people who call themselves Christians weren’t vaccinating. I couldn’t understand it, as many of them said they were pro-life. Pro-life. Pro-life and yet they didn’t see the point in a vaccine that would have most likely saved little Brady’s life. Pro-life and they refuse to vaccinate against a disease that can kill a child in its mother’s womb. Pro-life and they refused to get shots that would protect the weakest among us.

Why, I wondered, why would they refuse?

That’s when I put the pieces together. The anti-vaccine movement is relatively evenly split between liberals and conservatives and spans all faiths and even attracts those who are non-religious.

The people who are anti-vaccine are generally in love with all things “natural” and organic. They worship nature. I’ve listened as Christians make the argument that God made our bodies a certain way, totally skipping over the parts of the Bible where we’re cursed. In fact, the Bible does not speak highly of “natural” anything. At best, it’s neutral and at worst, it’s damned to hell.

Here are the facts – as Christians we have a moral duty to vaccinate. The Bible tells us to care for our neighbors, for widows, for orphans, for the lowly and the broken. If you call yourself a Christian, you have an obligation to get immunized if you are medically able.

If you are pro-life, secular or religious, if you want to be consistent, then you need to vaccinate.

If you care about anyone other than yourself – regardless of beliefs – then you need to vaccinate.

I happen to be a pro-life Christian and I can’t reconcile worship at the altar of “all natural”* with my faith. So if you can and you claim to be like me, then you need to take another look at that Bible. And if you do vaccinate, please, please don’t be silent. For the sake of the babies, the immuno-compromised, for the sake of your neighbors – love them in this way. Love them with life.

Voices for Vaccines

*I’m not saying we avoid things that say natural or that we shouldn’t be “crunchy” at all, there are benefits to certain things that are considered “hippy” or “crunchy”, but when one chooses “all natural” at the expense of truth, that’s when it’s become “worship” in my book.

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Six months ago, on July 19th, I gave birth to my second kid. Somewhere between then and now, I managed to figure out a routine (kind of). I don’t know how anyone manages to do anything between birth and now as I’m only just starting to feel like I’m reconnecting to the world.

JJ

Even so, I’d had a lot more planned to be going on by this point. I’d wanted to be in my pre-pregnancy jeans by now (I’m close but still got a bit to go, so I’m hunkering down to get in them by spring). I’d wanted to get a bit further in Skyrim. Oh, and I’d wanted to get my birth story typed up.

That last one should have been straight forward, but it hasn’t been. At first, it was because a lot happened that made it scary (even though things turned out okay) and every time I tried to sit down to type it up, I’d get stuck in the emotions. So here I am, six months later, still trying to figure out how to tell the story the way I want it told. I didn’t have control over how it happened, but I have a choice over what the take away is. I have a distaste for the pregnancy horror stories in which the goal seems to be to terrify rather than edify.

The narrative I want for what happened is one that points to how things are complicated and messy. How expectations aren’t always obvious. How sometimes it hurts and not in a physical way. How there is beauty at the end and how it can take time to see that beauty and time to feel okay with that beauty.

Until then, this is all I’ve got.

Oh, Hey, Spit Up

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Insecurities, Life, Parenting
Tags: , ,

So lately I’ve worried that maybe I’m too dumb to do more than what I’m doing. I’m not supposed to admit that right? That I have insecurities as a stay-at-home mom? The problem with insecurities is that someone is always ready to either yell at you (YOU CHOSE THIS! BAD DAYS NOT ALLOWED!), condemn you (DO YOU NOT SEE THE CUTENESS OF YOUR CHILD?!), or urge you to go another way (I HEARD SUBWAY WAS HIRING!). It’s hard to say – I believe in what I’m doing, but some days I jus don’t like it much. Every choice has pros and cons and there are days when the cons are bigger and you think “Why can’t I dye my hair, change my name, and write a doctoral thesis?” IMG_3199

(And then I worry that maybe I’m not smart enough to write that doctoral thesis and the truth is, I may never know even though one day, I’d like to find out. I think. Unless I’m dumb, then I don’t know that I want to know).

Yeah, it’s been one of those days. I put on a shirt with spit up and decided, why bother changing?

I love NaNoWriMo. This year I was super disappointed because I couldn’t participate (really, I barely have time to breathe these days – baby, homeschooling six year old, Thanksgiving, Christmas, never-ending laundry… yeah). I’m doubly disappointed because for me, writing is like air. I have to do it regardless of whether I share or not or even whether or not it’s any good. So I try to find moments to write whether crafting a Facebook status (it counts!) or typing up a blog post with typos (or extraneous commas).

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So this year I’m pouring my need into my eldest who is doing it even if he doesn’t realize it :) (If I were on top of things there would have been a chart and coloring and blah blah blah, but my kids are alive and fed so that’s a victory in my book). Two hundred words is the goal (about ten words a day if we stick with weekdays).

Right now we’ve got Batman, Robin, Frodo, Sam, and Han Solo captured by Stormtrooper pigs (a la Star Wars Angry Birds). Ah yes, my son is writing his first bit of fanfiction. I’ll even bet it’s better than Twilight.

I’m hoping that as the years go by, I can foster his love of story-telling, teach him how to organize his thoughts, and show him the satisfaction of finishing a goal.

I remember when it used to be easier to encourage a sense of accomplishment…

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Yes! I finally have you, Toucan!