It is hard to believe that Bennett is already 4 months old! Today she went in for her 4 month check-up, and I must admit that I was a little nervous. My cousin, Lisa, had warned me of the risk of vaccinating your child all at once like the CDC recommended due to the possible link to autism and other developmental disorders when Bennett was very young. But rather than do the research like she suggested, I just asked my pediatrician who stated that he vaccinated his boys according to the CDC's schedule and felt that the rumors were just that. So needless to say, I trusted him and gave Bennett all 5 of her recommended vaccinations at her 2 month check-up.
However, the past two months I have been hearing a lot of the same claims my cousin made, so I started doing a little research. Well I became obsessed with what I was reading, and though I believe in the importance of vaccinating Bennett, I didn't want to do it so heavily at a few appointments. I had done my homework prior to the appointment, and was ready and armed with facts, statistics and quotes from neurologists and pediatricians. Steve was worried that I may make a bad situation worse with my new passion, so he elected to start the conversation off with our doctor. You see Steve and our doctor have a common love...the Alabama Tide, so they get along wonderfully.
As you would expect, Steve eased into it with class and a way that wouldn't put our doctor on the defense. And I must admit that it worked like a charm. Our doctor, Keith Stansell, was totally open to our worries and our desire to put Bennett on an alternative vaccination schedule. In fact, he spent a whole HOUR with us discussing the risks of not giving her the various vaccinations and even helped us with this alternate schedule. Though I showed him some of the material I had read, it ended up not even be necessary. It was a very rewarding experience, and just made me feel that much more comfortable with him as a physician. So, for any of you Birmingham folks that are in need of a GREAT pediatrician, I highly recommend Dr. Keith Stansell at Alabama Pediatrics in Homewood.
Today, Bennett left with only one vaccination - the DTaP (which is actually 3 in 1), and then we are heading back next month to get another two mercury free vaccinations. In fact, we are going back monthly until she is 9 months old so we can get her pretty much caught up with the CDC's schedule. We opted out of her remaining Rotavirus vaccinations, and are waiting to give her the remaining Hepatitis B until she is older. We were also referred to a compounding place in town where we can get the MMR vaccination split up into separate shots-which we are definitely doing. We both felt comfortable with our decision, and it must have shown to Bennett because she didn't even flinch when she got her shot today.
As always, she was an angel...smiling and talking for the nurse and doctor. She weighed in at 13 lbs 13 oz and was 24.5 inches long....both are in the 50th percentile. Dr. Stansell said that she looked great, and told us to not worry about her lack of reaching now (since she was a little early). Since she is on target with all of the other milestones, he thinks it may just take her another month or so.
Steve and I have talked several times since the appointment about how happy we are with the outcome. We certainly want to protect our little angel, and if the additional tests that the CDC is conducting prove that multiple vaccinations (with Thimerosal) at once can be detrimental, we want to be ahead of the curve. Based on what I have read, there has to be some link to the substantial increase in autism over the past two decades. We feel extremely fortunate to have God's protection over our baby these past 12 months (in utero and after birth), and it is our job too to make sure that she is taken care of to the best of our ability. So, if it requires more of our time to take her into the doctor's office...she is WELL WORTH IT!
I certainly don't want to push my opinions on anyone, but if you have any questions, or want to be directed to some of the websites that I visited...please email me. I would be more than happy to share any and all information I have, including her alternate vaccination schedule.