Thursday, November 11, 2010

Writer's Workshop

Describe a moment when you ignored your intuition. What happened?

Before Ethan was born, people would talk about a Mother's Intuition, and I wondered if I'd ever get it. Then after he was born, I started to doubt that I did have it. During Ethan's first 6 weeks, there were numerous times my parents told me he was sick and I needed to take him to the Emergency Room, and I thought he was fine (he was), so I really doubted this intuition thing would happen.

But slowly, I learnt to trust myself and my intuition.

Last fall, there was the big H1n1 scare. For the first few months, there was talk about whether or not the vaccine would make it to Tanzania. Then one of the clinics got it, but they had a limited amount, so they had a scale to determine who would get it, and who wouldn't. I wasn't bothered by any of this, because it wasn't a big concern for me.

Then the French Embassy brought in a few batches, and offered the vaccine for free to all students of the French School. So the debate began. Now, please don't get me wrong, I believe in vaccines, however, I think we tend to overload children with vaccines. I had decided not to give Ethan the vaccine. Scott supported my decision. 

But then we had people tell us we were crazy. We were going to Canada for Christmas. The plane is a cesspool of germs. What if Ethan got ill? Would we not feel guilty that we could have prevented it? Isn't it be better to be safe than sorry? Scott had to go to South Africa, and left the decision to me.

Against my better judgment, I decided to give Ethan the vaccine. We went to the French School, signed him up, and waited our turn. The whole time we were there, something inside of me told me to run! Take Ethan and leave! Don't do this! But I ignored it and proceeded. Even when Dr Pierre was chatting with us, my stomach was doing turns. I didn't believe I was doing the right thing.

That evening, Ethan had a high fever. It lasted 2 days. Out of all his mates that got the vaccine, he reacted the worst to it. I spent the weekend with my child who was asleep 99% of the time due to the fever, crying, regretting my decision.

I never gave Ethan the follow up shot.

Don't get me wrong, for anyone who gave their children the vaccine, I believe you did the right thing. It just wasn't the right thing for me.  I feel I should have believed in myself, stuck to my gut, and  trusted my intuition.   


The Jammie Girl said...

I so agree! Any time I've let myself be convinced to do something that just "feels wrong" I always regret it later. We have intuition for a reason.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

That's sad people talked you into something that you didn't feel good about and it turned out you were right after all. Guess you did get that mother's intuition!

Stopping by from Writer's Workshop. Here's the link to mine:

panamamama said...

Great story. I never get my kids the flu shots. Not sure if it's the right choice, but my mom (who always gets them) has gotten the flu every year and we have only gotten it about once every two years or so. Now, I didn't get it last year and we all got H1N1, so not sure...

Sarah said...

I totally know how you feel. For some reason, I felt weird about giving the twins their MMR/Varicalla vax at 15 months. They ended up having colds, and couldn't get it at the appt. I just kept feeling weird about it, so I held off for almost a year before I let the doc do it. Everything worked out fine when they finally got it. But it's so hard to know when to trust your intution when it comes to the health of your child. I got the first H1N1 for all the kids, but didn't go back for the second one either.

JustMom420zaks said...

You always got to trust those strong feelings, I've come to realize.
I'm so glad everything came out ok.