As with any normal parent, I will do anything to stop harm from coming to my daughter.
In 1980 childhood killer smallpox was ‘out-vaccinated’ and apparently more recently Polio too is on its way out. It’s very easy today to forget about the old childhood diseases that you usually associated with the 19th century- because of vaccination. It was only when I read a BuzzFeed article about iron lungs that I thought, holy crap. That happened.
I am as pro-vaccine as you can get. If there is a way to stop my child from catching a big nasty then I’m down for it 110%. If could vaccinate my children’s way against depression, destitution and awkward Sunday dinners then I would in a heartbeat. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t cry a River Thames every time the needle is near. It gets no easier.
What no one tells you is that when you take your baby to their scheduled vaccines you will have to rule out the next 48hrs. Any plans? Hahaha. Really? Cancel them. You shall not go to the ball, Cinderella. I first learnt this after the meningitis B component of the 8 week jab left my baby screaming for hours, and then some. Thirty six hours and half a bottle of Calpol later we had survived. My little bundle was fine and though I’d taken a knock, so was I. But it was still bloody difficult, and it was every time. I managed to work out that there were different ‘phases’ to the post-vaccine period:
Phase One: Everything is Hunky Dory
You are lulled into a false sense of security as your baby is fine and you don’t know what everyone is banging on about. Clearly they’re deluded.
Phase Two: Panic and Freak Out
There is actually no reason to panic. However, Your baby’s leg lights up like a teletubby’s tummy, and bright red too. Your baby is in pain. Your little heart is broken but they will be fine eventually.
Phase Three: Wednesday Night Fever
Your baby breaks out in a fever though John Travolta is nowhere to be seen. This phase tends to last for a while but not forever.
Phase Four: Off Key
Your baby is tired and not themselves. You are also tired and a mess. You want to hibernate in a wine reserve. The fever has gone.
Today I shudder when I think about what will unfold in the next few days with the MMR and Meningitis B Jab being imminent. I will cry a thousand rivers again but at least I know my daughter will forever be protected.