Choices, Choices, Everywhere...

Let me tell you a story about a mom just trying to do her best.

Mom has a baby! She prepares for the birth, has him naturally and loves the experience. After a little bit of a rough start, breastfeeding starts heading in the right direction and a little healthy boy grows and grows.

Having a natural birth alone seems to make a mom a little counter-culture. She questions some of those commonly held beliefs out there. She realizes at some point that there is even an issue with vaccinations. WHAT?! Doesn't everybody do that?

But, she turns to Dr Sears who is a trusted source and he seems to recommend it, though not necessarily on the normally recommended schedule, so she proceeds forward. Because baby is little, she can't really see any ill effect.

Baby boy is around 15 months old and he gets a vaccine for Hepatitis A. Mom didn't really research this one and is very upset to find that after the shot, dear son is not himself for about a week. He is feverish and lethargic. This is a normally very active happy boy who is busy even when he is sick.

Mom starts to worry and so takes him into his pediatric Chiropractor. Immediately after his adjustment he is up and running which he had not done since his shot. The Chiropractor asks, "Why did you give him that vaccination?"

Mom starts to wonder...

A few more babies come. These ones do not get their shots.

When one of the babies is around three they live in a community with very low vaccination rates and (not necessarily because of this) the child gets pertussis or whooping cough.

Mom is scared again. She did vaccinate to care for and love her child. Then she doesn't vaccinate in order to do the best thing for the next child.

Either way, there are consequences.

And so...

Somebody told me once that the hardest thing about being a mother for her was all the decisions. There are so many of them to make. Every decision seems to have an expert on each side passionate about their view. You meet mothers on either side. All are so sure they are right. All seem to point out the dangers, not to you, but to YOUR CHILD should you make the wrong choice.

What is a mother to do?

I am starting to think there are few easy choices. And there are no choices without consequences. Every time something like the above happens to me I am reminded to temper my passions. There are sides to every issue. When I start to take a side I often find myself humbled.

All we can do is make educated choices based on knowledge and yes, instinct. Then we must accept that no matter what our choice, there will be consequences, some of them possibly unpleasant.

Being a mother is hard and humbling work because we are not just caring for ourselves, we are caring for another life. Good luck in your journey mamas.


January said…
"All we can do is make educated choices based on knowledge and yes, instinct. Then we must accept that no matter what our choice, there will be consequences, some of them possibly unpleasant."

Yes! This! When we chose not to vaccinate we had to ask ourselves if we were OK with the consequences. The answer was yes. I was much more comfy with those consequences than the ones we faced if we DID vaccinate. Especially for our first. That mama instinct strongly told me not to.But if my mama instinct STRONGLY told me that I needed to vaccinate a child (not fears or being told to), then I actually would. I don't think most people realize that about me b/c I am so dang passionate! :)
January said…
Oh and great post!!!!!
Unknown said…
Good post. I really do think ANY choice you make as a mother has a set of risks. Homebirthing does, hospital birthing does, vaxing does, not vaxing does, belly-sleeping does, back-sleeping does... your job as a mother is to be informed of the risks and make a choice for which set of risks you feel is the least dangerous. It's a pessimistic way of viewing things, but sadly... I really think there aren't any choices where something bad might not possibly happen from it.
Anonymous said…
I love this post. It sums up a lot of my thoughts about motherhood. All the decisions are so difficult. I finally came to the understanding that I am not a perfect person and I can't make the perfect decision every time (Romans 3:23). I do my homework, but in the end I have to do what I think is best at the time and leave the rest up to God. I'm so grateful that He can take care of it all and that there's more to this life than this life.