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Hell Is A State Of Mind (at least partly…)

March 26, 2007

When Gabe was first born, I felt like motherhood hit me with the gentle force of a ton of bricks. Or I guess a ton of anything, since a ton is a ton is a ton. But regardless of the type of ton, I found myself reeling as I realized there was this perfect little person who was dependant on me (!) for everything! EVERYTHING!

When I first held Gabe, I felt like I had to shield him from every harmful and hurtful thing I could think of. My previous priorities were suddenly in the farthest back seat of a very long stretch limo because I discovered that being Gabe’s mother was a VERY big job. I also struggled a bit with post-partum depression and feelings of failure and inadequacy. It was impossible for me to sleep unless I was somehow touching Gabe, since I was afraid he might stop breathing while I was oblivious. But, I couldn’t bring him in bed with me or sleep with any blankets because I was afraid I’d hurt him somehow, so we spent several restless nights in the recliner nursing and watching VH1’s late night music videos. 

Tim helped me in every way he could, and as I slowly healed from surgery and started sleeping again, I started to improve. At this point? I still fall asleep listening for Gabe’s breathing (his crib is in our bedroom) but I’m able to sleep. My guess is that I’ll spend the next several years listening at night for my children’s sounds:)

Please don’t get me wrong. Yes, my 4th trimester was a type of “hell on earth only less hot” but I’ve come to appreciate the results of my single-mindedness. While holding a newborn Gabe I read every single parenting book I could get my hands on, from the “Baby Bible” the pediatrician sent home with us as we left the hospital to What to Expect The First Year. If you wanted to know what parents could do to reduce the risk of SIDS? I knew every detail. If you wanted to know what foods a baby could start with, and what were potential allergens, I knew that too. From my comfy recliner, I crammed every bit of conventional and contemporary child-rearing knowledge into my head. Then? I started investigating more non-conventional arguments.

Which leads to the real point of this post. I decided to study the benefits of vaccinations, and read everything I could find on the subject. There were articles stating that vaccines were completely safe and anybody who didn’t vaccinate their child on schedule was lost in a haze of “bad parenting.” There were articles that linked vaccinations to everything from autism and asthma to SIDS. I talked to Gabe’s pediatrician and other mothers about the subject, and tried to find concrete data on the subject, including studying the information provided by the CDC. Most importantly, I shared all of my studies with Tim, and together we studied the value of vaccinating Gabe as compared to possible cost of dangers to him.

Tim and I have decided to at least delay Gabe’s vaccines, and we are hopeful that we’re doing the best thing for Gabe. We just couldn’t find the actual data that proved the benefits for us. I suppose this is what comes of two geeky-and-over-educated social-sciency people getting married and having kids. We question everything.

Now I have to decide the merits of orange baby food as compared to green baby food;)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Timmy permalink
    March 26, 2007 8:45 am

    Who you callin geeky 😉

  2. March 26, 2007 8:56 am

    I’m calling ME geeky! And I guess you’re geeky ’cause YOU married me.

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