So she's not quite as huge as I thought–Nora weighed in yesterday at a willowy 11 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 23 inches (but I prefer to call it 1 foot 11 inches). Thanks for heeding my slow-down requests, baby.
The more significant part of the visit was the vaccines. Ugh. I agonized over what to do regarding vaccines, because I'm intrinsically skeptical of across-the-board medical interventions—specifically those that entail injecting toxins into the sweet little fat rolls of my 11 pound, 11 ounce baby. I had decided to only vaccinate against the most frightening diseases (and the ones she's most likely to encounter) at this visit, but when I got there I discovered that all the vaccines are bundled these days. One shot, the PediaRix, combines some ungodly number of vaccines (Hep B, polio, diptheria, tetanus, pertussis … am I missing any?), and while I didn't want to vaccinate her for all those things yesterday, I was attracted to the idea of minimizing the number of shots she'll have to receive. So I said yes. Then there were two others, Hib and Prevnar, which I had intended to consent to because they prevent different types of meningitis. In the end, Nora ended up getting all the standard 2-month vaccines except the oral vaccine for rotavirus. Watching her get those shots was awful, as you can imagine. But even worse is the second-guessing and paranoia I've been experiencing since leaving the doctor's office.
Just on a basic level, it's terrifying to know that this junk has been injected into the thus-far unadulterated body of my sweet little girl. But to make matters worse, I've received two emails in the past 24 hours about the autism-vaccination link. Of course that was one of the things I considered when deciding about the vaccines, but now I'm wondering if I considered it seriously enough.
The reason I ultimately decided to vaccinate, even against some of the stuff that doesn't occur much in the States, is that after being in Ethiopia, I've seen that these diseases are not just theoretical. They're real, they're prevalent, and they're devastating. We plan to go back to Ethiopia at some point in the next several years, so we'd want her vaccinated before then. In the meantime, our community of friends includes a lot of international adoptees who come from countries with different medical landscapes than ours in the U.S., so it's not unthinkable that Nora will come in contact with some of the diseases that aren't common here.
Still, I can't help but wonder if I made the wrong choice for my little girl—one that may harm instead of protect her. For the past 24 hours, I've been watching her like a mama hawk, checking to make sure she's still breathing every time she goes more than a minute without making noise, talking to her incessantly to see if she's still making eye contact, evaluating every movement to determine if it's a precursor to a seizure. So far so good, but still I worry.
I know this is just one of many difficult decisions I'll make on my kids' behalf in their lifetimes, so I'd better find a more stress-free way of dealing with them. Any tips?