My day started out quietly enough (probably because I had the ringer on my phone turned off). When I woke up I got the call to take my little sister to the doctor. Since my own little one has had a cough and runny nose for the last week, I decided to go ahead and schedule her appointment for the same time. I generally treat any sickness at home and as naturally as possible. I've been giving her homeopathic syrup as an expectorant and cough medicine. It is working well but I figured I could get extra reassurance by having her lungs listened to.
We arrived at the doctor's office late. Big surprise since I will probably be late to my own funeral. They took both girls back together and went through the basic checks of height, weight, temperature, etc. The pediatrician came in and checked them both out after. They are both great and time will fix their ailments. This is where it got interesting for me. Let me just mention here that their pediatrician is my childhood pediatrician. When she asked me if my daughter is up to date on her vaccines, I politely informed her that I do not vaccinate my daughter. This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I have done lots of research before finalizing my decision. After giving me a look as though I neglect my child by keeping her caged, she proceeded to tell me that her office will no longer see my daughter because of my decision. I am proud to say that I kept a calm respectful manner as I told her that I respect their views but stand behind my decision. For the remainder of the visit, she threw out snide remarks and scoffed at my parenting. She then proceeded to tell me that any doctor who would see my child was "weird". Really? This doesn't sound judgmental and close-minded at all, now does it? This is not the first time I have encountered this type of reaction from a pediatrician. As a result, we have been through over six pediatricians in her two and a half years. I just refuse to be shamed into vaccinating my child.
I am somewhat of a crunchy mommy. For those of you who have no idea what that means, let me explain. I like to do things naturally. I'm not all out crunchy, but definitely more than society's norm. When Gia was born I knew I didn't feel comfortable with vaccines but was uneducated to reasons supporting my gut feeling. With the help of my amazing doula, Laura, I embarked on a research project to make the best decision. In general I feel that medicine is overused and I don't go to doctors unless absolutely necessary. This is not because I think they are incapable of healing, I just think that they should be used when we are sick. When I began reading about vaccines, I only became more strong in my convictions.
Now don't get me wrong, I understand that their are valid arguments for both sides of the vaccine debate. Two of the determining factors in my decision are the amount of aluminum in vaccines and the fact that some vaccines are made from aborted babies. I could go on and on as to my reasoning, but at the end of the day it is my choice and my right to make decisions in the best interest of my child. I wholeheartedly believe this is what I am doing. Why is it that doctors feel like they have the authority to shame parents into decisions about their children?
For those of you interested in some amazing pediatricians who support informed choice regarding vaccines, here are my recommendations:
Pediatric Partners of Augusta
Dr. William Cannady
Intown Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Dr. Fredly Bataille
What are your experiences on this topic? Do you have any suggestions of good pediatricians in northern middle Tennessee?