babyhood, doctor, motherhood, parenting, vaccines

Vaccines, dehydration and "just a coincidence"

Friday was shot day at the pediatrician’s office [the same appointment wherein we learned we are failing spectacularly as parents due to the fact that our little one doesn’t point]. I hate shot day for all the reasons every mother hates shot day but this past Friday my stomach hurt a little extra when I learned he would have not one, not two but FOUR stabs to the leg. He normally gets a high fever and some other random assortment of scary side-effects after his shots [the vast majority of which I am assured by medical professionals are completely unrelated to the shots- just a coincidence. each. and. every. time.] so with four shots I braced myself for a difficult weekend ahead.

Except he seemed fine. The next day we began the morning with a lovely play-date with Murgdan and Gabriel [And while our kids did play, they mostly played around each other with bursts of accidental encounters including a brief but vigorous argument for the remote control- Gabriel won], and ended it with a third viewing of Inception. A good day. Huh. I thought. No fever. Maybe his bad reaction to vaccines is over.

I was wrong.

That night, I checked in on a sweaty, feverish baby battling, to put it delicately, a horrendous stomach bug. The next day he refused to eat or drink, instead resting in our arms whimpering. The nurse hotline advised me on warning signs and what to do. When I voiced concerns that it was vaccine-related she dismissed it immediately. No way. Just a coincidence.

The next day, when he began stumbling, I rushed him to the doctor. Within the course of 48 hours he went from 20.8 pounds to 19.5 on the brink of hospitals and IVs. Again, I was informed its not the vaccines. No way. Just a coincidence.

This coincidence stance frustrates me. I understand him getting sick one time unrelated to the vaccines, but each and every time? A stomach bug? Nausea? Rash? Don’t get me wrong- I think vaccines are important. I’m all for them. Do I love that you have to pierce skin to administer them? No. But until they develop the technology to administer said vaccines through baked goods, this is the way its done. I don’t like it, but I get it. What I don’t understand: Why do we have to administer so many damn vaccines at once? Why can’t we spread them out over the course of weeks or months? I am thankful that as scary as his sickness-post-vaccines tend to be, he does get better, but why is there this emphatic dismissal of my concerns when I tell them that he gets sick each and every time from vaccines- and an insistence that its unrelated purely coincidental? Side-effects can be funny things. You wouldn’t think one could be allergic to breastfeeding? But you can. Why is it outside the realm of possibilities that vaccines running through a tiny body might produce a side-effect in a particular child?

Slowly the clouds are parting. Today he ate a tablespoon of yogurt and a small bowl of rice; its better than yesterday and I hope tomorrow will be better than today. I’m thankful he avoided the hospital thanks to my doctor’s idea to feed him gatorade via syringe bit-by-bit for two hours until he finally had a wet diaper. Really, I’m grateful. But the thought of his fifteen month wellness visit shot appointment is making me feel sick. When he was born, I was sick and while they told me there were fairly certain he was okay, they did a ridiculous amount of tests involving needles to protect their liability make sure. A kind nurse suggested quietly that I refuse the Hep A vaccine at the hospital since Waleed had clearly been through enough in his short life and I could get it done later. No one at the hospital so much as blinked when I refused it, but my doctor’s office? They have a notice on their website that if you don’t want to go with the traditional vaccine schedule you’re welcome to go elsewhere. In fact, every doctor’s office within a fifteen minute drive of me does not tolerate alternate vaccine schedules. Like I said, the one time I tentatively brought it up, you’d think I told them I hunt koala bears for a living.

Maybe his sickness post-vaccines is related. Maybe it’s not. Today, one grandmother theorized this could be due to the blueberries I fed him, while another thought it might be because we didn’t feed him enough rice. Everyone wants a reason- a why. Maybe that’s me- a mother wanting to lay blame at someone’s door, to find a reason- in this case, vaccines.

How did you handle, are handling, or plan to handle vaccines? Any insight on this topic appreciated.

36 thoughts on “Vaccines, dehydration and "just a coincidence"”

  1. Vaccines are also rough. Rania tends to be cranky afterwards. I usually give her a dose a baby tylenol for the pain and she is okay, Alhumdulilah. I'm glad to hear that W is doing better. I'm sorry that you all had such a rough go of it. Poor baby…


  2. Hey Jamila! Yes- I hate vaccines just because they make babies cranky- but Waleed? He gets 104-105 degree fevers from it, nausea, rashes, all sorts of strange things- so its doubly frightening and worse when everyone says it can't be related when it happens EVERY TIME. He's getting better- thanks for your kind words 🙂


  3. I'm so sorry he's been unwell! 😦 It certainly sounds like the illness & vaccines are related.

    I understand that docs feel if they give even an inch on this issue that people won't vax on time. But, their stance has created a culture of silence.

    If every other drug and – as you pointed out, even something as natural as breast milk – can cause allergic reactions, how is it possible that vaccines can't?

    In CA, most docs are ok with alternate schedules such as the one that Dr. Sears has laid out. We have a very delayed schedule for the baby as neuro issues run in the family & I am scared to death of him being bombarded with too many vaccines at a time.

    I'm sorry, sweetie. It's a tough issue.

    Hugs & love to you.

    – B


  4. Glad to hear Waleed is doing better. If I got 4 shots in one day, I would probably feel sick so imagine what it does to the little ones!


  5. Baraka, thanks for your take I know we've talked about this in detail in the past. I am going to look into other practices more open to alternate schedules. As much as vaccines are important in my opinion, I don't think there is any rhyme or reason to giving our at the same time on the same visit save efficiency. If it means a drive into the city- so be it I think.

    Sonya, thanks!! I know, any normal person would probably get affected by that many shots- wish doctors would just acknowledge that instead of pretend its all in my head!

    Thanks for your concern Anon!


  6. Hope Waleed is feeling better now. D never really had any reaction to any of his vaccines. I have delayed his 15 month MMR shots. He will be getting them this month. I researched online and decided to do scattered vaccination.


  7. Oh no! How is Waleed now? This is terrible. I hate that they lump the vaccines all together like that. And I really don't think that his symptoms are a coincidence. I hope Waleed is up and running around as usual, soon.



  8. Oh, poor Waleed! That's just awful, and yeah, I wouldn't be AT ALL surprised to hear it's a reaction to all the vaccinations hitting him at once. We've been lucky, Henry has, so far, (knocking wood here) tolerated vaccines with nary a glitch in his system. No fever, no crankiness, no nothing. That said, I know PLENTY of moms who report the sort of extreme symptoms you do. I agree – look for a practice that's willing to space them out. You might have to spend some time explaining you're PRO-vaccine, you just want to give him some time in between shots, but it'd be worth it to find a doctor who actually listened & responded to your concerns! Hope he's feeling back to his usual sunny self today!


  9. Not sure about stomach flu, but one of my kids always had fever after vaccines (the other, never!), and even our dog's vet says to expect the DOG to be lethargic after a vaccination. And when I've had vaccinations, even flu shots, I almost always feel crummy…. it is a foreign substance introduced in the body (don't get me wrong, I'm ultra pro-vaccine, but still…. it IS a foreign substance!) Regardless, it's just sooo hard to watch your kids not feel well and to not be able to do something. So I'm very glad he's on the mend.


  10. Awww, I hope he is feeling better. IA.
    I hate vaccines and I am waiting for the day when vaccines will be administered through baked goods!
    Take care 🙂


  11. Peter's background is in virology and, when we met, he was provac, I was anti. When we were pregnant, we began reading everything we could both for and against, and we found a place we are comfortable with. In our opinion, babies arent meant to be bombarded with vaccines. So, we opted to do one a visit (which, in the early days meant multiple visits in a month and 2x the copay each time… fun), and to choose the vaccines we would give. Some we said no to outright, others we chose to wait on, and others we were okay with around the suggested time. We loved Dr. Sear's book, The Vaccine Book, as a downtoearth, easy read for the nonscientific parent who didnt want to sift through articles (we did both, LOL). Also, finding a pediatrician who is willing to talk and discuss is a must. One of the reasons we loved Dr W so much was that she was up to date on research and would discuss not just each vaccine, but ingredients and side-effects and anything else!, and was very pro-parental involvement.


  12. C I think you're doing the right thing for sure.

    Fruitful thanks for the well wishes for Waleed- he's improving with each passing day, but ike you I question the harsh “cant be vaccines so don't bring it up” stance at the DR office.

    Susan, thakns for letting me know you know others whove had similar symptoms to vaccines- K is in avaccine related field and he says they take the harsh stance b/c they are afraid you will stop vaccinating- but maybe like you said if I explain how pro vaccine I am they'll understand. Just hate hate hate the condescenion when we have these conversations. But it needs to be done.

    Thanks for sharing yoru experience with this Julia. It sucks indeed! 😦

    A, baked goods- I'm telling you, that's a billion dollar idea! 🙂

    Michele, sounds like you found a good solution. I've heard great things about Dr. Sear's books- skimmed it once, but when no one around me was open to it, I thought oh well, and my husband like your hubby is specializing in vaccine type stuff so he said there was no harm so I let it go. But now even K agrees spacing them out might be best. I might need to make a move if they won't listen to me.


  13. Glad he's feeling better. Funny but my vet always tells me that my kitty isn't going to feel well right after I vaccinate him. I'm going to talk to my pediatrician and see if I can maybe spread the vaccinations out. All she can say is no! Pixie


  14. Pixie- I would definitely find a doctor that is respectful of your decisions especially when you are makign it out of a place of reason and research, not impulse or hysteria. As others have recommended the Dr. Sears alternative vaccination scheudle seems a great place to start to do some reading on how to space them out. I will be doing so from now on insh'Allah.


  15. What a bummer! The same symptoms every time? With the vomiting too? That's not a coincidence people!

    Wiggles has been lucky so far – just cranky and mild fevers with vaccines. We also delayed his Hep vaccine from the hospital to his 1 month check up and definitely got the stink eye from the pediatrician…who we no longer see.

    My thought is that I know my dad can't get flu shots because they use some sort of egg product and he's allergic to eggs. So it's possible it's an allergy like that maybe? Does Waleed have any known food allergies, or allergies in general?


  16. Heya it's bongi again, sorry have to use anon as name/URL doesn't seem
    to want to work on my phone.
    Poor little waleed :,( I hope he's feeling much better now

    Aaah vaccines……I was surprised when I ended up
    crying each time my daughter had them, the staunch advocate
    of vaccines that I am!! Well mainly because the nurses I see are
    beyond stupid. Last set my daughter had 3 jabs and the idiot…
    Instead of just giving them bang bang bang, would give one
    … Slowly type in the batch code to the computer…then give next…type…
    And so on, so just as she was recovering from one
    bout of screaming and breath holding… She would start gain.
    Could.have.killed.nurse. Honestly, I don't know where they
    find some o these people from. This nurse gave the first set of jabs
    in the front of her thighs, which I've never seen done, it's usually
    just to the side of the thighs, more fat less pain I reckon.
    And when challenged she said oh yeah… People keep
    tellin me it's more pain the way I do them. WTF. Then
    bloody do them in the sides…. Oh I'm not trained.
    Eff. Off. I despise nurses as you must be realising slowly.
    As doctors we were never sent on a course to stick needles
    into people, but believe you me, I've done it lots of
    times, it doesn't take “training”.


  17. Bongi again… Phone very irritating!!!

    Yes back to vaccines…fever, tummy upset, rashes, that's all
    vaccine side effects. It's the first thing the nurses here
    tell you to look out for… Mainly so that when it happens you don't
    panic n bring your child in and waste nhs time.
    Funny how the attitudes are so different here compared to the
    US. In this regard n probably this regard only (medicine wise)
    I kinda love the way you HAVE to be vaccinated
    in the states (or so I've heard) … Or at least to enroll
    your child into school/nursery, you need to have a
    full vaccine record to hand? (correct me if I'm wrong)
    over here you can be hippy as you like re: vaccines
    no one can stop you, n I think that's insane.

    Eg… I once saw a 15 year old boy covered from top
    till toe with measles. Nasty cough, n chest infection
    also as a conplication. (this was in hospital).
    Vaccine history revealed… Oh we decided against
    vaccines for our child… Why? Because we thought it would
    be better. This was an educated woman mind you.
    Right. Well now your kid has measles! Oh and what's that you say?
    You've just spent the incubation period at
    a family friends house… And they have a newborn
    baby. Wow you're so clever! What's that? You've read
    that the complications of measles can be fatal?
    It's the ONLY time I've ever answered back a patient
    or parent of a patient… Well maybe you could have thought
    that when you decided to not vaccinate your child.
    What's that? You want me to admit your child??
    Not in a million years, cos your brat of a
    child (he wasn't that sick, just being a mouthy 15 year
    old) will kill…. Yes KILL… (potentially) a little
    girl upstairs who has leukaemia
    and is immunosupressed and can't fight measles,
    which she will catch at the drop
    of a hat as that's just how infectious it is. That is why
    people need to be vaccinated.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm very conpassionate ordinarily
    and i had
    nothing against the boy (other than that he was a gobby
    little shite) as not his fault his mother
    didn't get himvaccinated… And he really wasn't very
    ill…. It's just… The mind baffles really.
    I believe vaccines should be given. And on time.
    I don't really understand the logic in spreading
    them out as it's just more episodes of pain and misery
    for the
    child so although I can't stand the nurse, I bite
    my Tongue for the sake of my child being vaccinated
    and also not being a threat to the immunocompromised
    children out there that don't have the immune system
    to fight such illnesess and for whom
    it is potentially fatal.



  18. Banshee, allergies! I need to research this! I know he's not allergic to eggs, but that is a really good point! Thanks for the food for thought! And glad for you that wiggles is not prone to such reactions as W is- its awful!

    Bongi- the measles story just freaks me out!!! Wow! I believe it is required to have your vaccines to go to school BUT you can opt out of it if you object to them on moral or religious grounds. There are lots of kids here who go unvaccinated, there are entire pockets of communities with unvaccinated kids, ofcourse, if you don't vaccinate you are hoping everyone else will vaccinate so your kid won't get the outbreak the vaccine is designed to protect but my husband works in vaccine area and said old diseases are back on the rise, diseases eradicated by vaccines because people arn't vaccinating, and in the pockets of communities where everyone is not vaccinating, there are outbreaks of measles, mumps, pretussis, etc etc. I dont know how big of a deal it was over in the UK but autism fears triggered a lot of this- its been debunked but the damage of the false paper that posited a link is still done.

    As for spacing them out, some think this may minimize the side effects- I know that when he gets one shot his reaction fever-rash-etc wise is not even remotely as bad as when he gets 3-4 shots at once. So for that reason I am considering spacing out.

    As for the shots- WTF. INNER THIGH?!?!?!! As someone whose had to give shots to themselves- that makes me shudder- that is CRUEL. Like you said, you don't need to be trained specially to give a shot appropriately- ACK 😦

    As for the way that nurse gives the shot


  19. And one more thing, I think that these horrible diseases like polio, etc have been gone for so long people have forgotten how horrific they are- they forget that the vaccine is nothing compared tot he disease they save your child from.


  20. Aww, hope your boy feels better soon! I don't know how I plan to handle the vaccine question w/ kids, but this is all good to know… (totally not the same, but my kittens had a bad reaction to their latest vaccinations because the ASPCA did 3 vaccines at once? :/)


  21. Totally agree- not a coincidence. It is very condescending for the docs to dismiss this. Stick with your gut feeling and look for someone who can work w/ your idea of spreading out the vaccines.
    I'm so glad he'd doing better.


  22. Ellen, thank you for your kind words and your comment! 🙂 and I've heard from others about their pets getting reactions to vaccines, also small little beings like babies, so not a surprise I guess!

    VP, thanks for your comment! I hate having to start over with a doctor but I might have to- first I'm going to TRY to talk to her but am dreadeding getting talked down to!


  23. Bongi again

    The autism link…terrible. But yes, scrapped, burnt, no evidence, it has caused
    a great deal of damage as yes people for that reason won't vaccinate.
    This lady (15 year olds mother) said she preferred “natural methods”
    well… Your natural method whateer that is didn't stop your kid from
    getting measles! And yes it's massively on the rise as protection
    against these diseases depends on herd immunity …ie as close to 100%
    people being vaccinated. Alot of the cases here are from gyspy familys
    and as soon as one gets measles, they aaaall get it, they pile into
    hospital panicking n the thing is unless they're on deaths doorstep
    we don't want to see them because they're suc a threat to
    the immunocompromised.

    And yes people seem to not understand that yea it's terrible to see
    your child in pain being vaccinated but it sure beats
    getting any of those terrible illnesses!


  24. yep! 30 second cry from a shot- versus- 30 year suffering from polio or some other God forbid disease- big difference. We live in sanitized times so its hard to realize the depth of the issue!


  25. Blogger ate my comment yesterday!

    Right, in a nutshell, after vaccines George really sleeps well, only wakes up once and I sound terrible, but I can't wait for the next batch, that tired I am. Waking up every two hours does that. 😦

    Hope Waleed is already feeling loads better.


  26. Dangit, so blogger is still acting wonky? That SUCKS. Dont want to switch but its leaving me little choice- hope it fixes itself soon!

    Kmina, he's been waking up every two hours due to sickness and I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU DO IT. you are superwoman plain and simple.


  27. Aisha – I have been on both side of fence as a physician and as a parent. It was hard. My son went through multiple bouts of sickness till age 3. Had very frustrated arguments with “docs”…….At the end – my advise – conrinue vaccines and just ride with it. Only thing which worries me – is he allegic to egg or any other component of vaccine?


  28. I'm worried about that too Mystic- I will have to talk to the doctor next time- the issue is- when I voice this they say 'but those are not the type of reactions these shots cause' and the topic is then closed off. Very frustrating.


  29. My advise – find a good pediatrician in friends/family and talk to him/her (a curb side unofficial talk). I would have talk to you but my own knowledge in this area is no more than a layman..

    On other note – for blogspot I changed my browser from IE to google chrome and it fixed my problem!


  30. I am so sorry he is not feeling well. I do vaccinate on schedule, but if Ivy were to get this Ill I might delay selected ones. I am just not sure how I feel about it. I did not want to vaccinate but my husband was very for it and after reading numerous research studies with no causal links between vaccines and anything, coupled with the fact that we travel frequently and I want my baby to be protected from illnesses, which I feel the vaccines do prevent – we chose to vaccinate on schedule. I feel this is a personal parent decision and I hope Walleed feels better soon. I do not think this is a coincidence, I think he is allergic to something (most likely a preservative) in the vaccine.


  31. Peace and blessings Aisha,

    I am surprised at the tone of the comments and how pro-vac everyone is, even in the face of Waleed's reaction and connection to maybe his developmental issues.

    I would really really research this topic and go with your gut. You have some concerns. Don't give him another vaccine until you are convinced of their safety and his ability to handle it.

    I don't know if the issue is as simple as pro vac and anti vac (and those anti-vac people being crazy and amnesiac etc.) There is a lot behind the scenes (from FDA to big pharmas to lobbying pressure) that we can't really be innocent and trusting at everything that doctors push at us.

    The fact that your doctor does not even want to entertain the connection between the vac and your son's reaction is quite typical of the whole industry's suppression of evidence when it comes to these cases.

    Just research more. And try not to be dogmatic about it. It's your son's health at the core of this and I won't just be happy to hear a chorus of “yayy to vaccines!” To convince me to continue in spite of what my own gut and experience tells me.

    Best wishes.


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