If you have been following my blog for the past few months, you know by now that it hasn’t been an easy ride for me, having a baby. Not the first time with Emma, not the second time around with Georgie. We have dealt with stomach troubles with both. Diagnosed with reflux, they both struggled for the first three months to sleep for stretches longer than 45 minutes to an hour, cried uncontrollably at times and required me to enroll help, with my mum moving in with us both times for months on end…
So you can imagine that I treasure peace and I seek to keep my babies as comfortable as I possibly can. I have convinced the doctors this time too to put George on special milk, in case he suffers from food intolerance. I go to bed ridiculously early, to ensure the baby gets the rest he desperately needs. I have no social life whatsoever at the moment because my kids are my priority.
But there are things that enrage me as they cause unnecessary suffering to my baby. Last week, little George got his second set of jabs. After the first one, he reacted almost immediately with fever, irritability and a stubborn diarrhea that lasted for more than a week. This time around, he seemed fine. For a few days. Then the nightmare began! Fever, incessant crying, baby waking up at night every 30 minutes or so wriggling with stomach cramps and flatulence. Thick saliva that seemed to almost choke the poor guy.
I did my research and realised that the rotavirus vaccine they give in three stages to babies now (there was no such thing when Emma was a baby, four years ago!) causes exactly these symptoms! I did more research and realised that although it seems like an impressive figure, the virus is responsible for 500,000 infant deaths WORLDWIDE, out of a 7 billion world population. So in the worst case scenario, my baby would have 1 in 14,000 to die from it and probably 1 in 140,000 to be hospitalised with it. The thing is, and I am taking a wide guess here, that most of these deaths occur in poor countries where there is a crass lack of hygiene. So that reduced even further the chances of my baby ever being near it, as we live in a country where everything is almost oversanitised, from hospitals to public places to homes( I use bleach excessively and for everything).
So what is the logic in inoculating a baby with a sensitive gut with a live virus that in both cases gave him a mild case of rotavirus, as far as I am concerned? Why is it more important for the health system here to tick a box rather than consider each case individually and act accordingly?
I have decided NOT to give him the third rotavirus dose next month. I need to protect him for further useless pain.
What is your opinion on the subject? I know it is a very hot potato but I am putting it out there as I want to hear your opinion, folks!