How the Pro-Vaccine Side Lost Me

Two schoolboys are fightingWhen did it become okay to make fun of anyone? When as a society did we start to accept people making fun or belittling each other? It isn’t okay for children to bully each other at school nor is it okay for adults to bully, make fun of, or belittle each other through their Facebook account.

It does not matter if you love or hate vaccines. I was taught growing up if you do not have anything nice to say then you do not say anything at all. I am not anti-medicine, science, or vaccines. I am however very anti-bullying, making fun of people, and bashing others because they have a different opinion.

We are all parents trying to make the best decisions for our children. Parenting is hard enough the way it is without parents making fun of each other.

I know the vaccine issue is a hot topic right now, but I have seen so much belittling from the pro-vaccine camp lately that it has pushed me over the edge. I have been seeing people post the late show host video of him bashing anti-vaxers. I normally keep scrolling when someone posts something that I do not agree with, but it is people posting how funny and great they think the video is. I do not find it funny when someone ridicules or makes fun of people.

Most, but not all, of the parents who do not vaccinate fall into one of these categories:

1. Their child was vaccine injured, had severe reactions to the vaccines, or died from them.

2. They spent hours researching vaccines, package inserts, the history of these diseases, the side effects, and more to come to a conclusion to delay or to not vaccinate. According to the Journal of Pediatrics: “Unvaccinated children tended to be white, to have a mother who was married and had a college degree, to live in a household with an annual income exceeding $75, 000”.

Many of those who do not vaccinate either have experience with vaccine injury or have done their own homework. When you make fun of those who do not vaccinate you subsequently are making fun of vaccine injured children and their families along with people who are educated on the topic. And not everyone who chooses to not vaccinate is educated on the topic either.

To the parents who followed their doctor’s advice and your child had a bad reaction, was vaccine injured, or died from the vaccine; I apologize for every person who posts something hateful towards those who do not vaccinate on their Facebook page. I cannot imagine what you went through or are still going through every day.

Most Americans have very little knowledge concerning vaccines. They have most likely never read a package insert. They completely trust their doctor and the news media. It is unlikely that they have read a study or anything peer-reviewed concerning vaccines. They do not know that our government has paid 2.8 billion dollars to date for injuries due to vaccines that are safe and effective.

If I had not put in hours upon hours into researching vaccines myself I would probably feel the same way about those who choose not to vaccinate. After doing my homework, I respect the decision of other parents whatever it is that they decide. I am 100% pro-parents choice when it comes to vaccines.

Think it is okay to bash those who do not vaccinate? Spend some time listening to these stories and maybe you will feel a little different about ever making fun of these parents.

If you strongly believe in vaccines: I would encourage you to not bash, belittle, or make fun of those who oppose them. You will never change anyone’s mind with those tactics. Some parents are picking up the pieces every day from vaccine injury.

And there are probably people reading this thinking, “But these anti-vaxers are endangering all of us and deserve to be ridiculed”.

1. They aren’t endangering the vaccinated unless you don’t believe vaccines work.

The FDA released this statement in 2013, “There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The Oxford Journal of Clinical Disease found in well-vaccinated populations that the pertussis vaccine’s effectiveness for the 2-7 year age group was 24%. “Despite widespread childhood vaccination against Bordetella pertussis, disease remains prevalent.

The Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State found that the pertussis vaccine dampened the immune system response leading to 40-fold increase in the B. parapertussis colonization in the lungs of mice. “Data suggest that the vaccine may be contributing to the observed rise in whooping cough incidence over the last decade by promoting B. parapertussis infection.”

2. But what about immunocompromsied children and adults?

According to St. Jude, concerning those with a compromised immune system, “Avoid live virus vaccines AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED ONE

Do not allow people to visit your child if:

  • They have received oral polio or smallpox vaccines within 4 weeks;
  • They have received the nasal flu vaccine within one (1) week; or
  • They have rashes after receiving the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.”

A well-cited article on vaccination and spreading disease: “Physicians and public health officials know that recently vaccinated individuals can spread disease and that contact with the immunocompromised can be especially dangerous.”

From the FDA’s website: “Animals that received an acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks and were able to spread the infection to unvaccinated animals.” Link to the actual study: here

Another documented example of a live virus from a vaccinated individual spreading to someone else: “This case documents transmission of varicella-vaccine virus from a healthy 12-month-old infant to his pregnant mother.”

There is a risk of spreading these diseases to the immunocompromised by those who have been vaccinated with a live virus.

Moral of the Story:  The vaccine debate is a hot topic and a lot of parents feel strongly about their beliefs. Parents can have differing beliefs on this topic, but it is never okay to ridicule or make fun of anyone on either side.

**Update 3/7/15** Thank you to those who have shared their personal stories either through the comments or by contacting me! Remember on each side of this debate are parents who ultimately want to protect their children.

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How to be Successful on Etsy: Part 1

beingsuccessfulonetsyI never in a million years thought I would be selling personalized baby wear on Etsy. My shop has been up and running for a total of four months now and I am currently on target to reach over $1,000 in revenue this month. I still am in shock and cannot believe it. I started this month out with the goal to sell something each day and have already surpassed it.

You can be successful on Etsy with hard work and determination. I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way to encourage anyone considering opening a shop. The first part of this series will focus on the beginning stages of your Etsy shop.

1. Is There a Demand?

Is there a market for what you want to sell? You can have the best product or idea, but if there is not a demand you won’t have sales. What are people always buying? Can you match a talent or skill you have with a demand?

Do your research before you invest in a market that is not profitable. A lot of hard work and money go into starting a new business as I have learned the hard way many times. When you do find a good market to enter into, make sure that is it also in something that you love to do.

My market, personalized baby items, is huge and always in demand. People are always having babies and there are always holidays that require cute outfits.

2. Know Your Target Market

Now that you know what you are going to sell, you need to learn about your customers. This is something that I honestly should spend more time on. You want to know who is going to be buying your items and what they like. You can use Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google, or talk to your friends and family to learn about your market.

The past few months I have seen trends in my shop. I try to offer more selections of the products that I know are selling and spend less time on the ones that are not.

Holidays and seasons happen the same time every year and those are areas of your target market that you can predict. You will benefit greatly from planning ahead to have your shop stocked for whatever holiday or season is coming next.

3. Know Your Competition

It is important to know who is doing well in the market you want to get into. This will help you see what is selling well in that specific market, but it will also help you identify any gaps that you can capitalize on.

You want to stand out from your competitors, not copy them. You can stand out by offering fast shipping, excellent customer service, or using professional packing to create an experience. There are a ton of ways to make your shop different.

Take the time to put the research into these three beginning stages of starting your Etsy shop and you will be on your way to being successful!

If you have any questions about starting your Etsy page or on one you already started feel free to contact me through this blog!

Vaccines: What do you really know about them?

vaccineinsertsThe whole vaccine topic has become very heated recently. I have been asked by several friends to share links, sources, and information concerning vaccines. I have been very hesitant, but with states starting to propose new laws to take away parent’s rights I cannot remain silent. No matter what your opinion is on this subject- you need to know the impact of losing your rights as parents to make medical decisions for your children.

This begins a series to share some of the information I have learned over the past several months. It is not to change anyone into a pro or anti-vaxer. My goal is to empower other parents to do their own research to truly make an informed decision no matter what you decide for your family.

Let us begin.

How much do you really know about vaccines? Stop and really think about this question. Is this the information you know?

1. Vaccines are safe and effective.

2. Vaccines are the medical establishments greatest contribution to public health in the past century.

3. Vaccines save millions of lives every year.

4. Vaccines do not cause autism.

5. Children who are not vaccinated spread diseases and are a public health threat.

6. People who do not vaccinate are harming our herd immunity.

7. Measles is a deadly disease.

If the statements above are the only information you know about vaccines: You really do not know much about them. I am not saying there isn’t any truth in those statements, but they are far from the whole story.

I don’t mean to hurt feelings or upset you, but you need to know there is more to this vaccine debate. There are always two sides to a story and one of them is not being shared on the news. If you really want to understand vaccines you must turn off your television.

To be fair- I did not know anything about vaccines several months ago. I was like most of you. My husband and I were both vaccinated as children. I had never researched anything vaccine related. I spent more time during my pregnancy looking up reviews on baby monitors, bathtubs, and how to get a baby to sleep.

And that is what we do. We spend so much time registering for baby items, making our birth plan, and going to birth classes. But do we even look into the vaccines that are given to our children within the first 24 hours of life or their first year? Why do we not even question them?

When I was pregnant, I went to a seminar on vaccines hosted by a local doctor. I knew that I wanted to know more before we made any decisions. I had learned over the past ten years to question everything when it came to medical treatment except in emergency situations.

During the beginning of the seminar, the doctor repeatedly asked if anyone had any guns. I kept thinking how odd that was. Why would he be asking if anyone had brought any guns? Since then I have learned why he would be scared someone would be against what he was saying. You don’t ask questions about vaccines.

The seminar covered real data. He crunched numbers, showed graphs, and explained certain diseases. He also demonstrated how easy it was to skew data.

Fast forward to today. I have spent the past few months every single day going through the data, reading the studies, and listening to seminars. I wanted to hear from both sides. I wanted to know why more and more people are choosing to not vaccinate or at least delaying vaccines. I wanted to read the ‘science’ behind vaccines and to learn the history. I wanted to hear the stories of vaccine injured children.

I am thankful to have come into this debate neutral. I wasn’t against nor was I adamantly for vaccines when I started researching them. I wanted to make an informed decision that was best for our family.

For those of you wondering about what does research means to me. It means peer reviewed studies in academic journals, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis. It means listening to immunologists, doctors, neurosurgeons, and epidemiologists. It means reading books that have been well cited by professionals in the medical field. If I read a blog- I am going directly to their sources. It means reading the actual package inserts and side effects from the drug companies. It also means learning about the diseases and treatments. And it means learning about the companies that make vaccines.

I’ve learned more about vaccines than I ever wanted to know and I am going to share a lot of the important information that I found to empower you hopefully to research yourself. I am also going to share how to get involved to stay up-to-date with your state’s regulations concerning vaccines. Don’t ever take what I have to say or anyone else for that matter as absolute truth- question everything- look into it yourself.

You know what is best for your family. And at the end of the day, we are each trying to make the right decision because we care about our children deeply. No matter your opinion on vaccines we can all agree on that.

Why Moms Doing Better

Being a first time mom, I found I really had no clue what I was doing. I read a lot of books before, but come 2 a.m. when that newborn would not sleep– it all went out the window. I was just surviving.crying newborn baby in the hospital

As our son nears the one year mark, I feel more confident in being a parent. So far he is still a live and one happy kid. I have found that there is so much grace in parenting. They do not come with a manual, but we slowly figure it out and adjust.

I am realizing when I know better, I do better. For the things that I did not know and still don’t- there is grace. It is all part of the journey. We cannot beat ourselves up. We are growing and learning too just like those slobbering minions that follow us all over the house.

‘Whatever that means…’ Motherhood does not look the same for everyone. Moms can be so offended by differing parenting styles. You know what I am talking about.

Our parenting styles may be different, but at the end of the day I can almost guarantee each mom wants the best for her children. I know I do.