First, let me say, congratulations on your little one!
Second, welcome to one of the most difficult parts of parenthood. The only thing I've found that rivals this is deciding which school system you are going to school your child in! But I believe this is one of the MOST controversial of subjects.
As for me and ours.... (Sorry, this is really long)
When I grew up (60's) there were only 3 shots that I remember. Tetanus, Small pox (and I still have the scar from that one), and the MMR. (The "Polio was given in a liquid form that tasted like bubble gum).
I ran a slight fever when I had my tetanus shots (back then you got them every time you stepped on something..) and had a welt under my skin that would last for weeks.
When I got my MMR, the local school did not ask permission, but just gave it to all kids who went to school (it is against the law for schools to do that now, this was 1970 - 1971).
We got the shot in our gymnasium during the morning. I remember after lunch, I wasn't feeling well, and laid my head down on my desk. I got in trouble because I wouldn't participate in class that afternoon. I was feeling REALLY sick.
By the time I got home that afternoon, I really wanted to go out to play, ride my bike, and all the other stuff that little girls like to do, but I was just so achy and itchy. I asked my mom to please scratch my back (we were in the front yard on the front porch, my mom was talking to a neighbor who was a nurse). My mom saw my rash! To my ultimate horror, mom stripped me down to my underwear right there! I was covered from head to toe in RUBELLA! I was "quarantined" right then for two weeks.
As an adult, every time my rubella titers were taken, they showed that I had a fresh infection of the disease. Most of those titers were taken at the beginning of pregnancies, and so I was pressured to abort my children. I never did. By the time the 5th pregnancy happened, I knew to just let the care provider know ahead of time that the titer would be off and I wasn't going to abort. But each time the care provider would indicate their concern because my titer is so high.
As a side note, my siblings and I did not have all of our immunizations for polio (back in our day it was given as an oral, on the tongue, live vaccine). My mom had grown up with Polio being a VERY deadly infection, yet she did not see fit to make us more ill by insisting we get the vaccine. With that in mind, in 1973, my brothers were walking along a canal in Idaho, when the youngest fell in. My older brother and his friend jumped in to save my younger sibling. 2 weeks later our friend (who was completely immunized) contracted polio. My brothers did not. But it was assumed that the friend got it during his swim in the canal. (Does that even make sense? two unvaccinated children do not get sick, but the one vaccinated does?)
Anyway, as an adult, I did not want to get my children immunized. I also had a pediatrician who told me that immunizations were not proven to be effective, and had been linked to other problems. He also told me to go home, research each of the diseases and determine the risk of my children to get or catch the diseases. He also determined that since I was NOT fully immunized for polio, he would NOT immunize any of my children for polio.
So, I went happily on my way. That decision hadn't been forced on me when my oldest was at that age. I did do the research that the pediatrician told me to do.
I found that most of the diseases, if they are single infections, are NOT deadly. In fact, most of the diseases were once considered "normal childhood infections" and provided natural immunities to other "worse" infections. If you contracted these diseases naturally you are guaranteed lifetime immunity from the disease recurring. (However, Chicken pox can lay dormant for years and then reappear as a very painful and debilitating disease of Shingles)
The real danger is when you get a "secondary" infection with any of the diseases that our culture vaccinates for.
Another attitude that was already written about on this list that irks me to no end is this saying: "but kids are sick enough after starting school without having to worry about being around classmates that have not been immunized."
EXCUSE ME!?! IF you believe in vaccinations, and believe the vaccinations ARE effective, my unvaccinated child IS NO THREAT TO YOURS. In fact, quite the opposite. Your vaccinated child is carrying the anti-bodies (and therefor the little buggers that can cause the disease) and is the one exposing my UNVACCINATED child to the disease. The above "fear/statement" supports the belief that vaccinated children are less healthy than non-vaccinated children.
I believe that a vaccinated child was EXACTLY the cause of four of my children's break outs of chicken pox, in fact. You see, My children did go to public school, and during a time of year that it was normally considered too early for chicken pox, two of my children came home from school WITH chicken pox. The older kids (4 of them) had already had chicken pox from an infection prior to the vaccine (1989). But the two that came home from school were friends with kids who had been very dutiful and gotten the vaccine just 12 days prior to my kids coming home sick (2000). The next time we had chicken pox(2004), I was working in the church nursery. One of the moms told me her son had just had his chicken pox vaccine, and was just sort of out of sorts.... Because of the way things were going, I had my then 3 month old in nursery with me. I tried to keep the "freshly vaccinated" child away from me and my baby, but being the ONLY adult in the nursery that day, and no one willing to take the baby.....
16 days later I was in the pediatrician's office because my little guy was having such a bad case of eczema that I couldn't handle it. My pediatrician was concerned. His eczema was being exacerbated by CHICKEN POX! At that time in our lives, I was homeschooling, and the ONLY place my kids were exposed to others WAS AT CHURCH! The ONLY place he could have been exposed was when the vaccinated child was in my arms and crying around the nursery.
So don't tell me unvaccinated children are a risk to those who are vaccinated. It just isn't so, unless you are giving your child an "owie" that you know doesn't work.
Ok. Now back to immunize or not. And what are the "problematic" symptoms that may appear?
I had "delayed" immunizing my children. But when my husband got a job in AZ, I still was relatively uneducated about immunizations or my 'parental rights' so when I was told I HAD to have my children immunized before they could go to school, I fell, hook, line and sinker.
The first immunizations (my kids were all healthy as horses - at that time all four. No colds, runny noses, fevers...nothing) were done in my pediatrician's office. This pediatrician was super critical of my "delay". I raised concerns when the paperwork I signed released the doctor, the CDC, and the drug company from any liability should my children have any "adverse reactions". WTHeck? If immunizations were so safe, why did I have to sign away my life, promising not to sue those who insist the drug is safe? But, because it was against the law not to put my kids in school (I didn't know about homeschooling yet), and I couldn't get them in school without the immunizations, I allowed them to get their shots.
All of the kids were running fevers by the time we got home. That is one of the side effects (up to 101). They were all cranky, of course, they weren't feeling well. NONE of them would eat dinner that night, and it took several days before they wanted to play. Even then, they complained that their legs and arms (where they had gotten the shots) were sore. I felt their sore spots, and there were large lumps under the skin. I called the doctor's office. They told me that too was normal and to just rub it out.
I repeated that 4 times. I felt SO GUILTY afterwards with each one. I refused to let them be immunized on any occasion that anyone had even the slightest runny nose or loose bowels. But, with that, my oldest, who used to be top of her class in everything, ended up with some pretty severe learning disabilities. I DO blame it on her immunizations. But I can't prove it.
But what educated me most about my "rights" and immunizations was when I took my 2 month old in. He had had a really rough start at birth, but everything seemed to be O.K. UNTIL...
His 2 month check, I knew to give the tylenol before the shots (Though my ped. got REALLY upset when he found out I was doing that - said it made the immunizations totally ineffective. I don't buy that), and I had done so. My baby boy cried very hard. The welt that I knew so well was already staring to form and the nurse told me to just rub it out again.
By the time we got home, even with Tylenol, and only 10 minutes away from the doctor's office, my baby boy was running a fever of 102. His crying wasn't the typical fussiness, but the high-pitched screaming that they warn you about in their literature. I called the doctor back. He reminded me that I had signed that stupid informed consent sheet, and then said this was a "normal" reaction!
I started to REALLY research then. THIS WAS NOT, and IS NOT a normal reaction. The lump under the skin is a dangerous reaction..though considered normal. The lethargia my children all suffered after their shots is NOT NORMAL. The ADHD my children have HAS been linked to different immunizations. Autism has a strong link to the old immunizations (the ones my children would have gotten had I not delayed their immunizations). I found out that I did NOT have to immunize. I also found out that IF the school systems are uneducated, and refuse to allow me to "exempt out" my child, homeschooling in most states IS legal (and here in TX is a very VALID and viable option).
But what ticked me off most, when I went back to the pediatrician a week later, he had NO RECORD of my children's reactions! When I confronted him on it, he remembered my phone call, but told me he didn't document it because it was all just normal reactions!!!! THE CDC has forms for him to fill out. ANY AND ALL reactions ARE TO BE REPORTED. To this day, none of my children's records from that doctor contain any information about them having any type of reaction to the shots they were given.
Sorry this is so long, but the decision to vaccinate or not is actually a very personal one. I have chosen NOT to vaccinate my 3 youngest children. My first 4 are fully vaccinated to the age of 14. Of the next two, one was vaccinated at 2 months, and one had an HIB vaccine at birth. I was ticked because I wasn't asked, the hospital just gave it to him.
There are SEVERAL websites about vaccines. I recommend reading through the CDC's (Center for Disease Control) web site, then look at the WHO's (World Health Organization) website, then look up side effects of vaccines. It will take you days, if not weeks to go through the sites.