December 4, 2009

Vaccines (and I'm going to talk about baby diarrhea, just FYI)

At the beginning of November, we took Luke into get his 2 month vaccines. And I do mean "we." I made Travis come with cause I knew I was going to have a hard time with all the shots. I don't mind getting shots myself, I'm not squeamish about giving blood, nor do I have trouble with most things medically related. (If I did, giving birth and the subsequent drama was enough to cure me from all phobias. I've never been stuck, prodded, or poked as much as I was that 24 hour period.) Back when I wanted to be a doctor in high school, I even spent the day following an orthopedic surgeon around and watched him amputate a foot. That's right. A foot.
My point is, I'm tough. But watching my sweet baby get stuck twice?! That was too much to handle alone.

The shots ended up not being a big deal. He cried while it happened, but I was able to nurse him right after, and it was like he forgot all about it. We went home and he slept a good portion of the day, which was unusual for him. About 9 that night, which was about 12 hours from his appointment, he had a massive diaper that was really loose. After that, he perked up and went back to his normal routine. But the bad diapers persisted. After about 4 days, I decided to call the doctor and just make sure it was a side effect from the vaccines. The nurse said it probably was something else if it kept going on, and to come in if it lasted for more than a week. Luke was fine and for the most part everything else was normal. However, by the next week, he started to get more fussy and the diarrhea kept happening, so we went in. He checked out totally normal, but the doctor said the rotavirus vaccine may have gotten his stomach out of whack and it just needed a little help to get balanced back out. So, we started adding some probiotics twice a day. We did that for another week with no difference, and we were starting to get green diapers. After checking with the doctor again, she counseled us to continue with the probiotics and for me to cut out diary from my diet.

For anyone who knows me, diary is an important part of my life. I don't eat a lot of meat and I have a great love for cheese. It wasn't hard to stop eating it at first, or so I thought. And then I started paying attention to the labels of things...Milk or "Milk Ingredients" are in EVERYTHING. I thought I'd been diary-free for like 2 days before I realized I was still eating it. After I legitimately gave up all milk, it was much harder. It also coincided with Thanksgiving. And that sucked. No butter on the roll, no mashed potatoes, no dressing, no PIE, no to a lot of things. Yeah, it was hard, and it didn't seem to be making any difference. The bad diapers were persisting, but Luke seemed a lot less fussy, so I kept it up.

Two days ago, we FINALLY had a normal diaper, almost a whole month after the vaccine. I can now start adding diary back in slowly, THANK GOD.

It wasn't a fun month for Luke or I. But now here's my dilemma: We will be going back for his 4 month check-up at the beginning of January and I am pretty sure we are scheduled to take the 2nd dose of the Rotavirus vaccine. But after all we went through with the first one, I'm thinking about asking to not take it. I haven't talked to his doctor about this yet, so I don't even know if it will matter. His stomach may have developed enough that it won't even be an issue, I don't know. I am definitely on the side of giving vaccines to my kids as opposed to not giving them. But the Rotavirus is a little different, don't you think? It's not like a Polio or Hepititus vaccine. It's just to prevent a disease that causes excessive diarrhea in them as babies, and well....a month long case of diarrhea seems pretty excessive.

So, what do you think? Should we continue to get the Rotavirus vaccine? Have you had any experiences with it and bad side effects?


  1. I think the rotavirus vaccine is especially useful for babies/kids in daycare. It is spread through the infected person's feces. But for little Luke being around you 95% of the time, he would probably do just fine without it. Good luck making your decision.

  2. Oy, those 2 month shots are tough! We didn't have any side effects from the rotavirus vaccine that I recall, so I'm not sure I'm a lot of help on that.

    Generally when "medical people" say something is "severe" though, they don't mean a month-long-case of diarrhea where mom maybe cuts out dairy (can't say I'm exactly sure why they had you do that... but it's fine to), they mean Really Really Serious.

    Completely personally, I'd be inclined to still give the second dose, possibly delayed but still, eventually give it. That is totally 100% my opinion and is probably mostly because I'm married to a doctor who would say that a month long case of diarrhea that didn't require hospitalization is probably not that big of deal and possibly even unrelated... BUT, you'd definitely have my support (because that's what you need, right? since we have never met?) either way you chose.