Where are we now? If you followed my old blog, you will see that an incredible amount of LIFE has occurred since I last wrote. Some of the posts I had already taken down from the old blog, but there are still many up that you can read. Allow me to bring you up-to-date on where and what and who we are now...
The last time I blogged, we lived in Florida, had a nine-month-old, and were pregnant with baby number two. Since that time, we have added two children, moved five times, and had an incredible amount of life happen. It may take more than one post to catch up!
We had our second precious little girl, Kenley Estelle, in 2011. She was twelve months and two days younger than her older sister, Caroline Vera. She came into the world just like her personality - energetic, in a rush, and with a flair of drama. She was a lovely baby and very healthy, just like her big sister had been. Having them so close together was not planned, but we are so thankful that they were because of the events that had been unfolding. I want to share what those events were, because they have forever impacted and changed our family.
Something I did not discuss on our previous blog was in motion, and we were still in the phases of discovery and research when I last blogged. When Caroline was born, I had refused any and all vaccinations at the hospital and at her newborn visits, because my family had a history of vaccine reactions spanning three generations, involving usually seizures and more than one of my sisters even stopped breathing entirely and had to be resuscitated, resulting in hospitalization. I was six years old when it happened the first time, and I still remember waking in the middle of the night to commotion, walking into her bedroom where all the noise was coming from, and seeing the emergency responders working on her. I remember standing there with my four year old brother at the door and being told to stand out of the way because they had to take her to the hospital. I was scared she would never come home.
I was twelve when my youngest sister (baby number six) started having a seizure the evening she received a vaccine. I remember her laying there on the floor where she had fallen and watching her body shake violently. I remember the particular shade of blue/purple she turned from not breathing. I remember the terror in my mother's voice and on her face, as she scooped her up. I had to watch my other four younger siblings, while my mother rushed her to the nearest doctor in our tiny, mountain town. For over a year, she continued to have seizures without warning and with no reason. She was seen by all manner of specialists and had scan after scan and evaluation after res, but they could never find a "causative factor" other than the link to the vaccine. Sometimes, she would go a week without one. Sometimes, she would have more than one in a day. I learned how to care for her when she was having one. To turn her on her side, to put her in a lukewarm bath, if I thought it might be a fever. I was babysitting all five of them one day, while my mother was at the grocery store, when she had a particularly bad one where she stopped breathing entirely, and I had to call 911 because I could not do anything to bring her out of it. I remember them pulling over on the side of the road to work on her, and they asked me to get out of the ambulance. My mother was driving by on her way home from the store, and saw me climbing out of the ambulance so she stopped of course. I was thirteen.
It was after my youngest sister's initial reaction that my mother refused to vaccinate any of us ever again. So, my youngest brother never received any. The rest of us had not completed our vaccination routines either, which back then, only consisted of a handful of singular injections. Not the enormous smorgasbord of stuff they inject children with today. What we did not know way back then, was that we had a genetic factor that affected our bodies' abilities to handle and process toxins, putting us at risk for vaccine reaction. When I went through struggles with infertility (which I used to blog about), it was discovered that I had this particular genetic mutation. And, not only that I had it, but that I had both copies of the mutation subtypes, signaling that I had received a copy from each parent. What this means, is that not only is it 50/50 that each of my siblings has at least one of the mutations, but it also means that ALL of my children have at least one mutation, because I have both.
I gave you all of this background, which believe me is as simplified and short as I could condense it to, so that I could tell you our oldest, Caroline, had a vaccine reaction. As you will remember I had refused all vaccines - even in the hospital - because I was terrified of the possibilities, having been through it with my own siblings. My husband, on the other hand, came from a family where no one thought twice about vaccinations, and as a military man, he continues to receive injections ALL. THE. TIME. We argued for months following her birth. He wanted her vaccinated. I did not. Back and forth, back and forth. After almost five months of arguing about it, I finally conceded that if he wanted them vaccinated, I would only agree to do so if we did them one at a time and spaced far between.
February 20, 2011 was the day that changed our lives forever. That was the day Caroline received her very first vaccine ever - at age four and a half months. Up until that day, she had no health issues, made all of her milestones, was a healthy, happy baby, and everything that a baby is. That evening, her life changed forever. Her fever shot to 105, she had a prolonged seizure, and the damage was done permanently. Multitudes of trips to the pediatrician later, I was being told "nothing is wrong, we don't know what happened, and sometimes it is normal for kids to regress with their shots, but we're sure she'll be fine in awhile, just give her some time." They were wrong.