Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Am So Oinkin' Scared

The H1N1 virus, or Swine Flu, is a big news story and has been for a while, at least here in Texas. Last spring, Texans died from the Swine Flu, which is believed to have originated in Mexico. So, being in such close proximity to Mexico, it's no surprise that Texans are at a big risk of contracting and spreading the disease.

So, this creates another wonderful opportunity for me to turn my stomach into knots trying to decide if one bad decision is better or worse than another bad decision. Get the Swine Flu vaccine? Well, it hasn't been tested on pregnant women and has been hurried through approval, so who knows what the results may be on my unborn baby. Don't get the Swine Flu vaccine? Possibly expose my baby to the Swine Flu which could also cause numerous other birth defects or death.

I already know what's going to happen: I'm going to get online and surf the net, looking for all the information I can find about pregnant women and H1N1. I will surely find a load of people who tell me that pregnant women are at higher risk for H1N1 (pregnant women comprise 1% of the national population but make up 6% of the people who've died from Swine Flu). I'm sure the CDC will say how safe the vaccine is for everyone, including pregnant women. But they are the ones who offer approval. Of course they are going to say it's safe! If they don't know of any risks, why would they say, "Uh, we're not sure about the possible results. You're on your own!" I am also pretty confident that I'll find sites that give all the gory details about what can happen to a baby born with the flu virus. For some peace of mind, I haven't even gone there yet, but I'm sure it's inevitable.

I wonder if Michelle Obama is going to take Sasha and Malia to get vaccinated.

I don't really know who to trust, who the best source may be. I think this is one more of the situations where there is NO right answer, just a whole slew of reasonable answers, and it's anyone's guess what the best answer is (until 10 years later, of course, when hindsight is 20/20).

I am NOT a person who has any health concerns at all. No asthma, no respiratory issues, heck I don't even have a single allergy. Not pollen or dust or anything. I've NEVER had mono or strep throat or bronchitis. I am an overly healthy person, I think. I've never had a single problem with any of my pregnancies. Now, this doesn't give me a false sense of security from getting the swine flu; if anything, I think that it's an overly confident person like me who's not expecting to get the swine flu who ends up being careless about hand-washing and germ care. But, it is true that people are dying not from the swine flu but rather from secondary infections that develop because of the swine flu. I think I have a kick-ass immune system, and I am pretty confident that I could beat it if I got it.

But could my baby?

So, if it's not already hard enough worrying about if my baby will be born with Down's Syndrome because I'm over 35, or if my baby will have a heart condition because I've been on Prozac during pregnancy, or if my baby will have some random birth defect just because of no reason at all... now I have to also worry about if my baby (or I) will die because I got the swine flu vaccine. Or because I didn't get the swine flu vaccine.

What do you think? What would you do??


Foursons said...

First off- I can't believe you live in TX and don't have allergies! I didn't know that was possible. I am so stinkin' jealous!!!!!!

As far as the vaccine. Since you are so healthy I honestly wouldn't get it. Take echinacea starting now until the end of flu season. My younger boys are sick all the time with asthma and allergies and generally have a low immune system. I give them echinacea from Fall through Winter and they haven't gotten the flu in 3 years. Of course make sure it is ok to take while pregnant and if it is I'd definitely go with that.

My boys have gotten the flu because of flu shots. Don't know how common that is, but it happened.

By the way- I am NOT a doctor or nurse or any part of a medical profession.

Missy said...

Our house will not be getting the shot. I have serious issue with vaccines that "the people" say are safe and then find out something different later down the road because they didn't do the proper tests/research (that's a whole other post though.)

Even if I was pregnant, I don't think I would be getting it because it has not been thoroughly tested. I would just go to the dr at the very first teeny tiny sign of any kind of illness. If caught early, the swine flu is nothing more then just a "regular" flu.

I too am not a dr or in the medical field at all.

Good luck with your decision.

★ MamaKat ★ said...

Every year anyone in my family has gotten the flu shot, they've still gotten the flu, so we stopped getting. Less tears. Echinacea is good idea as is upping your vitamin C. My 3rd son was born this past May and I had the flu when he was born. I was very concerned, but he never got sick. Our whole family also got Strep when he was two weeks old, but he never got it. Breastfed babies are protected from a great deal when they're born. One thing to remember above all: the H1N1 flu has thus far shown to be NO worse than the regular flu. Maybe think about how sick you actually get with that?

Colored With Memories said...

fellow texan here...and also jealous that you have no allergies!

i take the flu mist, but am going to be skipping the swine flu shot. it just has not been tested enough!

i would express your concerns to both your OB and your Pediatrician and weigh their advice in your decision.

Here's to staying healthy!

Bridgett said...

This is the first year I got the flu shot. Actually, I got flumist, but the three kids got the flu shot because we have a newborn and an asthmatic who had a seizure this year. The pediatrician pretty much told me I'd be daft if we didn't. But that was the "real" flu shot. As for swine flu, well, I haven't made up my mind yet. It is likely that our school will shut down--it is chock full of people who will never vaccinate for anything, not even polio or pertussis. So if we luck out, they'll fall first and we'll spend three or four weeks at home until there are enough people to go back to school...I don't know. Maybe we'll go ahead and do it. My aunt was part of the clinical trials and she isn't sick...

3StinkyBoysAndMe said...

Ugh! I NEVER worried about anything until I became a mom and now that's all I do. I have two toddlers and I'm fighting the very same battle in my brain every day. Should I or shouldn't I? What if I don't or what if I do? I guess we just do the best we can with the information we have and really know that no matter what the decision and no matter what the outcome, we are just doing the best we can.

Angel said...

I don't have kids yet, but I wouldn't get the swine flu shot unless there is a REALLY good chance you will get it, like if someone at work has the swine flu. I don't like the fact it has been rushed through the testing as well as the last I heard on the news it was a multiple shot dose which means they use mercury to control it and mercury is BAD especially in pregnant women.

Now I am not sure if they have taken care of that yet, but I don't like that plus the fact there haven't been full tests. SO I am not getting it.

Not licensed or anything so this is just my opinion.

Gigi said...

When I lived in Texas I never had allergies - moving to NC changed that completely! Anyhoo - at first I was all gungho about getting the swine flu shots. Now, not so sure. There hasn't been enough research done and who the heck knows what the repercussions will be 10 years down the road. We've had the flu shot and I think that will be enough.

Angel said...

I forgot to mention earlier that you won an award!
Look at the award I gave you!!!

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

I don't know what you should do about the vaccine. Personally, I would avoid it while pregnant. But I do have to say that I was also on Prozac during my pregnancy, and it is so nice to read that someone else is too! It truly saved me. I am still taking it while nursing.

Lovely meeting you last night. Looking forward to seeing pics of baby Amy soon!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

I have asthma, and I'm not getting it. I'm certainly not getting it for our daughter, and even my DH who is a nurse won't be getting it.

I posted a link to an article on my blog last week where our governor here in WA is allowing some of the vaccines to contain higher than usual levels of mercury! I can't believe it. Honestly? I think it's a money issue. Yes, the swine flu is bad, but not that much worse than the regular flu.

Karly said...

No one in my family is getting that shot, and if I were pregnant, there is NO WAY I would get that shot. It hasn't been tested enough and it has ingredients that cause all kinds of problems. The swine flu did kill a lot of people, but in general it's a pretty mild illness, similar to the regular flu.

Good luck making your decision.

Cookie Crums said...

My concern with the H1N1 shot is how quick they came out with it. I'm a little concerned from that aspect. I'm pregnant myself and have only had the flu once in my entire life. I am going ahead with the "normal" flu shot as will my little boy.

My doctor wasn't overly concerned with the media hype about all the dangers of the H1N1 flu. He just told me to be extra careful as to washing hands and normal good hygene.

Michelle said...

Sounds like you have a great immune system and no health concerns. If I were you I would probably skip even though I just read up on the CDC website and they say pregnant woman are at higher risk.

The regular seasonal flu kills 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 in America each year. The H1N1 is hitting children harder than seasonal flu but so far has not spread or been as deadly as the traditonal seasonal flu. I guess the unkown part is what scares everyone.

Emily said...

I hear you...this is frustrating and lots of information about there and it's hard to know which is accurate and which is not. Generally I tend to follow CDC guidelines. However, in this case, I'm saying no to Swine Flu vaccines...they just haven't been tested enough. I think there's a greater risk of an adverse effect than actually contracting the swine flu.
I hope you'll let us know what you decide to do!

Wendy said...

I'm so glad I'm not pregnant right now.

Immune-wise, your baby has what you have. She is getting all her immunities from you. (or he - I don't know, I just picked one.)

The decision was made for us here. We were heavily exposed to it before the vac even came out. My daughter possibly has had it. Looking back, my son was extremely ill last year and they told me he tested negative for flu, but now I know they didn't do the proper test - so who knows. He hasn't gotten so much as a sniffle with swine flu all over his school.

My doctor told me that many employers in our area started doing pre-emptive testing, and that of the 30 cases he had seen in one week, 20 of them were showing no symptoms at all. They never would have been tested if not required for work.

Some doctors here in Houston are also saying that the "sick" cases they're seeing are different from last year & they think the virus may have mutated. This is only anecdotal - it could also be possible that they're seeing some kids with weaker immune systems who are simply more ill.

Did you see the link The Mother left on my post about this? I'm digging it out for you:

You might find out what your exposure has already been. And whatever you decide, be sure to get plenty of rest & eat very healthy to keep your immune system strong.

Jennifer said...

I would not get it and I'm not getting it for the kids. I know several people who have or their kids have had it (the flu) already and they are saying it is relatively mild. I would just wait and see what happens. If someone gets it then it will probably be one of the older kids at school. Just make sure to have lysol everywhere and be really religous about handwashing and germs and holding the baby (once she's born) at home. I think that is really all you can do at this point.