Let me say right up front that my wife and I have a 2-month old daughter, and that my #1 goal here is to learn as much as possible about how to care for her health, because if anything happened to her I honestly don't know what I would do.
Until recently - like most people - I assumed vaccines were 100% safe, and I thought anyone who thought otherwise was dangerous and selfish, putting everyone else at risk. I thought this because I was told this, by many people, many times.
"The science is in."
"Vaccines are 100% safe."
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The first chink in the armor was a conversation with a friend of mine whose grandson, he said, was developing normally, got the MMR shot at 15 months, dropped into a fever that night, regressed suddenly, and has had severe autism ever since.
His story seemed far-fetched, but my friend is no storyteller, and I soon learned he was not alone in this experience.
Now to be clear, we're no strangers to the autism spectrum conversation- one of my best friends has Aspergers, and my wife is a BCBA who works with kids on the spectrum every single day... but digging deeper and hearing the many eerily similar stories of autism-related vaccine injuries from parent after parent was a new experience for us, and made me wonder where my self-assuredness about vaccine safety had come from-- and, most importantly, why it seemed to be something nobody was allowed to talk about.
My wife getting pregnant brought this all into sharper focus. Soon we would have to make these difficult decisions ourselves.