By Kim Stagliano
Earlier this week my oldest daughter turned 20. Above is a copy of my written birth plan I brought to the hospital. Take a good look at it.
In 1994, I knew nothing about the very real dangers of vaccination. I did not know that vaccines have side effects. I did not know that many of the vaccines my daughter would receive contained bolus doses of mercury. I did not know that if my child became ill or died following vaccination, A) no one would believe me and B) I could not sue the manufacturer for product injury. I did not know about a man named Andrew J. Wakefield whose work would have warned me. I had never heard of Thimerosal. Mercury was a car that looked a lot like a Ford, oh and a planet, in my parlance. I did not know that I could say "No thanks,' to a vaccine. I did not know that I could space them out or at the time, break them up. I did not know that when her pediatrician made notes in her records, "Watch head size, left side" that likely meant encephalopathy was underway. I never saw those words until we moved and I ordered records. I didn't know.
I. Did. Not. Know.
If you had tried to tell me, daughter of an orthodontist who taught me to love science, and college educated professional, that vaccines would take my daughter out of the game of life to which she was born I'd have either laughed in your face or called you a complete and total ass. Likely both.
Take a look at that birth plan. I was adamant about having an unmedicated birth - I did not want to put any chemicals in my baby's body. Isn't that rich? No epidural. No nothing. Not for baby Stagliano. Now there aren't enough pain killers in the world to ease the pain I feel for her, not for myself. For my daughter.
Today? I am called anti-vaccine. And you know what? I AM! I've said elsewhere that don't like that name - it's thrust upon me as an epithet by the vaccine industry apologists. But if the shoe fits, I'll wear it from time to time, like stilettos. Not completely comfortable, but sometimes they are the right choice. How could I NOT be against something that so harmed my daughter? How could I not warn others? Women are responsible to other women to share knowledge. It's our heritage in childbirth, which used to be ours and ours alone before medicine took over.
In 2014, there should not be another Kim Stagliano circa 1994. Moms need to know that vaccination can harm, maim and kill. I had no informed consent. (No one bothered to inform me.) I did not know enough to ask.
Thank you to everyone in our community who sticks his or her neck out to inform others that vaccines require thoughtful consideration before administration. If there is any administration at all. Me? I'm not going to tell a Mom-T0-Be "Don't ever touch a vaccine." I'll tell her Mia's story. I'll tell her about VAERS. I'll tell her about Vaccine Court. I'll give her enough info to make an informed choice. If she chooses to fully vaccinate, so be it. I believe in personal choice in all health care decisions. Some folks will think I'm not hard line enough. And that's OK by me. There's plenty of room for all of our voices.
If I had heard a voice or two, maybe my daughter would be speaking to me from her college dorm right now, instead of next to me on a computer watching Sesame Street 20 Years.....and still counting.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.