Five Months

Weight: 14 lbs, 8 oz (as of 4/10/17)
Length: 25 ½” (as of 4/10/17)
Likes: Holding stuffed animals and lovies while he plays, kisses on his cheeks, sucking his thumb
Dislikes: Stoplights or other times he is in the car seat but not moving
Clothing Size: We made the transition from 0-3 to 3-6 month clothes!
Diaper Size: We switched from size 1 to size 2… right after opening a new box of size 1…
Favorite Toy(s): His fun activity center and a fun tails book he plays with in his high chair while Mommy and Daddy eat dinner.
Skills: Giggling!
Eating: Still 12-15 ounces at daycare, and every 2-3 hours at home. Next month we start solids, and mom is finding that hard to believe!
Sleeping: No real changes. He will have 1-2 good nights each week with 5-7 hour stretches, but otherwise he is up more often than we’d like. We suspect he is teething, but have seen no teeth pop through just yet.
Firsts: Meeting a new calf on the farm, Palm Sunday, Easter, trip to the playground
Mommy’s Highlight: LT’s giggles when playing with his balloon.
Daddy’s Highlight: Reading bedtime stories to LT.

Parenting After Loss Thought of the Month:
I had a different post started for this month, but that all changed with a measles outbreak in Minnesota. Before LT’s arrival, I considered writing a post on vaccinations and my hope that anyone who wanted to visit us with our newborn would have their flu shot and an up to date whooping cough vaccination booster (Tdap). However, I never wrote that post, knowing vaccines can be controversial in some communities.

Being a loss parent means I want to protect my baby every way I can, and for me that means vaccines. I can’t speak for every loss parent in the world, but those I know feel strongly about vaccinations. We don’t want to take chances with our kiddos contracting preventable diseases, particularly sometimes-fatal diseases. We are going to vaccinate our kids per the American Academy of Pediatrics immunization schedule, a researched and agreed upon timeline created by people who know a lot more about children, medicine, and infectious diseases than I do.

LT is still too young, at 5 months, to receive the first MMR vaccine. Nick and I are up to date, his daycare requires vaccinations, and he is unlikely to be exposed to this current outbreak as the epicenter is in a different county than where we live. Even so, he remains unprotected if we come across an unvaccinated someone exposed to the measles. And he is not the only human left relying on “herd immunity.” Premature infants are sometimes on different vaccination schedules as their little immune system catches up to the world. A friend’s child had an organ transplant and has a fragile immune system prone to catching things the rest of us don’t. Folks receiving certain cancer treatments are immunocompromised and more susceptible to even the common cold. Nothing terrible would likely happen to me if I were unvaccinated and caught the measles, and maybe the measles complications wouldn’t hit LT either. But it could hurt my friend’s kid. The premature babies I know from work. The folks receiving chemotherapy.

I’m a loss mom. I understand statistics and risks, and know even vaccines aren’t without their risks. No medical intervention is. Life isn’t without risks, though some risks can be mitigated. If you have questions or concerns about vaccinations, don’t do a Google search or seek advice from your friend’s friend’s friend’s post on Facebook. Call your pediatrician. Ask about possible reactions and how to use the CDC and VAERS websites. Ask about studies done and what makes those studies and their sources reliable. Work together with your medical provider to ensure you have accurate information in order to make the right decision for your family.

 

 

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