The Real Cost of the Vaccine War–Your Choice.

I wanted to walk away from this. I really did. I’ve found the entire debate completely and utterly exhausting. I didn’t want to talk about vaccines for awhile, maybe ever again.

Then Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba vowed to draft a bill calling for the repeal of the state’s conscientious objection waiver to vaccination. Legislators in California, Oregon, and Washington are also planning or have already drafted bills calling for the same. Big Pharma’s propaganda game is strong and I expect the dominos will keep falling across the nation.

This scares the hell out of me and not for the reasons you may think.
imageThe majority of the population is sitting idly by or perhaps celebrating as our right to informed consent to a medical procedure is stripped away. Even if you agree with mandatory vaccination right now, you need to consider the future picture and the precedent this action will set. Are you prepared to accept sight unseen the hundreds of vaccines in development? Are you prepared to submit to any medical procedure that your doctor dictates whether it’s experimental or risky or the government determines is for the greater good? Are you prepared to lose your voice in your or your child’s healthcare?

This is so terrifying to me that I’m going to share a nightmare that I have never before spoken aloud. I’ve seen what it looks like when your choices are taken away.

I was Seventeen and ten weeks pregnant when I started to bleed. Just slight spotting, but I was taken to see a doctor. She rammed her gloved hand inside me held it up smiling, said, “there’s not much blood,” and sent me home.

The bleeding continued for several days and I was returned to hospital and seen by a different doctor. He was a bitter man who made no effort to disguise his contempt. He came into the room and matter of factly announced that he was going to do a D & C–Dilation and curettage-which would end the pregnancy. He wanted to abort my baby without my consent. I don’t know if my mother had already agreed to this. We have never discussed it.

I screamed “No! No! No!” I ordered them not to touch me. I begged them not to touch me. I fought him and his nurses off physically. I tried to escape. They held me down and injected me with Valium. When the drug overcame me and I was physically unable to resist, the doctor tore my baby from my body without ever checking for a heartbeat.

When the sedative began to wear off and I struggled to regain control, they laughed at me. They. Laughed. At. Me.

The grief, shame, and horror of that experience still reside in me 30 years later. I am sick now as I revisit it. I will always have to wonder what might have been. I will never understand the cruelty of it. I will always be scarred. I won’t know till I hit the button if I can bear to bring this to light.

I suppose they thought that they were doing me a favor–acting in my best interest or for the greater good. But it was not their choice to make and it cannot ever be undone. Aside from a broken heart, I left with a distrust of obstetricians that remains today.

Flash forward 13 years. I was 10 weeks pregnant with my third child and I began to bleed. A lot. I called my doctor and was told to schedule an appointment on Monday. It was Friday. I was worried about the wait, but was told there was nothing they could do in the ER except a D&C. I would have rather bled to death than risk that again. After having had my first two children with a midwife in the hospital and then at a birth center, I had reluctantly chosen the  obstetrician who I despised the least because our insurance would not pay for midwifery services in our new home state of Texas.

Monday came and with a familiar callous air, I was instructed to disrobe so that she could use the vaginal wand for the ultrasound. Um, “no fucking way” was what I thought, but probably refused more politely. Nobody was ramming anything inside of my already bleeding body. She was annoyed and pressured me to comply. Eyes on the door, I held my ground and she grudgingly agreed to use the Doppler. The beautiful sound of my baby’s strong beating heart filled the room.

Relieved, faith restored in my body’s ability to carry this child, and sick of the authoritarian nature of the practice I left the office and never came back.

I had already secretly found a midwife who agreed to take me as a client in my final trimester at a reduced rate as long as I had been receiving prenatal care up to that point. My husband and I decided that the out of pocket expense was a small price to pay for the care we wanted and I immediately began seeing her. I exercised my right to choose.

Thirty weeks later, my healthy 10-pound, 1-ounce son was born at home. I had the beautiful birth I longed for in the presence of people who cared deeply for me, including my two older sons. My scars softened a bit that day.

I will never know what the outcome might have been with my first pregnancy if my right to choose had not been stolen from me and my body so violently violated by a doctor who decided that he knew what was best for me. I only know the outcome of his choice–loss of my baby.

I tell you this story now so that you might see what lies at the end of this road we’re taking. We give up our freedoms in increments not wholes. This vaccine piece is just the first step in surrendering our right to choose what happens to our bodies. I am afraid. I fear that my children, your children, our children will not know this freedom. I fear our daughters will see a return to the indignities of doctor controlled births that our mothers and we fought so hard to escape. If laying my heart bare can do anything to protect someone else from this tragedy, to change a mind, or preserve a safer and free future, I’m willing to risk the exposure.

7 thoughts on “The Real Cost of the Vaccine War–Your Choice.

  1. That is absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

    I am convinced that my second miscarriage was a direct result of the most painful and bloody pap smear of my life (the events were 2-3 days apart). I was 12 weeks, and had had two ultrasounds, both of which showed a healthy, growing baby. The pap was abnormal and I had to have a LEEP procedure. Until my followup from that, I thought the miscarriage was a coincidence, despite the fact that I had never had any pain or bleeding with a pap. But at the followup, the doctor recommended an immediate hysterectomy so strongly, he even asked if I had the approval of a psychiatrist to have another child (I wasn’t seeing one). That’s when I began to suspect he’d caused it, either negligently or intentionally makes no difference. When I got pregnant again, I refused to even see a doctor until I was into my third trimester. I found the most awesome doctor ever, who did a lot to make sure my experience was the best it could be, despite severe scarring from the LEEP.

    I see the pro choice tag on this post. Interestingly enough, I used to be on the fence regarding the issue and really didn’t engage, but the idea that this doctor caused my miscarriage and may have done so intentionally pushed me firmly into the pro choice side. If I felt the way I did at having a miscarriage induced against my will, how can I tell someone else what they should or shouldn’t do?

    • Thank you Sarah. I’m so sorry for your experience as well. I’m glad that you were able to go on to a positive one. Yes, choice is choice. We all have the right to decide what happens to our own bodies. It’s horrifying when that right is taken away.

  2. What was done to you was wrong. We women must always advocate the right to be active participants in our healthcare and in our lives. And we must edify one another. I am tired of women tearing each other down. And tired of the disagreements used to divide us.

  3. when I hear a story like that I think, ” so glad that couldn’t happen today” –

    But that is your exact point. It can and it will. The same energy that allowed for that to happen to you is being enabled as we speak into our nations laws.

    It’s a very slippery slope to take away ANY right to refuse medical treatment. Once the precedent is established, where will it end?

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. My god, I can’t imagine. Although I think I know perhaps why it happened. The experience no doubt shaped you into the strong lady that you are, so you could share what happened and so that others can learn from your pain. Way to be so brave.

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