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.