Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bring on the pitch forks, biotch

No insightful blogging this week. No satirized mommyisms. No relating of the microcosm that has become stay at home mom life.

Just me, some ignorant people, a grim anniversary, some upper respiratory congestion and a good dose of hormones. That's what this installment will be about.

Adrien's been throwing some horrendous fits the last few days. I'm not sure what his deal is, but he has been a bit off his sleep schedule and I think that must be partly to blame. His tantrums make spending an entire day couped up at home with him like listening to a broken record playing the sound of nails screeching on a chalk board for ten hours at a time. As long as we're out doing something and he's occupied, he acts in a decent manner. Maybe he's just too bored at home? Not sure. It's driving me batty. He refuses diaper changes and today he wore his pajama shirt all day long (even out in public) because he threatened a fit if I were to try to change it. I didn't feel like fighting that battle. Not to mention the fact that when I refuse to let him dig around in my utensil drawer in the kitchen he thinks it's the end of the world. And it is, dontcha know. Getting him into his car seat to go somewhere should be an Olympic event. Some moms at a play date the other day tried to offer some helpful hints for that little predicament. They said he's old enough to be reasoned with. Right. Well, in an ideal world, yes. But you try explaining to a 22 month old that if they don't sit in their car seat to be buckled in there will be no play date. He doesn't care. Could care less. All he cares about is not being strapped in. Never mind the consequence. You reason with him if you think it's such a great idea.

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes, the ignorant people.

Over the period of time I've been involved with my church -- somewhere around a year and a half -- I've made some good friends and acquaintances and come to feel at home. Yesterday Andi told me that on his way home a friend of ours (Eric) from the church had called to warn him that people were talking about our family. He let us in on the situation and who was involved. He wanted us to be in the know. Apparently we're still the last ones to know.

One of the women I've come to know through my Sunday school class had become, what I thought of, as a good acquaintance over my stint with the church. When I had my miscarriage this past summer she'd emailed me with kind words and some extensive experience of her own. We both have sons the same age -- only a week or so apart. Although we've never become bosom buds, I always thought we had a friendly relationship. We had one of those relationships where you always mean to get together. I'd come to know her mother through the Presbyterian Women's group and was quite fond of both of them.

About a month and a half or two ago I'd seen this woman at the mall while I was waiting for a play date to start. We chatted and our kids played. I assume at some point something must have come up medically speaking and in the midst of conversation I mentioned that I don't vaccinate Adrien. I don't, okay. It's a personal choice our family has made -- well advised by a pediatrician who does not endorse immunizations -- and that's that. But nevertheless, she must have mentioned the flu vaccine or something or other and anyway, I said to her what I said: that we don't do vaccines. I never thought twice about it. After all, we'd shared personal stories of miscarriage and loss. I thought for sure if she had a problem with anything I'd said that day she would have came to me. Apparently I thought wrong.

So anyway, Andi had come home from work yesterday and told me that our friend Eric had called him to let us in on the gab going around. Apparently Kathy -- the woman I thought was my friend -- had a problem with my non-vaccinated child. Instead of coming to me with any questions or concerns, she's done the complete opposite. I'll give a quick synopsis of the situation, as observed by my friend, Monica.

The day at the mall when I'd told Kathy what I'd told her, she acted completely normal and since then has. Over the course of time that's passed, she's apparently stewed on the situation. Monica, who used to clean Kathy's house (yes, as a "cleaning lady"), informed me of Kathy's overboard germaphobia...which apparently sparked her hysteria. At some point in time, Kathy took her five year old son to the doctor because he had the flu and asked him what the effects of her sons being exposed to my non vaccinated son were. One of two things occured when her doctor answered her questions...Either A) her doctor is misinformed and undereducated on immunizations, or B) her doctor said one thing and she heard what she wanted to. Either way, Kathy thinks her doctor is quoted as saying that my non vaccinated child could negatively effect her vaccinated children, i.e. Adrien could get her children sick. Not only did her doctor say that, but went as far as to say that I was putting the life of my unborn child at risk. You know, because I'm a wonderful parent and all.

Upon hearing this misinformation, Kathy was livid. At some point along the way, Kathy naturally must have talked to her mother about my rabid child. At Kathy's oldest son's birthday party (who knows when it was or how long ago it was), her mother took it upon herself to announce to the attendants (I wasn't one) of my child's non vaccinated state. An announcement -- made to all the guests. So anyway, continuing to stew on the situation and my apparent lack of parenting skills, Kathy asks Monica for advice -- also informing her of Adrien's non-vaccinated status. Monica advises Kathy not to call me directly (for fear that Kathy would be entirely too rude or brash) and that she should, instead, put in a call to our Pastor for some council [of the spiritual sort]. Instead of calling for council, Kathy calls the Pastor, but to tell him of my wrong doing. She wants the hounds called out on me.

Meanwhile, the church position on the matter is that they do not turn members away and that it is acceptable for Adrien not to be vaccinated (as it IS legal), but that they would eventually bring it up in a Session meeting. In the mean time, Monica called the church to let them know that she'd checked with her pediatrician and my non vaccinated son poses no threat to the vaccinated children (hence their vaccines!). Apparently this wasn't what Kathy wanted; not immediate enough. So she tells Monica that she's going to tell all of the other parents. And I suppose she did. Shortly after is when Eric called Andi to let him know we were being talked about. Kathy had called Eric's wife to let her and one of our other mutual friends know. There's no telling who all she's told or what misinformation, exactly, she's giving to them. She's pulled her son from the nursery; he's not allowed to be around Adrien. I have an infected child.

I'm waiting for the hoards to show up at my front porch step with torches and pitch forks.

No one that I've talked to so far has cared that Adrien isn't vaccinated [I have not talked to Kathy]. This entire situation upsets me more than anything. Yes, it angers me. That's natural. But even more than anger, I feel sadness. My feelings are hurt -- both for myself and for Adrien. I'm hurt that someone I thought of as friend and a fellow Christian felt compelled to try and raise the masses against me, as if I'm some evil person...or worse, as if my son is some sort of untouchable. The way she went about the entire thing has such malice about it. Nowhere did she seek answers from me. Nowhere did anyone seek answers from me. This entire issue has been brewing long enough to be considered as Session material -- and I was never even notified. Int he meantime, someone pulled their child from the nursery so that they wouldn't be in the presence of my son. My dirty son.

As much as this hurts me, it hurts me for Adrien. I've never seen such ignorance spread so quickly. And without remorse. I'm at a loss of action. I know not what to do. A friend told me that the Bible teaches us to go to our offender with our problem...that I should let her know how hurtful she's being. But Monica advised me that it won't work with Kathy. And even so, I wouldn't even know how to begin to talk to her. Right now I'm angry, and conversation with her would not be wise. For the first time, I do not feel comfortable in my Church home. That is deeply unsettling.

[I could go into how Kathy wondered aloud to Monica if Adrien was the reason her son has gotten RSV so many times, or countless other illnesses. Rather, it is the opposite. Adrien caught RSV from her son when he was 8 months old. He now has asthma because of it. The stomach bug we had not too long ago came from her family. Adrien's caught countless other things from them...I know because we get it a week or so after they do -- magically. Yet I would still allow my son to be in the nursery with hers.]

All of this, and it's only Wednesday night. This Friday marks my due date from my last little angel. It's been a tough week, and I've now been dealing with this too. I've been crying quite a bit the last few days. It feels very lonely -- this grim day that is approaching. I still haven't come to terms with the loss or how to deal with it. How do you manage? I don't. You just go on, I suppose.

I've also had a horrid nagging cough for the last week or so. The weather is bringing deep wind gusts in, and it's stirring up all sorts of pollen and mold. The temperatures see-saw; it was 80 Sunday, but it froze overnight last night. I've got this upper respiratory mess going on and a giant dose of hormones and raging indigestion and heartburn to boot. Plus, I'm still dealing with the other stomach issues I'd mentioned in my last post.

It's just a lot to deal with right now. A lot.


Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Oh B, I don't even know where to begin!

First off, I always found myself on edge when I came to the anniversary of the miscarriages. Oddly enough, I found out I was having Sam one year to the day after my first miscarriage. And when the first anniversary of the second miscarriage came around, I was on edge -- Sam was due in 3 months and I was nervous, scared, on edge... the due dates don't bother me much because with one it's so near Sam's birthday and the other is Josh's birthday. I still think of the babies I lost, but if I'd had either one of them, I wouldn't have Sam. And I would not trade him for anything. He was worth the heartache, the crying, the tears, the suffering. But it's taken me a while to get here. you will too.

As for the "church lady" -- she's just ignorant and is afraid. Her children are vaccinated, therefore should be immune to those diseases. Lots of people don't get the flu vaccine. And even that is no guarantee you won't get it. Surely there is a doctor or pediatrician in your parish that can talk to the pitch-fork toting villagers -- or villager. I'm surprised she hasn't recommended you force Adrian to wear a scarlet V!

It sucks because you want what is best for your family and she wants what is best for hers -- you just have different ways to achieve the same means.

I hope you feel better soon.

E is Me said...

I am sorry you are having to deal with all of this. Kathy, I believe, is actually the one putting her childs life at risk by not allowing him to be around other children who are/could be sick. One day he is going to get a bug that his body hasn't seen (but should have and already built up an immunity to) and it will knock him down for a count. While I do believe in vaccinations for my children, I understand your decision and have NO issues with my daughter playing with Adrien. I mean come on, they are hugging all the time!! Also, RSV could be spread by any child, regardless of their vaccined state. So maybe she should keep her kid away from ALL other kids...that would work!?!

I am sorry you aren't feeling comfy in your church right now. It'll get better. People may act like they care when they're talking to Kathy, but they probably really don't.

As far as dealing with your lost angel...just rub your belly a bunch that day and know that the spirit of your last child is one with the child you are carrying. Hold on to knowing your baby is doing great right now and you'll be holding him/her before you know it! That's what I did when my lost angles due date came around and it really helped.

Also, no need to be alone or Adrien to be are welcome over here anytime!!!

Hugs :o)

Kelly said...

Oh my, I can't believe there are people who act like barbaric..oh my god, you don't vaccinate? Blasephmy! That dumb woman, she is completely ignorant and clueless. We do selective vaccines with the at a time only. We have turned down many..and I have got a bunch of bull from others too, but god that woman tops it all. I'd like to punch her in the face. I know, not very mommy-like of me, but hell what a freaking morron.

Missy said...

Considering that a vaccine is a weak form of the virus, that Katy lady's kid is infected and your son is CLEAN.

It is pretty ridiculous to have such a pubic outcry over such a private choice without even approaching the party you are concerned about!

Hang in there, be the bigger person, stick by your choices.

And maybe get some ear plugs for handling the kiddo! ;)