To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate

Happy New Year! 

To start off 2017, as the weather has taken a turn for the freezing, I thought I’d start by discussing an all important topic – Vaccinations. Although a heavy subject, it is one that is regularly discussed in relation to pregnancy.

‘Vaccines’, ‘Jabs’, ‘Shots’ or ‘Injections’ – Whatever you call them, throughout your life you will more than likely have to make decisions on whether to have them or not. For the first part of your life this decision lies with your parents as you’re just a little too young to understand the medical advantages or disadvantages of them. As someone who is not a fan of being ill, I have always had vaccines that are recommended to me and this has been no different during my pregnancy. So far, I have made the decision to have the flu jab and a few weeks ago I had my Whooping Cough, Polio, Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccines. Over the years this subject has surfaced in both national news as well as all over social media attracting some rather divided opinions. Some parents arguing it causes long term health damage and others arguing that the disease the vaccination is created to prevent is far worse than any side effect. The biggest cases claim that vaccinations can cause autism – this is a serious subject and one that could easily sway a decision. With so much advice, let’s have a look at some discussions, including my own personal reasons for and against vaccinating your children.

Whilst looking for some online discussions, I came across ‘www.vaccines.procon.org'(1) an American website that set out a table for the pros and cons of vaccinations. Clearly marking out each side of the argument, the pros list contained points about ‘vaccines can save children’s lives’, ‘vaccines protect future generations’ and ‘vaccines eradicated smallpox and have nearly eradicated other diseases such as polio’ – a very strong set of arguments in my eyes. Whereas on the other hand, the cons list argues that ‘vaccines can cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects’, ‘vaccines are unnatural, and natural immunity is more effective than vaccination’ as well as ‘diseases that vaccines target have essentially disappeared’. As someone who had a family member die from a disease that we now vaccinate worldwide I can honestly say the stories from their battle was enough to make my decision very clear. In the 1950’s there were 45,000 cases of Polio in the UK (2) and my Great Uncle John was one of them.

In 1955, John contracted Polio aged just 7. Contracted in a local swimming pool, John’s illness was originally confused for pneumonia. He spent years in and out of several hospitals such as Royal Gwent in Newport from the age of 7 to 14 and St Laurence Hospital in Chepstow where he spent 4 of his years. During this, for a time my Papy and Great Auntie Lesley weren’t allowed to go to school as no-one was sure whether Polio was contagious. He was moved out of public school and attended a special school where he passed a handful of ‘O-levels’ and was even Head Boy! As this was during a time where the Polio vaccination was not an available option, John’s illness was tragically unavoidable and painful for this family and friends around him. John spent most of his years in a wheelchair after becoming paralysed from the neck down and for a time had to breathe with the aid of the iconic ‘Iron Lung’. For John, Polio led to developing epilepsy which eventually lead to his death at just 25 years old.

It’s no surprise that losing a sibling has affected my Papa all his life and he never fails to talk ever so fondly of John before his illness with the everlasting reminder to ‘be patient when people are unwell’. John would have been 70 this year and despite my Papy having an enormous understanding, patience and awareness of illness, it all came at a heartbreaking price. With this in always in mind, my Mother has chosen to channel all her energy outside of work to volunteering with Rotary, who regularly raise money to help fund Polio drops in the fight to eradicate the disease worldwide.

Aside from the personal reasons for vaccinating, as a mother-to-be, I often stop to think about life beyond the world of my unborn child. Illness is something that can be easily spreadable by accident, especially among those who haven’t been vaccinated. Now I know there is a chance that it never happens to my child, that they might never encounter anyone who has these any of these illnesses but what happens if my child contracts one of those diseases? What care is available to them? Is that illness even treatable? The questions that fill my mind are endless. Vaccinated or not, you are still at risk of picking up the infection or disease but that vaccination could be the difference between life and death. This has been a very tough subject to talk about and not a light-hearted one at all but has become something I have come to feel very strongly about and will always be a topic that will be related to pregnancy.

To leave on a positive here are some sentimental photograph of my Papa and Great Uncle growing up.

papy-john

I know today has been a little more of a serious subject than normal but thank you for sticking with me.

One Curious Mother x

 

Bibliography/Website links:

  1. http://vaccines.procon.org/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/east/series1/post-polio-syndrome.shtml

Still Administrating A Face Lift

This post is a short and sweet update!

For the past week I’ve been spending a lot of my time deliberating over how to build the ‘face’ of One Curious Mother. As the owner of One Curious Baker too, I have taken extra thought when designing my new logo; I wanted to bear in mind that it could be part of a ‘One Curious’ brand and not just a one off blog. It has taken quite some thought on how I want this blog to roll as part of a brand but I believe I’ve cracked it – Hurrah!

With my final logo design, created with many thanks to the brilliant ‘Paper53’ app, I have managed incorporated hints of my Curious Baker logo into the design with use of the flowers. As for the rabbit, I decided on this for the main part of the logo as for me, my childhood is full of fond memories of the ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ books and their adorable illustrations so felt it reflected the soft and delicate nature of the books quite well – definitely a book I will be reading my little one. I really wanted to make it a fun design but keep it minimalist to fit in with the clean page theme I have finally settled on as this also reflects the link with my Curious Baker blog – see the logo below:

obc-whiteSince becoming pregnant, my Curious Baker blog seems to have taken a never ending sabbatical. With most food repulsing me and I spending 95% of my time sleeping and steering very clear of the kitchen, it’s safe to say my inspiration had flown the nest. Now my appetite has restored (and to it’s highest level) I have lots of new ideas and plans for that blog and I do have every intention of picking this back up in the new year as, you know, I’ll have all that extra time with a little person keeping me awake and needing my care and attention 110% of the day… Don’t worry, I will always share my Curious Baker new blog links here to save you from rummaging the internet for them!

One of my next blog posts will be about my all important vaccinations – keep an eye out!

One Curious Mother x

Mondays, Bumps and Kicks

Monday aren’t always my favourite. Usually containing lists longer than my arms, pouring rain and/or seemingly dark weather along with that consistent feeling of sleep walking. Let’s just agree Monday’s are usually days I would rather sleep through – we all need a second Sunday, right? However, this Monday I decided not to let the wet weather, boring lists and sleepiness get to me as not only is it my birthday, little baby has reached a wonderful milestone – kicking all day and all night long, our little one has become quite the frequent wriggler! From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I tried telling myself I would document my pregnancy from the absolute beginning capturing every milestone and photographing each growing inch but unfortunately everyday life and a growing baby brain stood has firmly in my way. Now we’ve past 26 weeks, I feel time is beginning to slip away as we tiptoe into the third trimester. With 53 days until I go on maternity leave and only 95 days until my due date I have decided now is better late than never!

To keep you up to date as much as possible, we are due on March 17th, happy and healthy so far with all check-ups running smoothly and heart beating beautifully. At our last midwife appointment, we did measure slightly over as bump came to 26cms at 24 weeks but apparently, nothing to worry about. Our 20-week scan was where we decided we would take the plunge and ask to know whether we were going to have a girl or a boy. Whilst I know it’s nice to have a ‘surprise’, we were just too impatient to wait and could not stomach the thought of going through millions of shops looking for anything else bright white or yellow. Hating to sound traditional or stereotypical, we are waving the blue flag in this corner!

So far, I would like to say I’ve been well behaved when buying baby clothes and accessories but as a self-confessed shopaholic I think I may be very close to ‘too much too soon’ – even though a strong believer in never having too many muslin cloths. Regardless of this, to celebrate all our joy as well as reaching the beginning of the third trimester, we decided buying a ‘going home’ outfit for him would be perfect. Cue Cath Kidston with her soft baby colours and her epic space print – The zero to three-month sized sleep suit with little fold over scratch mittens and built in feet going home never looked so cosy and I only wish these were matching ones available in mum sizes. He’s going to look the absolute bee’s knees going home. Just 14 weeks to go!

As we descend into full Christmas holidays and further into Winter, my next few posts over the coming weeks I will be discussing my choice for vaccinations, more of measuring my bump and most importantly finding those Christmas time alternatives as we all know pate and prosecco are off the list!

Hope you’re all having a good Monday,

One Curious Mother x

 

 

A New Chapter Calls for a New Blog

Hi, I’m Naomi and welcome!

Before we begin please excuse me, I am about to nervously attempt to navigate my way into the world of blogging – as a total beginner I have little understanding of perfect fonts, fancy settings or themes and hope over time that I will progress.

Although not usually a writer at all, I have found over the years that blogging can be very therapeutic, calming and a great opportunity for reflection. This said, I feel now is time to step it up, as I wave goodbye to the trusty ‘safety blanket’ that was Tumblr and attempt to join the big world and run head first into documenting my latest project – Baby Number One.

As a photographer, food lover and soon-to-be first time Mother, this blog might be just about the only ‘grown-up only’ thing I am going to have for a while – despite my intentions for this is to pretty much document this baby’s journey. Between finishing university, a year and a half ago, swapping jobs to make a career, waiting on a building project to begin and supporting a significant other through a complete career change, I am hoping my sanity might just be saved through writing and illustrating this blog with our abundance of stepping stones as my life gets a complete make over.

Please keep an eye out for my first post and I hope to see you again soon!

One Curious Mother x