My baby girl turned 6 months old this week. It’s hard to believe that it was 6 months ago already that I brought home this tiny, crying, pink, pooping machine. I was like a deer caught in the headlights, totally out of my element in a way that only a first-time-parent can understand. 
 
It’s amazing what a transformation has taken place in the time since. I can tell from the subtlest of signs that Avery is getting tired. I know when she is fussing because she just wants to be held, or if it is because she is tired. And I know that when she gets really worked up or angry, only mama will do. This transformation that happened as I have gained confidence in my parenting abilities is just part of the joy that being a stay-at-home-mom has allowed me.

What really astonishes me and makes me so sad is that our friends south of the border are not afforded the same luxury as us new moms in Canada are. Can you believe there is no federal maternity leave program, at all? Some employers (ones that meet specific criteria) will allow you up to 12 weeks off, but for the most part the time taken off is either saved up vacation, sick time, or without pay. So many American moms are forced to return to work when their babies are 2, 3, 4 weeks old, and it just makes me so sad. So all you Canadian moms reading this- appreciate the amazing opportunity we have to spend the first 12 months at home with our babies with a supplemented income.

Turning 6 months old brought with it 6 month shots. I HATE getting Avery immunized. She cries in a way that tears at my heart and I hate watching them jab a needle into her soft fleshy leg- especially when it is not just one needle, but often 2 or 3 consecutively. Thankfully I have the best parenting tool ever attached to my chest, and just a few minutes of boobie time and everything is right again in her world.

Having her immunized made me think about her next set of shots coming up. They are not until she is 12 months old, but one of the immunizations on the standard schedule has gained a lot of press lately- the MMR vaccine (for those of you not aware- some researchers are claiming this vaccine can cause autism). I spoke to the nurse about the vaccine and what it might mean to delay giving it to her, or foregoing it altogether. I have not made any decisions about this yet myself, I want some time to do some research before Blair and I make a decision. When I approached him about it, to see what his feelings might be, he said “why do you always want to do things differently than everyone else?”. It is not so much that I want to do things differently-it is that as a parent I want to make INFORMED decisions. It really irks me when people don’t educate themselves and just go with “what everyone else is doing” or with what the “government is recommending”. Just because it is recommended now does not mean that it will be in the future- these things change all the time- and as a parent I want to do what I feel is best for my child, not necessarily what the Government of Alberta or Canada does. 

So, with that I will leave you with a fun little look at Avery over the past 6 months- she sure is growing! Over 17lbs and 27 inches now. (Low weight of 7lbs 1oz and born at 20.75”- it’s amazing how much 6 months changes things!).
 


Comments

Mom
03/02/2012 22:58

You are very right to inform yourself and make your own decision about what is right for your baby. You are right to question the status quo. Remember the old saying "If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?"
About MMR being linked to autism? I heard it's been linked to the use of antibiotics in very young children. That's something to consider before allowing your child to take them. Inform yourself, weigh the risk, and make the best decision you can.

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