Wednesday, October 21, 2009

37 weeks along and struggling with a tough decision

I'm at a bit of a cross roads in one of my first controversial motherly decisions. Do I get the H1N1 vaccine while pregnant?

My first reaction is to say, of course! For months now I've been all too aware of the risk associated with later term pregnancy and complications with H1N1. It's actually something that gets scarier as time passes and by that I mean it's actually deadlier than we were first lead to believe from the ever so slight mention of it in prenatal classes. And starting now, we are seeing the infection begin it's second wave and a vaccine to combat it's spread.

The big question is how safe is it? Luckily there are two different vaccines to be distributed. The one which will be given to pregnant women is unadjuvanted - which means many of the chemicals associated with birth defects are not part of this batch of vaccines. Therefore, as much as I understand there isn't very much research in the long term side effects of this vaccine, I do believe it's safe and will attempt to get this vaccine if I can.

I'm not worried about catching H1N1. I am working (for a week and a half more) in a very small office. I'm always vigilant about hand washing and being aware of contact with people who may be ill. I don't plan on going to any crowded places until after giving birth. All the same go for Nuno as well. I've actually gone this entire pregnancy with not even as much as a slight cold. I think what crosses my mind about the vaccine is my baby's life after birth. You see, if I get inoculated while pregnant I'll be producing antibodies that the baby will absorb as part of his immunity. After understanding that there is a whole generation of us who have never been exposed to anything like this virus, and therefore do not have any antibodies to combat it, I'd like my son to have a chance to avoid ever contracting it. I'm actually in the lucky position of having a full term baby and am in the first consideration for inoculation. Once he's born he won't be able to get the shot (it will be more than a year before he can I imagine). If I receive the shot, we need 10 days for it to achieve it's affective potential (so I better not go into labour).

As the circulation of this vaccine seems touch and go I'm not sure I'll even have the chance to receive it in time before delivery. And if I don't, I'm fine with that as well. It will have made the weighty decision all the more easy if I don't get to choose.


On a lighter note, here I am at 37 weeks.

The baby is all curled up and can only roll from left to right. He hiccups and moves frequently. I wonder how comfy it is in there for him? Will he come early, on time, or late? I wonder about those things and try and put H1N1 out of my mind.


Leslie said...

I've been thinking about you and all this H1N1 business. I didn't even think about the fact that if you don't get the vaccine, the baby won't produce antibodies. I actually want to get the vaccine, even though I don't usually get a flu shot, because I keep hearing that younger women are the ones suffering the most.

feelscript said...

Your right, it seems to be hitting young women. Why not be safe? I'm glad you are so understanding.
My plan in the meantime is keeping myself kinda cooped up these days just as a precaution since I'm so high risk.