At Baby C’s last checkup, I talked to our pediatrician about delaying her inoculations by a few months, until she had a little more meat on her bones. Don't get me wrong: Baby C will get all her shots, but I'd read and researched and talked to some friends of ours who live in Europe about their immunization schedules, and—after much angst—come to the conclusion that it wouldn't hurt her or society to wait for a couple of months to start the process.
The pediatrician chastised me. He told me that there were no studies that conclusively proved that vaccines caused autism or autoimmune diseases. He told me that I should follow the schedule set forth by the Center for Disease Control and endorsed by the FDA. "You're playing with fire," he stated flatly.
I found his position somewhat weakened by the sign behind his head. It announced that the not-so-infallible FDA had recalled previously-approved children's cold medications containing antihistamines. A few days later, Merck recalled several batches of its Hib vaccine (which Baby C would have received), and Canada suspended the use of several batches of the mumps vaccine, pending further research.
I don't cite the recalls as evidence that I made the right decision; I’m still not sure what the right decision is. The not-knowing. . . that’s probably the hardest thing about parenting thus far. And I suspect there’s a lot more of it in my future.