Mothering monster: the narcissism and cruelty of letting your child get whooping cough

Woman kissing the mirror

Who lets her toddler get whooping cough and then boasts about how she breastfed him though it? A self-absorbed, self aggrandizing narcissistic parent. Someone like Shayla Cherry.

It’s difficult for me to describe the cruelty, stupidity and lack of self-awareness of a mother like Cherry so I’ll let her describe it herself.

The true sign of Shayla Cherry’s narcissism is that she is boasting about the horror that she caused.

From How Breastfeeding Saw Us Through the 100-Day Cough:

Rye was 18 months old when he contracted pertussis. I can’t begin to imagine how terrifying that would have been if, like nine out of ten babies, he was weaned already…

How terrifying it would have been? It wouldn’t have been terrifying at all if her child had been fully vaccinated because he wouldn’t have gotten whooping cough. But Shayla had “done her research” and is proud of herself for depriving him of that protection.

From The Risks of Routine Vaccination: Why I Don’t Vaccinate My Son:

I discovered that the diseases are less likely to harm my son than the vaccines themselves. Adverse reactions and chronic illnesses are far more common than serious complications from the diseases we vaccinate against.

There is nearly zero risk of an American child catching diphtheria or polio.

Despite all of the fear-mongering around polio, it’s generally asymptomatic. When symptoms do appear, they are usually flu like. Fewer than one percent of people who contract polio experience paralysis.

Whooping cough can be treated with Vitamin C…

Cherry is sublimely confident in her ignorance.

As it was, our bout with whooping cough was brutal, but never dangerous…

The truth is dramatically different.

As the CDC notes:

Before pertussis vaccines became widely available in the 1940s, about 200,000 children got sick with it each year in the United States and about 9,000 died as a result of the infection. Now we see about 10,000 to 40,000 cases reported each year and unfortunately up to 20 deaths.

Whooping cough is not merely dangerous; it’s deadly.

Fortunately, Cherry’s son did not die but he suffered tremendously and unnecessarily.

One week in and my son’s cough was only getting worse. We were up all night as he began coughing every hour, on the hour. He developed a sharp, desperate inhale; a characteristic whoop every mother hopes to never hear. I began researching pertussis with a sinking heart. Little did I know, we were in for a long and exhausting winter.

The next month was spent indoors as whooping cough tore through our home. Our days were filled with movies, cuddled together in our cozy haze. Sometimes when the coughing woke him at night, he was so exhausted that he’d fall back to sleep without nursing…

On our bed propped on an incline, we slept in fifty-minute bursts. We welcomed play at 2am in the dim hallway light when a coughing fit left him wide awake.

The child was desperately and needlessly sick for months and his mother is still focused on herself and the “benefits” she provided him by breastfeeding:

He would have lost every ounce of baby fat. We may have needed to go to urgent care for an IV, and who knows where that would have led — secondary infection, pneumonia, antibiotics…

There’s no reason to believe that breastfeeding did any of that. The baby could have just as easily bottle fed for comfort and nutrition. Breastfeeding didn’t prevent whooping cough in the first place; why should it be counted on in preventing secondary infection?

Cherry’s narcissism hasn’t merely blinded her to the fact that she subjected her toddler to a potentially deadly illness because her ego led her to imagine that she knew more about vaccines than nearly every single medical professional in the entire world.

Her narcissism hasn’t merely made her oblivious to the fact she is the one responsible for son’s suffering, not the one who prevented it.

The true sign of her overweening sense of self regard is that she is boasting about the horror that she caused.

Though I was more tired than I’ve ever been and my own health hasn’t quite recovered, I am immeasurably grateful for the gift of breastmilk. I was able to nourish and protect my son, even in the depths of my exhaustion. So, if you’re nursing a toddler and want to continue, I hope sharing my story helps you to trust your instincts. Do what is right for you and your child, as mothers have done for aeons.

Cherry learned nothing … but then narcissists never do.

  • Christopher Hickie

    And Bob Sears, the anti-vax quack pediatrician who started the whole “alternate vaccine schedule” poo-pooed his own wife getting pertussis in his “Vaccine Book”.

  • Christopher Hickie

    I’ve had non-vaxxing families still refuse all vaccines even after the infant had been in the hospital–yea, the PICU–for whooping cough. It’s amazing the stupid that is out there, but perhaps the cake-taker is anti-vax, anti-science, anti-anything-of-intelligence “paleo” cardiologist Jack Wolfson (who stated on TV in 2015 during a measles outbreak that kids need to contract measles for better health). Wolfson has bragged multiple times about how he let his two unvaccinated sons (one of whom was an infant at the time) suffer through whooping cough for months *untreated* as though it is some badge of honor. He even brags how he didn’t report it to the public health department. And, of course Wolfson is a home birth/breast-is-best freak and his chiroquacktor wife is even more rabidly insane.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Jeez, my son currently has a (nasty) cold, and it makes me feel bad enough as it is, as I wish there were more I do to help him feel better.

      I remember when he had Hand, Foot and Mouth. That was 3 days of absolute misery, not just for him but also for us.

      I’d love to have my kids not get sick, and if they do get sick, I want them to feel better as soon as possible. Then again, I actually am a sympathetic person and care about the well-being of others, and am not a selfish asshole who treats others like shit.

  • The Vitaphone Queen

    Rye?!

  • hmmm

    Beyond the immoral decision to not vaccinate, There was the monstrous decision to not treat. Pick a Macrolide. Pretty much any fucking Macrolide! This kid hacked and suffered for his mother’s ego, and nothing else. The recordings I have seen of this disease are haunting. This creature watched that live, and just let her kid wonder if he was gonna die. I hope I never meet this woman. I would spit in her face, and that would do her no good and damage my soul.

  • borkborkbork

    The thing that really gets me about Shayla Cherry’s blog post is just how unnecessary the whole thing is.

    She really plays up her sacrifice – the late nights, the stress on her body, difficulties getting her child to take his vitamins and the difficulties of carrying around a thirty lb toddler…like it proves how caring of a mother she is, and how deeply committed to attachment parenting.

    But here’s the thing…you don’t have to let your kid contract whooping cough and then suffer from it for 3+ months to have these experiences.

    We’ve all been up with our kids at 2am more nights than we can count. We all throw our backs out carrying them. It’s a parenting thing – not an attachment parenting thing.

    And for those of us that lactate – yeah, our teeth hurt. We’ve all got vitamin deficiencies. Get a group of grannies together in a room sometime and ask them how many pregnancies/breastfed babies it took before their teeth and hair starting falling out and they started getting stress fractures in their feet and ankles. Sometimes it is the third kid, or the fifth, or the eighth, but you know what? They’ll flash their dentured smile at you, laugh about it, and say they took it in stride on their aching feet.

    Women have been doing this for thousands of years. Motherhood wrecks us all, in one way or another.

    You are not special, Shayla.

    • Who?

      This. Well said.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      She’s a narcissist, it’s pretty obvious she sees everything about her child in terms of herself.

      It would be interesting to see how her kid reacts to this sort of parenting when he gets older. I don’t know about anyone else but my kids personality seemed pretty obvious even when she was just a few months old ( what we laughingly now call stubborn as a mule – it’s funny when they are 23 years old)

      I honestly wonder what these parents who invest EVERYTHING in intensive parenting are going to do when their kids are able (I hope!) to assert their independence and want to explore on their own. You have to give them the tools to deal with the world. We aren’t going to be around to protect them forever.

      I wonder how she would have reacted to her almost 16yo kid asking as mine did, to go to Germany to stay with a friend’s family for the summer. The girls took the trains all over Germany. Mostly by themselves. They had a blast.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        $5 says she has another baby when this one is old enough to assert himself. People like this only love babies because they can force their selfish demands onto their kid like its a plastic doll. As soon as the kid is old enough to walk and talk they move onto a replacement dolly.

  • yentavegan

    The dogma believed by the anti-vaccine crowd is that getting these preventable childhood illnesses strengthens the immune system. So if your child contracts pertussis it is a cause for celebration, as now he will benefit from a super powerful all natural immune system. This line of thinking is akin to pushing a toddler out a window in hopes of breaking a few bones in order to gift him with stronger more resilient limbs for the future.

  • Pregnant Guest

    Can I ask an OT question? I’m likely looking at induction in the next day or two, and the hospital starts most inductions with misoprostol. 2 years ago, when discussing induction with my provider, she was adamant that we would insist on Cervadil over miso (over the hospital’s objections, I think?) because she was more comfortable with its safety profile (I don’t remember details beyond that). This time with a different provider, there’s been no mention of that. Has there been new safety evidence or was my other provider mistaken? Trying to decide if this is something I need to look further into or just trust the hospital…

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Maybe a preference by one provider versus another? Just guessing, since I’m no medical person. *hugs* and I hope your labor is about as boring as possible and that you and munchkin come through with flying colors.

    • MI Dawn

      Looking at medical research, it’s mostly provider preference. misoprostol has shorter labors generally but a slightly higher incidence of postpartum complications. Cervadil has longer labors but slightly lower complications. So it’s a wash. If you are really concerned, talk to your provider and ask them their thought process. They should give you their reasons without a fuss. If they don’t, then it’s time to make a fuss yourself!

      • Pregnant Guest

        Interesting, so Cervadil might be a little safer, but w/the risk of longer labor? I did ask, briefly, and all I was told was that the hospital I’m delivering at only stocks misoprostol. I will ask my provider about specific risks/benefits. Thanks!

  • borkborkbork

    The original post is a horrifying read. I’m glad Dr. Tuteur is shining a light on this.

    One reason that I am so adamantly pro-vaccine and evidence-based medicine is that I was raised in a religious sect that rejected medical intervention. I was exclusively breastfed, ate a diet of unprocessed foods, and never saw a doctor.

    Children are resilient, but not invincible. Sure, I didn’t die from any of the infections I had as a kid, but I came close. They left me with a lifetime of disability and pain. I can’t swallow food, or drink, or take a deep breath without pain, due to the scarring in my throat and lungs. Whenever I hear an anti-vax mom say “I’ve never met/heard of someone who had suffered true harm from a childhood disease…” I have to give them a long hard stare of incredulity.

    These children…they aren’t experiments in natural living. They aren’t extensions of their parents’ martyrdom or avenues to accolades on the internet. They are people, people who suffer. They may not remember whether or not they were breastfed, but they sure as hell will remember the torture of sleepless night after sleepless night struggling to breathe. They will remember missing out on months or years of their childhood due to illness. They will remember falling behind in school, falling behind other children in physical development and social skills. And they will want their parents to explain why, when it was so easily prevented. Somehow, I don’t think that Shayla Cherry’s blog post will be a sufficient explanation for her son.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      SO sorry you have to deal with that. I agree, I can not understand how a person could want to see their child go through months of pain and risk permanent damage to their lungs. What does she think she is protecting him from?? I had most of the “normal” childhood diseases ( I am almost 60) they are painful and terrifying ( the hallucinations from the high fevers are something I still remember)

      • borkborkbork

        It doesn’t slow me down much, but thank you for the kind words. 🙂

        Although I had other illnesses, I was lucky enough to escape most of the “childhood” diseases, but I did catch chicken pox, and so did my siblings. I also remember the high fevers being very frightening, and all of us being pretty miserable with it. I am thankful that kids don’t have to go through that these days.

        By the way, I love your username. It is good advice.

        • Alicia

          I was fortunate that the only illness I caught was measles, but I was so miserable that I remember clearly how bad it was, and I was only 3 years old at the time. Kids remember things that cause them misery and pain.

  • Want another hate-read? Kate Tietje has a post on breastfeeding as “Biologically Normal.” Checks boxes for smugness, pseudoscientific claptrap, fear of processed foods, ableism, and more!

    http://modernalternativemama.com/2018/04/10/33966/

  • kilda

    “There is nearly zero risk of an American child catching diphtheria or polio.”

    Because we vaccinate against them, you freaking moron…..

    “Despite all of the fear-mongering around polio, it’s generally asymptomatic. When symptoms do appear, they are usually flu like. Fewer than one percent of people who contract polio experience paralysis.”

    Which is fine unless you happen to be that one percent. Which, if we still allowed large numbers of people to catch polio, would be a LOT of people.

    Sigh. So much stupidity for so early in the morning.

  • Rationalob

    My grandmother lost 3 children to complications of measles before vaccine was available. She then had my father who contracted polio as a child. Was not a minor illness and he now has post polio syndrome. I can’t imagine the words she would have for the anti Vaxers.

  • Gene

    OT: post dates baby dies in Colorado. This was >2y ago and mom is looking to sue. Link is Reddit. I’m going to C&P as well as link. Found it interesting the sentence at the end about thing just happen. Also excellent reply by a Perinatal pathologist.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/8cncoo/do_we_have_a_chance_to_sue_our_doctors_for/

    “To start off, this happened over 2 years ago. We tried pursuing legal action back then, but a few things prevented us:
    There are very few malpractice lawyers in Colorado.
    The hospital is refusing to give us medical records (I have tried countless of times, I have left voicemails, I have gone to the hospital in person, I have printed and faxed and mailed forms to request them, nothing.)
    Most lawyers we find refuse to look at the case without the medical records.
    I was able to actually talk to a lawyer, and he told me flat out that no one is going to take our case because in Colorado there is a cap for how much money someone can gain from malpractice cases, and a lawyers percentage of that isn’t worth their time.
    When we went to the doctors for our first visit and to find out the due date, the doctor got the date wrong. We know this because our medical records list the due date on the first page as October 22, and every page after as November 22. (The medical records we could not get are from the hospital we delivered him at, which was at a different hospital than we originally planned.) The pregnancy itself was normal. I did the test for gestational diabetes twice, both came back negative. My husband and I decided at about 15 weeks that we would rather go to a birthing center for the delivery and appointments, so we stopped going to our main provider, except for the gestational diabetes tests and when I needed second opinions. In October, I went into labor. Seeing my due date, the doctors thought I was going into premature labor. They chose to stop my labor and give me steroid shots so if I go into labor early again, the steroids will help him grow faster. Then they let me go until my “due date.” The week before he passed, I felt like something was wrong. I went to the birthing center and they said all was normal. I went to my original care provider twice that week to get checked again, and the last day I went, the doctor literally told me “everything is fine” and walked out of the room before I could say more. The day he was due, I couldn’t feel him moving, so we went to the birthing center and they couldn’t find a heart beat. We went to the hospital next door, and his heart wasn’t moving in the ultrasound. He was gone. They induced my labor, and I struggled for 24 hours before they realized he was too big to fit and I needed a c-section. The Autopsy says he died from gestational diabetes. He was too big for my placenta to support. He was 11 pounds when he was born. I didn’t have gestational diabetes. My medical records can prove that.
    I don’t care about the money, I just want some sort of justice. I don’t want to roll over and accept that stuff like this can happen and people can get away with it. Help me please.”

    • Gene

      Found the birth story. She doesn’t mention a birthing center at all.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/offmychest/comments/432c5t/my_pregnancy_loss_and_recovery_story/

      • swbarnes2

        Also, see how she says she thought her due date was November. In the other post, she’s hung up on getting her records from the hospital she delivered at, but I’m not sure how they should have known the dates were off, if both the mother and the birthing center said November. It’s not clear to me if an ultrasound, or anything else, would have let the delivering hospital know that the November date was wrong.

        The records she needs are the records of her interactions with HCP in the first half of the pregnancy, to find all the points where the dating error should have been caught.

    • Sue

      She says she had lots of ultrasounds – surely that would have sorted out the dates. Terrible to go through a stillbirth, but that doesn’t mean there was negligence.

      • swbarnes2

        She also said she went to a birthing center that didn’t do a lot of ultrasounds. She might mean that she got a lot in that last month, but I don’t think those are likely to have clued in the hospital that the dates were wrong.

        What she needed was ultrasounds early on. A nuchal translucency scan is supposed to happen in a 4 week window at the end of the first trimester; I wonder if she got one. I would think that a sonograoher would have been able to tell a 14 week fetus from an 18 week fetus?

    • MaineJen

      They *stopped her labor* when she was 4-6 weeks early? Ummmmmm.

      Also…someone randomly wrote the date wrong?? That’s malpractice, right? That’s a stupid mistake.

    • MI Dawn

      I have a LOT of questions about this story. First, she’d have been measuring way off her fundal height (4 weeks is a HUGE difference) unless people didn’t pay attention. Then she says she had ultrasounds, then she “didn’t have many”. But any u/s is going to verify due date if done early on. And if there is a question of dates – mom says EDC is 10/22, records say 11/22, as a midwife, I would have done a lot more questioning and gotten a dates verification u/s.

      I also have a hard time believing she can’t get her records from the hospital and doctors. She may not want to *pay* for them – legally, they can request payment for copying them – but they can’t legally withhold them if she pays for them.

      I’m very sorry for the stillbirth. It sounds like there are many questions (why test twice for GD if everything is going normally? If you’re worried about size, wouldn’t you get an u/s?) that are weird. And, in the comments, she mentions another baby that was apparently large for dates at birth. (closed the page, but IIRC 36 weeks c/s and baby was 7 1/2 lbs).

      • PeggySue

        There are several differences in her stories. Perhaps because of trauma, but the differences make me wonder what all actually went on.

  • Allie

    I don’t know what’s worse, the ignorance or the self-congratulatory tone. Actually, now that I think about it, the worst is the feigned concern for toddlers whose mothers have stopped breastfeeding.

    • Merrie

      Offhand, I’d say your average vaccinated toddler who no longer nurses who avoids getting pertussis is probably happier and healthier than this poor kid. How do anti-vaxers see their kids suffering with VPDs and not wish they had spared them? (answer: they think natcheral immunity is totes better and is worth suffering… smh) I can’t imagine putting my child through that. I had MMR vaccine but varicella vaccine came out too late for me. Chicken pox was miserable and I didn’t even have a particularly bad case all things considered. I’m glad my kids won’t have to suffer it. I was also hospitalized with a GI illness at age 2 and I’m glad rotovirus decreases the chances of that happening to my kids.

      • BeatriceC

        My kids have had all the shots except my oldest didn’t get the chicken pox vaccine because he got the actual chicken pox before he was old enough for the shot. He was born in 1999, when the shot was relatively new, and a bunch of older kids in my sister’s school hadn’t had it yet (including my sister), and it went through her school and she brought it home and gave it to my kid. Thankfully he had a relatively mild case, but an infant with chicken pox is not fun.

      • mabelcruet

        Imagine this poor baby in the next few years-there are some long term sequelae that could cause problems. I wonder if he could turn round at age 18 and sues his mother for not getting him vaccinated, exposing him to a dangerous illness and putting his life at risk.

    • mabelcruet

      These people use the same ‘tone’ all the time, its always ‘aren’t I wonderful? Look at how much I suffered, look at the sacrifices I made, look at how hard I worked, look at what I gave up to be a mother, look at me, look at me, look at me.’

      Her poor baby, suffering needlessly like that, traumatized and sick, and she is bleating on like a selfish bitch about how exhausted she is. Failure to seek medical attention for your child constitutes negligence and child neglect, no matter how frequently you stick your nipple in his mouth. Cruelty, pure and simple.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    I’ll be honest people like this scare the shit out of me right now. I was lucky enough to not face major infertility issues despite that being a real possibility and I’ll be having twins in October. So we hope anyways. They may come early and that means even longer before I can protect them with vaccines and keep them from suffering if just one idiot at church or somewhere else decides not to vaccinate and they pass on something awful.

    I’m just so happy to be having kids that I can’t imagine giving vaccines a pass and making them suffer from something like this. Wouldn’t you want to give them every advantage you can? I mean my kids will never have chicken pox and miss a week of school like I did. And that week had an impact. I still suck at my x7 and x8 times tables.

    With how much they seem to love when their kids get sick sometimes I wonder if these people have some kind of munchausen’s by proxy.

    • momofone

      Congratulations!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Thank you!

    • Amazed

      Congrats!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Thank you! It has been a ride!

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Congrats, Delph! Hope you three have as boring a year as possible!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Thank you! Boring would be absolutely wonderful with as few hiccups as possible!

    • MaineJen

      FUn fact: I still can’t do the higher order x12 table in my head ;P

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Now if man had been born with 6 fingers on each hand,
        He’d also have 12 toes or so the theory goes. Well, with twelve
        Digits, I mean
        Fingers, he probably would have invented two more
        Digits when he
        Invented his number system. Then, if he saved the zero
        For the end,
        He could count and multiply by twelve just as easily as
        You and I do
        By ten.

        Hey little twelve-toes, I hope you’re well….

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        I can’t do x12 to save my life so you’re ahead of me! Lol

      • BeatriceC

        If it makes you feel any better I suck at recalling all the multiplication facts. And I have a master’s degree. In math.

        I’m just going to hang my head in shame over in that corner over there.

        (To be fair, I know enough of them that the ones I tend to forget I can just count up or down from one I do know to one of the ones I just can’t remember if my life depended on it, but still, the fact remains that I don’t recall them all instantly.)

        • Tigger_the_Wing

          I’m convinced that mathematics was invented by people who were bad at arithmetic, so they wouldn’t have to do the hard work with heaps of numbers. The formulæ do the work for us.

    • PeggySue

      Congratulations and best wishes!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Thank you very much!

    • FallsAngel

      Prematurity is not a reason to postpone vaccines, except sometimes Hep B vaccine.
      https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Immunizations-For-Preterm-Babies.aspx

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Woo! One less thing to worry about! Still scares me that there’s that vulnerable period before they can get the pertussis vaccines but this helps.

        • FallsAngel

          Glad I could be of help. Just make sure you get your Tdap before you deliver. Ask your doc when the best time would be. It’s supposed to be done between 27 and 36 weeks; you may want to get yours at the early end.

          https://www.cdc.gov/features/tdap-in-pregnancy/index.html

          Ed to fix link

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Congratulations!!!!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Thank you!

    • Tigger_the_Wing

      Congratulations! Twins are fun; mine (who were born at 34 weeks) turned 25 in February, and they’re still best mates. The stuff they would get up to from the moment they could move deliberately was hilarious sometimes!

  • Who?

    Has anyone got a book open on when our anti-vax buddies will turn up, who it will be and how long this thread will get?

    • Kq

      I came to see if theydt shown up yet.

      • MaineJen

        I call the “how dare you use this person’s private story for your own purposes!!!1!”

  • Anna

    I knew a woman whose unvaccinated son caught whooping cough and at first she was glad because now he’d had “lifelong immunity” as promised by the echo chambers. Fraid not, he got it again the next year and every time he got a cold thereafter the whoop would return, the vomiting, going blue and his lungs are permanently scarred. I think she got her son caught up after that.

    • Poor kid.

    • Kim

      That’s very unlucky, though, surely? Having whooping cough would normally give you immunity for many years. It’s unlucky to catch it twice, just as it would be with chicken pox, measles etc, though you do get exceptions (a girl in my daughter’s school caught chicken pox multiple times).

      • Tigger_the_Wing

        It depends on the particular immune system. My eldest son (despite being fully vaccinated) and I (who caught it for the first time when I was eight) have marginal immunity to pertussis, so we’ve each had whooping cough several times. I get regular boosters now that I can.

  • AnnaPDE

    Isn’t this CPS worthy? Denying medical care to your child for a life threatening illness, including relief from preventable suffering is a pretty sure sign of an unfit parent where I’m from….

    • sdsures

      CPS never intervenes because the parents are middle-class and white.

      *growls*

  • Who?

    So I just clicked onto the post about when to say ‘no’ to your toddler.

    She says an alarming amount that I agree with-pick your fights, don’t leave temptations in plain sight, constantly re-evaluate-then this gem, around setting limits:
    ‘I also limit the foods that he eats, because he’s very sensitive to
    processed food. Something as simple as cheese and crackers at a
    friend’s house can cause two days of pain.’

    So cheese and crackers=pain for a couple of days=no way. But months of broken nights, illness and suffering, all good!

    • Yeah. A lot of the advice she gives is straightforward, mainstream stuff–which she presents as if it’s some amazing discovery–and then you come across something insane.

    • Sheven

      Also, that’s bullshit. She claims he’s perfectly healthy but cheese and crackers at someone’s house makes him sick for days because it’s “processed.” Boiling quinoa is processing it. Mashing a banana is processing it. Sprinkling lemon juice on apples so they don’t go brown is processing them. But to a stupid, narcissistic new ager the word “processed” is like the word “toxin”: a buzzword you can blame everything on without ever defining it.

      • Who?

        Well yes, also true. The thing most guaranteed to give me a stomach ache is green apple on an empty stomach. Perhaps it’s the washing and cutting it up before chewing that causes the trouble…

        • Allie

          It probably wasn’t an organic apple only fertilized with unicorn poop and watered with the gluten-free tears of virgins : )

        • Reyna Elizondo

          I know you are not asking but this most lilely is because your body is not able to digest the high levels of fructose in a apple. Pretty common in people with irritable bowel syndrome

          • Who?

            Yes, I know why it happens. My point was, what could be more ‘healthy’ and delicious than a nice, crisp apple? But on an empty stomach, a green apple-not a red one-will give me a bad stomach ache every time.

            I don’t have IBS, but if the pain is what IBS sufferers routinely put up with I don’t blame them for seeking some resolution.

        • Sheven

          Knives are unnatural! You hit the nail on the head.

          Interestingly, Skittles will often cure my nausea. Once I had no idea why, but now I guess it must be because they’re natural and unprocessed.

          • Who?

            Interesting. I am languishing over Netflix as I recover from a uti and am snacking on jellybeans which do seem to help with the feeling sick element. Ordinarily I have no desire for them but in the chemist yesterday picking up the script they seemed like just the thing.

        • Gæst

          Ha. Raw foods give me stomach pain, bloating, and, well, further unpleasantness. Cooked foods (i.e., processed) do not. It’s a drag because there’s a lot of delicious raw produce, but it’s how I am.

          • Who?

            That is a drag. With me it’s only raw green apples, and only on an empty stomach. I’m such a fruit bat, would be miserable if it was more of a general problem.

          • Gæst

            Between the stomach pain, heartburn, and tooth pain, I eat very little raw fruit anymore. Fruit just doesn’t like me. But hey, it’s fine when cooked…like in a pie!

          • Who?

            Potentially tmi to follow.

            I am consciously cutting down on my raw fruit, since three weeks holiday in a place with a limited range of very expensive fruit (which somewhat curbed my habit) made me realise what it was doing to my middles: let’s just say my production based on the Bristol Stool chart looked a lot better while on holidays.

            I do like pie…

        • Sarah

          Gosh, I’m the complete opposite- if I feel bloated or stomach achy, a chopped apple is a good cure! People’s bodies can be so different.

          • Amazed

            Basically everyone I know feel ravenous after an apple or two. Me, I can exist on three apples a day feeling completely sated until the next day greets me with a headache that is my stomach’s ambassador and demands that I put something in it.

    • kilda

      ‘Something as simple as cheese and crackers at a
      friend’s house can cause two days of pain.’

      probably because he’s outraged by the discovery that other families have tasty food! “why can’t I ever have cheese and crackers instead of organic quinoa with unpasteurized goat’s milk?”

    • Mimc

      Also if cheese and crackers causes pain she should really get her kid to an allergist.

  • Liz Leyden

    “He didn’t eat for days, but he nursed and nursed and nursed.”

    So he didn’t eat, but he ate? Are you trying to impress people by feeding your child?

    • Sheven

      Also, coughs make your throat sore. Of course you mostly drink warm liquids.

      Mostly, though, I don’t trust someone that narcissistic to tell the truth. She’ll say anything that she believes reflects well on her.

  • lawyer jane

    O/T – My son had horrible hacking coughs all winter the year he was 1. What’s the chance that this was pertussis? He never got tested, and I didn’t push it since when I first started to consider it, it had been a couple of months and at that point he wouldn’t have been contagious any more or treated any differently.

    • Kq Not Signed In

      My son had a nasty cough for weeks last year – it would get better and then worse, and a couple times he coughed so hard he vomited. He is fully vaccinated, but because there was an active pertussis outbreak in our area, the doctor thought it was worth testing. Test was miserable for him (its like a strep test, but with a foot long q-tip that goes in through the nose and down the back of the throat!) and came back negative.

      And our insurance charged us for it. Because it was negative and therefore it was unnecessary. And yes, they said they would have covered it if he tested positive…

      • Your insurance is ridiculous.

        • Kq

          Well I do live in the USA…

      • kilda

        that’s actually kind of hilarious. note to insurance company: if we knew ahead of time how to only send tests that were going to come back positive, we wouldn’t actually need the tests.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Unlikely. Hacking coughs all winter long are pretty common at that age.

    • Kim

      The cough you get with whooping cough is very distinctive and quite unlike a normal hacking cough. (I had whooping cough as a child, before the vaccine was universally available.)

  • Heidi

    She wants a congratulations for not starving her child yet still being irresponsible enough to not take him to a doctor when she has easy access to one? Do i get to write an essay about how peanut butter has kept my child growing some days? I mean, that’s all that happened – a privileged white lady chose not to starve her child, not really out of love, but because she felt all the credit went to her because the source of nutrition came out of her breasts. She lucked up and he didn’t die. Cow’s milk, pediasure, toddler formula, Ovaltine, etc. would have provided him adequate enough nutrition too. Not too surprised though. We see it with anti-vax parents all the time. They want their children to get sick so they can get credit for nursing them back to health when they happen not to face immediately fatal consequences. I mean, Ciapet loved to go on about nursing her daughter back to health after every VPD she would catch.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Not starving your child is more impressive if you have to skip many meals yourself to do it, and no one congratulates parents who must. Certainly no one congratulated my parents.

  • MI Dawn

    Hey, I read her post on vaccines and got a coverall on my Bingo card! what do I win?

    Seriously, this woman has a PhD in Google research and no brains. Her poor baby. Strange how her 18 month breast fed baby caught pertussis, while my breast/bottle fed, weaned by a year, fully vaccinated babies have never had it.

    I wish I could give that baby lots of snuggles and cuddles and then get him vaccinated so he doesn’t have to suffer other VPDs.

    • MI Dawn

      I also think I lost many brain cells from reading just those 2 posts.

  • CSN0116

    “Shayla Cherry writes about holistic health and conscious parenting on her blog, Mama Revolution.”

    “Conscious parenting” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

    Another bored-ass, privileged, 40-something, white woman. I’m seriously starting to grow deep prejudice. These nuts always share the same characteristics.

    • ukay

      I wish they would just leave their kids alone and do something with themselves.

    • She also doesn’t believe in discipline, either–or praise for good behavior. You’re just supposed to figure out the child’s underlying needs and foster connection:

      http://mamarevolution.us/unconditional-parenting/

      http://mamarevolution.us/peaceful-parenting/

      Mind, not everything she says is completely bananas…but I think that scolding a toddler for throwing a block at your head is okay, even if you did have the effrontery to not pay attention to him because you were on the phone. And, uh, I do want obedient children who, for instance, won’t run onto the road when I tell them to stop; I doubt it will break their spirit to learn that they need to listen to Mommy and Daddy. I think this is a little different from demanding conformity in everything of a teenager, for instance.

      • Gæst

        Oh, sounds like RIE. There isn’t anything really wrong it it, but those people way overthink how to form a strong relationship with your child. Me, I play games on the iPad with my son and we bonded over that. I don’t even let him play, because it’s my iPad.

      • Amazed

        Wow! Last week, I was a substitute mom for Amazing Niece. Sad to confess that I didn’t bother trying to figure out her underlying needs when she tried to bite me a few times – I just assumed that she needed to bite me for some reason. And *I* certainly didn’t need it, so the punishment was doled out.

        I don’t know, her mom seemed perfectly content with me not being an underlying needs seeker but prosecutor, judge, and high priestess. And of course, the cuddle-giver. And the reader. And the fellow-player. And the feeder. No, in fact I don’t think she even gave the last one a thought. It was simply assumed that once the kid was in my care, I would feed her.

        Little did we know…

        Self-inserted confession: Amazing Niece still has an egg allergy (she has outgrown two other and NO, she was not breastmilk-starved), so she can’t eat homemade cheese-pastry. We buy her some bakery ones since those are made without eggs. Sadly, they’re as processed as they come but she loves them. Once, she saw me putting one into the microwave and went ecstatic: Aunty has made cheese pastry! For Amazing Niece! This is how glory is gained…

      • Amazed

        A friend of mine: I ALWAYS lead by example! I NEVER demand of my kids to do something that I don’t do myself! Another friend: err, in my house kids and parents have different privileges and that’s it. We are allowed not to have a bedtime, drink coffee and wine, go deep into the sea and a myriad of other things that are allowed to all parents and forbidden to all kids.

        • momofone

          My son has recently started trying out new ways of arguing his point. “It’s a free country!” is one of my favorites. It certainly is. But that country doesn’t start until the outside doorstep of our house, and inside here it’s a dictatorship.

          • Amazed

            The last bit of Amazing Niece news, literally from an hour ago: she’s been wailing and wailing. The Intruder tries to take her out of it by suggesting that they sing a song. Her answer? Stops crying and and says, very matter-of-factly: I’m crying at the moment! Cue renewed wailing.

            Wonder if conscious parenting would demand an instant visit to a holistic psychologist or accepting that she’s a two year old and meltdowns are expected from time ti time.

            ETA: Where do you live? I need to know where to send social workers!

          • Who?

            Quite so. Mostly benevolent, always with an eye to the big picture, but a dictatorship nonetheless.

        • Steph858

          Depends on how old the kids are. When I was in primary school, that was pretty much how our household worked. But with teens (and precocious preteens like I was) letting them do stuff you’d rather they didn’t while preparing a well-timed ‘I told you so’ can work wonders. For example with bedtimes, letting me stay up late one schoolnight and meeting my protestations that I was still tired when she dragged me out of bed the next morning with nowt but a smugly raised eyebrow saved my mum hundreds of future arguments over bedtimes. Some kids just have to learn these things the hard way.

          • Amazed

            Well, their kids were quite small at the time. Anyway, I can’t imagine a working household where the rights of parents and kids are exactly the same. I didn’t have a bedtime, for one, but I was restricted in other ways that my mom wasn’t. I rebelled very spectacularly and I was shown that if I wanted my mom’s right and privileges, I could get MOST of them but… only by taking her obligations as well. My privilege lust lasted for about a day – and yes, I did learn the hard way.

      • kilda

        so you don’t discipline them OR praise them for good behavior? they’re just supposed to magically intuit how to be a good person? yeah, that will end well.

        • Don’t worry, she tells the kid no when he’s about to do something really dangerous, like eat cheese and crackers.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Hope that doesn’t include me! ‘though “privilege” is a relative term.

      • Heidi

        I’m a 30-something, sometimes bored, privileged white lady. However, I don’t gloat about doing something that is so easy for me to do, such as feeding my child. I don’t relieve my boredom by getting my child sick because I refuse to vaccinate, don’t take him to the doctor, and then act as if my boob milk is the reason he’s not dead. Then I don’t blog about how wonderful and heroic I am when I should be deeply ashamed for causing so much pain and suffering. I think that’s the key difference.

    • Gæst

      I’m a fan of unconscious parenting. My kids watch TV while I nap.

      • MaineJen

        Netflix: Are you still watching Magic School Bus?

        Me, blindly feeling for remote: Yes, goddamnit…

  • Sheven

    Shayla, I know what that whoop feels like from the inside. It feels terrifying, because you don’t know if your body will let you breathe. It feels horrifying, because just as you are sucking in the air you need–the air you need because you are suffocating yourself–your body cuts you off again. It feels like your throat and lungs are being shredded, and if you do your research about the long-term effects of whooping cough, there is a good chance your child’s lungs are permanently damaged.

    Shame on you for inflicting that on your child. Shame on you for gulping down the disinformation of quacks about the dangers of vaccines while not bothering to check with actual physicians about the dangers of NOT getting vaccines. Shame on you for bragging about the suffering you inflicted on your son. You are a bad mother.

  • CSN0116

    Breast milk let her child contract pertussis regardless of its “protective properties” and breast milk took 100 days to “cure” her child.

    Umm. That’s supposed to impress me into breastfeeding a toddler?

  • Mel

    I wouldn’t recommend bragging about her self-education when she learned that vaccines have really bad side effects and that the chances of a kid catching the illness was very low – but forgot to look up what the illnesses themselves were like.

    Just….wow.

    Really, the time to learn about pertussis is before she chose not to vaccinate not when her kid is hacking a lung up.

    Modern medicine does have options for reducing the severity of the hacking but she apparently didn’t feel the need to avail those resources for her kid.

    A friend of mine got to take codeine through an entire chunk of her third trimester of pregnancy because the risks of exposing the baby to a low dose of codeine were much less than the risks of a broken rib or aspiration pneumonia from hacking all the time. Her kid’s a pre-teen now and he’s fine; my friend had missed the change-over from DT vaccination to DTaP vaccination by a few months with her last booster shot.

    • Who?

      Thing is, to learn about it beforehand assumes her efforts to ensure how healthy he is, how well he eats and all the rest of it, will fail. Because of the echo chamber she has chosen, she’s not to know that being ‘healthy’ and ‘eating well’ will not protect against, or affect the severity of, pertussis (or measles) because the illnesses are so very contagious.

      Country cemetries from the old days are full of kids who ate well, lived an open air life, and died of vpds anyway.

      I once coughed until I fractured a rib. Most seriously unpleasant.

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    Because heaven knows when my babies got sick at 18 months old, we just let them cough while we partied or something. You can snuggle a sick toddler while they drink a cup of milk, and clearly the majik boobjuice didn’t prevent pertussis. Also, my kids had ordinary colds, because they and their parents have all gotten vaccinated within the last 3 years.
    BTW: “Overweening” has me giggling inappropriately.

  • Revolting. I thought we wouldn’t have another case like that vile woman who allowed her 3 kids to contract whooping cough, then bragged about how little sleep she got and what a warrior mama she was; this creature seems to be much the same, however, down to her obliviousness.

  • Alice Wood

    Not everyone who breastfeeds is stupid, of course! I breastfed my daughter but of course she has also had all her vavcvacc.

    • No, of course not! There isn’t anything wrong with breastfeeding; it simply isn’t a substitute for proper medical care.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      My son was breastfed. And vaccinated. Thus he breastfed through many colds but nowadays just gets parental snuggles and cups of milk. He’s 4 1/2

    • MaineJen

      Me too! We breastfed until 2, and she still got ear infections. No whooping cough, though!

      • Allie

        Yep, I breastfeed until damn near 2 (not by choice, exactly, but she was a terrible sleeper, and I didn’t know how else to cope with the night wakings), and LO still got 2 ear infections, pink eye, some nasty-ass colds/flus, and one bout of tonsillitis despite the “majik boobjuice” (thank you, Empress!). I had the nerve to complain in an online mommy group that BF didn’t seem all that great at preventing illness, despite all the hype, and boy did people lose their shiz : )

    • Sarah

      Of course. Breastfeeding as part of a varied diet is a perfectly appropriate and valid way to feed an 18 month old. The fact that she’s breastfeeding is about the only non-worrying part of the post.

  • MaineJen

    “There is nearly zero risk of an American child catching diphtheria or polio.”
    BECAUSE OF VACCINES, YOU FLAMING IDIOT.
    “He developed a sharp, desperate inhale; a characteristic whoop every mother hopes to never hear. ”
    Most of us never do hear it, BECAUSE WE VACCINATE OUR KIDS.
    Sorry for the all caps, but…really.

    • Mel

      I’m assuming there was nearly zero risk of a Spanish 6-year old catching diphtheria either – but that kid did and died from it a few years ago in spite of modern medical care including anti-toxin and breathing support.

      These are not good diseases to play around with; they are sadistic and often have side-effects that kill and main as easily today as they did 50 or 100 years ago.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I was vacationing in Spain during that poor kid’s ICU stay and eventual death. The whole country (and me) were following every development in the news, praying for recovery. I remember thinking what a tragedy it was. And thinking about how many times this same tragedy had played out in the years before vaccines.

        • kilda

          that’s the crazy thing. Children dying of diphtheria used to be a totally ordinary, unremarkable thing. Now, because of vaccines, it’s so rare it makes the national news. Because we vaccinate. And yet some people still can’t see what a blessing vaccines are.

    • ukay

      This. It gets my blood boiling.every.single.time.

    • Allie

      Word.

    • Amazed

      Nearly zero risk? Not quite, you fucking idiot. Each time a self-important bitch like this one decides not to vaccinate but instead milk on the consciousness and sacrifice of others, the risk goes up.

      You know what? I think pigs like this deserve to have their kids catch whooping cough. The bad thing is, the suffering is on the children who most certainly does NOT deserve it. But at least the bitches’ comfortable, milking life gets disturbed somewhat.

      • Who?

        They love the sickness though-the whooping cough is a plus for the mums-martyr points, proves the disease isn’t such a big deal (because they sugar coat all the experiences).

        And when something does end up being permanently wrong with the child (like the wretched woman here who starved her baby and blamed the trouble the girl had on austism from a vaccination) they blame everyone else for evermore while shining up their martyr badges. Heroes in their miserable communities.

        • Amazed

          Yes but at least they suffer watching their children suffer, no matter how they polish the narrative and badges later. I need to believe that their kids being miserable truly disturbs them. I mean, they can’t be such monsters as to actually enjoy it in real time, right?

          • Who?

            Dunno-I think ultimately they must be fine with it or they wouldn’t do it. In real time all kinds of kid things are annoying and uncomfortable, even good ones: standing in the freezing cold watching football is an example.

            I’d like to think you’re right, but I am unconvinced.

        • kilda

          plus they then say it totally would have been so much worse if not for their magical breastmilk.

    • kilda

      funny how the magic of breastmilk didn’t stop the baby from getting it in the first place. And funny how it turned out pertussis actually is a terrible disease that causes months of misery, not a minor, character-and-immune-system annoyance like these idiots always claim VPDs to be.

  • Megan

    Parenthood as performance art. Too bad it’s not only poor entertainment for anyone but dangerous to boot.

  • fiftyfifty1

    What a jerk to dismiss diphtheria. It’s a gruesome way to die, and it’s only gone because of vaccination. Actually it’s not gone, it could roar back in an instant just like it did in Russia where amid governmental chaos they stopped giving the vaccination for only a couple of years.
    I think I have already shared on this site a conversation I had with a very very old patient of mine a few years ago. She was a first year teacher sent to a rural school in the Dakotas during the 1930’s. A little boy in her class caught diphtheria and died. There was nothing they could do to save him. And there she was in my clinic, bawling about Billy, a “wonderful child bright as a spark” who had been dead almost 80 years.

    • lawyer jane

      Diptheria is terrifying! The strangling angel. It’s astonishing to think of what parents had to deal with back before vaccines .. I can’t imagine the despair.

      • Liz Leyden

        An elderly woman told me she had pertussis as a baby, in the early 1950s. Apparently, her mother had to reach down her throat and beeak the membrane several times.

        • AnotherOor

          My aunt had it as a baby and later had to have half a lung removed it was so damaged. She still has problems and is now in her 60’s.

      • Merrie
        • seenthelight

          Thank you! I have gone looking for that link with no luck recently.

      • MaineJen

        All it took for me to fear diphtheria was reading Stewart O’Nan’s A Prayer For the Dying. It’s about a whole town dying of diphtheria because the country doctor doesn’t wash his hands between examining patients. Chilling.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Tetanus is no fun either.

    • Box of Salt

      Never mind Russia, this happened in Spain:

      https://globalnews.ca/news/2079381/boy-dies-from-diphtheria-in-spain-parents-had-rejected-vaccine/

      Russia did provide anti-toxin (only place in the world anyone had any, due to their own recent resurgence), but it didn’t help

      https://www.thespainreport.com/articles/77-150627231118-six-year-old-boy-with-diphtheria-in-catalonia-dies

    • Amazed

      My grandmother had diphtheria and lived! This totally proves it’s harmless.

      ‘course, her brother didn’t. I mean, he had it and he didn’t live. THIS also proves something…

      • kilda

        totally. I don’t know anyone alive today who has died of diphtheria. Obviously that proves it’s harmless.

    • Mimc

      Sometimes I’d like to drag anti-vac people out to the old grave yard near my families original homestead and show them all the graves were the two dates are within five year of each other. Vaccines are one of the best things that ever happened to motherhood.

  • Cartman36

    This makes me so angry. Her poor baby should have been playing and doing all sorts of fun new activities instead of cooped up with a preventable illness for months with his crazy mother.

  • momofone

    Going to the pediatrician today for 11-yr well visit, and I think she said he’ll get meningococcal and HPV vaccines today (this was a couple years ago, so I may be remembering wrong). Not looking forward to the short-term part (as in “it’s time for you to get these”), but very happy about the part where he doesn’t get pertussis (or any of the others). Not sure what we’d do if he got them, since he’s weaned and all.

    • You don’t breastfeed your 11-year-old?! And you pump him full of vaccines?! What kind of mother are you???

      (Answer: The kind who doesn’t congratulate herself on leaving her child vulnerable to preventable illnesses.)

      • momofone

        I know, I know. The shame! I also pump him full of whatever food he is willing to be bribed with when it’s time for all the chemiculz! (I always cringe a little bit when he tells the doctor and nurse that he’ll go along with it because he gets a cheeseburger out of the deal, but whatever works!)

        I guess we could try breastfeeding again, but it may be complicated since my breasts are in a lab several hours away. Excuses, excuses, right?!

        • Kelly

          Hey, it means that a cheeseburger is a treat and not an every day occurrence if he is excited about it. I bribed my three young kids with donuts so that they would sit through their sister’s ultrasound. It may have also been because I woke up ten minutes before we were supposed to leave and it was the only way to get them out of the house fast enough. Also, an older parent told me that I’m not bribing my kids because a bribe is when you give the treat before they do their part but we are rewarding them for good behavior.

        • Liz Leyden

          My kids’ pediatrician’s office is across from a coffee shop that sells ice cream.

          • BeatriceC

            My kids’ pediatrician in Florida shared a parking lot with a Burger King. I’m pretty sure that BK made a fair amount of money on child/vaccine bribes.

  • She’s an idiot. And brags about it.