Having a child, especially as an upper middle class white lesbian couple, felt like it came with a million decisions. Do we use sperm from a friend or a sperm bank? Do we have the baby at home or in the hospital? Co-sleeper or crib? Björn or Ergo? Cloth or disposable? On and on and on.

So to be honest, when my mom—a mathematician with a fast Internet connection who I love deeply and trust implicitly—sent us a 46 page report on the pros but mostly cons of vaccines, it just seemed like one less decision to make. “In most cases the risk of harm to a healthy, breast fed infant from a vaccination far exceeds the risk of harm from the disease itself,” my mom wrote on page 1.

The following pages seemed very convincing. The statistics made it look like it was far more likely for our daughter to be hurt by the side effects of the vaccines than to catch the various diseases against which the vaccines protected. We didn’t consult any other sources. We were overwhelmed, and perhaps slightly lazy, new parents.