The Nuggets and I were supposed to be in Vegas today. Instead, we’re trying to recuperate from last night’s journey. Z Nugget had a febrile seizure. She and I ended up in the emergency room from around 12 AM to about 2 AM. It was one of the scariest moments in my life.
Just a couple of days ago, I was thinking about writing a blog post titled “Late night fever kisses part II”. In part I, I wrote about how Little Nugget had experienced his first fever. In part II, I had planned to write about Z Nugget’s first fever, which began two nights ago. She is teething and she had began a fever of about 99.7, or so we think because it turns out that the thermometer we have isn’t reliable.
Rewinding to last night, Z Nugget was asleep and Josh had put Little Nugget to bed. I was preparing our stuff for our Vegas trip when Z Nugget woke up from a two hour nap. I brought her out to the living room where Josh and I attempted to cool her down with wet rags because she felt warm. Josh continually checked her temperature, which the thermometer we were using kept giving us readings between 98 to 99.7. Josh and I kept Z Nugget entertained until she finally fell asleep in my arms. I took her to our room where I laid her down on our bed. I left her uncovered so she wouldn’t feel too warm.
After laying her in my bed, I laid down on the floor to stretch and relax before laying down myself. I was at the end of my stretching when Z Nugget started crying. I quickly popped up to carry her because I didn’t want her to continue crying and wake Little Nugget. Before I got to her, she started coughing and sounding like she was choking. In a matter of seconds, I felt my mother intuition kick in. I partially ran into the living room where Josh was attempting to sleep and yelled out for him. “Josh, Zion’s having a seizure!” I did not know for sure that she was having a seizure, but something inside of me told me she was. (I am grateful for my friend who had shared her firstborn’s experience with febrile seizures because I was at least aware of what they were and that they are common.) Josh got up so fast that it felt like there was an earthquake happening.
While Josh scurried to help me, I ran to pick Z Nugget up from the bed. I held her in my arms and I freaked out because of what I saw. I didn’t know what to do. I froze. I cannot get the image of my baby girl foaming at the mouth, losing responsiveness, and turning pale out of my head. All I knew to do was start praying to God to keep my baby safe and healthy, and to illuminate me on what I could do to help her get better right away.
I don’t remember much of what happened as I held my baby girl in my arms, praying and crying. Everything was a blur from there to when the ambulance arrived. We live very close to two fire stations and a hospital, so the fire troop arrived within a couple of minutes. By then, Z Nugget was responsive and I was shaking out of control. Josh stayed with Little Nugget as the ambulance took Z Nugget and I to the hospital.
At the hospital, they took Z Nugget’s vitals and took her temperature which showed to be 104. They gave her a dose of Motrin and Tylenol and while they waited to recheck her temperature, they checked her throat and ears, took a chest x-ray and a urine sample, and did a nose swab to rule out the possibility of any infections or influenza that could have been linked to the high fever.
Thankfully, her fever came down after she fell asleep in my arms and put in a good sweat. All the results came back negative. The fever had been due to her teething. Because we had not given her any medication to lower her fever, it had escalated and caused the febrile seizure. All was well, Z Nugget was discharged, and Josh and Little Nugget picked us up from the hospital.
After stopping by our local CVS to purchase some baby Motrin, we arrived at our home and put our Nuggets to bed. Once both of our children were safe and healthy in bed, Josh and I held each other, let out a big sigh of relief, and cried in each other’s arms. We affirmed each other and loved each other more. I am so grateful to God for Josh because he held it together for us during the moments when I felt like my world was crumbling in my arms. (Waterworks are currently happening as I write this.)
I know that there are so many things that we shouldn’t have done or should have done, but at this point, the should’ve, could’ve and would’ves are irrelevant as it has already happened.
I felt intense moments of fear and guilt, and I’m still trying to feel like I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m still trying to accept that it was out of my control because honestly, I feel like I failed to avoid all of this. I keep teetering back and forth from “this is my fault” to “I had no control”, which sounds like I’m completely lying to myself. Sharing this with you all is part of me processing the whole situation. To say that it was a learning opportunity is an understatement. It was far more than that. It was an awakening and unifying moment for my family and I.
Here are the things I learned from this Z Nugget’s febrile seizure:
- Febrile seizures are very common in infants and young children. Because young children’s bodies don’t have the ability (yet) to regulate body temperature, they don’t sweat, so their little bodies begin to seize to deal with a high fever.
- Febrile seizures can happen in children up to the age of 6.
- Children who have one febrile seizure are more susceptible to having another, but this doesn’t mean that they will have them for the rest of their lives. Having febrile seizures as a child does not mean that the child will grow up to be epileptic. Often time, children outgrow these type of seizures.
- When a child is seizing, make sure to remove everything surrounding them so that they don’t hurt themselves, turn their head to the side so that they don’t choke on their tongue or saliva, and allow the seizure to end.
Have any of you fellow parents experienced a febrile seizure with your little ones?
Thank you for holding space for me to process this experience, and thank you for allowing me to share it with you!
Cheers to having happy and healthy nuggets!
For the audio version of this post, click below.