Late night fever kisses – febrile seizure

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.

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14 thoughts on “Late night fever kisses – febrile seizure

  1. I’m finally just getting to your blog now to read about this after seeing your IG post the other day. [ first time on your blog BTW, which I’m now subscribed too. 🙂 ] The night my son had a febrile seizure was the second scariest day of my life. He was 11 months old at the time. I’ve always been an anxious person, but after losing my 2 month old daughter barely 2 yrs. prior, my anxiety went from bad to worse. My son was born via emergency c-section @33 weeks due to preeclampsia. Despite being a preemie, he weighed a whopping 6 lbs. 1 oz., and other than jaundice he had no other medical issues and required zero time in the NICU. (Thank you, Lord!) We were both discharged 3 days later. Once we were discharged, my whole body and mind filled with an anxiety I had never experienced before. I didn’t leave the house for 14 months because of it. The only time I left was if one of my children had to go to the doctor’s/ER. That Fall, my daughter started kindergarten. I should have been more prepared for the viruses and illnesses she would come in contact with from other students as she was never in daycare or pre-k before starting kindergarten; she was always home with me. That year, our whole family must have had at least 4 different stomach bugs alone, on top of H1N1, and multiple colds. The day before Gabe (my son) had a febrile seizure, I brought him to the pediatrician because he had a 103° fever (with fever reducing meds) but didn’t show any other symptoms. His pediatrician tried to reassure me it was *just* a virus, but I had this sick feeling in my stomach, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt because my anxiety had been so bad. Looking back, she was right; it was *just* a virus. However, I could have never been prepared for what would happen that night. I put him to bed in his crib (which thank God was 2 ft. from my bed) after breastfeeding him. I also gave him more Tylenol & motrin. At bedtime, his temp was 102°. A few hours later, I woke up to a banging like noise. I quickly ran to put my light on and realized Gabe was convulsing, his face pale, and the skin around his lips a blueish color. The banding sound was his head and face hitting his crib bars. (he has bruises for weeks) I picked him up and laid him on his side while my (now) ex-husband called 911. When we got to the ER, Gabe’s temperature had sky rocketed in the middle of the night to 106°. We were discharged that morning, and his diagnosis was a febrile seizure due to a virus. I know exactly how you feel, especially when you said: “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.” The “what ifs” regarding Gabe’s seizure could have eaten me alive, and they did for a long, long time; “Why did I go to sleep knowing he was sick!? I should have stayed awake! If I just stayed up and checked his temp every 30 minutes, he probably wouldn’t have had a seizure!” & the hardest “what if” is and always will be, “What if I didn’t wake up and he aspirated or swallowed his tongue? It would have cut off his air supply which would have caused him to die!” I need to learn what’s done is done, but guilt is something I always carry, and not just with this particular situation, but my daughter’s death, and a concussion Gabe (who is now 8) sustained on August 26th of this year. (he has chronic issues from it now.) Motherhood is not for the weak. We are strong, even at what feel like our weakest moments. We love hard. We cry, get frustrated, and I wish I could tell you it gets easier as they get older but I’d be lying. There will always be illnesses and injuries, among other problems they will face in life. I’ve learned that it is okay to feel guilt, sadness, anxiety, anger, etc, but it’s also okay to forgive yourself. These feelings make us human. They make us mothers, and they show just how much we love. I’m so thankful Z Nugget is doing much better, and that you were able to vocalize your feelings about this. I also want to applaud you– you did everything right, although I know what a terrifying experience this was to endure. Much love sent to you and your family. 💛💛
    -Laura (IG: 8petals22)

    1. Laura, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. (I’ll be honest, I cried like a baby reading your comment.) You couldn’t have said it better, “Motherhood is not for the weak.” It truly isn’t. I am so grateful to have spaces like my blog and social media to vent, share, and ask for support. I am grateful for moms like you who care to take time out of your busy day to provide love, light, and support to newbies like me. I cannot thank you enough. I wish so hard that this was the worst of it, but I know (and try to not think of it) that it isn’t. Thinking of all of the pain and anguish I’ve put my mom through makes me want to bubblewrap my kids and hide them under a rock, but what a sad life that would be, wouldn’t it? Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

      1. I whole heartedly agree with you! It’s (motherhood) so scary, yet so rewarding! ❣ I’m always saying I’m going to put Gabe in bubble wrap because he’s so damn active, and is way too fearless. In the past year, he has had 3 concussions; 2 at school, and the last one being in August which scared the hell out of me. He was in the driveway playing monkey in the middle with his stepsister and sister, and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner. Erik was working until 11 that night, so I had all 5 kids at home with me. I hear my stepdaughter scream, and it wasn’t her normal dramatic scream; it chilled me to the core. I immediately knew something was wrong. She runs in screaming and crying, “Gabe hit his head on the driveway and he can’t get up!” I ran outside, and he couldn’t speak nor was he crying which isn’t normal. He was lying on the cement staring at me looking completely confused. I called an ambulance because I didn’t want to move him if God forbid he had a cervical or spinal injury. I texted Erik and told him “I can’t verbally talk right now, but Gabe got hurt, we’re in the ambulance. Michael (my cousin) is home with the other kids. Please help me.” It was all so unreal, it was like I was watching everything going on outside of my body. He was in and out of consciousness on the ride to the hospital. Once we arrived, the only thing he knew was that I was mom; he didn’t know what school he went to, what grade he was in, or even when his birthday was. I thought the worst— he’s bleeding from the brain. Within an hour, he started remembering things. I crawled into that hospital bed with him and prayed, and cried, and just held him. He looked up at me and said, “I’m okay, mama. Don’t cry because it makes me sad.” Then, he starts crying and I felt so guilty. This little boy who has such a pure and loving heart is worried about me!? Then, I thought back to the text I sent Erik… Please help me?! NO! Help my son! What is wrong with me!? But as you said in your last blog post, it is OKAY to ask for help, and support in times of need. I am so unbelievably thankful for all the great women and mothers I have found on social media accounts too. They (including you) truly inspire me and support me more than a lot of those I know in person, and I am so thankful for each and every one of you. I can’t imagine the fear and panic I put into my own parents while growing up either. I tend to have to remind myself that motherhood is so much more than just the scary moments, and everything else outweighs those moments, and those scary moments mold us into the mothers we are.❣

      2. I had goosebumps the entire time I was reading your experience. I will keep Gabe in my prayers, and the rest of your family, of course. Thank you for being so vulnerable with me and helping me along this journey! Sending you love and light.

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