An entirely new Nugget

Remember how I briefly shared about my depressive episode caused by the cascade of emotions that came from extreme sleep deprivation on top of Z Nugget not acting like herself? Well, I think Josh figured out what’s going on with Z Nugget, but before I go into detail about Josh’s findings, I’d like to describe to you what Z Nugget has been like lately.

It was evening time. Z Nugget and I had gotten home from my mom’s house. We had spent almost the entire day at my mom’s and I had not heard Z Nugget cry at all. It had not been even ten minutes since getting home when Z Nugget laid herself out on the floor, belly down, kicking her feet, screaming at the top of her lungs. The worst part is, there was no explanation to why. She had been playing perfectly fine on her own just moments before. Josh had to take a phone call for work, so he suggested I sit with her and talk to her in the meantime. He recommended I not pick her up, rather help her safely get through her tantrum. This was all new to me. Little Nugget had not done this at all. Ever. I called my mom as I needed moral support while Josh took care of his call. I let my mom know that Z Nugget was back to the screaming and crying. Her theory, unfortunately, only made things more complicated in my head. (All those darn theories!) Thankfully, Z Nugget eventually calmed down and she went back to playing.

Once Josh was done with his call, we both sat on our bedroom floor as we watched Z Nugget play and act “normal”. We sat in silence for a few minutes, bewildered by Z Nugget’s attitude and actions. Josh was the first one to speak. I honestly had nothing to say as my head was going in circles with what I had possibly done or am doing wrong for Z Nugget to be acting this way.

One of the first things Josh mentioned was how he could see the stress on my face and body. (I don’t hide stress well.) Then, he went on to explain that Z Nugget is a completely new and different human being, there’s nothing wrong with her or me, neither one of us needs fixing, we just need to teach her how to cope according to her needs just as we’ve done with Little Nugget. His explanation sounded like he was a psychological professional! I was impressed—and not to mention grateful—by how quickly his in-the-moment thoughts and interpretation of our current Z Nugget situation put things in perspective for me.

After listening to Josh, all I could think was, “DUH!!” It all made sense to me. I’ve been expecting Z Nugget to act and react exactly like Little Nugget. I’ve been expecting her to be Little Nugget. I’ve been so unfair to Z Nugget! However, I could not beat myself up for it because I was blind and now I see. (Cheesy, I know.)

Looking back at how much Little Nugget has grown and how much work that growth took made me understand that I should not be taking Z Nugget’s tantrums personal. I see this all in a new light. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders because I know where to go from here. Well, I don’t mean I literally know exactly what Z Nugget needs to flourish into a responsible, confident, loving, caring, etc., human being, but I at least know that I am capable of raising such a human being because Little Nugget is proof…with Josh’s help and support of course.

Thanks for joining me on this crazy ride! I am grateful for you and your support.

Cheers to honoring our children’s individuality!

img_5401
Her name was rightfully chosen for her. Zion, the closest point to God, has reminded me that my faith has to be strong if I want to sanely survive motherhood.
Advertisements

Roseola

Paramedic: “When did you last give her Tylenol for her fever?”
Me: “I haven’t.”
Paramedic: “Why?!”

Me: “Umm…because we’re homeopathic?”
Paramedic: “Well, did you learn your lesson?!”

The above was the exchange I had with the paramedic that rode with Z Nugget and me while being transported to the hospital. I didn’t know how to respond to his questions. I was in shock and already feeling guilty for everything that had happened to my baby girl. His last question was a stab to my momma-heart. What I understand now to be an uncalled for and lack-of-bedside-manner response, was a statement that caused me to wallow in feelings of guilt, inaptitude, and unworthiness of being a mother. The low blow received from the paramedic caused me to reflect everything that was happening onto me and make me feel like the culprit.

When I first wrote about what had happened to Z Nugget, I wrote that all the results from the exams they had done to her at the hospital had come back negative. The doctor had concluded that, “The fever had been due to her teething.” This conclusion, on top of the paramedic’s question, made me feel that Z Nugget’s fever had escalated because I had not given her any medication, negating anything I had done for her. I felt the guilt eat away at me for days after that ambulance ride.

After sharing my experience, I received many calls, texts, comments, and messages from people outpouring their love and support to us. Upon them was a message from an experienced mother of six. She shared with me that she had read my blog post. She was kind enough to take time out of her day to ask questions to find out more about what was going on with Z Nugget. “Did she get a rash?” she asked. I answered her question, and she continued to provide valuable information that eased my guilt-ridden momma heart. I let her know that Z Nugget had indeed broken out in a full-body rash. “It sounds like it could also just be roseola. Normally a high fever for 2-3 days and then a rash. All my kids had it.” Her knowledge and experience had provided something that my heart yearned for…a potential reason to help me believe it wasn’t my fault. Along with her valuable experience, she sent me the Mayo Clinic’s direct link to an in-depth explanation of roseola. Unknowingly, it was here that I found exactly what I needed.

That same day, I had scheduled a follow-up appointment with Z Nugget’s pediatrician. It was a short visit. The doctor asked some questions, checked her vitals, and concluded that she had contracted roseola, a common childhood virus. It was after this confirmation that I visited the link the experienced momma of six had shared with me. Under “Symptoms”, I found this:

“Your child could have a convulsion (febrile seizure) if his or her fever becomes high or spikes quickly. However, usually by the time you notice your child’s high temperature, the threat of a possible seizure has already passed. If your child does have an unexplained seizure, seek medical care immediately.”

Tears poured out of my eyes after reading this. After calming down, I text a handful of my mom friends to vent about the relief I was feeling, “I’m crying because I’ve been affirmed by some dumb text that it wasn’t my fault she had a seizure! I feel adequate to be a mother again. Sounds stupid, but it’s true. Motherhood is so effing bittersweet!”

Going back to the paramedic’s question of learning my lesson…why yes, I did indeed learn my lesson! I did everything I could to make sure my baby would be okay. I listened to my gut and will continue to follow my intuition. This experience taught me that I am a darn good mother.

Cheers to feeling adequate!

20161210_075122
Picture taken when her little body was fighting off the virus. I am grateful for my abled body because it helped me to carry and comfort her for 5 days.

For the audio version of this post, click below.

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.