That time the baby scared the shit out of me

So this person gave us one hell of a scare yesterday.

2015-04-18 18.57.27

Who, me? (Pay no attention to that mess behind the baby.)

Codie had a mild (febrile) seizure early Friday morning. She’s okay! But it sucked.

She had a low-grade fever Thursday and had shitty naps all day. (Sidenote: she doesn’t nap unless she goes into the crib awake, but I couldn’t do that without her crying. Rocking her to sleep = 30 minute naps, but no crying. So basically lose/win?) She got some baby tylenol right before bed, went down early and then slept until 4:30 a.m.

When she woke up, she nursed a little. She seemed drowsy and she was definitely hot, but not alarmingly so (I didn’t think). I didn’t take her temperature, which I now think was a mistake. Maybe if I’d taken it, I would have been more cautious. I did give her some baby motrin and she went right back to sleep. Her behavior did not seem out of the ordinary. She slept for about 45 minutes before waking up again, but this time she was screaming bloody murder.

I would never.

I would never.

I ran to her room and picked her up and every couple of seconds, her whole body would jerk, kind of like you would if you were startled. And each time, it terrified her and made her scream. I hesitated briefly —do I put her in a bath and try to get the fever down or do I just call 911?— and then I called 911.

You fucking hesitated mommy?

You HESITATED, you jerk? (I shot this one last night when she bravely summoned the strength for some bedtime shenanigans.)

Being neurotic, I have rehearsed imaginary 911 calls in my head and this one did not go according to the script. In classic panic mode, I forgot to give the dispatcher my address and just started rattling off symptoms. She had to cut me off and ask where I lived. The seizure had ended by then but I was still in a panic and the baby was still crying in my arms. Also I almost forgot to put clothes on before the paramedics showed up.

After I hung up with the dispatcher I called my husband at work and tried to reassure him that Codie was OKAY but there were paramedics en route to our house. He was only about 10 minutes from home and was able to leave right away.

Naturally, in the three minutes it took the paramedics to arrive, Codie had stopped crying and she didn’t even feel as hot. I felt like a nutcase opening the door to the paramedics with a smiling baby on my hip. They checked her out and told me they could transport her to the ER or I could just call her doctor as soon as the office opened. So we stayed, and my husband arrived just in time to watch the firetruck pulling out of our neighborhood. Then everyone went back to bed. (Except for Kenzie because she slept through the entire thing.)

2015-04-14 13.00.57

I only sleep when it’s least expected.

The seizure was most likely caused by the rapidly high fever, but Codie’s doctor ordered some testing as a precaution– more fun for baby! They couldn’t find a decent vein in her fat little baby arms so they had to draw blood from the side of her HEAD. (I KNOW.) I don’t want to sound like an asshole because I know it was harder on the kid than it was on me, but it was all I could do not to sob while I was helping to hold her down as they took her blood. And do you know how they get a urine sample from a 10 month old? I’ll just say it does not involve peeing into a cup.

Anyway, her blood showed nothing abnormal and we’ll get the urinalysis back on Monday.

2015-04-18 13.31.35

I’ve got your urinalysis right here.

Last night was better. I kept on top of the fever meds alternating tylenol and motrin every four hours. At midnight she was scary hot again and I kept her up, trying to get her cool before I put her back to bed. I took off her pajamas and gave her a very unwelcome pat-down with a wet washcloth. But at 4 a.m. she felt a lot closer to normal.


Define “normal.”

We still don’t know what caused the fever and it’s strange because she has zero other symptoms. But I’m so, so relieved she finally seem to be getting better. And I’m thankful that my kids are pretty damn healthy and we’re not doing this kind of thing every other weekend.

I don’t know if this story has a moral except that I don’t think I took her fever as seriously as I should have. Both girls have had fevers, but they’ve never lasted more than a day or spiked so rapidly in the night. I probably need a thermometer that gives an instant read instead of using that axillary POS we got for free from the hospital. And better momming instincts.

I feel really, really lucky.

We've been trying to tell you that for years.

We’ve been trying to tell you that for years.

10 thoughts on “That time the baby scared the shit out of me

  1. My son has febrile seizures- I had never heard of them before he had one, they should really give you a brochure on it after birth. Thankfully it looks like that’s all they are for now! After the 3rd our pediatrician sent us to a pediatric neurologist for a check in but he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

    • Uuugh! Yeah, our doctor said he’d probably have us see a neurologist if it happened again. My mom reminded me that I had one myself in the first grade; apparently some have a greater susceptibility and that is inherited. But I hope your little one NEVER has another!

      • It’s kind of funny because the pediatrician said, there’s nothing you really do for them, and the pediatric neurologist said, there’s nothing you really do for them (he even said that trying to keep the fever down to prevent seizures was probably futile, since it spikes so fast), and everyone says you’re only supposed to call 911 if it lasts longer than 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES??? Who can sit on their hands that long?

  2. I have heard of kids having seizures when they get high fevers. Luckily that has not happened here yet. It’s some scary shit when your kids get sick. I’m glad she’s feeling better now.

  3. OMG, how terrifying! Try not to beat yourself up about it. It’s hard to know what to do in those situations. I’m so glad Codie is okay. Hugs to you all! XO

  4. Pingback: the week in kids, running, booze, ribs and barf | Cheaper Than Therapy

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