“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” - Linda Wooten
Overall, B is a healthy growing toddler. In his 16 months of life, he’s only had two fevers. The first time, his temp wasn’t extremely high and he was back to his normal, smiley self the next morning. The second fever happened two nights ago on my brother’s wedding day. It was around five in the afternoon when I noticed he was warmer than usual. I figured it was due to the cold he just caught a couple nights prior. We were at the hotel where the reception was being held. I didn’t have a thermometer or any baby acetaminophen with me, so we thought we’d at least let him get some rest and sleep. Since my husband and I were part of the wedding party, my in-laws stayed with B while he slept and we went down to the reception. Around the time dinner started, my in-laws came down with B. He was still warm, but wanted to dance every time he heard music.
The night was going well and we were enjoying the toasts, video montages, performances and the company of family, but I noticed B was getting hotter and he was losing more and more energy. He is a very spunky kid, so I knew he was not feeling too well. He just sat on my lap with his head resting on my chest. My husband took him for a bit to get some cool air. I don’t know how long he was gone for, but while we were sitting at the table during the cake cutting, my mother in law, who was facing the door, got my attention and said, “I think something is wrong with Brandon…” I could tell by the look on her face it was serious. I quickly got up and ran outside to see what was going on.
All I saw was my husband holding B, walking with his dad and brother (both of whom are doctors) down the hall. I yelled out “What’s wrong with Brandon?” but don’t think they heard me so I ran up to them… when I saw B, my heart sank and I immediately started crying hysterically. B was twitching and shaking and his eyes were rolled back. He wasn’t making any sounds. His face just looked so abnormal. It was one of the worse fears I never knew existed. I couldn’t control the tears; I couldn’t stop asking, “What is wrong with my son?” Everything was a blur.
Fortunately, two of my cousins happened to be around to help support me because my legs were about to give out from pure fear. I didn’t know what to do. So many thoughts and questions were racing through my head…
This is lasting too long…
I am a bad mother…
How much pain is he in?
Lord, give me the pain instead.
What will happen to his brain?
What did I do wrong?
Does he know how much I love him?
Can he hear me or his dad?
Wake up from whatever this is, please, wake up, make some kind of sound…
I think one of my cousins called an aunt (also in the medical field) who was at the reception to come out and try to help. She tried to comfort me and asked me if he had a fever. I said yes. She told me to calm down and that B was most likely having a febrile seizure and that he would be ok. My mother-in-law also came out to help comfort me. After what seemed like forever, B finally started crying and I heard my brother-in-law say, “He’ll be ok, he’s out of it now. It was a febrile seizure.”
Hearing B cry was one of the best sounds I heard that night… almost comparable to waiting for a cry when a child is first born. I calmed down and finally got to hold him and I just cried and cried and cried and thanked God. B seemed kind of in a daze, but just hearing him make sounds and seeing the shaking had stopped was all I needed at that moment. My father- and brother-in-law told us we didn’t need the paramedics, but we should take him to the E.R. still.
It seemed like forever, but the seizure only lasted about three to four minutes. It’s a seizure caused by high fever. At the E.R. they took B in right away since it was the first time it ever happened. His temp was 103.6°F. They gave him some meds to help lower his temp and after a while, he was smiling, laughing and signing for us again. It was such a relief to see him almost back to himself. All his blood tests came back normal and the doc explained it could be a respiratory infection that caused the fever since B was coughing and had a runny nose; that this type of seizure usually happens in children at this age and that most of the time, it is harmless and as scary as it might be, you just have to let it run it’s course. Luckily, we were in the city where we live because we were able to just go straight home after the ER… didn’t have to worry about staying in a hotel or unfamiliar place.
B’s fever continued into the next day, but we followed the doc’s instructions to continue giving him acetaminophen every four to six hours and to just try to keep his temp down with lukewarm baths, less clothing, etc. I was still nervous and scared all day Sunday that it would happen again. B seemed to be getting better and better though (he wanted to dance for goodness sake!) and finally, very early this morning his fever broke. He slept better afterwards and woke up happy. I, of course, was very relieved and thanked God for healing my son.
From now on, I think I’ll be carrying a thermometer and acetaminophen with me wherever I go with B. If it ever happens again, I’ll know what to do and know to keep calm. I know it’s not the greatest story for other parents to hear, but I just wanted to put it out there in case it happens to your child. Also, to help myself let go of it a little… get it off my chest. I want to cry every time the image of my son during the seizure pops into my head. I know it’ll fade eventually and be a just a “reference point” in my motherhood memory bank. In a way, I’m also thankful for this experience because I know what to do now and if it happens to someone else, I’ll know how to help. I believe that God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle.
Just also want to say how blessed I am to have two amazing doctors in my family, my husband’s dad and brother, who happened to be in town for my brother’s wedding as well. They were such a big help and just having them, as well as my aunt, around also made me feel better… they are the experts. And I’m also thankful my brother’s wedding continued and everyone had a great time. I didn’t want anyone telling him what happened so he could enjoy and not worry. And thanks to all who did end up finding out for your thoughts and prayers. Our sweet Baby B is back to normal :)