My 17 month old had a seizure in my arms on Sunday afternoon.
Awake a minute or two from her nap, I pulled her from the couch to the floor with me. We were spending the day watching Netflix, ordering delivery and sleeping between snuggles. Trying to snuggle off the fever really.
I called my fiance to check in. "She just woke up from a nap and it's 104.3 rectal. I'm taking her to the ER now." He was packing up to come home since he works about 2 hours away. "Well, hopefully we know what's up by the time you get here. I'll meet you at Methodist."
I was stealing a few more hugs and top-of-hair kisses from my tot who really never stops moving when she's feeling 100%. Sitting on the floor with her, I was thinking about how I was going to pack her diaper bag. She was so lethargic and her tiny body was taking a beating.
She started to shake - her legs and arms simultaneously. For about two seconds I thought it was a chill. But the persistence of the shake sent a feeling through me that I've never felt before.
You see, we have it "easy." Our kid sleeps 13 hours a night if you let her, hardly cries, plays well on her own, loves to dance and just might be a poor excuse for what's it's like living with a "toddler".
I watch over her carefully, picked a daycare close to work after 50+ daycare interviews, try to teach her healthy eating habits, exclusively pumped for 13 months so I could still give her breastmilk despite the hospital pacifier/mom-away-from-baby slip up.
I guess this was my first moment of really losing control.
I could feel the reality of what was happening piece itself together in my distraught mind as her head rolled back and her eyes went with it. I reach for my phone and dial 9-1-1. Swear words fly by the plenty between answering with "I NEED AN AMBULANCE!" and the 30 seconds it took to actually speak to someone.
Yes, I was listening to a hold recording. Crying to God. Crying to Jesus. Crying to someone named "$*%&" apparently. Whomever would listen. For a moment I thought about scooping her up and running out into the street.
I didn't know what to do.
"WHAT THE %&$!" I screamed. "JESUS CHRIST SOMEONE ANSWER THE $*%#ING PHONE!" I could hear the original operator tune in, "Ma'am, they will be on in a moment. Ma'am they can't help you if you're screaming."
In a moment? I thought. "HER LIPS ARE BLUE. WHAT THE $&%*!" We were alone and I was inconsolable. I was helpless despite what the CPR certified card tried to prove in my wallet.
When the operator finally came on, I could still see the waves running through her tired body.
"Ma'am, calm down. You're doing great." he said. "I'm losing her!" screaming back at him. "I don't know what to do!" He asked if she was breathing and I couldn't look down.
I thought she was dead. I thought she was dead. I thought she was dead.
My eyes peer over her sandy blond head, hoping to find her well. "Her eyes are blinking," I said. She was waking up. She would be just fine..
Febrile seizures can happen to your little. In fact, among your 25 closest offspring toting friends, one will experience a febrile seizure in their home. Yes, it's THAT common. So why have I - mommy blogger, playdate haver, baby planner, Miss constantly-surrounded-by-new-families - not heard of it before? Have you?
Keep in mind that while the seizure is common, the feelings - the pain - the helplessness - the shock - the panic - the idea that your child is dying in your arms - is not.
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