Monday, November 07, 2011

My Most Terrifying Parenting Experience . . .

Last Tuesday Aiden (almost 10 months) started running a fever during the day. I wasn't concerned because the highest I saw it get was right around 102. He was mostly himself all day, but a little crankier than usual, which I don't blame him for - who's in a good mood when they feel crappy? We gave him Tylenol before bed and he went down just fine.

He was really restless during the night, but not really crying. Finally, we got up at about 2:30 a.m., gave him some more Tylenol, and laid him back in his crib. (His crib is still in our bedroom.) As we laid there waiting for him to go back to sleep, he started making funny noises, which at first sounded like he was chomping on his pacifier. Nothing unusual there - he's getting his top teeth, so he pretty much chomps on everything. But, the more we listened, the less it sounded like that. I went over to check on him, and his eyes were open, but his arms were jerking toward the center of his body and it sounded almost like he was hiccuping. I held his arms down on his tummy to stop the jerking, and called to Dusty that something was going on and I didn't know what to do. The jerking stopped after about 30 seconds, and I picked him up. His eyes were still open, but his body was completely limp. We couldn't get him to look at us no matter what we did, he wouldn't lift his head up off my shoulder, and when I lifted his arm up it just dropped down to his side. I thought he was paralyzed. It was the most scared I have ever been in my life. Ever.

We hurried downstairs, bundled him into his carseat, and Dusty took him to the ER. Aiden slowly came out of his daze and was moving around normally. The ER doctor did blood work, and checked his vitals and the normal ears, throat, temp, etc. Everything checked out okay, except he still had a fever. Apparently he had a febrile seizure, which is a seizure brought on by a fever. It doesn't necessarily have to be a very high fever, but just one that rose rapidly. It's not uncommon in children 6 months to 5 years, but usually there's a family history of it . . . which there isn't in our case. The seizures don't cause any harm (unless they fit certain criteria, which Aiden's didn't), you just have to wait them out. Since he's had one, there's a 25% chance that he'll have another, but he'll outgrow them by the time he's 5 yrs old. They're also not an indicator of anything more serious, such as epilepsy or other seizure illnesses. Thank the Lord. Now, since we have a family history, there's also a 15% chance that Asher will have one, but our pediatrician said she rarely sees it in more than one child in a family.

We feel very blessed that it wasn't anything more serious, and he's doing just fine - no repercussions from the seizure, and his fever's gone, too. In talking to his pediatrician, it was almost funny how nonchalant she was about it, and that if it happens again we don't even need to bring him in, just let her know about it. IT WAS TERRIFYING! I actually thought he would never be able to move again, or worse, that there was a chance he might die. In retrospect, I suppose it seems obvious that he was having a seizure, and apparently you're not supposed to hold their arms or pick them up . . . woops. If it happens again (praying hard, hard, hard, that it won't) I guess we'll be more prepared, but I think I'll be just as terrified while it's happening. I guess I take for granted that our kids are generally healthy, but this definitely served as a bit of a wake-up call.

On a lighter note, we took the boys out for Halloween, and they looked so cute in their costumes! Asher went as a cowboy (his vest was made by his Great-Grandma Reese for his Uncle Jacey when he was a little tyke) and Aiden went as a horse. It really was a lot of fun and both boys seemed to enjoy it!

"This is the life - some guy just gave me a
whole handful of candy!!"


  1. Oh my goodness, how terrifying!! Thank God Aiden is ok, and these are "normal" events that will not have any long term effects. Still, it could certainly scar a mom for life!

    What adorable little costumes. I cannot believe how Aiden is just identical to his big brother at that age. You are blessed with two amazing little boys!

  2. That sounds just awful! I'm so glad he is ok!