I struggled with writing this post. Should I really be revealing this or talking about it considering it is pretty personal… but I thought: Hey I can’t be the only mother who didn’t know this was possible.
So I had Baby Bun for the day, his fever was on and off reaching pretty high levels but it seemed under control when I picked him up.
Also, doctors say to let the baby fight off the fever because it is their body responding to the infection inside, and they need to build up their immune system.
Anyway, I was out with Baby Bun and all of a sudden he went limp in my arms like a rag doll and his eyes rolled back.
I called his name thinking he was just playing “oh look my legs are broken Mommy” again with me, but he didn’t respond and his limbs started jerking and he convulsed in my arms.
I thought he was dying.
I didn’t know what to do, but people started gathering and helping me lay him on the floor on his side, taking off his jacket quickly (you aren’t supposed to carry or move them) making sure nothing was in his mouth to choke him and to keep his mouth loose so that he wouldn’t bite his tongue off.
He jerked for an eternity on that floor.
All I could do was cry and watch my baby go into convulsions.
A man helping me tried to calm me down but all I could do was sob in shock as he foamed at the mouth and jerked on the floor like a marionette.
He was unresponsive and I just.. I didn’t know what to do.
5 minutes later, it was over and he seemed kind of sleepy, not quite all there and all I could think was: Does he have brain damage now? Is he a vegetable!?
4 hours later at the hospital, turns out he had a febrile seizure which is common in children who have a history of it in their families (turns out, I do) and his fever reached such a high degree that his body basically shut down to try and moderate the temperature instead of boiling his brain.
It could happen again within the next 2 years and up until the age of 6 (30 – 35% chance it will happen again).
Never again in my life will I ever have had such a scary day.
Tips for febrile fevers I learned:
- Happens to 2-4% of children under 6.
- Give them Advil not Tylenol. A doctor told me it works better than Tylenol for children to really bring down that fever.
- Don’t bathe them, it could end up causing chills with the skin being cold but their internal temp rising
- Try and keep their temps down below 39C.. I know they have to fight it off, but his fever must have gone above 40C to have gone into a seizure
- Anything under 5 minutes as a seizure is OK. 15 minutes and you have a problem.
- Know if your family has a history of febrile seizures and plan accordingly. You don’t want to be caught off guard like I was.
- Take a baby CPR course and get trained in what to do.
- When a child has a febrile seizure, it is NOT brain damaging and he just has to lie on his side, and don’t try to hold him down or touch him. Just let it play itself out, and keep talking to him, saying his name.
- When he comes to, talk to him and try to get him to be alert and see if he did suffer any damage internally.
- Take him to the hospital IMMEDIATELY to make sure it was a febrile seizure and not something darker like epilepsy manifesting itself.
- Try and stay calm even while your precious baby is foaming at the mouth and totally unresponsive.
Anyway, that has been my week. I’m sorry it isn’t an upbeat post, but all parents should be forewarned.
Baby Bun is otherwise a very healthy baby without any allergies or medications he needs to be on.
I never expected this and maybe you won’t either.
I thought he was dying.
You have no idea how much I have been crying on and off lately, just thinking and reliving that short-lived hell.