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My Baby Had Febrile Seizures and I Was Terrified

My baby was 9 months old and we were cruising right along in life. He was growing, healthy and happy as could be. What could go wrong?

One morning a few years ago was just another day. We had spent the morning at the park with the older kids and it didn't seem like anything was out of the ordinary. It felt free and easy.

I remember breathing a sigh of relief on the way back home thinking that the park visit was just what we needed. We had 3 kids under 4 at the time and it felt liberating and confining at the same time. Life was busy. I remember those days thinking I must've walked a million miles back and forth around the house and what did I actually do today all at once.  

We arrived home around lunchtime to refill the tanks and wind down for nap time. Lunch was quick and easy, typically leftovers for the toddlers, a bottle and some baby food for the baby.

The kids were laughing and playing around as usual. Everybody was in good spirits in their little elements of happy around the house.  

My husband joined us for lunch which gave me a giant smile and sense of relief. Daddy to the rescue! I remember telling him I wanted to lay with the baby for a bit and try to take a nap. I didn't usually hold or lay with him at this time of day, it was nearly impossible. The toddlers would be running so it was generally a drop in the crib for him. Trying to corral the older ones and get them to nap was the real challenge.  

My baby and I laid there for a few minutes. I stared at him wondering why he wasn't sleeping yet, this was the golden nap hour and he usually dove right into lala land. I kept waiting for those lids to close and was dreaming of my own nap.

His body felt different. He felt tense. When we laid down he didn't feel that way, he curled up to me and I felt the difference before I saw it.  

I looked closer at his face. His eyes were oddly fixated on the ceiling. I thought maybe he was in a daze and would close his eyes soon. I softly touched his face and tried to talk to him. He was still staring at the ceiling. I knew something was wrong.  

I held him closer trying to comfort him. I felt a soft twitch of his body. It happened again. He was having his first seizure.

I tried hard to remain calm. He was the first of my kids to have a seizure, I don't think I've seen anybody have one actually. I panicked. I had no idea what todo. Do I google it? My fingers weren't even operating properly. Do I rush him to the ER? I felt like the 5 minute drive to the hospital would be an eternity.

My husband was in the other room trying to put the toddlers to sleep.

'BABE HE'S HAVING A SEIZURE!!', I yelled.

I'm one of those people with zero chill in a panic situation. Thank God my husband is the opposite. He could think more clearly and said to stay calm and keep him safe basically.  

Hell no, couldn't do it, in the car we went, mostly naked toddlers and all.

I held him closely in the front seat while my husband drove. I pulled him in and tried singing him songs to calm us down. He was convulsing harder. Looking at his face I noticed his lips had just turned blue. He wasn't breathing.

We were pulling into the hospital at that time and I flew out of the car with him at the ER entrance. The staff welcomed us with a calm smile and were about to greet us.  

'HE'S NOT BREATHING AND IS HAVING A SEIZURE WHAT DO WE DO?!', I screamed out.

I was amazed at their zen. I was the exact opposite. At first, I was annoyed, why are you talking so slow, I thought to myself.  I realized though, them being calm made me calmer, they had done this before and I was grateful to lean on them for some peace of mind.

The brought us to a room through the security door telling us he was having a febrile seizure and that he would be okay. They were checking their watches, monitoring the time while I held him with tears flowing down.  

He started breathing again and although it felt like an eternity, it was less than a minute. His eyes relaxed, the convulsions lessened and then stopped. I couldn't stop holding him.

The nurses said he'd be 'out of it' for the next couple of hours recouping from his seizure. I could deal with that. I was so grateful for them just knowing what it was and what todo since I had no clue.  

Sigh.

What a rush of emotions. I remember driving home sitting beside his car seat in the backseat while my husband drove. I stared at his sleepy eyes, still shaken from the afternoons' events. I remember feeling both grateful and scared still.  

The doctors said he'd probably have more febrile seizures, but also that most kids outgrow them by 2 years old. Gosh, that just felt like a double-edged sword. More seizures? Probably for a year?

My son is 3.5 now and he's definitely had more seizures. We've experienced 5 with him but realized a few times he may have had some in his sleep, which we found out after was not uncommon. Ugh.

They were always scary to experience, but it was helpful to know the signs and have a better awareness of what to do when they came.  

There was never a set temperature for the seizures to start at, we just knew if he was developing a fever, there was a good chance that he'd seize at some point. We tried to keep him cool, give him medicine, and be vigilant with precaution, but despite our efforts, he'd still occasionally get them.

They never stopped being scary but I think at this point now he's grown out of them. I cannot remember the last time he had a seizure, but I think it was around a year ago now.  

If your baby gets febrile seizures, I feel you mama. The good news is that they grow out of them and they are actually more common than you might think. Definitely, check in with your doctor to address them and know you're not alone.

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