Monday, 25 May 2015

In a split second

Last week Sunday, I experienced something that I hope I'll never experience again. I thought my baby girl died. The minute the thought that my baby girl was gone made my heart fall into a bottomless pit. I pray no parent will encounter this awful feeling.

The day before: we went to Victoria's Highland Games. What a difference a split second can make!
Rewind 20 minutes: our girl had just woken up from a lovely 2 and a half hour nap. She had been fighting a fever for the last few days, and on this particular afternoon, she was smiling and giggling. Something we had not really seen for a few days - and playing peekaboo allowed us to hear her hearty laugh. What a relief! We wanted to take advantage of the glorious weather we were having, and decided to take a family walk.

Five minutes later - all chaos ensued. My little girl started crying in her stroller and promptly started seizing, I carried her home. Upon inspection, her lips turned blue - and so was the rest of her body.

What was going on? What were we supposed to do? What's happening?

Given that our car was being used by friends staying with us, we had no means to get to the hospital - a short 10 minute drive. Since we were both in a state of panic, we decided to find a neighbour that was at home to help call 911, as we didn't trust ourselves to make the phone call, given our hearing loss. (and yes, I do know about being able to text 911... but sometimes just calling speeds things up, especially in a panic!) In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't have the car - the doctors and nurses said that it was appropriate for us to call emergency services.

Rachel's seizure was still ongoing - my guess it lasted about a solid 10 to 15 minutes. She pretty much screamed the entire time. Just as the paramedics arrived, as I was carrying her, she went limp. She went quiet. This is it. I thought. She's gone

Fortunately the paramedics reassured me that she was just sleeping. As a mom, we all know how precious sleeping is for children. This was the one time where I did not want her to be sleeping, or still, or quiet. I wanted my girl back to her vivacious self! We later learned that she had a febrile seizure, a result of either a sudden spike or drop from a fever. I had no idea they were common in children under the age of 2!

In the ambulance, her little blue body immediately came back to life with oxygen. Her lips turned bright pink in an instant, her chubby cheeks became rosy red, and her big brown eyes kept looking at me saying mommy, what the heck is going on?
Me and my girl!

I'll also confess, the whole time (from beginning to bringing her home) I was panicking internally. But outside, I think I remained calm. It was almost like a wave of comfort came from above telling me to stay calm, to trust the doctors, and to just keep smiling for Rachel. We ended up staying two very long nights in the hospital, and our little girl was a trooper. In spite of having to move at 3am (and after finally getting her back to sleep from her 1:30am checkup), she was incredibly chipper - even telling the nurses that she liked her blanket and lashlight (her way of saying flashlight).  To make the hospital experience a more positive one, we often played the 'beep-beep' game - each time a beeeeep went off, we'd start laughing.
Our little trooper!

Because we didn't have our baby monitor set up at the hospital, my mom stayed overnight once as my ears. How fortunate we are to have family close-by! As for sleep, the poking and prodding definitely woke Rachel up several times, but we're very lucky to have a kiddo that can go back to sleep on command (literally! I'd give her some milk, lay her down, and tell her to go to sleep).

Kids are resilient. I hear that saying all the time, but to actually experience brings a sense of awe.

Her diagnosis is still yet to be confirmed - further testing to be done in the next few weeks. However, there is one thing I am able to confirm: she acts as nothing ever happened and is back to her loving self!

The day after she came home. Back to cleaning (mommy's favorite chore)!

 In the midst of all the chaos, the only prayer that I could properly say was:

Lord, if this is your will, let it be done.
Please protect my girl, I trust, I trust, I trust you. 

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