A couple weeks ago, my daughter and I were perusing old photos and videos of her life on the computer. She loves to see the changes in herself and her brother. As we browsed, one folder was left unopened. August 2006… the month of her seizures. That month, my sweet daughter was ten months old and our only child. Within a period of twenty-four hours, she had two seizures.
The first one came while she was nursing just before maghrib. Her eyes became blank. She started shaking. Her eyes rolled back into her head. Her face turned blue. I remember being numb with fear. I called to my husband (who was making wudu) and had him call 911. The seizure only lasted a few minutes. We took turns praying so that one of us could watch her and be ready for the EMTs.
When the EMTs arrived after my daughter's first seizure, they told me that it was probably just a choking incident since she was nursing just prior. I wanted to believe them, but I knew my child. She had gotten choked up before when she was nursing and that wasn't how she behaved.
Despite assurances from the EMTs that it wasn’t necessary, we decided to take her to the emergency room. The doctor there told us that there was no way to know for sure what had happened, but that even if it had been a seizure there most likely was no lasting damage. She advised us sometimes babies her age (6-12 months old) have seizures for no apparent reason and then never have them again.
Since we were in the ER until past 2 a.m. and both still struggling with what had happened, my husband stayed home from work the next day. Around noontime, the second seizure came. We were still sick with fear, but prepared this time. We took a video of the seizure. As her seizure continued, my husband couldn’t stand the idea of just watching it unfold. He picked up her little seizing body and carried her to the pediatrician’s office (just a 5 minute walk from our home).
The month following the seizures is a blur. There are no other photos or videos of that time period. We were too busy taking her to doctor’s appointments, attempting an EEG at the hospital, successfully having an EEG at the children’s hospital, meeting with a children’s neurologist, and constantly praying. Alhamdulilah, after those two, she didn’t have any other seizures.
If your baby has a seizure, this is what you should know:
- Lay your baby on her side on the floor where she has space to seize.
- Do not put anything in her mouth… this is an old wives tale.
- If at any time during the seizure she has difficulty breathing or her heartbeat becomes irregular, call 911.
- Time the seizure… if it lasts longer than 5 minutes, call 911. (Technically, they consider any seizure under 20 minutes to be a short seizure, but you want to have enough time to get her to the hospital.)
- Try to get a video recording of the seizure. This part is really hard, but it can be invaluable. Describing an incident to a doctor can be very difficult and you want to make sure that they don't just blow you off since you're an upset parent.
- Of course, notify your child's doctor after the seizure.
- It's not uncommon for children to go into a deep sleep after they seize.
Laura Brown is a stay at home mom of two little ones. She happily holds the title of CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family. She blogs about her money-saving ways at Blessings in Bargains.