Worst night of my life

You can call me dramatic if you want, but I believe this night was the worst night of my life.  My beautiful, spunky, outgoing 4 year old daughter had a seizure – it was completely random and out of the blue and it is an experience I will never forget.

It was Friday evening and we’d all been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new baby.  I was 4 days past my due date, but since everyone thought she was going to come early it felt like much longer.  Jim and I had put Amalea and Maya to bed but Maya was doing her usual fighting of bed time routine.  We heard a strange noise coming from their bedroom and Jim went to check on what Maya was doing (since we assumed it was her).  At this point I could tell you many details (like which window was open in the living room or what I was eating) as everything is so vivid in my memory.

When Jim went to check on the girls he noticed the strange noise was coming from Amalea.  It was a kind of moaning noise and when he looked at her she was having a seizure.  He picked her up out of bed and yelled for me. What I saw when I came into her room is an image I don’t know that I will ever forget.  Jim was holding Amalea in his arms and she was seizing.  Her tiny little body was cradled in his arms and his face was in shock and panic. I called 911 and my parents (who live next door).  My dad came over and held Maya, my mom went outside to wave down the ambulance and Jim just kept holding Amalea.  I was going back and forth between the front of the house and the living room where Amalea and Jim were while I was on the phone with 911.  We were trying to talk to Amalea and trying not to panic.  I was probably close to hysterical on the phone with 911, but they remained calm.  The paramedics and firefighters got to our house in about 3 minutes.  Amalea still had not come out of the seizure so we believe it was about 5 minutes long.  The paramedics gave her a shot that stopped the seizure (and caused her to throw up).  We answered questions and were reassured by both the paramedics and firefighters that she was going to be ok and that we would got to the ER and see if we could figure out what was going on.

The paramedics put my sweet little girl on a stretcher and took her out to the ambulance and put her in the back.  Once again – these are images I will never forget.  The distant look on Amalea’s face as the spinning lights of the emergency vehicles flashed off her face.  It’s all very surreal – you don’t think it will ever happen to your child.  Jim rode in the front of the ambulance and one paramedic and firefighter rode in the back with Amalea.  They gave her an IV and Oxygen on the way to the hospital.

I went back inside and got Maya to bed.  I am so thankful for my parents and their help with Maya.  My mom stayed at our house and I went to the ER to be with Amalea and Jim.  When I got there (about 30 minutes after she left in the ambulance) she was still very out of it.  She was hooked up to monitors for her heart and blood pressure and other things I don’t even know.  Amalea is very tiny – it’s just how she was made – and to see her laying in this giant bed with all these machines was just so unnatural.

After about 2 hours of monitoring, more vomiting, and a successful pee they discharged her.  Jim carried her to the car in a blanket (her clothes were wet) and we took our baby girl home.  We still don’t know what caused the seizure.  They say it could have been a sudden spike in her temperature – fever induced.  We never knew if she had a fever and at the hospital her temperature was normal.  Apparently fever induced seizures are very common.  Apparently random one or two time seizures are common in kids.  At this point we just hope it never happens again and that is was a random thing.  If it does happen again we can talk about further tests.

It’s been 7 weeks now since Amalea had her seizure, but I still am nervous every night.  With every noise I hear come from their room I feel my stomach drop.  I feel her head all the time in bed to see if she feels hot, afraid that her temperature may spike again.  I may be overreacting, I may be dramatic, but this is my baby girl who has already been through so much in her 4.5 years (traumatic birth, surgery, blindness).  I want to protect her from illness and injury.  I want to hold her and not let anything happen to her.  But I do know that if she has another seizure there is nothing I can do to prevent it.  If that happens we will deal with it then.  For now, I am slowly letting go of the fear it will happen again – it’s not easy, but it is necessary.

The only picture we took – in the ER

July 5th, 2012 by Robin Leave a reply »


  1. Sarah Webber says:

    You don’t sound dramatic at all. It sounds awful. I imagine it would all feel very surreal (not in a good way) to see one of my babies on a stretcher going into an ambulance. So sorry you guys had to go through that.

  2. Angela Ryals says:

    Robin, thanks for sharing your story. I can sadly relate. my andrew had a fever induced seizure at 18 months and it will forever be etched into my mind. You can’t ever erase it, and you forever feels their head and worry at night, but I know you are a faithful person so you know it is out of your hands. We hope our angels and everyone else looking over our little ones keep them safe no matter what. I remember actual stepping out of my body that night and going into “action” mode as someone else. How else could I have rode in an ambulance with my baby at 18 months? Andrew has never had another seizure if that brings you any comfort. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn’t easy to share. Hugs– Angela

  3. Michelle Arko says:

    Chloe had a seizure when she was 2. It was a pretty horrible night as well. We have been fortunate that she has only had that one since my mom has epilepsy. It’s a very surreal experience and one that hopefully you will not have to repeat!

    As a side note, the night Chloe had her seizure, I was with her in the ER til 4 AM. The next day both Tom and Sarah happened to stop by to “observe” me. The only time they ever came in my classroom that year! Administrators have such amazing timing!

  4. Mariko says:

    Thanks for sharing, Robin. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for you and Jim. So happy she’s back to her usual, precious self! She’s a trooper!

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