I have a confession. Two weeks ago we called 9-11. Yes, if you’re our neighbor and you saw all the ambulances outside our building, here is why:
Maximo had a fever.
Now – before you judge me, roll your eyes and say – ROOKIE MOVE, FIRST TIME MOM. Let me just fill you all in in something I didn’t know – even you “PROS” – high fevers can cause babies to become lethargic and cause seizures – all which is completely normal.
Again – if you have EVER read my blog, you know that I have a minature encino man running around my house 24/7. Yes, flash back to that awful movie with Pauly Shore – that’s my life – a dirty little person stomping and yelling his war-cry as he bolts from room to room pulling down drawers, book shelves, opening cabinets, banging pots and of course, throwing food all over the floor.
So the day he had a fever, and was relatively calm, I immediately knew something was off. But we gave him some Motrin, and let him cuddle on the couch – something he NEVER does unless he’s off to bed. His fever was holding on around 103, and he was really hot, but again, no one said to worry unless it pushes past 104-105. Then Claudio tried to pick him up off the couch. Maximo became a limp body, unresponsive, and his eyes rolled back as his body began to shake. We clapped and tried to call his name, all to no prevail. It didn’t seem like he was breathing. My heart dropped. I looked at Claudio and said – call 9-11.
I didn’t even have time to throw a bra on as I ran downstairs to meet the ambulance (mad kudos to the FDNY that showed up immediately, with multiple trucks. Upon asking, they even send the large firetruck just in case they have to break down a door. They don’t mess around with a child cardiac arrest).
They check him out, and while he was now responsive, they wanted to get us to the hospital. That was the scariest ride of my life, holding my poor, hot crying baby, not knowing what was wrong with him. The medic told me I was the most calm mother he had EVER seen – I said, it was my way of dealing – I have to focus and deal with the situation – there is no time to freak out until AFTER everything is done that can be done. And staying calm was helping Maximo stay calm – and the last thing I wanted to do was get him more worked up.
Once we got to the hospital, they rushed us right in, gave him some Tylenol, and sent him to be monitored. They gave us a little plush duck, and they had Disney on the television. Maximo continued to snuggle but was watching television – so I felt a little better about him at least being able to focus.
After some tests (including a urine test that required a cathether – poor Max!), they said there was nothing to find, and must be a viral infection – it was going around. The Tylenol brought his temperature back down to 100, and he drank a couple Pedialites. Once his temp stayed down, they released us to go back home.
Apparently, Febrile seizures are common in high fever. And since we had been giving Maximo Motrin, it wasn’t lowering his temp, and he was riding in such high temperatures that he became lethargic (limp and unresponsive), and started shaking (febrile seizures).
After we got back home, we gave Maximo Tylenol every 4 hours (even at night – let me tell you how fun it is to wake a sick baby!) Even though he was cranky, cuddly and wouldn’t eat for a couple more days, it was just calming to see him at least being himself and wanting to move and cry.
So I am not a doctor by any means, but just a heads up to you first time moms out there having first time fevers with your babies – make sure to ask your doctor about high fever symptoms and febrile seizures as well so you’re not as freaked out as I am!
Or maybe it’s okay to freak out every now and then. If you’re as seriously worried and scared as I was – honestly, what’s the worst that can happen from calling 9-11? Wouldn’t you rather call and be safe than sorry??
Author: Stephanie Barnhart
Stephanie is a published author—featured in the New York Times, NY Metro Parents Magazine, PARENTGUIDE NEWS, as well as an #expertmom for MommyNearest.com, and contributing author to KidzCentralStation.com and Kidville.com’s Voices of the ‘Ville — author and speaker/consultant on motherhood and the importance of marketing and research in a business arena, specifically online. She also owns her own social media company, www.socialmindedmediagroup.com