Thursday, January 1, 2009


This was our sweet girl on Monday at about 4 in the morning. After what started as a normal Sunday night, our little Maddie woke up and had a seizure.

She had been fighting what I thought was Croup for a couple of days. Anthony put her to bed on Sunday night with a runny nose, a cough, and not much more. At about 12:45 am she woke up crying and with a fever. I gave her some Tylenol, changed her diaper and sat down to rock her. As we sat there and rocked her breathing began to strain and I felt her little body start to shake. I looked at her face and my heart sank. She was unresponsive as she stared up to the ceiling. My baby girl was having a seizure.

I ran to our room and laid her on our bed as Anthony and I frantically tried to gain her attention. Her breathing stayed heavy while her body stiffened and her legs and arms shook until suddenly she looked at me. And her breathing stopped. Completely. There she lay, mouth open, staring in my eyes without a sound. As I went to put my mouth to hers she gasped and began to breathe once again. Her body relaxed and she seemed to be coming out it.

Fast forward about 15 minutes and an ambulance ride to the hospital later...

They took her temperature and said it was 104 and guessed that it had likely reached 105 or 106. The outcome of such a rapid increase in temp was a febrile seizure. A chest x-ray reveled pneumonia in her right lung. Some blood tests showed an increase in her white blood cell count. And a spinal tap showed clear fluid that ruled out anything more.

5 hours after we had arrived, just my baby and I, we were on our way home.

Those are the facts. What happened. But this event has far from left us.

This has been, by far, the hardest and scariest thing I've ever experienced as a mom. Standing there completely helpless as my little girl, my baby seized while I could do nothing more than wait. Watching her and praying for God to take her in His hands and protect her. Waiting for what seemed like a lifetime to hear her take another breath. Realizing even for a moment that she could actually NOT be OK. Standing by her side as they had to try 3 separate times to insert an IV and wiping away the endless tears that fell from her eyes. Praying for God to wrap His arms around her when I wasn't allowed to. Having to look in her eyes and try my damnedest to reassure her it would be OK. Sitting idly by while 2 nurses lay on top of her so the doctor could do a spinal tab on her tiny body. This is all that surrounded the "facts" of these 6 hours.

As much as I would love to say that I was a rock through this all I cannot. All of this was almost too much for this very weak mama to take. I felt inadequate. I feel inadequate. Like I should have handled things better. Like I should be so strong as to not cry while I sit here and type this or as to not cry each time the image of her helpless body enters my mind. I've never felt so small, so insignificant, as I did that morning. I remember thinking while all this was going on that this was out of my hands. I kept thinking that I had to trust that the Lord would keep her safe. And though I've always believed myself to be a faithful person I never thought I'd be capable of such surrender in a situation that involved the well-being of my babies. But it was in this very situation that God showed Himself to us and protected our sweet girl.

The pneumonia will be treated with some antibiotics and the seizure is, in all accounts, benign. Though her chances of having another have now increased, they don't cause any damage and she will outgrow them. It amazes me how resilient my little girl can be. When I asked the doctor after Maddie's spinal tap if she would be sore he laughed and said "Oh no. Babies are superior creatures to us adults. She won't remember or even care about this when it's over." And he was right. By the time Anthony and Ana picked us up our little fighter was happy as ever - asking for milk and saying "Hi, Daddy" about a hundred times in our 3 minute drive home. She was fine by morning and she's fine now. I, on the other hand, will just pray for my heart to heal and make me a better mama for having gotten through this.

It's funny how you think you could possibly love them anymore until...


Anju said...

Oh Massiel, so sorry to hear about Maddie! I did not know it was this bad. It bought tears in my eyes reading this. Having sick babies/kids is the hardest thing ever for parents! God Bless your little babies!!

Dana said...

im so glad she is ok and back to herself now. i cant imagine how scared you must have been. youre stronger than you think you are!