Friday, September 20, 2013

In an instant...

You always know that life can change in an instant...we experienced it this past Monday. 

Kate had fever off and on Monday. It had been as high as 103, so I kept her on regular doses of Tylenol/Ibuprofen. She had played most of the afternoon, but towards bedtime was getting fussier. I gave Kate and Maddie a bath, and realized Kate was getting fever chills. I took her out, and we sat and laughed at Maddie for a bit. We began the regular routine for bedtime bottles, and within seconds I knew something was wrong. Kate started blankly staring and not opening her mouth. I called for Matt and we both knew something wasn't right. There are always kids or families on our street at night, so I walked out with Kate to see if their was a pediatrician on our street. Our neighbor suggested running her up to the clinic because at this point she was just lethargic. Within seconds of starting to get her in the carseat things got worse. Her body stiffened, head turned sideways, and started grunting...Matt and I both knew she was seizing. I ran to the tub to pour cold water over Kate, while Matt called 911. We talked back and forth about what she was doing and monitored her breathing. We walked to the garage to wait on the ambulance, the seizing was getting worse, then came foaming, then vomit. I lost it...Our precious neighbor ran across the street and helped get Kate on her side. I couldn't feel her breathing as well. Our neighbor stepped in, and I remember her saying, "It's very shallow." The 911 operator then asked for them to say breath every time they felt her breathe...I could hear her say breath........breath........breath. Too long between them! It was at that point I thought, "I can't lose my baby right here in the garage." I was begging God for mercy...

The ambulance arrived very quickly! They started working on Kate in the ambulance, and said, "She is coming to." We thought all was improving. During this time, Maddie was HYSTERICAL! Not only did she probably sense something was wrong with Kate, Matt and I had to pass her on to neighbors and then Matt's mom. We made the decision that I would ride in the ambulance. Kate was still seizing during the ride. At one point the EMT began to give her oxygen, and told the driver, "We need to upgrade." The sirens came on...not what you want to hear...

A sweet firefighter carried Kate into the ER. He unfortunately left before I had the chance to thank him. He advocated for Kate once we arrived at the ER, and insisted calmly on them acting quickly. Kate continued to seize for almost 2 hours, they became more spastic, and her breathing was more irregular. She wasn't responding to anything. The ER doctor informed us we were "going to Children's" and they were going to have to intubate her. From then on is a blur...

Matt and I made the difficult decision for him to go with Kate on the helicopter, and I would drive down with Maddie in the morning. I've never been so torn in my life. I knew Maddie needed comfort and stability, yet I couldn't let Kate go. 
Throughout the chaos Matt kept saying, "She's not ours...she's His." As much as I didn't want to hear those words, I knew Kate was His long before we knew her. I knew in those moments that I had no control over the number of her days. I knew that God was/is sovereign, but that doesn't always mean good. Before they took off, I told Matt, "don't let them lose her." But, I was also begging God that I would see her again. 

Matt's dad and I watched as AngelFlight took off. I was elated later that night to receive this from Matt.

No more seizing, no more intubation (She tried to pull it out! Kate is tough!)

Kate spent 2 nights at AR children's hospital for observation and testing. The days and nights were rough. She was VERY upset when awake, groggy from the large amounts of seizure and sedation meds, and probably very sore from seizing for 2 hours. The neurologists finally diagnosed it as a complex febrile seizure. Typically febrile seizure last 5-10 minutes or will stop on their own. Kate's was a little more alarming due to the length of seizing. An EEG showed nothing abnormal and all blood work came back clear. 

When you are in a children's hospital, you are reminded just how blessed you are. Kate was in the PICU for one day. We watched as families showered, heated up food, and practically lived on that floor with their sick children. It puts into perspective our "hard" days are nothing compared to some families. People kept asking how Matt and I were doing. Both of us were running on little sleep and lots of adrenaline. We arrived home yesterday and it was the first time I became emotional. It was this moment that made me cry.

To watch her play in our home brought me to tears. On Monday night I didn't know how long it would be until she was home again...I didn't know if I would bring her home. God is so good...

(I'm going to do a separate post on Maddie. This has been extremely difficult for her also.)


  1. This had me in tears. So thankful for God's protection, provision and mercy. You are a great momma to those girls!

  2. Tears in my eyes while reading this! After reading the first few sentences, I had to scroll down to the bottom to make sure that everything turned out in the end before I could bear to read the rest.

  3. Prayers for your family! This, too, brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful that both girls are happy and healthy at home again.

  4. Found you on Kelly's Korner. We had a remarkably similar experience with our 15 month old (at the time).

    thankful she is well now just like our Kade!

  5. I am stopping over from Kelly's Korner.

    I was barely breathing through this story. I cannot imagine the fear you went through. I just cannot imagine. I have 2 1/2 year old twins who are INSEPERABLE!!!! They do everything, go everywhere together!!!

    I cannot imagine how hard this was on Maddie.

    My worst fear is loosing one of them. Not only for my sake, but for the other twins sake. I just do not know how someone could go through that.

    It is solely by His grace that we would survive! And, as hard as it was to admit, these children are HIS, not ours. Everyone's days are numbered. That is a humbling thought!!

    I would love to stay connected!!

    Follow me over at

  6. Amy,
    I was in tears reading this. So scary. So glad that Kate is ok! Praying for all of you!


  7. My heart was racing as I was reading and I was praying as I read... please let her be ok. So thankful that both girls are home and safe.

  8. Prayers for all of you!! I've stopped by before and left comments. I was thinking "Oh please. Let this have a good outcome." Thank God it did!!!
    I can't imagine your panic and your heart just breaking while watching all of this. Prayers for you as well!!!

  9. So thankful that both your girls are well and back in your arms safely. We've had an almost identical experience with one of our twins when he was about 7 months old. The only difference is that he doesn't actually shake. He just lays there, stares off into space and stops breathing. Fingers crossed and praying that your family never has to experience that again!