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To the Paramedic Who Said the Right Thing When My Son Had a Seizure

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In 2010, I gave birth to a baby boy. Although I’d experienced some complications during pregnancy, I was thrilled when I delivered my beautiful son that autumn evening nearly five years ago. I became a stay-at-home mom shortly after he was born. Our adventures began. I was a typical new mom. I had many of the same fears and insecurities I often hear other moms talk about. I was no different, and somehow that knowledge gave me peace on days when I’d feel overwhelmed or tired.

Although we live in the same city as my mom, I became reclusive with my new baby and found that I began to isolate myself. But I loved the alone time I had with my brand new son. Watching him grow and develop gave me a thrill I’d never experienced. I’d look at him in awe because I couldn’t believe I was his mom. How did I get so lucky? This went on a few months until I realized my son needed to interact more with people and other kids, not just his mom and dad.

Other relevant stories:
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When he was a year old, we started joining groups and making weekly visits to my mom’s. One morning on a visit to his “yia-yia,” I noticed he wasn’t feeling well. He had a runny nose. He seemed not himself. After registering a fever, I gave him fever reducer. As I began to pack up his things to go back home and as my mom carried him, I noticed he had an odd look in his eyes. His body grew limp, and he started convulsing in my mother’s arms. I grabbed my son and cradled him, trying to get him to react. We called 911, and I remember instinctively praying over and over in the loudest voice I could muster as we waited for the ambulance to arrive. I needed God to hear my plea to not take my son.

I don’t know how much time passed; it probably wasn’t very long. The ambulance arrived with three paramedics. By that point, my son had started to come back to me. The older paramedic seemed to have the most experience, and after examining my son, he confidently told me he thought my son had experienced a febrile seizure and he’d most likely experience it again. All this information was new to me. Not only had I just witnessed my son endure a terrifying experience, but I was left feeling so unsure and fearful about what else to expect. I stared at the paramedic as he explained to me how many times he’d seen other babies go through this, and how there’s nothing to be afraid of; he barely finished his words when I began to sob. It was the sort of heartache and pain that releases what seems like every teardrop your body has. I somehow felt like I’d failed my son for allowing the seizure to invade his body.

I remember the paramedic extended his arms to me and gave me a hug as he told me, “You did everything right. Your son is going to be fine. You don’t need to be afraid.”

At that moment, those words were all I needed. My son would go on to experience countless seizures in the course of the next year of his life. When he turned 2, they disappeared just as quickly as they’d come. Now, three years later, my son is thriving.

I didn’t get that paramedic’s name, but I still remember his words. They come in handy, and I apply them on those days when I don’t feel like a good enough mom.

You did everything right. Your son is going to be fine. You don’t need to be afraid.


Image via contributor

Originally published: January 30, 2015
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