While basking in the new baby glow of our latest addition, I couldn’t help but feel that something was a little off with our Charlie boy.
He didn’t nurse fervently the way his big brother did. He didn’t wet a diaper for ages. He was so calm and quiet.
Part of me felt unsettled by this, but part of me explained it away by the fact that he was an unmedicated home birth. Those babies tended to be calmer, didn’t they?
Anyways, our first night went off without a hitch, but the second, as we were getting ready for bed, Charlie started making some funny movements. Twitches of his arms and legs. New babies can be twitchy, so we didn’t think much of it and everyone settled in for the night.
However, as Charles slept on my chest that night, I could feel him making these rhythmic jerks for a couple periods… I was so tired though I could barely open my eyes. He wasn’t crying, so I assumed that whatever it was he was OK. Sleep when you can, right? Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have forced myself awake.
In the morning Charlie continued to have episodes on and off. Something in my head told me that they were seizures, so I emailed video to our midwife. Things just didn’t feel right to me. (It’s important to know that seizures in newborns often don’t look like the stereotypical full body shaking, eyes rolling up into the back of the head, foaming at the mouth adult seizures that we’re used to seeing in Hollywood. I’m sharing this video in the hopes that it might help other parents who suspect seizures in their newborns.) Our midwife was confident she’d seen that type of movement before and that it was fine, but she consulted with a doctor just to be sure.
We’d planned to take Charlie to the hospital to get checked out just to be sure, as soon as everybody had breakfast and was showered, but then our midwife called us back and said we were to call 9-1-1 immediately and that Sick Kids was expecting us. I guess the doctor she’d consulted with recognized the movements as seizures right away.
I yelled to Luc to call 9-1-1 while I began packing a bag for Charles and myself. Luc then quickly brought Charlie’s carseat up from the basement and did the quick install. (We totally weren’t prepared to go anywhere, having planned a home birth.)
Fire pulled up to our house and right behind them were the paramedics. They took one look at him and recognized his movements as seizures as well. After consulting their guidebook because he was so little, they were able to give him an appropriate dose of some anti-seizure mediation.
His movements settled and we quickly buckled him into the carseat. I grabbed my bag and ran out the door behind the paramedic carrying off my sweet new little boy, not knowing what was going to happen. My two-day-old baby was being rushed with full lights and sirens to the best children’s hospital in the country, and we had no idea why.