Traveling With a One Year Old – Sunshine, Smiles then a Seizure 

25 May

ATTN: Friends and Family – While I am posting pictures of sunshine and happiness I need to confess something that rocked our worlds. On May 11th Oriana had her MMRV shot (Measles, Mumps, Rubella & Varicella) (also her first birthday). The typical reaction to it occurs post 10-14 days. We were informed that we could expect a rash. Nothing else.
Andy and I arrived with Oriana on the island of Saint Maarten Saturday, May 20th around 11:45a, 9 days later. No fever was evident. Oriana was 100% herself, hamming it up and laughing. When we got to our final destination and began to unpack we handed her a bottle. Within seconds we heard it fall to the floor (very atypical). Andy went to grab it and hand it back to Oriana. He shouted calmly but concerned “Val, there’s something wrong with Ori!”
I raced to my girl with waves of panic. Her beautiful blue eyes were rolling back and her body was convulsing. She was unresponsive to us. Shaking. I immediately knew she was having a seizure but I didn’t know why. Was it traveling? What was it??!! What is happening!!! I tried to stay calm but I was no where near it. My husband and my parents were my rock. Everyone was scared but remained calm while I had no semblance of it. I shouted to everyone that we had to go. We had to GO!

I had no clue where the nearest hospital was but we were headed there and NOW!!! I begged Oriana to come back to me. To come back to us. Andy was amazing – he stayed calm, collected and strategic – navigating an unfamiliar place while my adrenaline and fear spiked. I was trying to be calm, strong and confident but the reality is – when your child experiences anything like this and completely at random in a place that is not home – it’s nearly impossible. 

I held her on her side to make certain she wouldn’t choke on her saliva. There was so much. No vomit. Just tons of saliva. And with her shaking there was nothing I could do other than have my mom, Andy and I talk to her and tell her she will be okay. The island is small but after a few minutes of driving it felt massive. It felt like the road would never end. Destination nowhere!!! After another five minutes Oriana came out of her seizure. She was clammy. Wet. Disoriented. But babbling! We were still on the hunt for a hospital. The first place we arrived to was closed. We drove to a pharmacy. Closed. We drove to another pharmacy for help and quickly learned that most hospitals and pharmacies closed at 1p. I was losing my shit!!!
We called our pediatrician in Virginia (limited service and dialing out was so hard!) and left a voicemail for an immediate call back. After another waiting period that felt like forever we got a call. The doctor said she probably experienced a febrile seizure. What!? Why? No answers.

I did more research and called the doc back because I didn’t understand why. Would she have another? I told him I believed it was related to the MMRV shot (1 in 3000 children experience it) after reading about it. I learned quickly that the fever is brought on without warning and the doctor validated my concern. Our daughter went from showing off her new pink kicks at the airport, giggling and smiling and being our goofy angel to a seizure in 0 to 60. 
Parents – it’s so unexpected and one of the scariest things we have ever experienced. We are okay now. We found out that seizures rarely ever lead to brain damage or loss of life even though that was the electric current of fear running through our bodies (so long as you make sure they don’t swallow their saliva or vomit). 
Learn about seizures and how to handle them. Treat the fever another 24 hours once it is gone. 

There’s no book on being a new parent – it’s all about adaption, learning and experience. I chose to share this with you all because the more we rally together and be honest about experiences the better we can parent. Knowledge is power. It can save a life. It took her until yesterday to be 100% back to being our rosebud. 

And yes, we will continue to vaccinate her. 
Thanks for stopping by.



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