Why do kids have to scare their mommas?
So, last week I had a huge scare. While nursing my 4.5 month old to help him fall asleep for his morning nap, I started to feel him shaking. The shaking lasted for almost a minute, slowed, and then started up again at about half strength for half the time. Thankfully I had my cell phone in my pocket and I immediately called his doctor. They were able to get me in that morning and we headed straight there.
I described what happened to the doctor (a resident on staff, not our doctor), and he agreed with me that it didn’t sound like a seizure exactly, especially since there was no loss of function or unresponsiveness (A postictal state). He said to call them back if it happened again, but that there didn’t seem to be anything to worry about. He actually remarked on how alert and responsive and advance little boy seemed.
The next day (Thursday) we were at our homeschool co-op. After the art class I was in the nursery, nursing him to sleep again. I was watching the kids play, and next thing I know I feel him shaking again. This time I tried calling his name, and ended up just holding his head because it was shaking so bad. I called the doctor again and they got me the earliest appointment I could get (which of course was like 3 hours later). The nurse initially asked me “is this your first baby honey? Are you sure he’s not cold?”. I replied that this was my 3rd biological baby, 4th baby, and 7th child :). I also said that the episode was between 45-60 seconds of shaking, slowed, and then another 30 seconds or so of milder shaking. She agreed that I knew when something was more serious :).
After sharing the story over and over to all the ladies at the co-op and then calling my husband, etc, I was close to losing it. I stayed to let the kids finish the PE class and eat lunch since A was napping and I had the time…I don’t know if that made it better or worse for me. My husband came home from work and stayed with the kids while I took baby A to the appointment…eating a chocolate bar on the way. Why do we crave chocolate in stress?
While at the appointment, I saw a different doctor, but I could tell that she was more experienced and a lot more reassuring. She had heard of babies having a few seconds of shaking briefly as their falling asleep (similar to the “jerking” awake I’m sure all adults have experienced), but this definitely didn’t sound the same. She ordered an EEG and referred us to a pediatric neurologist and told me if the spells got more severe or he wasn’t himself afterward, to go straight to the ER. She thought that maybe since he was just getting over a cold and still a little congested, maybe a low oxygen level had triggered a mild seizure.
Thankfully, they haven’t happened again. I blame it on being ready to video tape it to show to the doctors. Honestly I’m just thankful that God intervened.
Today was our appointment with the neurologist. After describing everything to him, he said it sounded like “Benign Neonatal Sleep Myclonus”. He said that it didn’t sound like seizures since there was no other side effects and no family history. He said that A is a little on the old side to be exhibiting it, but it’s not uncommon. It is actually similar to the jerking awake stuff, but since his system is developing and babies don’t have a mature sleep pattern it’s more exaggerated. After looking online, it actually may be genetic…my husband and I are both sleep “jerkers”, especially when we’re exhausted. I watched a few videos of babies exhibiting the quaking, and it looked right too.
I’m thankful to have an explanation that actually seems to fit and makes sense. As long as he grows out of it over the next few months, there should be nothing to worry about. And since it cost $90 to find out there’s nothing wrong (and we’re pretty broke), I’m pretty sure we’ll wait to do an EEG unless it happens again. The neurologist said he had no problem if we waited, he’d just do it himself to rule anything out. But more than likely, it will show nothing. And it hasn’t happened in a week.
So, I’ll be praying that it doesn’t happen again. But if it does, we’ll go get that EEG!