Secret Spell
April 28, 2010, 9:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

No pictures today.   We have been transitioning through some things and pictures have been the last thing on our minds lately.  It’s been emotional over here the last week or two.

Ever since M was a baby, anytime she would cry and get quite hysterical she would do this kind of holding her breath thing.  It would look like a silent scream , she would  convulse and hold her breath.  My mother taught me this neat little trick of blowing in her face lightly and it would snap her out of it.  M never was one to cry much, so these spells happened few and far between.  Then last Wednesday hit.  She had one Wednesday as a part of a night terror(another thing this kid suffers from).  I quickly calmed her down and she stayed in bed with us.  Thursday night was another story though.  I was brushing her hair before bed and I caught a tangle.  Nothing major, but I scared her and she started crying.  I apologized and cuddled her and she was talking to me.  Then she flipped her switch and another episode.  I tried my tricks to get her to snap out of it.  I blew in her face, nothing.  I firmly patted her on the back, it got worse.  I hugged her close, even worse.  Then I look at her and she is BLUE.  Her mouth is carved into a silent scream and she is convulsing.  It has never gone on this long before.  She has never gone this far before.  I handed her over to my husband because I didn’t know what to do, and I started to lose my mind.  All I could see if her blue face, her convulsing and the only thing in my mind was “I am watching my baby die”.  I am not one to panic when she is in distress, normally I keep it all together until afterward and I allow myself to freak.  But I just wanted to run out of my house and far far away.  My husband came over quickly as I am obsessing “she won’t breathe.  Breathe baby, breathe for mummy.  Babe, she isn’t breathing”.  So he took her and I went for my phone.  I got 9-1 and then I heard her gasp and my phone clattered to the ground.  He had taken her outside and was talking to her.  Thank the dear, merciful goddess that my husband was at home.  He was calm, he was present and he made her breathe.  She clung to him, crying and gulping for air.   I asked her if she wanted me to hold her and she said no, she wanted Papi.  She said that I had scared her and she wanted her Papi.  Talk about gutted!

I just can’t tell you how terrified I was.   My terror soon turned into anger.  I was so angry.  So angry that she did this.  So angry that she had terrified me and that I lost control.  I wanted to rage at her, yell at her.  So I had to leave the room and cool off.  My own panic had set in and I didn’t notice it.  I could just feel this lump of emotion coming up from my stomach and it made me sick.   My husband finished getting her ready for bed.  Brushed her teeth, finished combing her hair while I fixed her bed and crawled into it.  She came in and cuddled up next to me.  I told her that there would be no story tonight, but I laid there and cuddled her.  Before I knew it I couldn’t hold back my tears and I sobbed into her little sweet smelling neck.  I apologized for yelling at her, that I was soo scared.  She held my face in her little hands and said “Oh Mummy, see!  I am okay now, so you don’t need to cry!”  It’s amazing how quickly children recover and how we don’t.  How terror lasts in our hearts more than in theirs.  I cuddled her to sleep and I brought her to bed with me when I went to sleep.

But all this weekend it bothered me.  It’s consumed my thoughts, and painted a very black cloud over my head.  This is not my baby.  This is not her behavior.  I talked to her teacher at school and she said that it sounds normal to her.  That this age is so emotional for children and that the textbooks never prepare you for this.   That a class full of 4 year olds is really like a class full of 13 year olds running on hormones.  I laughed, but her 25 years experience does speak for itself, and I do trust her dearly.  But my mind was still not quieted.  So I made an appointment with her doctor today.   One of the main reasons I was worried is that M was born with two VSD Heart Murmurs.  Although they have been deemed innocent, they are still there.  I figure, better be safe than sorry.  So today we had her checked out and her doctor really put our minds at ease.  It is wonderful to go into your doctors office, have them tell you something and you don’t google afterward.  He spent an hour chatting with us, and with M about this.  We found out that about 5% of children do this.  That something physical triggers it off (like a bump to the head, me pulling a snarl in her hair) and they can even pass out.  But everything is okay and they start breathing right afterward.  He acknowledged that they are terrifying and many parents call 911, but it’s okay.   He listened to her heart and although her murmurs are still there (and will probably remain all her life) she sounds fine.

But although our questions have been answered, the trauma of the night still remains with me.  I can’t get her face out of my mind, so I have been trying to meditate it away.  Replace it with images of her sweet, smiling face.  If you are interested in reading about this,

Breath Holding Spells

Also, it said that anemia can trigger it to.  We are vegetarian and I didn’t think to have her iron tested.  I am going to up her leafy greens ( funny enough, we are eating a ton of kale at the moment) and beans.

Sorry for such an emotionally charged entry, but I was hoping maybe someone else had experience with this.  And sometimes it feels good to release things out into the universe.  Keeps them off of my chest.

Warm Wishes.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi there, love your blog…first time commenter. I’m 27 now but my parents say I used to do this when I was young. They used to splash water in my face, or eventually more often just wait it out because when you pass out you automatically start breathing again. I eventually outgrew it.
I can see how that would be scary. Glad the doctor was so helpful.

Comment by Lauren

It’s amazing how no one tells you this, but once this happens to your kid and you start talking about it everyone pipes up with a story about it, ha.

Thanks for the comment. I think the thing is that it goes against rational. Turning blue and passing out is not considered a *good thing*, you know? And to just kind of ignore it/wait it out, it seems to counter productive to how we are raising our daughter. It’s just finding a way to get through them without Mummy freaking out and M not being traumatized.

Do you have a blog?

Comment by tulsileaf


And not ignore. Just calmly wait it out. Instead of everybody getting more worked up.

Comment by Lauren

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: