A Little Night Terror

photo courtesy of chainat at http://www.freedigitalphotos,net I think we were visited by this person or a friend last night.

photo courtesy of chainat at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
I think we were visited by this person or a friend last night.

Stick a fork in me, y’all, ’cause I’m done.

It’s been such a fun week here, why NOT cap it off with a little middle of the night terror-filled screaming for no apparent reason? Seems fitting, right?

Last night Zac fought going to sleep with all he had. Finally, at 10:40 p.m. I was able to get him to go to sleep. (We start our bedtime routine at 8:00 p.m. every night. Jed didn’t go down until 9:30 p.m. last night, either.) It was about 5 after 11 p.m. when I got up from nursing him, so, big sighs, whew – both kids down!

Now I can go clean the kitchen, hang their laundry, and there was something else I’d planned on doing that I have forgotten now…oh well. In other words, now that the kids are asleep, I can work until 1:00 a.m. Can I get an “amen”, Mama’s?

A mere 40 minutes after I got up from bed, Zac woke up SCREAMING.

Not crying, SCREAMING. I ran in to him, and his eyes were wide open, his body was as tense as a piano string, and he looked terrified! He was screaming with every ounce of energy he had and looked horrified by the situation.

I’ve never seen anything like it. Ever.

No position made him happy. It seemed like he wanted me to hold him, but he fought being held. He arched his back, threw himself forward, kicked his legs, flung his arms, and was almost impossible to keep a grip on. It didn’t make me think “seizure” in any way – it wasn’t uncontrolled – but the random, every-which-way movements were more like a seizure than a reflux flare.

Horizontal was the position that ticked him off the most, though. Somehow he would dig deep into the depths of his vocal skills and increase his decibel level by at least another 10% every time we tried to lay him down to try rubbing his belly or pumping his legs – no small feat!

I was terrified.

When I realized he was flat out refusing to nurse (this kid LOVES nursing) I woke Darrel up (yes, he slept through the start of this because he has been woken up at least 6 times a night since LAST Wednesday night thanks to Jed’s strep wake-ups and took a sleeping pill to ensure he’d get a good nights sleep last night) and said “HONEY! There’s something wrong!”

I passed Zac over to Darrel to be examined by Daddy and raced into action.

The diaper bag was packed. My computer was packed. Grabbed Zac’s medical files and ER letter for a reaction. Threw my wet bra into the dryer for a minute so I’d have a semi-dry bra to wear. Threw on jeans. Grabbed some bags of safe potato chips to take with.

Mama was ready for the ER.

Because while my instant Google searches for “baby screaming in pain belly hard as rock” brought back returns saying “Gas”, I am well-versed in how my kids operate. We are weird and rare. The odds of it being “gas” for my kiddos is slim, because gas is so normal. And my kids are not!

With FPIES in the picture, I didn’t know what it could be but didn’t want to be unprepared for a race to the ER.

Once again I went to my tribe on Facebook. A quick “Anyone still awake and on here please help!” plea and I suddenly had several women responding and one even exchanging personal messages with me to help Darrel and I figure out what was happening with Zac.

All of them confirmed that they had been told to take their babies to the ER if the screaming lasted for longer than 1-3 hours (depending on doctor). All of them brainstormed ideas of what it could be and what could help. All of them rallied to help me try and sort out what was making the World’s Happiest, Most Mellow Baby turn into a 20 pound muscular ball of fright and terror (and noise!).

Just as Darrel and I were about to make the call to load him into the car and head to the hospital, his screaming stopped…for about a minute. Then it started again, but it had a decided “crying” tone to it, as opposed to just screaming.

Then he stopped crying for about two minutes. Then he started again, and it was mostly crying with only a tinge of screaming thrown in.

Then Darrel rubbed his goatee on Zac’s head and hummed while swaying with him, and he quieted down! Snuggled in to Daddy’s shoulder and – though he looked miserable – was blessedly QUIET!!

Hmm…maybe no ER trip necessary?

We watched. He still would break out into cries on occasion but nothing like before. And some swaying and humming would console him.

Suddenly he started getting worked up again, and I thought “maybe?” so I offered him a boob. HE NURSED!!! In fact, he nursed like a dehydrated man in a desert.

So I took him in to the bed and laid him down. Within about 5 minutes, he was asleep.

Total Time of Mommy Terror: 1 hour, 30 minutes. With only about 15 minutes total of NOT having her eardrums blasted to oblivion with the SCREAMS of TERROR from her baby.

Not my most favorite hour and a half I’ve ever had, you know?

Especially since I still have no idea WHAT caused this!

After all the tribal brainstorming last night, I’m thinking it is one of three things:

  1. an FPIES reaction. We dug a sticker from my vacuum cleaner out of his mouth last night about 7:00 p.m. (seriously? He picked the sticker that says “do not return to retailer” off my vacuum cleaner and ate it!). We got it out before he ate any of it, but since this was not meant to be used by or around children, we have no idea what kind of ickies were on the sticker that he might have ingested with that brief mouth visit.
  2. Strep. It’s rare for babies to get strep, but he ran a HUGE fever all day on Monday, and his brother has strep. And, let’s face it, if it’s a rare possibility, then my ears perk up because that is the likely explanation for what’s happening to my kids. His fever had broken by yesterday morning, but it could still be related.
  3. Weather changes or teething. Several moms reported that their little ones would scream in pain when major weather systems moved into their area. We live right in the path of the storm system that wiped out Moore, OK, and have been having severe weather the last two days. And teething is always a possibility, though the reaction seems a bit extreme for teething pain.

In any event, I’m calling the pediatrician this morning to see what her input is about Strep. If he doesn’t have it, then the SCREAMING was something else entirely and I have no way of knowing if it will repeat on another night (joy), but I’d like to rule out strep if at all possible.

I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck this morning, Darrel looked about the same, but Zac seems perfectly fine!



Oh, and in case you don’t follow on Facebook, Monday I *did* call the pediatrician to get a compounded antibiotic for Jed. Turns out? Not only was the first doctor arrogant and gave us medicine with fructose in it that wigged Jed out, but THE ANTIBIOTIC HE GAVE US DOESN’T EVEN WORK ON STREP!!!

It took ten full hours of working with the pediatrician and the compounding lab, but we finally were able to get a safe antibiotic for Jed on Monday at closing. He took his first dose that night and it was the first night he slept through the night in 5 days! The next day was a marked improvement in behavior and every other symptom he had.

I’m so angry about that I could just spit nails. I polluted my sons body with an ingredient he cannot tolerate FOR NO REASON. I’m livid.

And in case you didn’t catch this, the whole day I was working on the prescription, Zac was running a fever. He got as high as 102.7 F at one point, and yes, we were thinking doctors would be necessary then, too.

Fortunately his fever broke before we needed to go.

But I’m just done in with all this medical mayhem this week.

Fingers crossed and prayers, please, that the SCREAMING was just a one time thing and we do NOT have to go through this regularly. My heart can’t take it.

And my ears would be grateful, too.

Not to mention I hate knowing my little boys are hurting.

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6 Responses to A Little Night Terror

  1. Karen M. says:

    Maybe just as simple as “night terrors” ?? My neighbors daughter had it, she outgrew it thankfully…good luck figuring it out!

  2. betsy says:

    I saw your post this morning, too late to be of any help. My first thought was Night Terror. My son started having night terrors at age 2. Your guy seems a little young, but keep it on your radar.

    For my son, the screaming would start about an hour after falling asleep. He would literally scream for an hour or more, which is longer that most kids. Any comfort I tried to give him was ignored. I would try to get in his eye sight and it felt like he was looking right through me. Similar to sleep walking, the advice is NOT to wake them, but there were times we had to just to break him out of it.

    Oh, and it seemed worse in warm weather.

    Just something to consider, if your other theories don’t pan out.

    Good luck! The week is almost over 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      LOL Thanks! Well, I didn’t know enough about night terrors to rule them out but I do now! 🙂 I don’t think it fits, but it is a good thing to have on the radar…just in case. Thanks for the suggestion! Trying to figure out what’s happening with my kids is a challenge sometimes. 🙂

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