A LITTLE BIRTHDAY PLANNING BACKGROUND -
Originally, we were planning to have Madelyn’s party on Saturday, April 30, but several people, including my brother, ended up being out of town and I could have used the extra planning time anyway. We switched the date to May 7, but we also cancelled it for several reasons: I hadn’t received proofs for the party decor I had ordered, at least half of the kids/families couldn’t attend that day and the last straw was that my mom ended up having to work. We gotta have grandma there! We couldn’t reschedule for the following weekend because we had a couple other parties to go to and then it would be too close to my due date of May 20. We decided to postpone her party until June 5 and it would end up being a meet & greet baby, as well. Sunday the 5th was a hit for everyone. We received so many RSVP’s to attend and it was great! I think we had 40 people and 14 kids planning to come.
I chose an owl theme for the party: LOOK WHOOO IS TURNING TWO! I decided on the owl theme for her 2nd birthday when I was planning her first birthday party. I was super excited as everything started coming together. My mom was a HUGE help with everything (money, errands, helping watch kids, cooking, decorations, cleaning, etc.). We (us Carmichaels) work better under pressure, so, of course, I was baking cookies at midnight the night before and making birthday hats at 7am the day of the party. We spent a pretty penny on the party because we decided this year we would provide lunch for the guests, not just snacks and it’s Madelyn’s last birthday as an only child. Now that I have two May babies, that will not be the case in the future (or at least nothing too expensive). I decided to order the decorations online because I knew I wouldn’t have the time or energy, being 9 months preggie, to run all the errands, pick out stuff, construct everything and I would have spent more money on my own than ordering through Etsy.
PARTY TIME! -
We are jammin’ at 9:00am for an 11:30am party. I’m extremely excited because we are going to have such a great turn out, Alayna seems to be having a good day, the decorations look awesome and Madi FINALLY gets to have her 2nd b-day party (a month over-due).
I go into Madi’s room to get her at 9:30 and she is covered in a RASH from head to toe!! Are you kidding me?!?! What the heck is this? Allergic reaction to something? Measles? Chicken Pox? There are 365 days in a year and THIS is the day she wakes up with a rash!?!?
So, we contemplated – only for a second – calling everyone to cancel the party, but after all the time, money and effort spent, we were having the party regardless. If Madelyn had something contagious, we would quarantine her, keeping her upstairs (poor thing). I spoke to a couple nurses at our insurance and our pediatrician and both said it is a classic of a non-allergic amoxicillin rash. This rash shows up on day 7-8 of taking the antibiotic. She was on amoxicillin for a slight ear infection since May 26. On May 26 she also got her MMR shot. Doctor Hyun said it could have been an MMR rash. So, who knows if it was from MMR or amoxicillin (or both). Dr. Hyun said have your party, don’t worry about it, she is not contagious at all. Since we were having 40+ people over and so many kids, we thought it would be a good idea to at least have a doc SEE her to verify that she has nothing contagious. We would not feel comfortable telling our guests that our pediatrician said she was fine, but never actually SAW her.
Jose took her to urgent care. She, unfortunately, wasn’t seen by a pediatrician, but at least it was a doctor, right? The doctor said it was an allergic reaction to amoxicillin and gave her Benadryl and PrednisoLONE (a steroid). Madi and Jose showed up at the party 2 hours late.
Now, if it wasn’t enough that a large handful of people were leaving (round one nappers) when the birthday girl arrived and that my daughter looked ridiculous with her elaborate polka dots, but a WILD animal-like child was about to emerge. Madi was finishing some food in her high chair and I took a quick photo of her and she started screaming “no more pictures, no more pictures!”
Then, she wouldn’t let anyone (Jose, my mom or myself) get her out of her chair. She started banging her head violently against the back of the chair. She then aggressively took a BITE of her tutu and spit out a chunk blue sparkly tule. Jose struggled to get her out of the chair without dropping her and got her to the carpet, where she threw herself on the floor so fiercely. It was as if she had the angry energy of 5 children put together. Madi was running away from everyone and would not let anyone touch her or approach her. It was on the tile by the front door where she deliberately head slammed her forehead into the tile. That’s when I knew this was not an ordinary tantrum. This was something worse. All of our friends & family there either watching or listening to this, which make it that much more intense and uncomfortable. I asked Jose to do the best he could at getting her upstairs safely. We were upstairs with her for maybe 15 minutes, which what felt like hours. She was screaming, crying & running away from anyone that was close to her or approached her. She was completely non-responsive to anyone or anything. There was nothing we could do or say to help or to get her to respond. She continued to try to inflict pain on herself and was so out of control that is was likely she would hurt herself somehow. After 20 minutes of this I threw in the towel. I couldn’t take it anymore and it was only getting worse. I called the nurse line and they recommended taking her to ER to get a tranquilizer. We ran out the door and frantically put her in the car seat, which was like putting her in a straight jacket. The entire ride to the hospital she continued to be non-responsive and was hysterically kicking, screaming, wailing, hyperventilating. She did not react when I spoke to her and wouldn’t let me touch her. So, I sat next to her in the back seat and sobbed the whole way there. I can only imagine how hard it was for Jose to drive us to the hospital like that. About 2 minutes before arriving to ER, Madelyn fell asleep in the car! We parked and just sat there for a good 15 minutes or so to collect or thoughts and calm our hearts. We prayed together and sat then sat in silence. Finally, we headed back home and successfully put her down to nap in her crib.
The only way I can really describe what we witnessed was that Madi acted like she was possessed. It was the scariest thing and so traumatizing. Thank God that she is okay and that she didn’t get hurt. I also thank God that Alayna was an angel during this entire episode, so it was that much better that we didn’t have another child screaming for food that I could not provide in that moment. I had none/no milk pumped for the little one and, obviously, couldn’t have taken the time to nurse her. Alayna had a fantastic nap day!
I’m not sure who was still there when Madi started to freak out or how long people stayed and listened/watched it unfold. It was such an intense situation.
I’m sure that her behavior was a reaction to the Benadryl and/or steroid that the doctor gave her. We will never know for sure what made her act that way, but will forever be cautious of both medications in the future. I have read and heard that one rare side effect of Benadryl is hallucinations. Just makes you think.
Madi never had a fever and never acted sick. That night she enjoyed some cake and opened a couple of gifts.