Friday, October 25, 2013

Breelee's Breath Holding Spells

Being a parent has to be the hardest job on the planet. 

The responsibility of little ones' lives relies on the shoulders of those who raise them.

Wednesday was an extra hard day being a mom. 

At about 11 am, Breelee bumped her mouth on an end table that she was walking along side of. 

That's been the new thing. Standing. Walking along furniture. Taking 1 or 2 steps. 

I mean, she's almost 1 after all!

So, when she bumped her mouth, I immediately picked her up and held her. 

Breelee has a tendancy to hold her breath when she's crying. (Brennan did this too). 

It usually results in her passing out, and then almost immediately afterwards she comes to...takes a deep breath, and then usually cries. 

Well, that didn't happen today. 

She was holding her breath, so I blew in her face. She turned blue for about 5 seconds. This has happened before. And normally she passes out and then starts breathing normally again...and she may be out for a few seconds, but then she starts crying or comes out of it. 

This time she did not. 

She was non-responsive. 

Her eyes were open and glassy. 

Her breathing was erratic. 

This lasted for 1-2 minutes, so I called 911. 

Nothing I did was stimulating her. She was still not responding. 

I was on the phone with the 911 operator for 7 minutes before the paramedics arrived. 

Breelee was still breathing shallowly, and had closed her eyes. She was really pale.

I thought she was asleep, but she wasn’t waking up when I touched her or moved her. I just don’t know if she was non-responsive at that point or asleep. 

By the time the paramedics were looking at her, she was starting to breathe regularly, but she was still not waking up. 

It took a few minutes of moving her around, sitting her up, passing her to a paramedic to get her to wake up.  

She started crying slowly, and then she started to get color in her cheeks again. 

I refused to be transported to the hospital with her and the 3 kids. So, after signing things and giving info, they left. 

I immediately called my pediatrician and they saw me at 1 pm. 

Dr. Mason said that she was fine at that moment of our appointment...nothing seemed abnormal. But she asked us to go see a pediatric neurologist. Thankfully we will be going soon.  

I notice that Breelee holds her breath and is on the verge of passing out more often when she is tired. 11 am has become her natural nap time...the routine she’s made and is pretty consistent with. So I know she was tired that day when this all happened. 

I would say that she’s passed out 6 or 7 times before. Being tired is the only consistent trigger I’ve noticed. Anything can cause the crying that causes it: not picking her up when she wants to be held, something hurting her. 

It is such a scary thing. I would love to never repeat that day again. It's hard enough when she passes out and comes right to, but that non-responsive state is a sickening feeling. 

She's back to herself...trying to climb up the stairs in the house...pulling every piece of tupperware out of my cabinets. She did pass out again yesterday from crying, but just for a few seconds...and she was tired at that point too. Again, she's back to what I would consider normal!

It will be nice to see the neurologist and have it confirmed that she is ok. Our pediatrician said that she has sent more babies to the neurologist for these breath holding spells than most people realize...and most of the time it is a fluke thing. A phase they grow out of. (Like Brennan)

We are praying that this is a fluke thing!!! Thank you for praying with us. We believe God has given us a happy, healthy baby girl...and we will keep trusting Him through this all. 


  1. This passing out thing must be a Latham thing! I will be praying that its just one of those strange Latham things that she is doing and will quickly grow out of so she stops scaring her parents to death. Love yall and hey its been over 6 months since I last passed out!

    1. hahaha! It's true! Thanks for the prayers. Glad you have stopped your passing out spells too!!!

  2. Hi! I found your blog on Pinterest and my son just had his first breath holding spell this morning as a reaction to feeling pain when he jammed his finger in the closet door. He's nine months old. For him it was followed by exactly what you described, but his episode of irresponsiveness and shallow breathing lasted about 20 minutes (the whole drive the hospital!) did you ever get the tests done? Would you be willing to share the results with me? Thanks

    1. Hi Laetitia!

      That's so scary for you. I am so sorry! We took her to a pediatric neurologist and he didn't feel the need to do the tests, and we felt confident in his evaluation of her. He said that if it was happening multiple times in a day (which he had seen before) and it was interrupting her growth, he would have her tested.

      Breelee is almost 3 now, and she has pretty much outgrown them. She may have one every 2 or 3 months and it is usually when she is over-tired or coming down with an illness. She's only had the extreme after-effects 5 times total. The rest of the time, she comes right back immediately. She would be clammy and crying.

      I hope that helps!! If you have any other questions, I would be more than happy to answer!

      *I had responded but didn't realize that there wasn't an email! Feel free to email me at briblakney(at)

  3. I know this is such an old post but I was wondering how things have turned out for your daughter? My daughter had her first episode at 10 1/2 months and has had 3 total and is now turning one and I was told the same things by her pediatrician. How did you navigate not being a helicopter parent and also leaving her to be watched by someone? How often did your daughter have the episodes and when did they start becoming less frequent?

    Thank you so much