she's asleep now. but she was burning up--so hot to the touch--just 4 hours ago. Sophia woke crying, and as i usually do, i pick her up out her crib and kiss her forehead. her body was rough with heat. her temperature: 102.2 (squirmy=not precise). i called the doctor on duty to leave a message. i think through my plan--who would i call to drive me and my daughter into the hospital if this gets any worse (Ben was at school with the car)? how often should i check her temperature? i call ben's phone to ask him and let him know what's going only to be very confused by the strange voice on the other line (he lost his phone just the other day) i worried that i couldn't get a hold of my husband in this time of desperation...she was pinching me as i rocked her in my arms. why was she pinching me? her body is shaking, trembling in all the wrong ways. her eyes are not seeing anything--they are blank. i can't hear her breathing. was she breathing?? and i realize my baby, this tiny little being, is seizing. i drop my phone in the process of dialing 911 and i take her limp body down to the floor...what am i supposed to do? my thoughts--my thoughts are filling with the terror of death. of loosing this, her, precious life. when did i tell her i loved her last? when did i take the last picture of her smile? is this how it feels to see death fill a body--"OH GOD, please don't take her!" and then i react. adrenaline rushes in. i pick her up and run out the door. the door bursts open and i scream, "help!" "someone help me!" into the dimly lit street. my neighbors--the light was on. in between sobs and holding my Sophia, they move. they love. her son helps me cradle Sophia's head and the mother, my Pittsburgh mother, drives, saying words to calm. Sophia is breathing again. she is sleepy and blinks. heat pounds through her body onto mine. i pray a steady prayer, a simple "out of the depths" prayer that only a mother holding her wounded child can say through quivering sobs....and while we waited for ben to arrive and the medicine to take affect, my Pittsburgh mother held me and Sophia in her arms. and when my strong and steady husband towered his loving body around the two of us in a huge embrace, we calmed. a virus induced febrile seizure was the diagnosis. the medical term couldn't compare to what it felt like. medically, this is a "common" seizure with very rare detrimental affects. she screamed when they ran tests. we held her. and into the night we stayed there laying on the small bed. she rested in between us. i ran my fingers gingerly over her soft hair. i told her about the day i met her and holding her soft body in my arms for the first time. i sang to her and then gently moved my fingers slowly over her feet. she laughed. she smiled at me and her eyes asked for me to do that once more. so i brushed my fingers past the heel on her delicate foot again. and she laughed. there are mothers, brave, strong women, who have also held their child not knowing...feeling helpless...and almost lost. mothers. who mother at all cost. at all hours. i think i've found a more normal beat for my heart now. and she continues sleeps...