Today was something…
I don’t even know where to begin, it started out totally normal. I woke up, got my daughter we had breakfast as usual. She watched Paw Patrol (side note, I HATE paw patrol and we literally have 3 of the breeds of dogs that are on that show, but I just CANNOT) and I did my schoolwork. The day went off like any other day until dinner time.
I sat my big girl in her high chair as I usually do because she outgrew me and now MUST feed herself. I recently purchased little toddler ravioli plates for quick dinners when I’m either eating something she can’t, or I just don’t feel like cooking.
Don’t be a judgey mom, you know there’s been times you don’t want to cook haha.
Anyways, I’m sitting there watching this giant one-year old baby that I just gave birth to yesterday pick up her little raviolis and pop them in her mouth then take a swig from her dinosaur sippy cup.
She’s talking to her food as she usually does and is trying to grab everything around her high chair instead of actually eating her food.
I turn to start my dinner and hear the noise…
The noise that just sends absolute chills down your spine. The noise that you know something is wrong. The noise that you will never forget. I turn around quickly to see her little face slowly turning bright red as she clutches for her little dinosaur sippy cup in hopes of relief.
She was choking…
I know people have said when you are in a near death experience you will see your entire life flash before your eyes. I have never been in a near death experience, but I can attest that your life and your child’s life will flash before your eyes when they are in trouble.
No one told me this…
No one told me that she would choke on things, no one told me that sometimes she would just shove things in her mouth faster than I even see her do it. And certainly no one told me that it would be the absolute scariest moment of my life and probably not the last.
This is not the first time she has choked on her food. She’s done so before, but this time felt different, it felt like time just stopped.
I know people say you will never understand love until you have children and if I’m being honest I always thought those people were absolutely crazy. Love? Of course, I know what love is. I love my husband, I’ve loved my family my whole life, I love my animals.
Those crazy people were right.
I had NO IDEA what love was until I saw that little girl. She is my absolute world and I know I’m the only one that sees her the way she is. I have never loved something as much as I love her.
As I watched her little face turn red my instincts kicked in and I think if it hadn’t been for them I’d still be sitting there in shock. It was like my body was moving before my brain even left the chair that I was sitting on.
I was over to her faster than I have probably ever moved in my life (and I’ve seen a tarantula in the wild). Her high chair is second hand and it sticks when you try to remove the tray. I will now be searching for a new high chair because of this incident.
The high chair table was stuck in position and I couldn’t get to my daughter. She’s sitting there choking, spit is just pouring out of her mouth because she can’t swallow, and I can’t get her out. I don’t know how, but again my body was just moving I had zero control.
I hulk ripped that table off that high chair with the power of Hercules. Once it was off that thing hit the ground and the food and sippy cup flying. I made it, I got to her.
She’s still choking looking to me for help because she doesn’t understand why she can’t breathe.
When I was pregnant with her I was already in this over protective mom mode. I decided where we lived was not good enough for her (we lived in a lesser than ideal area for kids at the time) the house was our first home, so we compromised on location. Anyways, I had sold our house, found another one out in the woods with a beautiful 5-acre plot, and moved our entire household, ALL WHILE I WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT AND MY HUSBAND WAS DEPLOYED.
My realtor, who is now my very good friend just thought I was totally insane. No one, and I mean NO ONE understood why I had to do this right now and I couldn’t just wait until the baby and the husband was here and then find a location.
What people don’t understand about me is that I am a fierce lover. I love with passion, fire, and protection. I saw our old house as a negative space to bring our child into, so I HAD to get her to safety.
While I was looking for homes, I found the perfect one that was way out in the mountains that had a huge garage for the hubs, an in-law quarter for my father, and just beautiful aerial views of panoramic mountains.
This house was one hour from literally anything…
Me being who I am I instantly said no to this perfect house for our family because what if something happens and I need to get this tiny human growing inside of me to a hospital? By the way, worst case scenario thinking is also a symptom of anxiety.
Long story short, I found our house that we currently live in with much patience from my poor realtor friend and my husband who was deployed and having a very hard time not seeing the house before buying it. I made sure to find the closest EMS location (right down the road from us) and the closest hospital (20 minutes away).
This was enough to subdue my anxiety and fear of something going wrong because I knew at least I could get us to safety if I absolutely needed to within a reasonable amount of time.
Now, I timed the locations of the EMS station and the hospital and how long it would take for me to get to both places from our house.
Wasn’t good enough for me…
Did you know it only takes 4-6 minutes for someone to die from a blocked airway? Don’t believe me? Look it up.
Getting to the EMS station or the hospital was much further than the time it would take for my daughter (or really anyone in my house) to die from choking on something. So, my husband and I signed up for a CPR class.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting CPR certified if you have small children or really just anyone living in your home. Even if you are just living by yourself they teach you how to perform the Heimlich on yourself if you need to in such a situation, but I digress.
As we were taking the CPR class I was stressing out because how am I ever going to remember all this information when I need it? I’m going to completely go blank and whoever is in front of me is just going to die before my eyes because I can’t remember how many fingers you use to measure from the middle of the chest to perform the Heimlich properly.
I am here to tell you that you WILL REMEMBER.
I am here to tell you that your body will just do it. Once your brain realizes that something you love is in danger it completely focuses on that and takes over. My body moved before I had a chance to think about it.
The second that high chair tray fell to the ground she was unbuckled and, in my arms, as I was patting her back and clearing her airway.
In this moment I began to cry.
Anyone who knows me, knows that it takes A LOT for me to cry.
Unless I’m pregnant, when I’m pregnant the wind could hit my face the wrong way and I’ll just break down in tears. Whoever said pregnancy is fun is a bold-faced liar.
Anyways, this was a cry I have never in my life experienced. Never in my life have I cried without contorting my face (yes I ugly cry, if you don’t you’re lying to yourself haha)
Tears were just running down my face as I held her in my arms and listened to her breathing and whimpering because she was scared. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t happy (I mean I was happy she was okay, but it wasn’t a happy moment). I have never before cried simply because a situation was intense. For some reason I was embarrassed that I was crying so I tried to hide it, also I didn’t want to scare my poor daughter more than she already was.
Let’s be honest when our parents cry we KNOW something isn’t right.
This story is quite long, and I do apologize for that, but I needed it to be dramatic. I needed you to feel everything that I felt tonight so the next time you look at someone you love you know how quickly they can be taken from you. There is no guarantee in this life and as I write this I could easily pass away and you’d never hear from me again.
Life is terrifyingly amazing and take advantage of as much as you can while you can. Enjoy the people you love because there is no way of knowing when you never get to touch them again.
Also, LEARN CPR.
I know you’re thinking “I’ll never need to use it and I will have wasted all that money for no reason”, I’m here to tell you I said the exact same thing to myself when I signed us up for the expensive class.
I’m also here to tell you that if I hadn’t taken that class my daughter may have died tonight…
“Live life for the moment, because everything else is uncertain” – Louise Tomlinson