Where the air is sweet

Where the air is sweet

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Today was scary. I know I recently posted about a couple of close calls with Elizabeth. Things that could have turned out so badly but didn't. Today we had another. Tell me that other parents have these, too. We can't be alone in this. Elizabeth and Adelaide were having a snack of strawberries and blueberries at the table today. I was in the kitchen, about to swap a load of laundry, when I heard Patrick ask Elizabeth if she was okay. Her back was to me, but I could tell she wasn't. She was choking. 
The girls have choked before, a little. I have had to remove Elizabeth from her high chair when she was younger, turn her over and pat her back hard. That was always the extent of it. She was fine after that. I actually felt relatively calm about choking, but I had never really experienced full. on. choking. She could not breathe. Patrick and I took turns holding her and banging on her back. I reached in her mouth, but didn't feel anything. I am always afraid of that part though, because I don't want to push anything farther down. Patrick was doing the heimlich on her. Her body was trying to get it out. Little pieces of strawberry were coming out, and she was sort of trying to throw up. She was panicking. I was freaking out. I yelled to Patrick that she was turning blue. I was debating whether or not to call 911. He put his finger down her throat, did a sweep and pulled out a big hunk of strawberry. That did it. He put her down in my lap and went to sit in a chair in the living room. All of this happened in the span of less than a minute. Patrick thinks it was less than 30 seconds, but I think it was a little longer. 
I was shaking and holding her. After a couple of seconds, she sat up and told me, "I thought I was never going to breathe again." I thought the same thing. It was terrifying. A stupid strawberry not fully chewed almost brought down my beautiful 3 year old today. I am so grateful that my husband was there, that he was so in control of the situation. Honestly, if it were just me today, I don't know if our ending would have been as good. What if I hadn't even noticed her choking because of the laundry? What if I couldn't get enough control to get the job done? I don't want to think about the guilt and pain of what could have happened, but it keeps coming back to me. I am so grateful tonight for my two healthy girls and one strong husband. 

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