Choking is probably one of most frightening things a parent has to go through with their child. It is something that even if we are trying everything we can to prevent it from happening, it can still happen. I have not taken a CPR class in a few years, but I am familiar with the general steps on how to handle someone who is choking. But when I see my own baby choking, for some reason I am paralyzed by fear and I lose all reason and common sense with how to help them.
This past Sunday in our church nursery I was giving Max his snack, like normal. This time he was having some flat pretzels and an applesauce squeeze. All of the sudden I noticed him gagging and then...gasp...choking! and I immediately panicked inside. I managed to throw him over my knee and gave him 5 back blows. He threw up a ton of pretzels and applesauce so I thought I got every obstruction out of his airway. He then started choking again and after some more backblows he threw up a few more times. This continued and one of our church members helped me and he also gave him some back blows. At this point I was completely freaking out inside and told him we needed help and he ran to get my mom and Nick. Fast forward a minute and Max's airway was finally cleared and he was breathing fully again. He immediately grabbed my neck and was visibly tired and scared. I wanted to cry so badly but held my emotions back so that I could help Max feel better. In a few short minutes my entire world nearly ended. I am not sure what it looked like from other people's perspectives, but for me all I could think was "Dear Lord, save my baby, please don't take him from me."
It is moments like this that truly put life into proper perspective. Something as simple as giving my baby a snack could have turned my world upside down in a second. Thankfully, God spared Max and Max will never remember that day, but it changed a lot of things for me. For one, I want to get CPR/First Aid certified again right away (I am thinking of hosting a husband/wife event at the house where a group of us can learn together). I want to be as prepared as possible if something like this were to happen again to one of my boys or another friend's child. Two, it reminded me not to sweat the small stuff. Too often I get caught up with what I should be doing to take care of the home and do not focus more on the little things. I want to be more present with the kids because we never know what the future holds. And lastly, this choking incident reminded me just how much I love my kids. Their smell, their smile, their personality, everything about them makes me fall in love with them even more. Whenever I am away from them I feel like a piece of my heart is missing and they truly have brought more joy to my life than I ever thought possible.
Maybe your child has not had a serious choking incident lately, or if you are extremely fortunate--never. But maybe your child fell off their bike. Maybe your child has an illness or maybe your child has night-terrors. Whatever it may be, as mothers we always want to be able to help our kids and if possible even take their worries and pain away. While we cannot fix all the boo-boos and problems, we can always pray for our kids. My prayer is that all of these life events would further increase our love and care for our kids. I also hope that I will never have to experience choking incidents again. Watching your baby gasp for air is never something a mother wants to experience. Max was happy as a clam at Sea World today, but you better believe there were no pretzels involved. In fact, he might never get a pretzel again. ;)