Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mommy Proof #37: LEARN CPR and FIRST AID!

I can't wait to say farewell to 2013. In many ways, it was filled with funny and fleeting moments that passed too quickly. We felt very scared and helpless when our nine year old needed emergency surgery. We nursed little wounds and big heartbreaks. We triumphed when our children excelled in school and beat the odds.

I cried many nights when I realized that we had a series of "lasts" that I will never experience again. I achieved my goals of nursing to age 2. I mourned the fact that there would never be another crib in our home or swing in our living room. I packed up the last of their newborn clothes and gave them away. We will never have a baby that tiny in our bassinet again. Then, I began to look towards the future again.

Three weeks ago, I sat beside my youngest child and peeled an orange for him. I had just checked on dinner, but he just couldn't wait until it was done. (It is a perfect snack really. They are described on the commercial as easy to peel and eat. We love them!) My oldest son was on the couch watching a movie. My oldest girl was in the den appreciating some quiet time. My youngest girl was napping on the couch. I looked down at my youngest to see if he was ready for another slice of orange. My heart stopped.

My precious boy was silently choking. Not a sound was emitted as he gagged and heaved, tears and drool running from his eyes and mouth. I looked at him and froze. I choked. I couldn't move. I said a quick prayer that he would be able to gag it up, that his father would walk in from work, that I could go back in time and never peel that orange, but we all know that last thing couldn't happen. His face began to turn colors and I shot into action. I used a finger since I could see a portion of orange to sweep his mouth and airway clear. I ended up pushing it farther back.

My breathing stopped and tears came to my eyes. I called for my oldest daughter to get the phone and call 911. I met eyes with my oldest son whose attention had been pulled away from the movie he had been watching. His mouth was moving rhythmically as his eyes and hands showed his quiet panic. When I could decipher his whispers, "Please don't let him die," my heart broke in a million pieces. He let out a strangled, "MOM..." And I sprung back into action. I saw what he saw. An empty bed in his room. A lifeless body. A stupid orange slice. A tiny coffin. A funeral. My baby. His brother....gone. All of the information flooded back into my brain from my CPR and First Aid class. I performed the motions that they described and showed to me. I detached myself and picked the baby up, mimicking the actions like he wasn't my choking child, but that silly doll. I caught eyes with his brother and said, "It's okay" as I did it. I finally took a breath when I heard an audible gag, then,wails as my baby caught his breath and the color returned to his face.

As I focused back into reality, I heard my daughter hysterically asking about whether she should dial 911.  I wiped my baby's face from saliva and tears. I comforted him and his siblings paying close attention to his older brother who was holding onto my waist. Then, we laughed as my youngest daughter woke up and asked what happened. Then we all froze when the baby asked for another orange slice. :-/

So as you enter 2014 with your little ones, whether they are newborns or pre-teens, sign up for a CPR and First Aid class in your area. Pay the fee and give yourself some peace of mind. I took that first class 9 years ago and would never have imagined that I would need it in an emergency, but I did and you just might. So let's make that the first thing on our "To Do" list. Share this post and spread the word. I'll be going back to cuddle my babies. ;-)


  1. Love you Jenn sorry you had to go through that but I'm so glad all is well now.

  2. Wow! That story just brought tears to my eyes. I also took CPR several years ago and considered taking a "refresher" course after my son was born in Dec 2012...but I didn't. This story just made me reconsider as I imagined my little guy choking. I'm am so happy that things worked out for you and your little guy in this situation. This is a very important story to tell.