This afternoon, I was finally able to sit down and have a moment to relax. I sat at the table while my 4 year old son played with his toys next to me and my 8 month old daughter crawled on the floor.
I heard my daughter cough a few times and I looked down to see her playing with the computer chord. When I stood up to pull it away, she stopped breathing and her face turned red. I immediately scooped her up and swiped her mouth, but didn’t feel anything. I pried her mouth open and still there was nothing. I tipped her and began pounding her back like I’ve practiced on so many CPR dolls before, and she started coughing again (thank God). I lifted her up to swipe her mouth again and there was nothing in there. She was still coughing so I tried to nurse her, hoping I could wash down the obstruction. She latched and immediately started gagging.
I told my son to put his shoes on and stand by the car while I put her in her carseat, simultaneously rechecking her breathing. She was breathing but coughing and would gag every several coughs. I called my husband and as I was walking down the steps he came flying down the driveway.
We arrived at Patient First or Urgent Care (or whatever that place is called) in record time and everyone looked up when we burst in. I barely heard myself say, “This baby is breathing but she’s choking on something.” An immediate swarm of doctors and medical staff surrounded us and I handed her over. She started coughing and then SCREAMED! They gave her back to me after checking vitals and her throat (they couldn’t see anything either), but after the screaming she had stopped coughing.
They said it sounded like whatever it was probably started to go into her lungs but either came back up (maybe when I was doing CPR?) or the acid disintegrated the object. Her throat probably opened up and she had most likely finished swallowing the remains when she started screaming. I tried to nurse her again and she latched okay but was too distracted to eat.
They told us to watch for fever, fussiness, lethargy, or more coughing and if so, to take her to the ER. She came home and took a nap and seems to be doing okay, thank God. She has her 9 month check-up tomorrow and her lungs will be re-checked then for any sign of fluid build-up (they said something about if the object is still in there, the lungs will start to fill with fluid).
In all the commotion, I never registered that my son might have been afraid too. Tonight, he started throwing his toys and yelling that he couldn’t let his sister eat them and he was scared.
My heart broke and I immediately sat down (several hours after I should have, to talk to him) and talked to him. He said it was really scary when all the doctors ran in and were looking at his sister. We talked about that being my scariest moment that day too, and we talked about the purpose of doctors, the purpose of making sure there is nothing small on the floor, and then we thanked God for her safety. After that, he was okay!
What a day.