A mother’s worst nightmare

14 Feb

This isn’t the post I was going to publish today, but the events of this morning are still fresh in my mind.

The kids and I were doing some craft.  I put some washable ink all over their little hands to make hand prints on some paper.  I wiped Daniel’s hands off and took Hannah to the bathroom to wash ours in the sink.

I heard choking noises coming from the living room, only a few feet from the bathroom.  I quickly left the bathroom to check on Danny.  He was laying on his stomach, propped up on his arms, clearly choking on something.  I didn’t know what he could possibly be choking on.  I vacuumed the floor yesterday and there was nothing small enough for him to choke on lying around.

He started screaming.  His little face was turning red.  I frantically started patting his back.  “Come on buddy, get it out.”

Drool was pouring out of his mouth, tears from his eyes. He kept gagging, but nothing would come up.

I grabbed the phone. A part of me wondered if I shouldn’t dial 000, making the paramedics come out over possibly nothing.  But when it comes to my children, I don’t care if I end up looking like a moron for being paranoid over what turns out to be nothing.  They are precious, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I dialled straight away.

“000, what is your emergency?” I can’t recall if that’s what they actually said, but in my mind it is.

“I think my baby is choking on something!” I was trying my darndest not to cry with every word that came out of my mouth.  I know it’s ok to cry blah blah blah, but Hannah was right next to me and I didn’t want her to get all upset.  She didn’t know the seriousness of the situation, and she didn’t need to.

I told them where I live.

“Don’t pat him on the back.” The operator told me. Oops.  I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. Turns out that can make the object go further down.

He was still screaming, which the man told me is a good thing.  He could breathe.  But he was still drooling, gagging, and coughing.  The drool looked bloodstained. Oh. My. Gosh.

I felt so helpless, just sitting there, watching my baby choke. “Should I put him in a certain position?” I asked.

He said some medical mumbo jumbo, finally explaining that Danny should be held on his side with his head down.

It seemed like hours, but only minutes later the paramedics arrived.

They sat him up to listen to his breathing.  Nothing was lodged in his windpipe, luckily he could breathe just fine. But he was still choking.

He started retching, heaving as much as he could trying to get the foreign object out.  They told me to lay him on me on his side, head down again.

Hannah got her doctors kit out and tried to help.

A big wad of saliva came out. With it, the offending object. A frog sticker.

The offending sticker. Just smaller than a 5 cent piece

Immediately he calmed down.  His face starting going back to a normal colour.  He stopped gagging and coughing.  It was over.

It took me a couple of hours to calm down.  Until then all my crazy mommy hormones were telling me that I should be crying my eyes out. But I didn’t.  I had to be strong for the kids.

I thought Daniel must have found the sticker under the couch, but later I remembered that it was stuck on Hannah’s bucket.  The very bucket he’d been playing with when I went to wash my hands.

They didn’t think it was blood in his saliva, but some of the red ink that was on his hands from our craft. Phew.

Back to his usual cheeky self

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16 Responses to “A mother’s worst nightmare”

  1. LB(cruiseshipblogger) February 14, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Maybe it’s time for you to take an infant/child CPR class. They’d teach you how to safely do the heimlich maneuver on a child as well as facts like if he can scream he can breath (and actually not to do that sort of thing if he is still breathing).

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) February 15, 2012 at 3:29 am #

      Yeah, I said that very thing to Aaron. Problem is they go all day and Daniel doesn’t drink from a sippy cup yet.

  2. alabamaredhead February 15, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    How terrifying! And all for a little dinky frog sticker! Who would have ever thought a sticker could cause so much terror and ruckus So glad he’s okay! I second the infant/child CPR class, although calling the paramedics was a wise choice!!

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) February 15, 2012 at 3:32 am #

      I know, stupid stickers… I look out for things like that laying around, but didn’t think to look or worry about stickers on stuff. That’s cheap stickers I suppose…they don’t actually stick very well.

  3. Love is all you need February 15, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    That really is my worst nightmare! I would have no idea what to do, good job!

  4. Jana February 15, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Oh jeez! And I had butterfly stickers out yesterday that looked exactly like that!
    And…cue vacuum.

  5. LB(cruiseshipblogger) February 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I couldn’t bring myself to click the “like” box on your blog this morning. After all, grandson choking, what’s to like about that? Dislike would be more appropriate. But then at work I got to thinking (work is boring I think about random stuff.) You hid your panic and kept outwardly calm for Hanna’s sake, kept your cool enough to call the paramedics, and in the end Danny is fine. All those are good things so I came home and clicked the like.

  6. Child Anxiety Mom February 17, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    Yep, it’s the little, innocent things you aren’t even entirely aware of that cause the most trouble – like a little sticker. Very glad it turned out so well for you, that must have been very scary.

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) February 17, 2012 at 3:39 am #

      Yes it was. Every time he coughs now (and he has a cold, along with the rest of our family) I get all freaked out.

  7. eila @ the full plate blog February 17, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    Red Cross offers an infant/toddler CPR class that covers all matters you hopefully never have to deal with. By us, our local Stroller Strides leaders sponsor it. I know it’s a little late, given your morning…but, it would be worth taking this class just for peace of mind and knowledge going forward.

  8. Angela Coles (@ToucanScraps) February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    so glad the little one is OK now, and you did the right thing calling the paramedics.
    bless you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hannah made a sticker « - June 7, 2012

    […] loves stickers too. A little too much. Remember when he tried to eat one, choked on it, and I had to call […]

  2. E-mail to the real estate agent « - September 27, 2012

    […] parts, which, as I pointed out, he enjoys putting in his mouth. He did once choke on a sticker and I had to call an ambulance, so I’m a little petrified of what may happen should he decide to attempt ingestion of board […]

  3. Baby Likes Eating Noodles - DaddyLibrary.com - April 5, 2013

    […] choke is common enough for hospitals to put out special pamphlets [pdf] and for other parents to write about their experiences. Choking is a particular concern during the introduction to solid foods […]

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