When Something Scary Happened to My Son

This topic is a little more serious than usual. I learn so much from my experiences, and wanted to share this one.

The sun slept in on Saturday and got a later start than usual. Unfortunately, the same was not true for me. I had a list of errands to do before a bridal shower at noon. Although motherhood has taught me efficiency, it has not taught me patience. I was in foul mood until my to-do list was completed and we made it to the bridal shower.

My mother and I were greeted at the bridal shower by family we don’t see as often as we would like and some new friends. For them, it was their first time meeting my son. He didn’t mind the attention, but was staying cautiously close to me. When the bride-to-be opened her gifts in the living room, I stood just outside the empty kitchen. Releasing my son was like opening a birdcage. After pacing through the kitchen several times, he was at my side and playing with a pair of balloons.When he sat on the floor beside me, I gave him a snack.

I took advantage of the opportunity to be sociable, and directed my attention back to the bridal shower for a moment as I stood just beside my son. When I looked down at him seconds later, I noticed something was very wrong.

“HE’S CHOKING!’ I shouted immediately. The words were there before I understood what was happening. Suddenly, time stopped.

I grabbed my son and began hitting him on the back. When that didn’t work and he continued gasping for air, I used my fingers in his mouth. I had CPR and First Aid training years ago, but I was too busy reacting to what was happening to ponder if I should be doing something differently. My mother was beside me now and while I continued to use my pinky in his mouth, she was hitting him on the back with the heel of her hand.

He gagged and spit up a little. Then he did it again. Finally, he vomited and his airway was cleared. After he got some air, his scream was one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

While I took care of him, the other moms at the bridal shower were taking care of me. I couldn’t truly comprehend what they were saying. When my son was choking, I didn’t have the time to freak out. Now that he was in my arms and enjoying a bottle, I replayed the moment over and over again in my head.

Even now, it upsets me to think of that first moment when I realized something was wrong. But in the seconds, minutes, hours, and days that followed, I have learned a few things that I wanted to share.

I have been spinning my tires in the mud worrying about what I did wrong. What mom doesn’t blame herself when something happens regardless of whether or not she has control over it? Sure I could have NOT given my son a cracker, but he’s had them so many times before. Should I never-ever give him a cracker again? After the incapacitating shock wore off, one of the moms gave me a pat on the back and told me this incident would just be the first of many ‘scary’ incidents. As our children grow, develop, and try new things, they take risks. Although we can not, and should not, shelter our children (young or old) from life, we can do our part to TRY to keep them safe. But keeping them safe, no matter how hard we try, is no guarantee.

This was one of those ‘special’ moments when I felt instinct controlling me. Sure I had the CPR and First Aid training years ago, but it is much easier to sit here now and remember it than it was while my son was choking. I am sure there was a better technique I could have used, but the cracker needed to not-be-stuck-in-my-son’s-throat and that was all that mattered. Even now, that is still all that matters.

There was a small part of me that I can not deny was a little embarrassed afterwards. I had given a room full of women (most of them moms) a scare during what should have been a fun and happy moment for the bride. Their laughter became anxious silence when I shouted out. They all approached me afterwards (some several times) to check on my son and I. It was natural for me to feel embarrassed for being the center of attention for a few minutes, but wrong of me to think that others might feel annoyed that I had given them a scare. Nothing mattered to them more than my son being ok.

What impressed me most was that I realized my son is tougher than I am. He moved on from the incident very quickly; unfazed and behaving as though nothing had happen. I monitored him closely through out the day, but he wasn’t bothered. I needn’t be afraid of him loving me less (or even loving crackers less). It happened and he’s over it. This mom, however, is still working on it.

I started my day with a to-do list, but there is no way of predicting or controlling things from happening. My son wasn’t choking for more than a couple of seconds, but it has certainly affected me since then. The only thing predictable about life, is that it is so unpredictable.

In case you didn’t know, I am not a medical expert. I’m just a mom who wanted to share her experience. This was an opportunity for me to sort my thoughts and the what-ifs that have been bothering me.

Moms, what have you learned from similar experiences? How did you feel? What did you do? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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17 thoughts on “When Something Scary Happened to My Son

  1. This is such a good post! Super scary, but so important to remind mommies that stuff happens and it doesn’t make you a bad mommy! FYI — I am trying to reblog this on my site, but I’m having issues!

  2. This happened to my daughter too with one of those yogurt melts. It got lodged in her throat and she sat there paralyzed. It is so terrifying. Thankfully both our babies are ok. But yes, it does affect you indefinitely.

  3. Nice to hear ur li’ll man came over soon. And being a mom…being an adult..its natural for you and all of us to keep recalling such instances now and then . Thats why its said..we learn through our experiences. Kids are so clear at heart..even for such petty things. Had this happened to an adult, we would have been extra cautious for days ahead but kids..they just forget and carry on. I always wonder and think I should learn this from my daughter. One moment sh’e extra naughty…not responding to my calls repeatedly..I shout..she cries..I scold..she cries louderrrr…the moment I say Okay its over..and give her a hug, she’ll forget all that happened and back to her mischiefs again. Kids don’t keep back in mind that they were scolded and do not keep that anger within them..they are happy again…they would never tell you in future what you once did to them in some past…they might ask for a similar toy like a friend’s but are happy with a much simpler replacement. Kids are just so clean!! As the famous Kabir said -“Whats the fun using a soap multiple times a day if your soul isn’t clean within”

  4. Some similar incidents happened with Sam too…she was playing with a new ball Papa just brought for her way back from his office. It was packed in a net and I was preparing tea while He was getting fresh. I heard her cry suddenly and rushed to her just to see her ring finger twisted in a small part of the net and seemed she tried to detangle herself and it tangled it all the more…She was around 1…crying…her finger tip all red and swollen and I was too afraid to remove the net..it was too tight. Mom-in-law rushed and tried to try but somewhere within I didn’t want to trust her. She’s been extra strong at heart with all this for a woman like me. All I wanted was Sam’s Papa and I shouted for him..His sight itself gave me relief “Sam, papa’s here…alll will be fine…and he took his army knife for its smallest attachment and carefully cut off the net. Awww…her finger looked awful. That day and till today never did I give her any toy without removing it from the net. In fact, if I happen to gift a any toy to some kid…I don’t care if parents would think its not new..I wrap it in a nice sheet after removing the net!!

    Next…that I can never forget and each time I remember this I feel like hugging her, she’s 5+ now:-). SHe was 10 mths then. It was around 11pm at a winter night and I was busy wrapping up the room and as a daily night routine, had to give her a warm water wash and pack her in the diaper for a sound sleep. She was crawling on the bed…I had left her there with an elder of the house, who by chance slept …when suddenly I heard a thudd…and her cry…she had fallen from the bed …. rushed there…and another THUDD when I just left the used utensils I was carrying to the kitchen to pick her up…To add to this, she had Poo’d in her leggings and had crawled with it..making it spread all over her legs :-(. Had a geyser in my washroom but in that situation didnt have enough time to wait for 5 min to get warm water so I had to clean her with COLD water sponging …She was yelling and I was in tears too..imagining..what if at 11 in a cold night, I need to take a cold water bath..she was so small…As soon as it was done…I gave her an oil massage and packed her tightly close to me to feed her and I kept murmuring “I’m Sorry baby” in her ears…till she went off to sleep and I noticed a red bump on her forehead :-(. As all pure souls…my li’ll one too was sweet enough to foregt this forever but the very next day, I got an instant heater installed in my washrrom and thats what I advice to all new Mums..always keep some instant arrangement ready with you. Kids are just so unpredictable.

    I so so agree with you Mommyhuh (it wud be nice if I knew some other name to adress you:-)), when its required….it just doesn’t strike..later I too kept thinking , there could have been better options than needing to give her that cold water sponging!!

    • You can certainly call me Jennifer! Being a mom is just tough. Sure we can be physically exhausted, but the emotional challenges are especially tough (although our kids usually remain un-phased.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  5. Wow. Thanks for sharing this. My son is 20 months and he’s had a couple of accidents that totally freaked me out. I totally understand how you felt; I felt the same way!! Thanks for sharing this personal story.

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