Last night I picked Devin off the floor to feed him dinner. It was a tasty dinner of bananas in a baby food jar. I gave him one bite and he kind of jerked back and gagged. I thought maybe it was a little hot because I had heated it in the microwave. After testing it I found it to be a little on the cold side. I gave him another bite of the slimy goodness and he gagged. Hard. Devin was choking!
I took him out of his high chair and leaned him back so I could get a good view in his mouth. I couldn't see anything. I have taken several CPR classes and I am CPR certified. But one of my greatest fears is one of my children choking even after learning the Heimlich manuever. I know from the classes that it's better not to use the heimlich for a baby under 1 year. And you shouldn't use the manuever if he is still breathing and coughing. Devin was breathing but the gagging was getting stronger and getting closer and closer together. I was trying to turn him upside down and hitting his back. I was trying to sweep his mouth with my finger to dislodge anything. Nothing was working!
During this time I was vaguely aware that Cameron had come down the stairs and was asking me over and over what was wrong. Along with one of the choking sounds Devin spit up a heavy thick goo streaked with blood. I yelled up the stairs for the neighbor girl who was over playing, "Kylie, go get your mom!" (Later I was told that I actually called her Carly in my frenzied state) By the tone of my voice she came running down the stairs for her mother. I didn't realize it at the time but all 3 of my children ran next door with her.
Suddenly the house was quiet except for Devin's efforts to clear his throat. I felt panic creeping over me. I started reapeating over and over, "Get it out! Get it out! Get it out!" And then I was praying. I was a daughter looking to her Father in desperation. "I know of Thy love for my son. Please bless him. Help him."
My neighbor and friend Cindy came in with all the children and her husband behind her. Together we continued turning him upside down and hitting his back. Nothing but more desperate gagging. We decided it was time to take him to the emergency clinic down the road. Cindy decided to drive so that I could hold Devin in case the situation got worse.
Just as I was getting into her car I felt a change in Devin. I held him back from me to look. He wasn't breathing. My baby wasn't breathing! Cindy went to grab the phone to call 911 as I threw Devin back yet again. I was clutching at his clothes to remove the one piece jumper so that I could find the spot to begin the Heimlich. Again, I felt his body change. He was no longer gagging or trying to breath. The torture had passed for him. He was just a little sweaty from his ordeal. But he looked better and he wasn't even crying. In fact he was more interested at looking at Cindy's dog, Annie. I, on the other hand, was trying to slow my heart rate down!
Cindy told the 911 operator that it looked like he was fine now. I sweeped my fingers into his mouth again and felt something. I tried again and caught something on the roof of his mouth. A piece of scotch tape that had been folded in on itself so that all the adhesive was inside leaving the tape smooth and slippery. It was a small piece of transparent baby killer.
Even now I get teary thinking about losing this little man. I am thankful for my children and their health. I thank my Father In Heaven for hearing my desperate prayer.
And I am thankful for neighbors and friends that I can call when I need help. She even brought me cookies! Where was John during all this action? He was riding his motorcycle. After hearing my frightful tale, he said he was surprised he didn't feel a "disturbance in the force!" He is also grateful his little buddy is safe!