Life is so fragile and sometimes it takes living with a two year old to be reminded of it. I wish I could say it started out as a calm uneventful day but it didn’t. It started with me going to a dr.’s appointment that may or may not result in bad news (hopefully not!!). We had just left the building, suckers in the boys ‘hands for being so good. We unwrapped them and continued to walk down the sidewalk. Zakkai suddenly handed back his sucker stick that had somehow come loose (one of those suckers with the loop sticks). I took it and continued to walk with that niggling thought in the back of my mind that I should take the sucker from him and give him a new one. But I didn’t and I regret it.
As I was walking I was watching Zakkai, who was sitting in the stroller, closely and I asked him a couple of minutes later how he was and how his sucker was. He nodded his head happily, looking around when suddenly he lurched forward and made this terrible noise. I immediately stopped and came around in front of him, hoping that he was able to cough the sucker out. He didn’t and was starting to gag and trying to scream. He was panicking and I was trying not to, thinking any second he would cough it up. He kept trying to cough and was gagging and then tried to throw up. I was pulling him out of the stroller as a passerbyer stopped to ask if we were okay. She saw what was happening and called an ambulance.
Zakkai was throwing up and gagging and trying to scream (a good sign) and I was trying to bend him over my leg, help him throw up and comfort Samuel, who was so worried. By this point, the sidewalk, Zakkai and I were covered in throw up but still no sucker. We heard the sirens coming; thankfully we were only minutes from the firestation and the hospital. Zakkai was choking on this thick mucous (sorry) when the firemen and paramedics stopped and started coming over. They were so calm as they took him from me. My hands were shaking and I had tears running down my face but was still trying to be a comforting mommy. Zakkai was crying which they kept saying was such a good sign because he was breathing. They helped us climb up into the ambulance and strapped us in and we took off with the sirens blaring.
Right at this point, I believe the sucker piece went down his throat because he only gagged a few more times and calmed down considerably. He coughed and cried a lot but was starting to show an interest in the siren. The paramedics were so nice and calm. They took us right to Comer Children’s Hospital and carried Zakkai in so gently. They got us settled before they left. I am so thankful.
The triage nurse checked his breathing and oxygen and said it sounded good and, since he was calm now (but kind of in shock!), they sent us out to the waiting room to wait. I sat there with a very subdued Zakkai for a long time, unable to get ahold of Ben, until finally Zakkai perked up and started to play. I watched him like a hawk for about an hour and when we still didn’t get called back, I consulted with a nurse and we agreed since he was now smiling and playing happily, that the sucker was probably in his stomach. I left the hospital with a VERY tired little boy who got lectured by his very wise older brother the whole way back to the car on how dangerous suckers are and how we should never put the whole thing in our mouths:)
I laid my tired baby- not-so-baby down for his nap and after I read him a story, watched those big blue eyes close in exhaustion. He was really restless for several minutes, which is unusual but finally relaxed and all I could do was praise God that he is okay! I am thankful for the girl who stopped to call for help. I am thankful for the firemen and paramedics with their gentle care and quick response. I am thankful that God covers me in the mistakes I make as a mommy. I am thankful that all he has is a bit of a sore throat. But most of all I am thankful for the precious life of my little boy whom I love so much.