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A Parent's Worst Nightmare

As parents, we are very protective. We want to protect our children at all times. We want to make things better when they are hurting. We want to keep them safe. A few nights ago, I realized that not only does Dwight need CPR and First Aid training, so did Janya, my 13 year old daughter. I had been in the medical field for years. So it was required that I was CPR and First Aid certified. And because I was in the medical field for so long, I was trained not to panic. But when it is your own child whose life is on the line, you can't help it.

The other night, Jaida, my 8 month old's life was dependent on me to save her. Dwight and I are constantly reminding Janya to stop leaving pieces of paper laying around because the baby likes to put paper in her mouth. Janya has a habit of making little origami birds and such. Then leaving the little ripped pieces of papers on the couch and coffee table. Dwight always says "if something happens to the babies, you will not like having to live with that." Seems a little harsh, I know. But it's the truth.

We were all in the living room watching t.v. Me on one couch, Dwight on the other with Jai, and Janya was on the floor with the baby. Jaida started coughing. It's not unusual for her to cough. 99% of the time, the cough is fake and she's just playing. Copying one of us. But even then, we check her mouth just in case. Since Janya was closest, we told her to look in her mouth just to be safe. She nonchalantly checks. Not actually opening her mouth. I wasn't able to see the Jaida's face but Dwight was. Apparently, he saw that she couldn't catch her breath. So he got on the floor to try to get whatever was in her mouth. I yell "flip her over and hit her on the back!" He does, but I now realize he's doing it all wrong and he's hurting her. But I'm in shock and can't move. At this point she's gasping for air and turning red, then he screams my name. I snatch her from him and toss her over my leg and began to pat her on the back between the shoulder blades like I was taught. But it wasn't working. Now Janya is screaming and crying "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Dwight is pacing and yelling "we have to go, we have to go now!" So I yell "GIVE ME A MINUTE!" I'm panicking, but on the inside. My baby can't breathe. Her eyes are watering, and her life flashes before my eyes. But because everyone else is panicking, I can't.

Finally, whatever is in her throat is released. She's breathing and I can see her little tongue trying to maneuver whatever it is to the front of her mouth. I carefully remove this small piece of plastic that looked similar to what you remove from one of those fake tattoos. I let out a sigh of relief and grabbed her tight. I then put her down and went into the bathroom. As I'm sitting on the toilet, the whole event is replaying in my mind. It was my turn to panic, and I finally broke down. Then I walk into the kitchen and Dwight walks in holding the baby. He grabs me and says "I know" and I start shaking and tears fell down my face. "She's ok now, see!" I turn to look at my baby girl's face and she smiled.

Even though she was fine, I could not sleep that night. And the next day, I had Janya watch infant CPR and choking videos. After watching it she said "I thought she was gonna die." All I could way was that WE ALL have to pay attention. I told Dwight that he needed to watch those videos as well. Because I can't be the only one here who knows what to do. We are all responsible for their safety.

If you have older children, or if anyone in your home is old enough to learn infant CPR and first aid, please make sure they know what to do. It could save your child's life.

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