How I Handled Baby Choking
Well, I guess technically it’s not called the heimlich with a toddler. It’s a back manuever. But regardless, I did it today. And dare I say, now that the shock is over, I feel like a rock star mama? The fact that I remembered what to do from a CPR class 4 years ago and that I stayed calm and focused is nothing short of monumental. I don’t think I’ve ever been calm, maybe focused, but not calm. If I didn’t believe in the mom instinct before, I certainly do now.
Here’s how it all went down. Literally:
I was feeding Emmett a burrito–shredded pork, cooked until it falls apart. Melted cheese was part of the mix, as was the soft tortilla. I broke it into little pieces on his highchair like I always do. I didn’t think twice. These are soft, small foods. But it goes to show a child can choke on anything. Especially a young one who maybe doesn’t understand the importance of chewing. My guy has almost a full set of teeth. But apparently if he puts too much in his mouth and doesn’t chew long enough he can choke. This is some scary shit my friends. Because I get complacent and often walk away while he’s eating. I don’t go far, but I’ll do some dishes, etc with my back to him.
Luckily today Phil and I were eating lunch with him when it happened. I had him strapped into his highchair. Phil said, “Look, he is choking.” Well you know kids often have choking/gagging issues but it rarely amounts to a full-on choking experience.
I stood up and patted his back. It was then I could see down into his mouth–which was wide open as he was gasping. I could see the shredded pork and burrito just beyond his uvula. It was way too far back for me to scoop it out. At that point we both knew he wasn’t just gagging.
I leapt up, unbuckled him from his high chair, turned him face down over my knee and bam bam, right between his shoulder blades. All in a matter of seconds. The piece of burrito came flying out. Emmett was still gasping for air so I pounded again. Then he started to cry. What a perfect noise.
Phil took him in his arms where he quickly barfed all over him. I’ve never been so happy to see barf. We laughed and held him until he calmed down. He is now sleeping gently. I think Phil is more impressed with me than he’s been in months.
As scary as it could have been, it actually wasn’t. I just knew what I had to do. I never panicked or doubted myself. I always thought if I were put in that situation I wouldn’t function. However, I am going to take a refresher CPR class. Here are the steps I went through today.
I do know a mom’s instinct exists. I’ve known it since my babies were born. Today was just further proof.
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