Thursday, October 6, 2011

on choking

my momma and me

i think i was about ten and we were at one of those wholesale stores like costco.
it was my whole family and my aunt, uncle and my two cousins.
i remember parts of the trip so vividly - others are a part of the blur that comes with childhood.

what i do recall, however, still gives me the chills.

we must've all been walking around shopping and eating the samples. that i remember.
the next thing i can recall, we are all in the checkout and my cousin - maybe three or four at the time starts choking.

somehow, he had gotten a piece of hard candy as a sample as we were meandering through the aisles
and when we got to the checkout he started choking.

and this wasn't gag a little, then cry a little, then cough it up choking.

i remember him turning blue.

i remember the look of panic in my aunt's eyes as the heimlich wasn't working.
i remember hearing her swear for the first (and only time) in my life.

i remember standing there as a young girl, stunned and afraid.

and i remember the jittery wave of relief and emotion that rushed through me when the cashier was finally able to save his life.

it was horrible.

still one of the scariest moments in my life and the moment i attribute to my fear of choking.

to this day i still don't like hard candy and even the idea of a cough drop under my tongue while hopping down the stairs frightens me.

so you can only imagine my timidity as we begin to feed micah foods other than baby food.

first it was those puff things.

i would watch him like a hawk, uncertain if they really dissolved as quick as they promised. so i ate one. placed it on my tongue. the thing dissolved fast but still i was nervous.

but my boy loves food - just this week he's had chili put through the baby mill. it was spicy - laced with cayenne, chili powder, cumin red pepper flakes and cinnamon.

but every time i give him something new to eat i have this irrational (or rational?) fear that this will be the time where he'll choke.

it's called Pseudodysphagia and i think i have it.

however, i'm not letting it control me - or control the way i feed my boy. i let him feed himself, get messy, hold the spoon - but i think it's going to take me a while to give him anything larger than what i know he can safely swallow.

Curtis thinks i'm a bit irrational. i cut steamed carrots up into pieces he can barely pinch with little fingers, cut a peeled grape not into quarters, but eighths, maybe smaller. but the thought of having to ever give him the heimlich or cpr scares the crap out of me...

am i alone on this or is it just typical first child syndrome?


evan said...

i'm pretty sure that's completely normal, don't worry. i won't hurt him or you to cut up his food small.

Anonymous said...

Normal first baby stuff, break the puffs in half until you feel confident that he is gumming things well.

Veda Penick said...

Absolutely normal--that's why we are mothers, and that's why God gave that little life to you!

Amie said...

Oh goodness, i was so freaked out with "real food" with Jackson. i was super conservative when feeding him, sticking to the "sitter", "crawler", "toddler" guidlines. Uless i ground it up in my foodmil, he didn't get a lot of table food until he was closer to a year old. Owen is a completely different story. He doesn't really care for mushy purees so I have been giving him small bits of table food almost since the begining months. The book Baby Led Weening is super helpful with helping your little ones explore foods, even if you don't follow their full approach. Owen is eating things at 10 months I never would have dreamt of feeding Jackson. And he loves it! Babies actually have an amazing gag reflex and very strong jaws, so they can mash up stuff really well. The food mill is awesome though. This is how I have introduced Owen to most things.

Don't worry Jess, you are 100% normal. He is your precious baby boy!! Jackson choked one time and it was super scary. And it wasn't even due to food i was feeding him. He found a tiny old piece of cheese that had fallen under the table that i missed when sweeping up. It had turned hard and got stuck in his throat. i had to perform baby heimlich. I called 911 but i popped the cheese out before they got to the house. Most terrifying thing ever. Now I am crazy cautious about things that can turn hard after a few hours old- noodles, cheese, peas/corn, etc. Once the babies are on the move they will put anything and everything in their mouth! sweeping up and checking in the crevasse's of chairs is just as important.

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