So I've been gone for a while now and pretty confused by all the changes to Blogland. Sorry for my absence; I have no good excuse other than that life has been very busy. This is not my normal post at all as there are no projects to share but a heavy heart to try to heal and I'm hoping that by blogging about a current event in my life will help in the healing process. I've been hesitant to talk about this with those around me, but geez the video keeps playing over and over in my head anyways right?
Here we go.....I'm extremely anxious about sharing this story and I'm not 100% where my words are going to take me...in my mind things are graphic however I don't believe my words will describe well enough what my mind keeps showing me. However by all means you don't have to read if you can't.
This past Thursday I had to give CPR to a 10 1/2 month old baby girl that I regularly babysit, we shall call her "E". (First side note, I did get certified in CPR; however had no intentions of ever using it...sorry, sounds awful but is the truth! It was a good addition to my resume in my doing childcare.) E got choked on her lunch, in my experience a child might begin to choke but have always just coughed it right back up and move on. As I realized she was struggling I grabbed her up and turned her over on my arm hoping for gravity to do it's job but gravity failed me and when I looked at her face and saw the color changing I freaked out. I started screaming and doing the Heimlich repeatedly. Nothing...NOTHING it was doing NOTHING, it did NOTHING!!!! E looked at me in panic as she was getting no breaths and stuck in my mind is a snap shot of her eyes right before she lost consciousness. Thoughts were flying through my head as I allowed myself to realize that I needed help and I recalled seeing my neighbors car in her driveway...we shall call her C (she normally is working and since I've been waiting on something in the mail I checked my mail earlier than usual and noticed her car was in the driveway and remember thinking; why is she home today? [another note, we have the best neighbors ever!])...no time to look for Cs number in my phone as E was not responsive, discolored, not breathing, totally limp....... So I grabbed my home phone and dialed 911 as I flew out the door with a lifeless E in tow. I got to Cs door and rang the doorbell frantically several times as she answered the door and I was screaming "The baby is choking, the baby is choking" I learned yesterday evening that I passed E to her and she tried the Heimlich as well but all I remembered was the dispatcher answered the phone and I was screaming at him "The baby is choking, the baby is choking" and just spouted off my address and of course the poor guy couldn't understand a word I was saying. But as he started giving me directions I ran back home with E figuring C would be right behind me....which she was but now I know I ripped E from her hands! (Funny how you can totally forget something like that.) I remember seeing my 2 yr old son on the porch when I got back but I didn't even think to do anything about that; maybe I just knew C would be right over??? Along w/ C came 2 other neighbors from across the street...one I found out C went to get b/c she didn't know what else to do and the other heard my screams and ran over (lets just say the guy that heard me screaming was across the street and 2 doors down!) I know somewhere in this time when I was screaming but still trying to listen to the dispatcher...there was the voice in my head calmly telling me that I had to stop...I had to calm down as I told that silly voice that I absolutely couldn't calm myself, however the voice insisted (yes I have conversations w/ myself...you going to say you don't?). Somehow I did stop screaming and the dispatcher began to walk me through the Heimlich as I tried to do it again at his request I was telling him that I had done it and I was doing it and it wasn't working. Then he asked me if I knew CPR and I whimpered "I'm certified but I cannot remember"....totally defeated by panic....I was so defeated but he began to tell me what to do. Was she breathing "No", was she responsive "No", call her name out loudly to see if she will respond ([In my mind] "Are you kidding me right now? She was not responsive, discolored, not breathing, totally limp.....she isn't going to respond b/c I call her name!!! But yes I did it!), "you have to open her airway" he said explaining how to do so and then in ways my training came back to me? I wish I knew who this dispatcher was b/c he was a God send...... I couldn't remember how many compressions to how many breaths for an infant, "am I doing this right?" I wondered in my mind. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....breath ("Oh I saw her chest rise so I guess I did that right" another thought!) 1,2,3,4,5...breath. The dispatcher asked if I heard anything and I heard a rattle "YES" as her eyes popped open w/ no life in them but they were open! ....so AGAIN; 1,2,3,4,5....breath...she started to whimper folks....she started to freakin whimper and then she started to cry....the Good Lord my God gave her breath, he gave her life once again!!!! For whatever reason the dispatcher asked a few more questions which I allowed a neighbor to answer; the dispatcher advised the ambulance would be here in 3-4 minutes and then he hung up. Aren't they supposed to stay on the line until help is there??? Anyways all the while I rubbed her belly and encouraged her to cry all she wanted....all I knew was that crying meant she was breathing, she was breathing, she....was....breathing....!!!!! A neighbor fetched my cell phone and I called Es mom who we will call Z; over the phone she was super calm! Now I learn she was calm b/c I was freaking out and she knew we couldn't both be freaking out! Even as E was crying and breathing I was still freaking out...what a sight I must have been. The paramedics came as I am practically smothering E with kisses and praises to God above but I had to hand her off. That was the last I saw her, she was crying, so she was breathing but she was still blue....I then hear that when she got to the hospital her father was already there and she smiled at the sight of him. Yes she smiled and she had regained color! Isn't that fabulous!? I can easily say that was the worst day of my life up to this point...I've had a lot of bad days and some super crappy stuff happen in my life but this takes the cake hands down! But shouldn't I say it was a great day?
Happy ending huh? "And they lived happily ever after"!!! They did and E will.....I'm still coping. I'm on my knees both mentally and sometimes physically at the good Lord who saved that babies life so that I didn't have to live knowing that she died in my arms, on my time, in my home.....I have yet to find the right words to show how truly thankful I am to His great mercy. He is so good to me! Ecstatic about this I promise you I truly am....but on my knees I cry ....why did this happen, what if the Good Lord didn't save her, what am I to learn from this experience...I feel so much guilt....what should I have done differently to prevent this all together, her parents had to leave work to rush to their baby in the hospital....the movie in my head shows me in panic mode....I see the lifeless precious baby and wonder how in the world is it even possible that she is still here? My head refuses to allow me to make sense of any of it... I'm a very analytical person and making sense of things is what I do.....things just have to make sense right? My daddy who some of you have already read about says to me... who am I to be able to make sense of everything? Who am I to always have control of my world?....this is what he says is my biggest issue....that I always need to be in control and always need things to be part of my plan....he is 100% right..... I get that I can't always have control and not everything is going to go according to my schedule.....and no.....making sense of the world is not my job nor is it even possible..... Even still my mind will not rest. As I watch it play over and over and over and over and over in my minds eye....I see her discolored face, her frantic eyes, her limp body...... daddy says this too shall slow down; at first it's going to haunt me and I will always remember these things but they wont be as often or as haunting. My dad has seen a few horrendous things himself and I have found his words very comforting as he understands and validates how I am feeling, thinking, acting. Anxiety fills my chest and unrest fills my soul.
In case you're wondering the parents have been a God send to me...can you even imagine? I feel that I did something wrong b/c she choked on my watch,s he had to go to the hospital and seriously people she was knocking on the Golden Doors of Heaven but yet they have been so reassuring that it's all okay. Even when I first called Z and E was screaming and I told Z in short what had happened Z said "Stephanie, she is crying so she is breathing"...I knew that but panic had filled every inch of me. Es parents kept me updated from the hospital and sent me pictures of E sitting up and eventually getting a drink. They blessed me tremendously as tired as everyone was; that very evening they came by so I could see Es pink beautiful face. E was sleeping at this time but peacefully...I listened to her breathe and kissed her face....and hugged Z and once again apologized. I talked to Z a bit and had peace that even though I blame me that she did not....helpful step number 1 for sure. Again yesterday Z brought E over but this time E was awake and I got to hold her, hug her and watch her play...all pink and happy! C got to come over too and meet the precious life she saw hanging in the balance just the day before.... oh and I failed to mention that my greatest neighbor in the world rode in the Ambulance w/ E b/c I couldn't.... During that visit there was a most important healing moment where E laid her little head on my shoulder in forgiveness for the rough day she had the day before. I must say that the visit was the most healing moment of it all....
So I slept better last night and some of the horrific visions have been filled with her smiling face rather than the face of frantic pleas that have far too often haunted me over the past few days. I look forward to Monday as she will be back in my home as normal and I will get to hold her and hug her many many more times and remember that she is okay. I do believe that normalcy will be my next healing step after this one of getting my feelings out and no longer hiding from the questions I'm sure that are to come. Other than that daddy says I'll have to count on time to heal the rest of it. The mental pictures will always be there but I'll go on and I'll be fine. E is here and she is alive and she is beautiful and happy and PINK! I am truly blessed so please don't misunderstand this post.... I have the most loving and compassionate God who without a single doubt in my mind carried me through those dark moments. A friend of mine who has no idea until she reads this what has been causing me such pain reminded me of the poem Footprints.... when I expressed my need to cry but I was simply unable her words brought those tears I needed so bad....b/c I keep looking at the moments where CPR was administered and can't figure out what I did that would have brought that baby back...I was panicking, I was confused and lost.....it was God. He was carrying me and when I look back on those moments in my life there will be only one set of footprints in the sand and they most definitely were not mine.....
Psalm 116:1; I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:5-7; The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you
Inspired by E