My nine week old baby girl Ayla is very strong, and I went to get our Bumbo chair for her in my bedroom upstairs. I laid her on the chaise lounge part of our sage green couch, and propped her in a sitting position with pillows on either side. I asked my nearly three year old daughter Keira to come and sit next to her sister to keep her company while I quickly ran upstairs. It took less than thirty seconds to get the chair for my baby. Ayla and Keira were still where I left them on the couch and Keira was kissing her sister and telling her she loved her. I noticed Ayla acted like she had spit up some milk and was gagging, but when I got closer I noticed her color was purple and the gagging became more violent. I quickly picked up my baby girl and flipped her upside down to let the extra spit up run out. Instead a shinny copper penny popped out of her mouth and fell to the floor! Ayla gasped for air a couple of times and then scared screams erupted from her mouth. I stood shocked and stunned at what had occurred. Then tears streamed down my cheeks as I held my baby tight. My stomach was in knots and I felt like I needed to vomit. How did Ayla get a penny? I looked at my daughter Keira and I asked her if she had given her sister the penny. Keira nodded and said, “Yes Mama!” At that moment I was not sure what to do, but I needed my daughter to know what she did was not safe. I grabbed my Keira’s hand and put her in the time-out area. I bent down with tear-filled eyes, and grabbed the phone to call her father. I explained to him what happened and put the phone on speaker. We both told Keira we knew she did not mean to hurt her sister, but she needed to know never to put anything in Ayla’s mouth. After we hung up the phone, I was still in a state of shock. I called my son’s behavioral therapist for more help. This was not the first time Keira tried to put something in Ayla’s mouth. Usually it was a picked booger, dirty fingers, a play baby bottle, or some type of food. The therapist said I handled the situation perfectly, but she said to make sure I gave Keira a positive reenforcer like “you can touch her hands, her tummy and her toes, but not her mouth, eyes, or nose”.
After I calmed down, I shared what happened on my Facebook Timeline and posts poured in from friends thankful that Ayla was okay. Many people gave examples of how similar incidents happened to them with their children. A few of my girlfriends even called to make sure I was okay. Some unfortunately were judgmental and I made a poor choice as a mother to leave Ayla on the couch alone with Keira even for less than thirty seconds. I understood their point of view, but I wondered how being with your children every second of their life was even possible? I am a safe and good mother who takes many precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of all my children. I have extra locks on doors, video monitoring in multiple rooms, and baby gates up to prevent my son from running on a night rampage while the rest of us sleep. What happened to Ayla was scary and likely took years off my life with some more gray hairs in the meantime. I am as careful as I can be, but sometimes things happen out of my control. I do not know where Keira got that penny, and I cannot believe Ayla almost died from a penny.
There are many “what ifs”: What if I had laid Ayla on her back, or gone potty, what if I changed the laundry, did something in my kitchen which is in part of the same room, my sweet Ayla might have died. In my opinion, luck played no part! I am a strong believer in God and His guardian angels. I am thankful I sat her up, and that I knew what to do because of the infant CPR classes I took before my oldest child was born. Ayla’s guardian angels saved her life, and I came away from this experience thankful my baby was okay, but with the realization even when you are a wonderful and safe mother bad things can still happen. I will be more vigilant in the future because thirty seconds would have broken my heart and changed my family forever.
Do you have any experiences similar to mine? When people criticize you as a parent how do you feel or respond?