*FOREWARNING - IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A CHUCKLE TONIGHT...SORRY....THIS POST IS MORE SERIOUS IN NATURE*
Having a baby heightens things. Things like.....your emotions. Things that once may not have phased you, now leave you speechless. Conversations that you were once able to "leave at the table", now leave you seething...and sometimes contemplating friendships. Compassion turns into empathy turns into "What if that was MY child?" turns into tears. I found myself at the latter end of this spectrum last night.
At approximately 8:30 I received a phone call from my honey's aunt asking us to be in fervent prayer for her 1 year old granddaughter (our cousin). His aunt informed us that she had just received a call from the little girls' mom - she had just found her daughter FACE DOWN in the bathtub, and NOT BREATHING. His aunt was on her way over to the mom's home, who was desperately trying to perform CPR on her little girl while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. I assured her that we would begin praying immediately, and hung up the phone. However, I didn't begin praying immediately. First, I went to check on MY daughter. She was sound asleep in her crib, curled up in a cute little ball, snoring away. And while most other times I might chuckle about her snoring, or complain that between her father and her I will NEVER see a good night's sleep again, last night that sound was like an angel's trumpet in my ear....heavenly. It meant my little girl was breathing...and I thought "God, what if that was MY child?", and on came the tears. I stroked my little girls curly q's and fell into quiet prayer.
Fastforward: Prayer changes everything. Baby girl was revived and conscious by the time they got her to the hospital, and up and playing today. She is an extremely strong little girl, and God obviously has big plans for her, but she has no idea how close she was to.....well...she just has no idea.
In speaking to her mom today I had to ask what happened. She is a fabulous mother with the eye of a hawk. She stays home with her children so that SHE will be the caregiver and not a stranger. For her children, SHE IS LOVE. So how could this have happened to her? The same way it could have happened to any one of us. She was bathing her two children together (ages 2 and 1) and stepped out of the bathroom for 2 SECONDS to grab a towel. In those 2 seconds she believes her daughter may have tried to pull herself up to standing by holding onto the soap dish, her hand slipped, she knocked her head (there is a bruise on baby girl's forehead) and down she went. 2 SECONDS. TWO SECONDS! That's all it took. There are no words in the english (or spanish) language to adequately describe the fear, anguish, and devastation that hit baby girl's mommy in that moment. Imagine walking into your bathroom to find your baby face down under the water. Ugh....my stomach aches just thinking about it. I sat and listened to this mom's story, daring myself to cry, and then heard something that astonished me more than the 'what happened' story itself.
THIS MOM RESUSCITATED HER CHILD AND DIDN'T EVEN KNOW CPR.
She is not sure if it was her mommy instinct, God, or countless hours of watching shows like ER, Grey's Anatomy, and House, but all of a sudden she was performing Infant CPR on her child. Within three breaths and a few chest pumps her once not breathing child was coughing and spitting up water. Her body was listless, her eyes closed, BUT SHE WAS BREATHING. I guarantee you that at that very moment she said the shortest prayer known to man: THANK YOU GOD.
So, why am I, the "real" mom sharing this story with you all? Because of that very reason...I'M REAL - AND THIS IS AS REAL AS IT GETS. When our children are on the line we find strength we never knew we had, knowledge we never came across in any book, courage to rival that of a Roman Gladiator. I don't think dads understand this, and truthfully, I don't even think WE understand it until we are FORCED into a situation where it is tested. Having said that, I urge you ALL to do the following things...
1. Hug your babies and loved ones extra tight tonight....even if your babies are grown...love on them....even if they give you the fuzzy eyeball and tell you how weird you are...LOVE ON THEM...you never know when they will be snatched from you.
2. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave your babies unattended around water. It was an honest mistake. We've all had a temporary lapse in judgment thinking 'oh - it's only a second', or 'oh - the water is not even high...he/she will be fine'. Did you know that a baby can drown in just AN INCH OF WATER? AN INCH! If you are giving a bath and realize you have forgotten to bring the towel in with you, use your own towel. If you're not comfortable with that, just carry your baby out of the bathroom naked and wet. She may shiver and scream, but she'll be WITH YOU.
3. LEARN INFANT/CHILD CPR!! This mommy didn't know it but thanks to the wonders of television and super-producer Michael Crichton, she was able to perform. But let's not rely on tv to save our babies lives. Find your local Red Cross, Parks and Recreation office, or YMCA and sign up for a class. And for those of you who don't have access to any of those, click here.
That is my post for the evening ladies. No punchline. No funny tags. Simply...love on your babies tonight. Remember how truly precious they are, and just how quickly they can be taken away from us.
I am going to go revel in my sweet baby's snoring. Good night.