The Day Sweet M Paused the World


Oh boy! What an eventful past few days we’ve had around here. 

Sweet M has been battling a cold and cough for the past two weeks, as have Miss H and I. I’m a pretty non-alarmist when it comes to illness, so other than popping in some essential oils in the diffuser and upping everyone’s vitamin C and zinc intake, I don’t typically do anything unless someone is really feeling poorly. 

Thursday was rough. Sweet M was just sad all day. 

I had several loads of clean laundry to put away (and just as many to wash!), so I had planned on getting Sweet M down for his afternoon nap and then slipping away to get that done. 

But as he fell asleep in my arms, his head nuzzled into my chest, I decided the laundry could wait and I just held my darling, sleeping baby. 

After a while it dawned on me that I wasn’t hearing his congested breathing nor did I feel the heave of his chest against mine. 

I looked down and his mouth was purple. The skin around it in a perfect ring coming away from his lips – purple. It was a sight I’d never seen before; one I didn’t truly realize could happen until that moment.

Instinctively, in what felt like slow motion as the world around me paused, I jerked him up and away from me. His eyes popped open and he gasped furiously for air. Then he began to cough violently, followed by deep sobs.

It’s the only time in my life that I’ve been so happy to hear one of my children cry.

I tried to no avail to reach J, hoping he’d put my mind at ease. So then I called the pediatrician, assuming they’d advise a wait and see approach as they often do. Instead, the asked me to come in immediately. 

I picked up Miss H from school on my way, and went straight to the pediatrician. 

They hooked him up to an oxygen monitor where his levels where in the 80s. The doc and I talked, where he ascertained it sounded as if he simply choked on some drainage in his sleep. He said it was a rare fluke and he didn’t anticipate it happening again. 

As Sweet M’s oxygen levels finally raised into the 90s, he told me it was a good thing I was holding him. He didn’t need to say more. My brain had all ready gone there.

If I’d laid him down and gone to do laundry like I have hundreds of times before, and he’d choked, maybe I’d have found him after it was too late. 

That’s so much to load me down. 

I know the “what if” game is a dangerous one, but it’s all too easy to get sucked into for those who deal with anxiety. 

We all know life is precious and can be snuffed out in a second, but we often live as if we are invincible anyway. Because we have to in order to live happy, productive, fulfilling lives. It’s simply necessary. 

But man. I had to sit with the realization that my baby is in fact not invincible. That’s a hard fact to stomach.

It did make Friday and today, when his cold finally included a fever and he was the saddest, neediest baby in the world a cake walk. I was all too happy to put the world on pause and love him up. 

Y’all, hug your babies tightly. Tell them you love them. Life is fragile and fleeting. 

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