I was feeling sorry for myself today, up until very recently. I had fed Raynor, who is now six months old (a very exciting time for parents) and he had choked on a piece of banana. He coughed, I grabbed him out of his Bumbo, and he promptly vomited breast milk, avocado and banana onto his chair, the floor, and me. Avocado came out of his nose, which must have hurt. He cried, I comforted him, nursed him, and then freaked out in front of the computer while Googling choking in infants, food aspiration, collapsed lungs and other terrible things.
It came to the point that I actually became scared that Raynor wasn’t in fact sleeping in my arms but was unconscious or worse. So I woke him up.
He was, and is, very much alive. So much so that later on in the day, even his poop seemed to have a life of its own, sneakily escaping out of the diaper and onto our bed. I had to sacrifice a onesie.
After that fiasco, I proceeded to lock the two of us outside of the house with only my car keys and cell phone. I was fairly presentable except for my shoes – ragged Reef slippers covered in paint and years (yes, years) of dirt.
I have spare keys with Raynor’s godmother, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law. Everyone was out of town, except for my sister-in-law, who promised she could get me the spare in a couple of hours. Cool, I thought.
So I headed to Nordstrom‘s, the best place to go if you have a baby because they have tasty and healthy food at the restaurant, and a decent breastfeeding lounge. This is true for any Nordy’s. So I traipsed through the store in my ugly shoes, used a credit card I found in my car to buy a sandwich at the cafe, and loafed around the Mother’s Lounge for what seemed like an eternity (four hours) before getting back into my home.
When I got home, I was exhausted. Normally after a tough day, I seek some sort of escape – alcohol, coffee, a nap. With breastfeeding, since Raynor refuses a bottle, alcohol and caffeine are out of the question, as was a nap at 7pm. So I blogged instead. Here’s the result, and a few more things I realized:
1) Yesterday was a tiring day, but possibly the best day of my life. Raynor could have choked and something more serious could have happened. So I learned the infant heimlich maneuver and committed it to memory.
2) At the end of the day, all it takes is for a sweet smile from my baby and somehow everything is ok. His grins are like magical spells. Again, I must be the luckiest person in the world if I can feel that much elation and love from a simple smile.
3) Sometime’s it’s better to do exactly the opposite of what you feel like doing. I could have taken a nap at 7pm since Raynor was sleeping, but I tend to like to escape from stress. Maybe a good stretch for me is to face the stress head-on from an evaluative perspective – or at least, not run away from it. I was reading David Allen‘s Getting Things Done book, and it points out that we should be mindful of the things that cause us to overreact, and also the things that cause us to under-react.
It took me a while to finish this blog post, but I won’t forget the lessons of this day.