Sobering wake up call

What a day!

You know generally I believe I’m a good, (although only human!) careful, and sometimes overly cautious mummy, with always the best intentions for my two very loved and precious girls. I’m always the one in the family to scowl or comment if I think something is ever so slightly dangerous or harmful, or if I feel uneasy about a situation.  So today I feel as though I’ve had a hard slap round the face and that its time to wake up and sort things out.

Earlier I had to call the emergency services as Ella, my 11 month old, was gasping for breath having I assumed, got something stuck in her throat.


She’s totally mobile now and very fast, all I did was nip out to the bathroom for a split second to stop the bath tap, and with that Holly came running into the room shouting “Mummy, Mummy, Ella’s in trouble”.

I ran back to Ella to find her gasping, choking and generally looking totally scared and panicked.   And that’s when I went into panic mode too. The first thing I impulsively did was the one thing they say not to do – I put my finger into her mouth to see if I could find and hopefully remove the item she was choking on.

I felt something plasticky (I think) so tried frantically to retrieve it.  Again, the worst possible thing they say you can do. As I realised this wasn’t going to work, I turned her onto her stomach over my arm and gave her back a couple of slaps.
Now this, they advise, is the first thing you should do – although the guy on the end of the 999
call told me expressively twice not do this!!  Very confusing!!

The paramedics arrived within minutes, by which time I think Ella must have swallowed the item as she seemed to be breathing normally again, with hindsight, it appears unfortunately aided by her very naive mother!  I felt awful.

The next part which made me feel like a bad mother was when they asked to see the room in which she’d been playing when the incident happened, just so they might be able to hazard a guess as to what it was she swallowed.  I showed them into my bedroom, and was thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed at the state of the floor – there were toys everywhere! Holly had been putting on a ‘show’ for us only five minutes before it all happened, and she’d left trails of toys everywhere.  Not large toys either. Toys with smaller accessories – although I must admit, I didn’t think them too small to be a choking hazard.

The paramedic team were amazing and stayed with me for an hour just to go through all the checks to ensure Ella was going to be ok, and then made an appointment for us with our family doctor just for a second opinion that Ella was out of danger.  They did wonder at one point whether we needed to go in the ambulance with them to the hospital to get an X-ray, but supposedly this rarely happens now, and if the item was plastic, it wouldn’t show on the X-ray anyway.

Once all had calmed down, my husband had arrived home, and we’d put the kids to bed, I fell apart.  I think its a mummy thing – in a crisis you go into ‘care’ mode and put your own feelings aside. But when all is well again, thats when that barrier comes down and the floodgates well and truly open!!

I’m sat here now, typing and wondering if I’m doing everything the wrong way.  Is it just me who leaves her baby in one room just for a few seconds to go and turn the bath tap off or do other mothers do this too?  Should I physically have Ella (and even Holly for that matter!) with me in the same room at all times?  99% of the time I actually do – and I’m quite a nightmare for it.  But it really did take just that split second when I only dashed for a minute to the bathroom.

I do find it hard when Holly is wanting to play with her toys, as Ella wants to join in too.  My sister has nicknamed Holly, The Tasmanian Devil (after the cartoon if you’re of the right age!!) which I must say is pretty spot on.  And Ella is fast becoming known as the ‘wrecking-ball’!


Playtime together is carnage sometimes.

If I’m honest, I’ve probably become a little lax having had a second baby, which I must say I hear all the time from fellow mums.  With the first baby, the house was spotless and practically everything was bubble wrapped to avoid  accidents, but with the second child (or indeed any further children you are graced with), things are little more relaxed.

In the end it all worked out ok for us – but things could have been horribly worse.  So with that I need to sit and think about how to keep on top of everything and just put today down to a very hard learning experience.  One to learn quickly from and hopefully never to repeat again.

That said – I’m now on nappy watch for the next few days!!

Lessons learnt and new house rules:

  • Book a first aid course!!
  • De-clutter
  • Divide and box everything up
  • Play boxes for Holly
  • Play boxes for Ella with safety approved toys
  • Only one play box to come out at a time
  • Walk the house and look for potential hazards
  • Encourage Holly to tidy up after herself


Linking up with Honest Mum for this weeks fabulous Brilliant Blog Posts #brillblogposts

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  1. 15th May 2016 / 11:24 pm

    Thank goodness everything was alright I’m the end! You must have been in a a right state but you’re not the only one to nip out for a moment when you think it’s ok. We all do it. Would you take both to the bathroom with you every time too? It’s not easy! I’ve just had a second baby and have an 18 month old so worry sick about what might happen as my eldest is still too little to understand or
    Communicate much. Will need eyes in the back of my head! Thanks s much for your tips based on your experience – I’ll get onto this myself!! Xx

  2. Mandy bell
    21st August 2015 / 12:20 pm

    This terrifies me! My son is 3 months old an d I have 5 and 6 year old daughters. Their room is full of Lego, playmobil, tiny Anna and Elsa shoes…. I have no idea how to manage this once the boy is crawling!
    Must have been so frightening for you.

  3. 9th July 2014 / 9:29 pm

    How frightening for you all, Oliver put a bottle top in his mouth when a toddler and I managed to retrieve it, really must book a first aid course too! So glad you guys are all ok. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    • 10th July 2014 / 2:35 pm

      It was horrendous! And I’m not sure what was going through my head – but alls well that ends well. So glad your experience had a happy ending also. Can’t wait to link up again!! Thank you for hosting xx

  4. franglaisemummy
    3rd July 2014 / 9:30 pm

    What an awful time for you! I cannot begin to imagine what you must have gone through. This type of thing worries me all the time, so we have a playpen in the living room and if I need to go out of the room I put our 19 month old in there as I know that she can’t hurt herself in there. I’m the only person I know who has one but I love the peace of mind it brings me.

    • 4th July 2014 / 5:19 am

      I think your brilliant for having a play pen – in hind sight I wish I’d had one too – although it may have been trickier with the older one about also. It’s definitely a really good habit to get into though – as you could save yourself an awful lot of worry!! I say start a new trend!!

  5. 3rd July 2014 / 8:47 pm

    What a fright! I’ve been on first aid courses with work and know that the first thing to do is 5 back slaps, but I guess your instinct would be to have a look and see if you could get the item out. Thank goodness she’s ok. I’ve had one instance where I panicked with my son who was choking on food when he was weaning and after a few back slaps he vomited up everywhere. But it gave me such a scare. I was at the front door of my house about to run out & start shouting for help when he puked!

    • 4th July 2014 / 5:26 am

      I admire you for having done the first aid course – I’m still to do one and slapping my wrists for still not having done it! It’s the scariest thing ever isn’t it and although we may have a slight inkling as to what we need to do – we really want someone there to help. I’m so pleased all worked out for you too. X

  6. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    3rd July 2014 / 6:41 pm

    Aww you poor thing, it sounds terrifying! Unfortunately you just can’t be with them every second of the day, it is not humanly possible! I can totally imagine how much harder it is to keep everything out of reach with a second child too, we have number 2 on the way and a 21/2 year old and I can safely say our house is not babyproofed anymore. Will it ever be again! I am really really glad to hear all worked out ok in the end, I wonder what she swallowed!! xx #brilliantblogposts

    • 3rd July 2014 / 6:51 pm

      Oh how lovely to have a baby on the way – I get rather broody, but have been told we can’t afford another one!! You are right – it is very hard looking after two children of such young ages (you will find out soon – when’s due date??). All I can say is, as soon as your little one starts to get a bit more mobile – literally batten down the hatches!! Ok – slight over exaggeration there – but definitely sort the current toys and have different boxes for different play times etc. We really found it worked, and just wish we’d started earlier!! Can’t wait to hear more from your blog!!

  7. 3rd July 2014 / 11:27 am

    Oh gosh you poor poor thing. My heart was beating so fast when I read this…the very thought of it terrified me so you absolutely did your best and stayed amazingly calm in the situation. You should be proud of yourself rather than beating yourself up. Mistakes happen all the time and you cannot possibly watch over your children all the time. Be kind to yourself and think about the fact that you stayed calm enough to call the emergency services. I made a mistake this week too…a different kind of mistake but I still felt awful about it. You can read about that on my blog!

    • 3rd July 2014 / 3:12 pm

      Yes – it was truly awful. And looking back I’m not sure really how we get through these things – we just do I suppose – but I know more now just in case, god forbid, anything were to happen again. I read about your mistake too – and as you said to me – you should not blame yourself. These things happen and just make us stronger better mummies than the ones we were before.

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