Just breathe

Every reflective blog post in the world cannot prepare me for today.

Every on top of my parenting game we’re getting out crap together assurance, it is nothing.

Today, after a few hours working at home whole jman played garages and made imaginary pasta dishes, we headed out for a big walk. We haven’t done it for ages, as he was in between able to walk a long way and willing to sit in the pram. it was a walk of the wear you out before you nap variety.

Today, we went for a nice combo of pram and running alongside the pram. Jman was cracking along, having a great time. I was walking along, ironically, thinking of all the other times I’d walked this particular path. Like when I’d just got off bed rest after five months, and felt like we would finally have a baby. Like when I ran this path, during IVF, burning off the stress running, listening to Gotye’s Eyes Wide Open. This path has seen a lot of changes.

And Jensen was loving the pedestrian over bridge, which looks down on six lanes of very exciting traffic. We left the road and followed the footpath through a bushy reserve to get onto the next bridge.

Then it happened. He was running. I was pretend running beside him, pushing the empty pram.

He tripped and fell. He face planted on the concrete. With an audible thunk .

I stopped and swept him into my arms. He was doing the silent, open mouthed, I’m really hurt cry. I was, cynically, using the open mouthed cry to check his teeth, scoped out his two face grazes and made plans to stop and clean them up with water and wipes.

Then he arched his back, almost in a complete U. He went very white. He threw his arms out, rigid and straight.

I leaned to lift his head back to my shoulder when it happened. His eyes rolled back in his head. He went limp. His chest stopped moving. I shook him. First aid course or no first aid course, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I screamed his name. I could hear the panic in my own voice, watching myself from outside, He eventually took a great, shuddering breath, but his head still lolled around, he wouldn’t make eye contact, and his eyes rolled backwards every few seconds.

Somehow in all of this, I grabbed my phone, which is often lost in the bottom of a big confusing handbag. Luckily I grabbed it quickly. I crouched down, cradling him in my lap. I dialled. But I was also outside myself saying this isn’t really happening. This isn’t real.

The woman on the phone was telling me to calm down, no, shouting at me to calm down, before I’d even said a word. She didn’t even know who I was calling about. My son. This son, who is not breathing.

So I’m sitting in the middle of a bush path, with Jman, head lolling, cradled in my lap. Trying to talk this idiot through where I am. I’m between two overpasses, but I’m nowhere, nowhere easy.

And I’m taking her through the directions, and time is passing. And he’s changing, minute to minute. A long time passes. And I hear a siren. Driving past. Driving past us.

It seems to go on forever. I’m telling him to look around, pointing out bird, planes. He is not responding. He is staring into space, or his head is lolling, or he is drifting off into a sleep I am not sure he will ever wake from.

There isn’t anything to prepare me for this. How can this be? The stupid operator is talking inane crap in my ear. She is distracting me from focusing on him, on his condition. I want to kill her. I want him to wake up.

And then a council van pulls up, with the ambulance following. Thirty minutes may have passed. The ambo runs down a grassy verge and jumps a six foot high cyclone wire fence to get to us.

And the council worker opens a gate on the fence. And eventually, I carry jman in my arms up the hill to the waiting ambulance. And he looks up, and speaks. “Ambulance! Police car!”. And I breathe.

And I breathe.

Finally, I ring hub-in-boots from inside the ambo. The council guy offers to drop our pram at home. They test his pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar. We head into emergency.

They observe him for four hours.
He has a late (missed) nap on the way home.
He is currently running around insanely and jumping on the bed.
I am currently drinking wine.

Just breathe.


15 thoughts on “Just breathe

  1. Ugh. I’m so glad he’s ok! Wow – how scary! That first big one takes years off your life, I swear. Ours was on my 36th birthday involving Freon poisoning causing non- stop vomiting and passing out. Scariest trip to the ER ever.

    Hugs to you. I know how you feel!

    1. Yes, the only thing I could think of was my cousin had a bad stpping breathing febrile convulsion with her firstborn, and now he’s. 17. I kept thinking of her, and what she told me about that day, and it sort of kept me going. So scary. Freon poisoning doesn’t sound very fun.

  2. Kerstin

    I knew it would turn out fine because of the way you are blogging about it but I still read it with a pounding heart. Next time, when my girl starts a silent cry and I check out her teath (totally doing that too), I will be thinking about you.

    1. Yes, totally surprised me how quickly something relatively simple could turn. I was still waiting for the big loud cry when he went limp. No first aid course quite prepared me for that. I was so totally calm about it all til he lost consciousness. Gah!

    1. Thank you. I was beyond terrified. Wine is helping but I think this one’s gonna take a couple of months to get over. (Years, lifetimes). I still can’t believe it happened.

  3. Oh my god, this is the most horrifying thing I’ve read in ages. I am so relieved your love is ok and I am so sorry you had to go through this. So much love to you all. xoxo.

    1. Sorry Belle. Needed a post emergency debrief! Thank you. I can confidently report that “reflex anoxic seizures” are not fun. I feel raw. No idea how I will cope with work tomorrow….I suspect I’ll bunk off early and sit and stare at a wall for a few hours. Luckily, jman is going great guns and is so happy and lively, and the bruise hardly even shows!

  4. I’m behind on my blog reading as well but just wanted to tell you how sorry I am you and jman had to go through that. I can’t even imagine how absolutely terrifying that must have been. Really. You handled it as well as you could and I’m so glad little man is doing better. I don’t know much about the seizure that he had – is it just something directly related to a fall? Deep breathing, and we are thinking of you.

    1. Thank you. It’s just one of those “why didn’t i….” Things you keep going over in your head, whereas the reality is “this is a horrible shitty uncontrollable situation which makes you feel exposed and vulnerable”. Yeah, some kids can have them in response to sudden pain, or a shock, or even seeing blood. The ambulance officer said his son has done it to him TWICE, and he was terrified. And he’s an AMBULANCE OFFICER!!!!! Their heart actually stops. They breathe out and out and out with the shock and forget to breathe in, their Vagas nerve is overloaded and just shuts down. Any other kind of trauma, blood, broken limbs, I think I’d be cool as a cucumber. This, not a chance.

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