You know my fear of choking? Specifically, Baby Boy choking?
He has almost done it.
And every time, I almost have a heart attack.
Two weeks ago, he stuffed too many puffs in his mouth and started to sputter. He wasn’t actually choking, but it was terrifying. If Darling Husband hadn’t been right there, telling me he was fine, I would have probably called 9-1-1.
Baby Boy coughed a couple of times, and suddenly a little vomit-y gush ran down his chin. He was fine. But I stopped giving him puffs.
He did the same thing the next day with a NumNum cookie. I stopped giving him cookies.
He never chokes on Cheerios, so I kept giving him those. Slowly I felt less anxious about it all, and I started giving him puffs and cookies again. I wished I could just keep giving him purees — food that is guaranteed not to get stuck in his throat! — but he was becoming insistent on only wanting finger foods.
And then we introduced the baby pancakes, which he loved. He tried noodles (chopped into minuscule pieces) with butter the other night, and absolutely devoured them. His little fists were shiny with butter, and he kept packing them in. He just loved them.
And then he started sputtering.
I can’t even fully describe how I feel when this happens. My chest tightens up. I feel panicky. I lean over his highchair and try to ask, calmly, “Are you OK?” I stand still and wait for him to cough it up, but I’m half a second away from ripping off the tray and flipping him over my arm, if necessary.
He coughed on the noodles for a few seconds, and then the vomit-y gush came. He picked up another noodle and popped it in his mouth like nothing happened, while I tried to stop my heart from pounding so hard.
Baby Boy is going to keep working on finger foods. He has to — he’s definitely moving past the purees. But I need to work on them, too.
I’m going to sign up for an Infant CPR course, so I can hopefully feel more confident that I could help him if it became necessary. I learned the basics years ago, but it doesn’t feel like enough.
I’m going to keep being very careful about the foods I give him, cutting them into very small pieces, and watching him closely when he eats.
And most of all, I’m going to try to relax a little.