Sunday, December 22, 2013
#1 - Journal Entry from December 19, 2010
We got home from church about 1:00. I got to teach the 3 and 4 year olds about Jesus's birthday and act out the story with the nativity pieces. Bryer was fussy, but not anymore than the rest of the weekend. I realized yesterday that the coffee cake I've been snacking on the last two days has milk in it. It doesn't seem to matter how far down on the ingredient list it is, Bryer's tummy will always let me know when I've had milk products that get into my milk and upset her. I try to be careful about what I eat, but this slipped by me.
Our two older boys walked the two blocks home with their friend and were already changing into snow clothes by the time I drove home with the little kids. The older ones let me know that the snow was more important than lunch right then. I got the kids unloaded and started making sandwiches for lunch. I carried Bryer around with me while I tried to make lunch. I was having a hard time spreading peanut butter on the bread one handed, so I laid her down in the crook of the couch for a just a minute. She did not like being out of my arms and wailed until I got the sandwiches made and went back to get her. As I finished up lunch she fell asleep flopped in my arms. I gave Piper and Walker their lunch and went upstairs to lay Bryer down.
I pulled the blankets back to expose the sheet on our bed. Then I laid a fleece baby blanket down one-handed so the cold sheet wouldn't startle her warm cheek when I put her down on her tummy. Piper (4 years old) and Bryer (2 1/2 months old) share a room, but Bryer usually takes naps on our bed so Piper can still play in her room and not wake up Bryer.
I went back downstairs to check on the other kids. The older boys' friend came in and needed to use the bathroom. I asked him to leave his snowy boots at the door. He quickly used the bathroom and went back out to play. I ate lunch and talked with Piper and Walker as they ate. Walker started taking his diaper off - a sure sign our 'potty-training-in-limbo' 2 year old needed to use the bathroom, so I took him upstairs and put him on the toilet. I went back downstairs and took Jason's lunch out to the older boys and asked them to take it down to the church for him, as he would be at the church for another few hours in meetings.
I cleaned up lunch while Piper played in the toy room balcony upstairs. I heard Walker playing too so I went up to put a diaper back on him. Once at the top of the stairs, I decided to check on Bryer first. It was typical for her to wake up shortly after being laid down. At 2 1/2 months old, her transition from constant womb movement had not settled in yet, and the tummy ache fussiness was not helping her sleep schedule. She liked to be carried best of all - sleeping or not. I stepped through the cracked door to peek on her. As I checked on her from a distance I thought, "That little stinker. She rolled over onto her back like she did the other day." She was still quietly asleep though so I crept back out. As I stepped away from the door, something did not feel right. Call it a gut feeling; call it the Holy Ghost; call it mother's intuition; whatever that initial feeling was, I began to reason that if she had rolled over, she would have been awake to do it and would not have gone back to sleep. I walked back in to get a closer look. Her arms were flopped out and so relaxed, unusual for her since she only slept on her tummy. As I got closer I noticed her ear was a purple color. She was not breathing. Another of our kids has had seizures and I thought maybe that was the case, so I rolled her onto her side to keep her airway clear and did a mouth sweep. Her body just flopped over as I rolled her on her side, no muscle tone, no rousing wakeful baby.
I scooped her up in my arms and took her downstairs to find my cell phone, which was almost dead. I called 911 and laid her down in the living room on our area rug to start CPR. She made a gasping sound about that time. I tried to find a pulse in the bend of her tiny neck, but couldn't. I remember being conflicted - if she had gasped, wouldn't her heart be beating? My thoughts were interrupted with Piper asking about Bryer. I asked her to go outside and tell the older boys to run to the church and get Jason. I proceeded to do chest compressions. I was CPR certified just 6 months prior in preparation for our church's Girls Camp. Having to use my training on my own child had never crossed my mind, but my knowledge took over. Piper came in to tell me that the boys weren't out there. I instructed her to go wait out in the front of the house and wave her arms around when a policeman or ambulance came. Time was of the essence as my baby girl gasped for air while I anticipated help to arrive.