My biggest regret so far as a Mother

It was a normal weekday night and we had Bruce’s brother over for dinner. Kayla has started eating with us at the “big table”, and Livvy was already sleeping. We started on mains, until I heard the monitor go off as Livvy had woken up. Normally I would try get her to go back to sleep, but I didn’t want to miss dinner.

I brought her downstairs and she joined us at the table with a teething treat which I had purchased that day. The box stipulates that it’s for 6months +, which Livvy was, but we were also watching her with it. I thought I was being a good Mother by introducing her to a new age-appropriate texture. She seemed happy.

But two minutes in and it all went horribly wrong, and my world got turned upside down and shaken around like a turbulent snow globe.

She starting gagging and going blue in the face, and everything just jumped into slow motion. I ran around the table to her faster than I’ve ever run before, and then it all hit me like a ton of bricks had fallen from the ceiling above me.

I started screaming; “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do!” “I’m going to lose her, because I don’t know what to do.”

We started off hitting her back, and then I realized it wasn’t working when I noticed that her body started going all limp. Bruce and I were in panic mode, and we felt helpless, so scared, and so alone. I couldn’t imagine my life without our Livvy, and I especially couldn’t imagine my life without her BECAUSE I couldn’t save her. How could I ever live with myself?

(I’m crying and shaking while I write this)

I eventually gave up trying everything we attempted, and resorted to shoving my hand down her throat. I managed to scoop a huge sticky clump out of her throat with my index fingernail, and she gasped deeply for air, followed by hysterical screaming. I scooped so far down her throat that she was bleeding badly. I hurt her.

Her colour finally started returning.

I was numb and silent for a while (I couldn’t talk), and then as soon as Bruce’s brother left I just burst into tears, and sat in an exhausted slump — so thankful that she’s okay but so fearful and so beyond guilty. I held her so close, and said sorry more times than I could count while shaking from what we had just experienced. 

I was so guilty because out of all the courses we had done (from nanny, play, reflux, sleep, solids etc.) — I had never done a course that could teach me how to safely keep my babies, family and loved ones alive. A course that could’ve taught me what to do in a time like this. A time that I never naively thought could happen to us.

I was ashamed to tell everyone about what happened, and then admit that I’ve never done a recent and proper CPR & First Aid Course. I felt like a useless Mother, and I had let my baby and family down. I was now paranoid and traumatized. But, I told everyone and I was somewhat brought to feeling “normal”, yet amazed and confused to find out how many Mothers, like me, have NEVER done a CPR & First Aid Course. It’s scary.

I’m not sure why I took the risk of never doing the course — maybe because I so wrongly didn’t want to pay the price of a few hundred rands to learn how to SAVE MY LOVED ONES? Sounds so shallow when I say it like that

I’m so thankful our Livvy is here today. But, I’m NEVER feeling unprepared again because I can FINALLY SAY that my Husband, Mom and myself did the best CPR and First Aid course for the whole family (also specializing in children) with Bub Hub & Company.

My Nanny did one at the Bub Hub Studio with other nannies, which means most of us who care for my babies are prepared.

Bub Hub kindly reached out to me when this awful incident happened, because I am part of the incredible Bub Hub mom community. I’ve been part of it since Kayla was born, and it’s been my MOMHOOD-home, where I’ve learnt everything through their courses and talks, and met nearly all of my closest mom-friends. They had always made me aware of the CPR course, and as I said earlier – I did them all, except this one!


But, they organized for Hayley, their head CPR & First Aid instructor, to come to my house to finally do the course.

It was so beneficial doing it with my Husband and Mom.

Hayley is the most amazing instructor. She has three children, and is specialized in Emergency Paramedics and is registered as for Intermediate Life Support with HPCSA. The stories and information are all eye opening, and invaluable.

We walked away feeling educated, comforted, and finally PREPARED. It was seriously fun and simulating.

I learnt that everything I did that night was WRONG, and I now know what to do in a choking situation. Please don’t scoop down your child’s throat, as you can lodge the blockage further down. As I said, I got “lucky”, but it could’ve been a fatal move.

We practiced on how to get it up and out on the dolls, and tried it on Livvy.

We also learnt how to handle chocking on kids and adults, who are heavier and bigger:

But we also now know what to do when it comes to drowning, seizures, poisonings, cuts and broken bones, unresponsiveness, burns, heart attacks, and head injuries etc.

And we learnt how to properly do CPR on infants, kids & adults — the updated way.

I actually did a CPR course at school, and my Mother did one as part of her teaching training. So, while both expired anyway, we learnt that it was so outdated, and things have really changed now. Hence, don’t think because you did one in the past, you covered.

And to think I had the wrong and slowest (for my location) Ambulance numbers in my contact list!

We got educated on APPs we should have on our phone, and how to team tag when in an emergency. We learnt about an AED (which I didn’t even know existed) – as well as how to use one to keep someone alive, where to find it, and how best to use it on kids.

We ended off going through which FIRST AID supplies we should have at home, and how to use them in different situations.

Basic things like which bandage is used for what; to how to support a sprain or broken bone at home until at the hospital. We also learnt about things we should watch out for at home, which bring on the highest risks for drownings, chocking, burns etc. Some of these things were really surprising!

My children and family are my life, and so this is the most beneficial course we have EVER done.

Thank you Tara and Delia from Bub Hub, as well as as Hayley who is the official CPR & First Aid Head Instructor for Bubhub. What you offer is life changing in so many ways, and I’m so fortunate for your community.

And now that we’ve done it, I can safely say that it’s beyond affordable and valuable for what you get and take away. It’s priceless. We still can’t stop talking about it, and it was the best thing doing it with my husband!

We walked away with a ton of Discovery points, a certificate, a manual, a life saving document to live on my fridge, and more knowledge and skills than I can ever EVER put into words. 

I want to create awareness around this because I don’t want it to be TOO LATE for you, like it nearly was for us.

As Hayley said; most humans only do something once they’ve gone through the traumatic experience — and that’s when it’s often too late. 

Livvy is still with us, and we so fortunate we can care for her now with confidence, knowledge & skill. As well as all our loved ones, and people who cross our path.

See the Bub Hub Broadacres course dates for April ’19 below, or enquire about a studio closer to you, such as Sandton, Kyalami, or Cradle of Humankind:

Or click on these links to follow Bub Hub on Facebook or Instagram.

Something that I also love is that once you join their community by doing a course; you’ll also be added to Bub Hub Babble — a Facebook Group with all their moms to ask advice and make friends.

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