Last night she choked. It's been a while since I felt that kind of fear. I was in the living room when she let out an ominous weak cry. Until then she was in the bedroom sleeping soundly with her bipap on, which unfortunately gives me a false sense of security. Then I heard the soft whimper that was trying it's best to be a shriek and I knew Charlie was trying her best to tell me that something was very wrong. I ran into the room. She was looking up at me with fear in her pink watery eyes and It was obvious she was having trouble breathing. I was immediately transported back to the ICU isolation room at Children's hospital and it was October of last year. I saw the doctor, her face distressed looking. I heard the words "you could just be walking along the seawall and it could happen there. Everything could seem fine, then there's a choke you can't clear..." For 48 second in the bedroom last night I thought this was it. This was the walk along the seawall and the choke I couldn't clear.
I suctioned, I patted her chest and back firmly...I suctioned, I patted her chest and back firmly, and over and over again. I kept asking Charlie if she was ok. Nothing. I asked her to repeat after me, "I love you momma." Nothing. "Do you need to be flipped? More suction?! Keep hitting your back?!" Nothing. And then something. Some whining. And some more whining. And then I asked her, "do you need more suction?" And she cried out, "Nooooo." Somewhere among all of the fairly controlled chaos I noticed the bipap humidity was off and that the water had leaked out everywhere. For a second I wondered if it had somehow drained into her...was she 'drowning'?! But how could that happen? Nooooooo. I realized that she was getting dry air blown in her face and eyes...causing the watery eyes and coughing. I fixed everything up, repositioned her and began to relax again.
I went to bed and snuggled her and wondered, "how is it humanly possible to love her exponentially more and more every single day when every single day I think I couldn't possibly love her more than I already do?" Like how does my heart and soul even began to fit all of it in there?? I love her so much I grit my teeth and clench my fists involuntarily whenever I think about it and whenever I tell her I do.
I ask Charlie every day, "Charlie, who loves you?" and she replies, "Momma does." "How much do I love you?" "This much!" she says, all pleased with herself that she knows the answer. "How much?" I repeat. "ummm, ummm..." She stammers. And I say, "to the moon annnnd..." "BACK!" Charlie exclaims. And throughout our day she'll randomly tell me, "I love you momma," And bat her pretty blue/gray eyes in my direction. It's as if she's intentionally trying to be the definition of adorable.
She has succeeded.