Seven Seconds

The first time your little baby tries solids is such a momentous occasion. It is so exciting to see his reaction as he tastes something other than the milk he has been drinking for months. The faces he makes are certainly photograph-worthy. It opens doors to a whole other world our son will enjoy exploring for years to come.

Last month, during an otherwise enjoyable sweet potato meal, my world crumbled in front of my very eyes as I experienced the scariest seven seconds of my life. My little boy gagged initially, and I responded by rubbing his back. Within a millisecond, he was blue in the face. With his eyes staring at me in silent horror, it was clear he was choking. Not knowing what to do, I pressed firmly on his belly in a heimlich-like fashion which resulted in his meal projecting outward. A gasping second later, I heard the most beautiful sound – crying. 

He was breathing. And so was I. 

The sheer panic, fear, and intensity of those seven seconds is something I cannot describe. I am not one to fall apart in a state of emergency, but this was something else. This was a state of desperation and exigency like I had never experienced before. 

Later that day when recalling the events that had occurred, I broke down and wept. I wept with a sense of vulnerability I could not understand. 

Child birth had left its mark on me. Physically, I may have healed. Slowly I am a beginning to see a familiar woman looking back at me in the mirror. Mentally, I have wholeheartedly accepted my new found responsibilities as a mother, and am beginning to wrap my head around how to manage it all. But, emotionally, I am left with an open wound; a wound so deep and raw that even the faintest touch leaves me silently screaming in heart-wrenching pain. 

In mere seconds, this baby came into our lives. And, forever, I am changed. Every news report about a missing child is no longer just about a child. It is now about a child just like mine. It brings a lump to my throat and wells up my eyes because I can’t help but think what if that was my baby. I can’t help but say a silent prayer for that poor mother who is going through the unthinkable. 

Becoming a mother has opened my eyes and my heart to a world that I never knew existed. I experience joy like never before when I see him play, laugh, and learn. I experience love like never before when he falls asleep in my arms. And, unfortunately, part and parcel of being a mother, I experience fear, worry, and pain like never before. Even if it is just for seven seconds, it lasts for far too long. 

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

4 thoughts on “Seven Seconds

  1. Now I've got a lump in my throat, and my eyes are welled up. You've described the mother's heart to a T. Thanks for sharing.

  2. "emotionally, I am left with an open wound; a wound so deep and raw that even the faintest touch leaves me silently screaming in heart-wrenching pain."THIS. This line right here is why I can't wait for you to find time in your busy mom life to write a book. The emotion in your words has me in tears.

  3. Very touching!I just read this blog. I could picture exactly what must have happened right at that moment. You told me when I was there, but I didn't think it was that serious! Written words have more power, I guess!

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