An Unexpected Choking Encounter

I don't know how many times I have thought about what I would do if Amari ever started choking on his food during meal times. What would I do? How would I react? Would I be able to perform the baby Heimlich Maneuver on my own son? Would I remain clam in a scary situation like that? The answer to all of my questions was yes...

Tonight Amari choked on a piece of tortellini because he didn't chew it before trying to swallow it. Whenever I feed him pasta for dinner I make sure that I cut the pasta into smaller pieces but I must have missed one because it was the one that got stuck in his wind pipe. I heard a horrible gagging sound (one that all of my CPR instructors had told me about during my re-certification trainings) and saw the horror struck look on his face an instantly knew that he was choking. I dropped what I was doing in the kitchen and went to him. I grabbed him out of his booster seat and tossed his table to floor (tortellini and pasta sauce all over my newly cleaned carpet) and flipped him so he was upside down and pointing towards the ground head first and smacked him hard on his back two times until I no longer heard the horrible gagging sound and he started to fuss a little. I sat him on my knee and did the finger swipe to get the tortellini out of his mouth and sighed with relief. My sweet precious prince was okay. I didn't start freaking out until afterwards.

Instinctively, I knew what to do. I remembered everything that I had learned in my trainings over the past ten years and I remained calm and was able to preform the baby Heimlich Maneuver on my son effectively and safely. I hope I never have to perform it on him again and I hope that Amari has learned to chew his food all the way before trying to swallow it. At the end of the day, he was probably more afraid than I was... My calmness kept him calm and his safety is all that matters to me.