May 17, 2010

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

Today is Monday. And I almost didn't live to see it.

I know I tend to be dramatic at times and so you often have to take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but with my hand in the air I tell you, I almost didn't live to see today.

Last night at 5:30 my family almost became a horrible statistic.

It had been a wonderful afternoon; after-church napping followed by some pool time and cold watermelon. Aaahhh. The best part of it was I was able to sit comfortably in my chair reading my People magazine while The AG and Poppie did all the necessary cheering for kids who slid down the slide, jumped off the side and actually made it out of the pool in time to use the bathroom. It had been a good time.

As we were just about to head in I removed Rocco's swim diaper, wrapped him up in a towel (which he promptly tossed aside) and turned to answer my dad's question, "Are these towels yours or mine?" "Their mine. Just leave them there."

That was all I said.

That was all it took.

My head had been turned for four, maybe five seconds, and there he was. Rocco. At the bottom of the pool.

We never heard a splash. We never heard a sound. It was as if he was right there on the sidewalk walking to the house. And then he wasn't. It happened just like that. Four seconds, maybe five. Instantly.

When I looked up all I saw was some floating blond hair and little fingers reaching up out of the water. I remember leaping up from my chair, running to the water and then stopping. Not moving. I couldn't move. My legs were lead. I can swim. What was I doing? Jump in, idiot! But I couldn't. I was frozen. All I did was scream and scream. I just screamed, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!"

My dad jumped in the water and instantly Rocco was out. There was no coughing or gasping, no crying or spitting up water. Just Rocco taking a few deep breaths and resting his head on my shoulder. My heaving, crying, sobbing shoulder.

"Mama's got you. Mama's got you. Mama's got you."

I couldn't say it enough. I still can't. Mama's got you. Mama's got you.

He looked at me and he knew, Momma is just as scared as I was. But he never showed it. I did.

Later that night we gave him a bath and he never flinched at the water. Never screamed, "No! No!" Never acted traumatized or shocked. Just Rocco.

After it happened - "the incident" as we call it - I told everyone I needed a moment. I went to my room and locked my door. I remember last summer how little he was when we took him to his ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) classes. I remember watching them put him under water in all of his clothes and shoes and how he had to learn to hold his breath and float on his back. I remember thinking that I hoped the day never came when he had to put those lessons into play. And as I lay across my bed last night sobbing at the thought of losing him, of looking away, of running to the side and freezing, I remember that when he came up out of the water there was no gasping, no spitting water or throwing up water - none of it.

He had held his breath the whole time.

He had been holding his breath.

And suddenly I said the only word that had been so present on my lips: "Jesus. Jesus. Jesus."
And then after a moment. After I pulled myself together. After a good long cry. I also said: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

And then I stood up and took a looooong, deep breath.

Because as a momma you know: life is simply holding your breath until the next time you need His protection.

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes:
keep sound wisdom and discretion:
So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
Proverbs 3:21-23


Cyndy Bush said...

Oh...I have chills. Amazing! I'm so glad he took that glad Jesus heard your cries.

Alison said...

Oh wow, I'm so glad Rocco is okay. What a scary, scary thing to deal with.

Sissy said...

I'm glad all is well. That is one scary story.

ugagirl30 said...

Girl, I know you were scared. We were at the pool Saturday and my 6 year old was walking all over the shallow end when she accidentally slipped down into the deep end. And I can't swim, but luckily there were people just a couple of feet away who pulled her out. She was the same as Rocco--right back in and no fear! Thank you, Jesus, that they are both okay!

Beth McC. said...

I cabt believe that! My friend just put her baby in that class! I am so glad everything worked out- how scary!

Wade's World said...

I'm shaking just reading your story. I'm so glad that he was okay.

Rae said...

Oh my heart hurst that you had to walk that road yesterday- even if it were what seemed like a never ending road that onyl lasted a few moments. Every year i update my infant, child, and adult cpr & first aid training, thinking "I've had this for more years than i can count and have never had to use it- why am I updating it yet again? Oh yeah, cause work says I have to." But it's reminders like this that whisper a gentle thakns for a job that requires the training. You never know when you might have to use it. I do encourage all parents or workers with children to get the training- it's invaluable. It saves lives.

I've heard many many great things abotu the infant water classes. So greatful that again, it also helped save a life.

It's easy to get caught in the fear the memory invoked, but let me encourage you to hang on to that memory of thankfullness, as a daily reminder of God's infallible grace.

And thank you for my daily reminder- God is SO good.

Karen Carter said...

Trust me when I say you will relive that moment for years. My oldest Travis had this happen but we were at the lake and I could barely see the top of his head. It took literally 3 seconds and I went over and over it for years. What if...But I had to always thank Jesus for turning my head and making me look that way, and for saving my baby boy. I will be praying for you soooo much that as you think about it you will see Gods mighty grip every time! Love and hugs Karen~

Heather said...

What a powerful post. So sorry for those fearful moments, but so glad God held you and your son in His Son's arms.

Bree Shaw said...

HOLY COW! I now have chills.... i know exactly what you are going through. i have been there and done it. they are just gone in an instant. the one my son jumped in had a pool cover that went over the whole pool. had we not seen him jump in, he could have gotten under that cover and we would have never known where he was. scary!!! glad it turned out ok.

Maurie said...

Praise God your darling is living, breathing...Nothing, absolutely nothing hurts a mama more than to see one of her children hurt. I know...

MBush said...

Praising the good Lord your little man is ok!

Anonymous said...

So glad my little cousin is ok and so glad that I just yesterday renewed my CPR License. Hope I never have to use it! Love you Roc!!!!


Rhonda said...

Oh wow. Those are the moments we, as parents, can do without. But do they ever make us stop and appreciate everything, don't they?

This happened to Olivia at a waterslide. The doophus at the top of the slide didn't stop her and it was just a short slide, so I thought it was okay for kids. I was still putting down our towels and looked up to see her sliding down. And then going under. The guy at the top just watched her struggle. I ran over and jumped in the pool and grabbed her. While the guy kept watching. The lifeguard had only noticed when she saw me running and jumping into the pool. I made sure she knew exactly what I thought of the character manning the slide.

Yup. Those moments. Unfortunately, it did affect Olivia and she wouldn't go in the water the rest of the day. I had them reimburse me for the day. Sigh...

natalie said...

Oh, heart is beating so fast. So thankful everything is ok.

katy said...

How incredibly scary...WOW...I had to shed a few tears. Amazing that he held his breath, that smart, sweet boy. Reminds me when my oldest was a toddler and I put him to bed, he kept making lots of noise, I kept going to lay him back down and told him to be quiet...the last time he finally got quiet, but something didn't feel right (Momma's intuition!)...I went in his room again, to find him holding his throat with both hands, big eyes...I yelled to ask him what was wrong, but he couldn't make any noise. I tilted his head back and looked in, I saw something and did what I've been "told not to do in that situation"...I scooped my finger down in his throat, I pulled out a little hair clippy of mine. I stayed calm long enough to get him asleep...then I went and had a breakdown all by myself. I am so thankful God was watching over him/us that night...and for the nudge He gave me to go check on my boy even though he was finally quiet like I'd told him to thankful. So very thankful your handsome little man is ok, too...God bless you guys!!!

becky s said...

Oh my goodness - brought terror to my mama's heart. And a few tears. So glad he's okay & that he knew to hold his breath. Wow.

Amber Benge said...

I just found your blog and this first post made me cry! I'm so glad your baby was okay... I can't imagine how scared you must have been.

Melissa said...

Oh girl. There is nothing scarier.
I was in the pool with the kids. Lauren wanted a snack. She took her wings off, got out of the pool and went to eat some apple slices. I took a swim to the deep end and when I turned around she was bobbing in and out of the pool gasping for breath. It literally took seconds. She couldn't hold herself up and I couldn't get to her fast enough. She did get some water in her, but once we got her out of the pool, she coughed it out. I spent the rest of the day in and out of sobs.
I wish I had know about ISR when my kids were little.
God is so good.