Adventures in Churchery

I wrote this a couple of days ago…
Day one without the husband, only 8 more to go:
I’m back from church, for which I had to get ready and endure without help. We skipped Sacrament Meeting cuz the baby was cranky and I didn’t think I could handle him alone. We got there in time for the rest of the classes though. My 6 year old goes to Primary, the baby (20 months old) goes to Nursery, while I go to two adult classes.
After my first class, I went to the bathroom and ran into one of the nursery teachers carrying my youngest son around. He was sad in class so she took him out for a bit. But once he saw me, there was no escaping back to adultland. I could have gone into his nursery class with him, but my friend was teaching and I wanted to hear her lesson. So I took the baby and his snack to my class.
As we were singing the opening hymn, the baby started coughing. He had a pretzel go down wrong. So he’d cough, cough, breathe, cough, cough, breathe. I patted his back, and stuck my finger in his mouth and he’d cough up something. Breathe and swallow. (All during the song). Then he’d start again: cough, cough, breathe, cough, cough, breathe. I kept trying to see what was making him cough and get it out. Each time he’d stop coughing for a few seconds, breathe, and swallow, and I would think things were ok. But he’d start coughing again.
Then he started crying and coughing and making this gagging sound. The song ended and the opening prayer was being said. I stood up to better get a hold of the situation. The lady behind me told me to lift his arm. So I did. But he is a baby and didn’t keep his arm up. (Heh.)
Now, if he was merely crying, I would have taken him out of the room to not disturb others. But since this was more than that, I wasn’t leaving that room. My MIL once told me that you should never leave the room with a choking baby because while you are outside with the baby alone, not knowing what to do, the baby could die. Actually, a doctor told my MIL this. And think about it for a minute. Kinda makes sense, right? People are so worried about not disturbing others, that they rush out of the room not realizing how serious the situation could be.
So, we’re in the middle of prayer, I am standing with a coughing/gagging/crying baby trying to get him to stop. Finally the prayer is over (it was short. We were disruptive, which is not condusive to long prayers.) and the leader starts talking about the lesson. The baby threw up a little bit at this point. I said, “Does anyone know anything about a choking baby?”
While I think I said it calmly, in thinking how people were treating me afterwards, I probably screamed it a bit hysterically. Someone said, “You got to take him out!” I vehemently replied, “I am not leaving this room!” A bunch of women gathered around me and I went out into hall, down to the kitchen the with them. As soon as the prayer was over, someone jumped up and ran to get a woman who is a nurse, who met us in the kitchen. My friend, the one teaching the lesson, came to the kitchen with me. I joked, “I stole the teacher.” (So I must not have been too upset.) The baby was still coughing and gaging and a minute later he threw up for real. The nurse helped clean him up and me up. Everyone else left. She checked him over and said he was fine. The baby finally calmed down and is all better.
During the start of the coughing/choking fit, because he was actually coughing, I didn’t want to interupt that and makes things worse. She said I did the right thing, that “you should trust your gut.” I said, “I did the right thing by doing nothing?” She said yes.
I took the baby to the gym where the other mursery kids were playing. He was really clingy but eventually left me to go play. He was easily frustrated and frequently got upset though so I never made it back to my class. Awhile later, one of the church leaders came looking for me to make sure we were ok. Wasn’t that nice?
After church was over, I had to go back to my classroom to get my stuff. Several women stopped me and said, “The baby seems fine. How are you?” (Which makes me think that I wasn’t actually as calm as I had hoped.) Embarrassed about the scene I caused, I had to explain why I wasn’t going to leave the room. Someone said, “Now you know why. You’re so busy feeling the emotions of the moment that you forget what you are supposed to do.” However, I never really felt the baby was in danger. He wasn’t choking, like in need of the Hymlick. But the situation was taking longer to get under control than it should, that is why I asked (screamed?) for help. Everyone said that I did the right thing by staying in the room and asking for help. One woman came up to me with tears in her eyes (maybe my friend’s lesson was really good?) and apologized to me, cuz she was in the front of the room and she wanted so badly to get to me. Her daughter is the one who went for the nurse, so she knew everything would be ok. One other lady said sometimes you just got to stick your fingers in there. So, she kinda didn’t like that I didn’t do that. I’ve had my kids choke on food or toys before, so I have done that in the past. But since he was actively coughing, this time was different.
So, after missing almost a whole year of church, we made a huge scene on our 3rd time back. Thankfully, the class was for the women only and I didn’t have to deal with any men witnessing this. That would have been worse.
Note: Last year we had church from 1-4, which was Brian’s nap time. This year we have church from 9-12, which is much better for us. But between the snow, holidays, vacations, and sick kids, we’ve only been 3 times so far!

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