The night everything changed

The 31st August 2016. I was working part time, a 12-8 shift on this day. Violet and Henry had spent the afternoon with my Mum and sister in law. My husband picked them up after work and took them home, my mother in law coming round just before bath/bedtime to assist.

Bedtime has always been a two person deal, I can’t see that changing anytime soon. Violet has always had very extreme emotions, an incredible attachment to me as her mummy and still to this day will not let anyone else feed her, her bottles of milk. She would rather starve than be fed by anyone else. 

With that in mind, you can guess how my husbands evenings went when I was working. There was a lot of screaming and unsettled behaviour. But unfortunately with a lot of things my shifts were not easily changed and the childcare my family provided was also limited to certain days/times. We were stuck in a difficult situation.

For whatever reason as I sat at my desk that night I glanced at my phone. I had missed called and a voicemail from my mother in law. She never rang me. Panic set in. As the voicemail played telling me that Violet had stopped breathing, an ambulance had been called and to come home, I swear my heart stopped beating.

In a blur I made it home. To the sight of an ambulance outside my house. I never want to see that ever again. 

Inside two paramedics were fussing over Violet, who was wide awake and breathing, albeit between screams. I was told to get a bag together as we were going up to the hospital. I couldn’t think straight, luckily the paramedics guided me through what to take. I couldn’t function.

My husband was shell shocked, I had never seen him looked so scared. He rode with Violet in the ambulance and I followed behind. I couldn’t take over and exclude him when he had been through this with her.

We were taken to resus where Violet was observed for the next 3hrs. Her observations were fine, she was in good spirits despite it being way past her bedtime. The only remanence of the fateful episode were the red broken blood vessels that peppered her face. 

So what actually happened I hear you ask. Violet had been unsettled, had refused to be fed her bedtime bottle. After numerous attempts to settle her, my husband in defeat had put her in her cot. This was a normal routine, she would often settle after a while watching her cot lights and sounds box and fall to sleep. Not this night however. She screamed and choked on her saliva. 

While putting Henrys pyjamas on, my husband noticed the sudden silence. He went to check on Violet in the next room. She was bright red in the face, saliva bubbling out her mouth and not breathing. Luckily he is trained to a high level in first aid and knew what to do. His quick actions saved Violets life. By the time the paramedics arrived, Violet was screaming the house down. They told me it was what they had hoped to hear, the best noise on this type of call out.

My husband was traumatised. He couldn’t get Violets face in that moment out of his head. We both agreed that night I would give up work. Violet would come first. We couldn’t risk this ever happening again. We would somehow make it work financially with only one wage.

That was the best decision we ever made. Yes we have struggled. But within weeks of me caring for my two fulltime, the difference in Violet was enormous. She needed her Mummy. And that’s what she now has forever. 

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