the longest day of the year [literally and emotionally]

[Fair warning that this post is l-o-n-g. Like, longer than the crunchiest of birth stories. However, I really needed to get this account out there.]

Many of you have been texting/calling/Facebooking me about the details of Friday (June 21), so I thought I’d interrupt the blogging hiatus to tell you about the most frightening night of my life.

Let me back up. Friday afternoon was a frustrating one for this Mommy. My little 18-month-old Philomena, who is usually a rockstar sleeper, had been up numerous times the night before for no apparent reason. Even more, for the first time in a long while [perhaps ever?] she was refusing to nap. After two-and-half hours of trying, I just waived the white flag and let her crankily play.

This makes me cringe in retrospect, but I was so annoyed and discouraged by the day, that I even sent a Facebook message to a few friends just to whine about “how difficult” my afternoon had been. [Not going to lie, memories of this selfishness produced many tears later on that night.]

Anyway, at some point I noticed she was playing with a little remote that we never use that belongs to a digital frame. I think she was pretending it was a phone and saying, “hi!” into it. Here it is:

photo 1-1

To be quite honest, I didn’t give this a second thought. The remote itself was big enough that there was no possibility of choking, and it never once crossed my mind that it contained a removable battery.

Probably 20 or 30 minutes later (around 3:00), I was in the other room when I heard her coughing and gagging. Of course, I ran to her. She spit up a little bit, but was breathing fine. She had in her hand this little black piece of plastic:

photo 2-1

I had no idea from where it had come, but I assumed that she had gotten it into her mouth, it had made her gag, and she spit it out. I put it aside with a mental note to ask Ryan what it was when he got home.

I gave my Mena lots of hugs and had her drink some water. She seemed fine, other than the fact that she was extremely cranky. I thought it was due to her exhaustion, so I put her in the Ergo carrier on my back. She usually loves this, but it only seemed to make her more irritated. Her crying started to “build up” to shrieks [all you parents know what I mean by this], and then she started gagging and spitting up. I truly thought this was due to her intense screaming.

I decided to try to snuggle with her to see if she would just settle down and sleep. She nursed well and finally dozed off. She woke up in a great mood, but then threw up all over me. I got some water in her, and she was happy. However, shortly after that, she gagged and vomited again. She was cheerfully playing, so I just thought she must have contracted a stomach bug. [“That explains the crankiness today! Of course!” I astutely concluded.

She threw up maybe three times over the course of a couple hours, but like I said, she seemed fine other than that. She didn’t want to eat, but she nursed and drank plenty of water. We were having fun stacking blocks and reading books.

Ryan came home, and we just hung out and talked for a while until I casually asked him, “oh, by the way, do you know what this black piece of plastic is part of?”

He responded, “that’s the piece that holds the battery for the remote control for the digital picture frame.”

Instantly, I knew. I just knew. My heart started pounding, and I furiously said, “she swallowed the battery! I know it! She swallowed the battery!”

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