My husband and I have been sitting on the couches of our living room, staring at a TV that is not on, in complete silence, for about 10 minutes.
Aside from my tear-filled "thank you," in the center of the restaurant, we haven't spoken since 12:05pm.
And I only know that because in my clenched hand is my iPhone, still showing the recent call history of "000".
I don't even think we've exhaled yet. We just keep sitting here, staring, reaching our hand out to brush along each child as they run by, going about their day as if nothing happened.
But, just before 12:05pm today, after the waitress of our favorite local lunch spot placed the bill on our table, after the kids reached for the hard candy mints and after Andy challenged me to try and figure out the tip without using an app… we looked up to find my son not breathing.
His eyes were wide and full of terror, his skin was grey, his hands were on the table, and he was silent. Had we not looked up at that moment, we wouldn't have noticed it at all. The round, hard candy had become completely lodged in his windpipe. He wasn't breathing, he wasn't talking, he couldn't make a sound.
I screamed his name and jumped from my chair. I know that it fell over, I distinctly remember my brain systemically going through the varies techniques from CPR class years ago, and I remember my husband Andy lunging at our oldest son, and performing the Heimlich on my suddenly small 7-year-old boy.
After the first thrust, I screamed his name and reached for my phone to call "000". I thought, it's not working, what do you do when it's not working?
I can't tell you how many it took. I lost count until the moment I heard a cough of air exploded from his tiny mouth, and the candy flew out and Andy and I grabbed him in our arms and I said "thank you."
St John Ambulance runs courses designed to meet the first aid needs of parents, grandparents, carers in the child care industry and members of the public who may be entrusted with the care of babies and children. Click here for details.