I will never forget tonight, either. I was talking during supper, and Svanja was eating her peanut butter sandwich, and I heard a choking sound. I look over, and Svanja's face is red and water is pouring out of her mouth and nose. She is trying to cough and cannot get air in. I immediately whip the high chair tray off and grab her, turning her face first on an angle toward the ground, and whack her back with the palm of my hand. Thank goodness for all the CPR and choking training sessions I went through as a security guard in college and as a 911 dispatcher afterwards! She was fine, although visibly scared, after she got the water out of her airway. But there have only been one or two other legitimate choking incidents with her, and this was the scariest of them all. It looked like she was drowning, which happens to be one of my worst fears for myself. And the look of fear on her face when she couldn't breathe tore my heart apart, and I was so afraid while she was choking that she wouldn't get to take another breath.
I don't know why that had to happen today. I am still recovering from an awful dream I had last night involving her. I dreamed I was in a public building, and I wanted to attend a casting call for a movie. I decided to leave Svanja (who was about 4-5 months old in my dream) in a cradle in another large room, and I covered the cradle with a fluffy blanket so that no one would know a baby was in there and kidnap her. I went off to the casting call, and lost track of time. When I realized how much time had passed, I ran back to the room, so scared that someone had taken her. I was afraid at first when I didn't see Svanja as I first entered the room, then remembered her cradle was covered with a blanket. But then I realized that she could have suffocated because of how long she had lain in there. I pull off the blanket, and see her laying there, eyes closed, deathly pale face, and a little bit of a frost-like substance on her cheeks. I touched her face and screamed; she was dead. Shock and guilt enter my mind in a split second - two words lighting up in my mind: dead and negligence. And I snap fully awake, unable to handle it.
It took me a while to go back to sleep, and I had to check on her just to ease my lingering fear. The sound of her breathing in sleep calmed me, but not enough. I knew what happened in my dream would never happen in real life - I would never leave her alone in a public place, never cover her cradle or bassinet with a thick blanket, and Lord willing never do anything that would cause her or another baby to die due to my negligence. But then I started to think about SIDS and our next baby and the stories I had heard, and fear of someday finding a dead baby in a crib started to creep in. I prayed, which helped me to fall asleep. It was actually pretty neat to be able to pray to the Holy Spirit and say, "You are the Comforter; please give me comfort." He did!
And God has continued to comfort me even tonight as the two events mingled in my mind; Jordan and I had a great talk about fear of loved ones dying. And peace has come over me even as I think about my greatest fears. Thank you God!