First — and most important — thank you for your prayers. Samuel’s little life was spared and I am so grateful for every single prayer that was said. Even the GI Surgeon was amazed at how close everything was. I am amazed and humbled over God’s grace.
Yep. That’s the infamous star. An expensive star — worth every single cent to get it removed.
I had just vacuumed our family room on Wednesday night. I had even used the crevice tool and was underneath furniture. The girls and I grabbed a load of laundry and carried it to our family room and dumped it on the floor. We started to fold.
Then Samuel started crying uncontrollably and I thought he was going to throw-up. My first instinct was he was choking on something. I patted his back — and his lips still looked blue and he was shaking. Finally he stopped gagging (this is when I think the star lodged in his throat) and just cried with a high-pitched shrill. Todd arrived home and we couldn’t calm him down. He was also drooling like crazy.
I drove to the hospital. It was almost 10pm.
Samuel fell asleep. I took him out of his seat, and he was cooing, mesmerized by the clouds and flags. I took him back to the car, and he ate. He cooed. I sat there for 15 minutes, and thinking that he was okay I drove him.
He slept till 11 pm. Then he woke up and cried with this piercing cry. A cry of pain. Still not sure he swallowed something I thought that I would give him some baby ibuprofen. He calmed down, and went back to sleep. He woke again at 1am. Still seeming very uncomfortable. Back to fitful sleep. Then at 2:30 he woke up and was shaking. Lower lip trembling. Wouldn’t eat. Drool pouring from his mouth.
I left immediately and went back to the hospital.
I remember pulling onto the deserted interstate heading north with tears welling up in my eyes as I raced passed a lone semi. I prayed. I talked with Samuel. He was just whimpering and my momma’s heart aching.
When we arrived I’m sure they thought I was just another paranoid mom with a baby with an ear infection. They pulled me to a room, and began to check him over. No hairs stuck on toes. Belly soft. No temp. Ears clear. Then the doc picked up this slight wheeze. And a very irritable baby. In fact, on the notes it stated, “baby is in obvious distress”.
Off to get an xray. Make that the first two of 12. The doctor calls me back at 4:45 and brings me to this computer screen. He shows me this thin white stripe in Samuel’s neck and asks if I would have any idea what it is. At that point — I had none. In my mind I couldn’t figure out what it would be. I had literally just baby-proofed the family room minutes before this happened. The doctor and I chatted with a radiologist and we agreed to wait until 8am for the radiologist to arrive (the other radiologist was at a bigger hospital in the Cities) so that we could do an xray that was going constantly while Samuel attempted to swallow barium.
Note the word — attempted.
We did another xray at 8am and verified that the object was still there. Then we did the moving xray. I’m sure I got several years worth of radiation as I stuck my head in trying to hold Samuel and convince my breast-fed baby to take a sip from a bottle filled with barium. He got several swallows down. They couldn’t see as well — they were thinking it was gone. Then one more side view xray. Still there.
Transferred to Childrens. I drove. But, in hindsight, I should have taken the ambulance. Nobody knew just how precarious that pink star was lodged. I drove fast. I figured if I got pulled over then I’d have a police escort the rest of the way.
At Children’s I was greeted in the emergency room. They rushed us back to a room and immediately put Samuel on a pulse-ox monitor and started an iv. Poor Samuel was so uncomfortable and tired. We were trying to wait till the barium he had at 8am cleared. Surgery (endoscopic) was scheduled at 4pm. I waited. Samuel slept. He tried to play with toys. But mainly, he slept.
The hour before he went in he started to develop a fever and his oxygen would drop every couple of minutes. He was miserable. I met with the surgeon and anesthesia team — isn’t it amazing how we trust someone that we’ve only met minutes before? I was so grateful for them — and they took Samuel back.
And I waited.
My mom and I chatted about our upcoming vacation. I tried. But my eyes kept watching the screen telling me where Samuel was in surgery. Then the surgeon comes holding a little bag. In it?
A pink star.
Several hours prior to surgery I started getting an idea what it might be. You see, when we were folding laundry (taming laundry) a metallic star migrated into the laundry basket. I began to remember the bucket of sequins that was knocked over in the laundry room the week of my garage sale. I remembered how I picked up the sequins — I was worried Samuel would find one. And yet, despite my efforts, one made it into the laundry basket.
I thought I was prepared. I vacuumed and baby-proofed. And yet that pink star slipped by.
The surgeon told me that we were really lucky that Samuel was alive. If that star had lodged any other way this wouldn’t be the story I’d be writing. And honestly? I truly believe every single prayer held that star up waiting till the GI doctor could pull it out. I’m filled with relief, and peace, and shock.
You see — hours before I wrote about taming the laundry. I wrote about how doing the hard things of daily life prepared us for those challenging times. Little did I know that less than six hours later I would find myself entrenched in a battle.
The doctors and nurses were amazed that I knew to bring him in. They kept talking about mother’s intuition and how they take it seriously when a parent come in as insistent as I did. They told me that he really didn’t have time to wait for me to just watch. He was in right when he needed to be.
Samuels is sitting on my lap right now. He’s got a scratchy voice, won’t touch solid foods, and a low fever. But that will all get better — and I am so grateful. I love this little guy so much.
And those sequins? Never ever ever ever allowed in my home again.
(Thanks for reading the story — sometimes it helps just to write it out.)
I’ve been reading your blog for a bit – I found you thru a homeschooler – but I just can’t even imagine. PRAISE GOD – so thankful He is aware even of the little pink star and what position it finds itself.
Praying for Samuel’s recovery!
I’ve been praying for your sweet little Samuel! We have a 9 month-old and three older ones. After reading your post, we talked about choking and the hazards of all of the little stuff around the house. I keep a clean house, too , but it is impossible to always be on top of things when you have other children around! I’, so glad for your family and my mommy-heart just feels for you and how scared you must have been.
Blessings on you as you start a hopefully relaxing weekend!
That is such a crazy story, but I’m glad that everything is well! I know how hard it is to keep them safe and away from all the things that can harm them. Praise the Lord he is ok!
Oh Rachel – my heart is racing even knowing he’s okay! Praise God for protecting your sweet boy!
Oh Rachel, praise God that he is alive and well! I lifted you all up in prayer when I saw the request Hannah posted. I can’t help but cry when I read your story because as you know, Christian and Sam are so close in age that we are dealing with a lot of the same things at the same time. I can’t imagine what you had to go through with this little curious boy. I’m so glad God spoke to your heart and told you want was right to do. I’ll pray that he continues to heal and that you won’t bust out into tears at every sequin filled, sparkly recital your girls have:-)
Oh, praise the Lord, Rachel! That’s a miracle! I’m so glad Samuel is okay.
And the fact that the little pink star was lodged just right, in order to keep Samuel from choking to death long enough for the doctor’s to get it out… God is good.
I have tears in my eyes. God’s gift to our kids is our intuition to know to speak for them when they can’t. THank GOd you knew to take him in!
Honestly, friend, how does this not happen every day?? My world is FULL of tiny pieces, no matter how digilent and determined we try to be! Praise God for knowing every hair and even the tiniest stars. :-)Samuel is so unbelievably precious, Rach – I call I get to hold him twice as long on Sunday!!
Praise the Lord! God is so good!
Wow… that’s amazing, Rachel! Praise the Lord!!! I’m SO glad everything is okay. I hope Samuel is back to his normal self soon!
~ Much love,
ok, i’m crying now- praise God that he is alive!! my son had to have emergency surgery last fall – those mins seem to creep by. thank God that He seems closest during those times . . .
God is so good to us! I am so glad you listened to your mothers’ heart and took him in.
May the Lord heal him completely soon.
~missusmechanic on MOMYS
Thanks for the warning! I have almost lost one of my children too. It was so scary. My hubby actually had to come on the call. If Andrew would have been in a different position while he was hanging from his neck from a bunkbed, he wouldn’t be here with us today.
I’m so thankful that God spared our children!
I’m just praising the Lord. Tell your daughter thankyou for posting so that so many people could pray – prayer makes all the difference. Praise the Lord he’s doing so well!
JenK from MOMYS
Oh Rachel…my momma’s heart is crying for you as I read your words. I’m trying to imagine myself in your shoes and the thought terrifies me. What an amazing God we serve…I am praising Him with you for sparing your little one. Now I’m going to go vacuum my living room floor and make it a priority to do it often because my 8 month old puts EVERYthing in his mouth…
I can’t imagine what it was like but God is always there to protect us.
It’s amazing that something so small could be so dangerous.
I am so glad he is better and will remember none of it.
My mother’s stomach and heart are in knots. We have been there three times when death knocked at different ones of our children’s door. Your heart just stops.
I have lifted you up in prayer and will continue to do so.
Again, Praise the Lord…He alone is worth to be Praise,
Blessings to you MOM…my heart goes out to you!
Oh my goodness! That must have been so frightening! I’m so so happy that everything worked out and Samuel is fine. By the way, I just realized that your baby has my two babies names that died. Samuel Miach and Josiah Kent. Combine the two and you have Samuel Josiah. Sort of weird, don’t you think?
Praising God with you!
Praise God! Praise God! I cried as I read this. God is so so good!
Praying for a full recovery. Hope you all get some rest.
Praising God with you…
Praise God for that! Those beautiful blue eyes couldn’t shine any brighter!
Goodness. Who’d have thought? Praise God he is alright! PRAISE GOD!
So thankful he is safe.
So glad Samuel is ok!! Praise the Lord for keeping the star from blocking his airway.
Will be keeping a better eye on things here too. It can happen so fast…
Oh my stars! I am glad he is okay.
I would have banned those sequins too.
So glad he’s okay!
God is good and so are you to be the lifesaving mom you are. Great to hear the little fella is on his way to recovery.
What a story of God’s protection in the little things. Poor babe and poor you too! Not only am I praying for Samuel’s quick healing I am praying for you too that it might be a memory but your fear will be removed. You are such a wonderful Momma and there is no way we can protect our children from eVeRyThInG we can do our best and thankfully your best was adding prayers to your cleaning. **Hugs** Laura
I am so glad things turned out the way the did, so thankful to Christ for this little boy you’ve shared with us all through your blog.
Love from a Daughter,
Oh Rachel, your story of Samuel gave me chills. I cannot imagine having to watch my child go through something like this. I thank God that that little star stayed where it was until the appointed time when God’s chosen stepped in to remove it. And yes, your post on the laundry really ministered to me, and now with this, well things are going to change in my home when I return from vacation. I love you and your family and God is just so good!
THANK GOD! I know that God’s hands were all over you and Samuel. I am so so sorry this happened ~ I never would have thought that something so little could be so dangerous. Thank you for sharing and I am now off to re-baby proof my house.
Wow, I have tears in my eyes.. I can’t even imagine going thru something like that! God was truly working a miracle to keep that star where it was. I’m so glad your little Samuel is ok.
I am so glad your little man is ok!!
I am so glad that Samuel is alright and thank you for sharing the story. It must have been such a difficult time for you. God really is good and I am so glad that they were able to remove the star in time.
I missed your blog for a couple of days since I was sick. I had no idea something so horribly scary was happening to you and your family during that time! Thank the Lord you and Samuel were watched over. I’m so glad he’s okay.
Could not get through that post without tears. So glad thathe is Ok and that God looked after your little one.
Wow, I am in awe of God’s power and I am so thankful He saved your little guy. Big Hugs
God is so GOOD
So, I know little Sammy is okay now, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE that the Phoenix lanyard made it as a toy in the hospital! 🙂 Yay for woodland tomorrow!!
This brings back many memories … of the day my 3 yo nearly died.
He had flu-like symptoms. But, at midnight, the Lord told me to drive the 30 min. to the hospital. Within minutes, it was determined that he had bacterial meningitis and would be airlifted the 100 miles to children’s hosp.
The next day, the nurses kept asking, “how did you know? how did you know to bring him in?” We were told that if we had put him back to bed at midnight, that he would have certainly died in his sleep.
He was in a coma for a week … ICU for 2 weeks … regular floor for another week … It was SCARY! But … the Lord had directed us, and the Lord directed the doctors.
Yes … praising Jesus for saving my little boy’s life, just as He did for you!
I never would have thought a little glitter star like that could be so dangerous. Wow. I really can’t believe it. What an amazing strong little Samuel you have.
This story makes me giggle a little bit. Your story is almost spot on to one I had with my just 1 year old. She went through all the same experiences…and what did the endoscopy find? A star sticker. It was rigid enough to lodge itself in her esophagus. How random is that?! In fact your pictures of him, mirror mine of her, complete with the little bag from the doctor with all her information on it holding the star offender. We praise God for his infinite graces.