Confessions of a Mommy

I've been agonizing over this post for a week and a half now.  Should I admit it? Should I keep it a secret? But it all boils down to what these mommy blogs are all about...learning from each other.  And so, though it would be much easier to post only about the rainbows and sunshine, I think it's more important that I share my mistakes in hopes that you will not make the same ones.

On Father's Day (of all days), Brody almost drowned.  I have chills as I type the words in black and white.  We were at Grandma Johnson's house with Jonathan's sister, Jennifer, and her family.  Jennifer's kids had all suited up and were splashing around in the pool as I tried to figure out what to do.  Jonathan and I had forgotten to bring bathing suits that afternoon, but I didn't want Brody to miss out on his chance to swim with his cousins...they don't get to see each other often. 

Collin, Jennifer's youngest son, was wearing one pair of arm floaties.  I tried to blow up the other pair of arm floaties, but there was a hole in one of them and it would only blow up half-way.  I felt bad that Brody wasn't able to get in the water with the rest of the kids.  Jennifer remembered a baby ring float that Grandma had stored away and went to get it for me.  We put Brody's legs through the two holes and gently set him down into the water with his cousins.  He immediately began splashing around with the big kids.  He was having fun and I was happy to see him enjoying the pool with family. 

Jennifer and I were standing near the edge of the pool, catching up, while keeping a close eye on the kids.  She was feeling bad that Brody didn't have any arm floaties and suggested we switch one of Collin's for the one that wouldn't blow up completely since Collin is on his way to becoming and independent swimmer.  She called Collin out of the pool and began to switch the arm floaties, but Collin was feeling scared and did not want to wear the half-blown up floatie.  I was telling Jennifer not to push him since he was feeling insecure about it when Lauren, Jennifer's oldest daughter, began saying, "Hey! The baby! The baby! The baby!" 

I turned my head around to see the most horrific sight I hope to ever see.  Brody had fallen out of his ring float and was immersed, motionless, in the water.  He was next to the edge of the pool so I quickly ran over to the side and scooped him up into my arms.  He began coughing immediately and I embraced him so tightly as I patted him on the back.  (Yes, I am CPR certified and I know better, but when it is your own child you cannot think straight.)  Jennifer, clothes drenched from jumping in the pool to try and get to Brody, took him from me, turned him upsidedown and hit his back several times.

He had been coughing and crying from the minute I pulled him out of the pool.  He didn't seem like he had swallowed any water, but his lips were slightly pale (I suspect from holding his breath).  He cried for only a minute or so and he snuggled for maybe three more, but after that he was wanting to get back in the pool.  So Grandma Johnson jumped in the pool with her clothes and let him swim with her for awhile.  We were all so happy to see him unshaken and "getting back on the horse" so soon.

I am so thankful for three main reasons:

1. Lauren yelled out to alert me.  She is the absolute HERO in this story, and I will forever be grateful to her for her quick thinking and courage to yell out, at only six year old! 

2. Jennifer knew what to do when I couldn't think straight.  I know she feels bad because she "snatched him from me," but I am so thankful she did! She was thinking clearly and made sure that Brody did not swallow any water.  I would never, ever be upset at her for taking him from me at that moment.

3. Brody took swim lessons back in April.  The lessons he took were not actual swim lessons but more like water acclimation classes.  So even though he didn't know how to swim, he knew to hold his breath underwater.  He never swallowed an ounce of water!

I have thought about all of this every single day since and praise the Lord for his protection over Brody that day.  I am so thankful for his mercy.

And, in case you are wondering, we have since bought Brody a float vest and arm floaties.  He is extra covered in floatation devices and I will never again let myself get comfortable with him in the pool, not even for a second.
I linked up with Shell at Things I Can't Say.


  1. Even though you have told me the story, reading it here on your blog I am crying like I just heard it for the first time. I am so extremely thankful for the Lord's protection on Brody that day. Little Lauren is definitely the BIG hero for calling out for help! So glad we can all use this as a good lesson to never let our guard down when around a pool.

  2. I heard from my mom, but was surprised I never heard from you or Jenn. I immediately figured that was "mom code." Something I hope to be apart of one day. I'm really happy you decided to share! I hope it makes you feel good to get it out. Although, I was a little shocked to see a blog post without a picture. ;-) I am so glad B-man is safe and happy thanks to Laurie, Aunt Jenni, and you!

  3. @Ms. BWIT
    Aww sorry to make you feel left out, Jess. Wasn't a "mom code" thing at all. Just don't like to tell the story. Haven't told anyone except my mom until now. It feels good to get it out there, but writing the post was hard...I was crying like a baby again!

  4. I'm so, so thankful Brody is okay and I'm also SO glad you wrote this. I agree; we need to share our mistakes and lessons. I miss you guys - hope to see you soon!

  5. Oh how terrifying. I'm doing "swim lessons" with my six month old next month for that very reason! You can never be too safe! Glad he is ok!

  6. @Di
    Thanks, Di. We're so thankful he is okay. I'm so glad you are giving your baby swim lessons early. I could not recommend this any more!

  7. @elizabethnelson
    Thanks for the support, Beth. We miss you guys too!

  8. Little Brody is such a trooper! Glad he's back at it, jumping in! This is very good to bring awareness to this subject as many will be going to pools, beaches and water parks. It can happen in a split second. As a matter of fact it also happened to my CPR instructor with her girl, but she had to do CPR!!! Lauren you brought up a good question about the delayed or dry drowning. I had no knowledge of this, but found a few website's that give great insight:

    This is website about prevention see #5:

  9. ps again.. Lauren, you dont have to say thanks we would have yelled and jumped in a thousand times!! He is precious and we love you guys!

  10. When you become a parent, you suddenly picture your own child in every adverse situation that involves other peoples children...whether that be in stories, movies, or real life. After reading this, all I was picturing was one of my daughters in Brody's situation, and I honestly don't know how I would have reacted differently. It sounds like it all happened so fast!

    You did all the right things, and giving Brody swim lessons paid off for sure. I'm thankful that everything is A.OK. and that Brody was able to brush it off and get back in the are so resilient! You guys are great parents, and it looks like the rest of your vacay went really well :-)

  11. @Tom Hardinge
    Thank you for your kind words, Tom. I have to say though, the parenting award most certainly goes to you and Missy! Wow! I'm amazed by how you handle three toddlers on a day-to-day basis! You both were given super powers, I am sure of it!!

  12. The best thing I ever did was pop those stupid arm floaties and get swim vests for my kids.


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