We walked to Sutter Hospital this morning for a class on infant safety.  The class opened with a video on car seats and then moved to a conversation on how many ordinary things in our home will become instant death traps once the baby escapes from Sarah’s tummy.  It’s more than a little overwhelming.

Infant CPR ClassMost of the morning was devoted to infant CPR.  The ABC’s for infant CPR:  Airway, Breathing and Ciriculation/Chest Compression.  We learned and practiced the following routine:

  • tap feet while saying “baby, baby are you okay”
  • yell for help
  • tilt head to open the airway
  • look, listen, and feel for breathing
  • cover nose and mouth with two breaths
  • look, listen, and feel for breathing
  • 30 two finger chest compressions to the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive
  • two more breaths
  • repeat the compression and breathing five times and then dial 911

We learned how to respond to airway obstructions as well, but mostly we practiced the ABC routine over and over and over and over.  Breathing into a tiny mannequin with neither legs nor arms feels a little silly.  It’s impossible to simulate the kind of overwhelming fear parents experience when their baby isn’t breathing.  While the training can’t prepare us emotionally for such an experience, the hope is that by repeating the ABC routine in moments of calm we’ll default to it in the midst of crisis.

It’s not unlike morning prayer.  Making coffee.  Settling in to read and reflect.  Noticing God in the rhythm of my own breathing.  Giving thanks and preparing to face the day.  In our pre-baby world, mornings are almost always calm.  By creating space to connect with the Divine through a daily ritual, I hope that in moments of challenge and even crisis I’ll default to breathing in and out God’s unfolding grace.  Too often my default gets out of whack, so I keep practicing in hopes of being ready to live more often with intentional awareness of God’s in-breaking love.

We’re only nine weeks from the due date.  So much to do in order to get ready.

Feeling the rhythm of kicks and hiccups with my hand on Sarah’s stomach, I get lost in giving thanks for the moment that is and, for a moment, forget about getting ready for what will be.

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