Its no secret that I dont care for in ground pools. I find them to be too dangerous. Even a gated pool is dangerous while having a pool party. It only takes a second for a child to fall in.
With that said, we were invited to a pool party this past weekend. We told the kiddos they were not getting in the pool but since all the other kids were in or next to the pool that's where mine wanted to be. I told them they had to stay by the steps at the shallow end of the pool (just in case they fell in). I also told them to not be leaning over the side of pool and of course no running. I stood next to them and supervised them the entire time we were near the pool. And still, it happened.
That heart wrenching moment when my baby (William) feel into the swimming pool. I saw his little body floating on the water while his head stayed submerged. He was thrashing his little hands and feet so hard that he actually propelled himself away from the side of the pool. His body was moving in a violent struggle for air. I jumped into the pool after him. Grabbed him by his shirt and yanked him out of the water. As soon as his face broke through the water he began crying. Not that I have a boo-boo or someone took my toy cry. But that I'm scared out of my mind cry. I just stood there in the pool holding my baby. From the time he fell in until the time I pulled him out was probably only about 30 seconds but it felt like I was seeing it in slow motion and it lasted an eternity. I felt my heart stop beating in my chest. I was terrified.
Hearing him cry made me feel comforted because at least I knew he was breathing. He had instinctively held his breath while he was under water. He sneezed several times blowing out some pool water but nothing more. I felt very lucky to take my dripping baby home to get a warm shower and clean clothes. I felt lucky that I was standing next to the pool. Lucky that I was watching him and not looking elsewhere. Lucky that he held his breath. Lucky he was alive to cry.
I dont think that one can truly understand the depth of that fear unless you've also gone through it. I had a friend go through the exact same thing several weeks ago and while I was sympathetic I didn't know how exactly she'd felt. Now I do. It doesn't seem as scary when you just think of a child falling in and being rescued so quickly. You think they're fine. It was only for a minute. Its not that big of a deal. But then when you witness your child so full of fear its a completely different story. I dont think I will ever forget that image. It has been replaying in my head. Over and over. All the what ifs that could of happened. What if I wasnt there? What if I had looked away? What if he hadnt held his breath? What if he was farther away from me? But thanks to an amazing friend who kept talking when I didnt want to listen Im getting past that stage. I will never forget how it felt or what I saw but I will not let the what ifs take control of me. I have a perfectly healthy super happy amazing son. Whats not to feel lucky about?