My Scariest Motherhood Moment



On Monday evening I experienced the most traumatic and scary moment of motherhood, and not too sound dramatic but probably of my entire life. I’m sure there will be countless moments in the future that replace this but I can’t seem to shake the experience or feeling of helplessness and fear that overcame me. I’m sure my pregnancy hormones aren’t helping either.

Piper was running around as Austin and I were cleaning up dinner, part of our normal routine and she slipped and fell on our hardwood floors. I heard her cry and went over to her, as she was sitting up. I picked her up and she started doing what we call her “silent cry” where she’s crying but no sound is coming out – usually this turns into heavy sobs but on Monday she became unresponsive and then went unconscious in my arms. I immediately started hysterically screaming for Austin to dial 911 and kept saying her name over and over. We think she was only out for 30 seconds or less but it felt like an eternity. A helpless eternity in which I had no clue what to do for my daughter. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. By the time we dialed 911 and the line started ringing Piper started crying and gained consciousness.

Long story short, we visited the ER and Piper was ‘diagnosed’ with having a “Pediatric Breath Holding Spell”. Have you heard of this? It’s when a child holds their breath (not on purpose) from fear, pain, being startled amongst other things (like having a tantrum). It’s hereditary and Austin actually did it as a child until he was 3 years old any time he got hurt. It causes no brain damage or pain to the child but is terrifying for everyone involved. It’s very likely it could happen again, or not ever.

Since Monday night I’ve been pretty emotional. I can’t seem to stop replaying the scenario over and over again in my head. I don’t think an hour goes by without thinking about it. I think about what an incredible, silly, smart, loving little girl Piper is every second I’m around her. Knowing that she’s healthy and she’s OK is great and it’s reassuring but I just keep thinking “what if”  and of course imagining the scenario happening again. I’ve been wanting to keep Piper very close and I’ve been watching her like a hawk for fear that she may have a minor accident again! Here are a few things I’ve done to try and move past this moment, but if you have any other tips I’d so appreciate hearing them. I know there are so many other mothers who have endured much worse with their children and I feel fortunate that Piper is 100% fine but I’m really hoping to get this anxiety under control.

  • I’ve talked to my girlfriends about how I’m feeling. I feel SO grateful to have them and their support. It really helps to talk about the fear and how horrible I felt/feel.
  • I’ve signed up for a CPR class so I can feel better prepared and confident if I’m ever in a situation like this instead of so helpless and guilty.
  • I haven’t googled anything about this ‘condition’.
  • I’ve been doing yoga and reading before bed to try and avoid my bad dreams that have been waking me up.

Any tips? Have any of you experienced this with your children?

On a lighter note, I hope you have a great weekend! I’m hoping to get a lot of work done around the house and just spend as much quality time with Piper as I can!

Image by Anna Reynal




My Scariest Motherhood Moment


  1. Carrie says:

    OMG, you poor thing…I am sooooo relieved to hear that Piper is okay, and hope that you manage to find some peace—I know you need it after such a traumatic experience! xoxox

  2. Kohli says:

    Lady! So scary. Our little guy had a ton of breathing issues when he was little which included ER visits and one hospitalization. I was a laid back, easy going mom before it kicked in and now he coughs and I have a panic attack. (Sometimes this really happens, not just hyperbole) I’m also trying to work through it and keep in mind that not everything will be a medical episode, but that when it is, we are prepared. I think talking and getting it out of your head is the best way to process things like this, just as you have been doing. I hope you guys have an easy weekend!

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