16 January 2010

Nearly lost Morgan

We were swimming this afternoon, and it seems she decided that she could do it on her own, and went off quietly to another area of the pool… I saw her in the middle of the pool, and she looked funny, kind of bobbing below the surface but staying on one spot. It took over a minute to realise that her face was below the surface, and another minute for Martin (closest) to get to her. She was blue when we pulled her out, gasping and shaking, Martin tried to stand her on the side of the pool and she collapsed onto me and just lay there, tear-less, saying, “I want to go home.“

She must have been under for nearly three minutes. I can’t believe I didn’t lose her today, it’s just such a miracle I spotted her at all.

On another note I’m trying not to be angry with the pool. There was no lifeguard on duty, we had to go and find one a few minutes later to check her over. I know she’s my responsibility and therefore this is me avoiding being angry with myself, but illogically I feel like if someone had been there we would have got to her sooner.

We’re all anxious, stressed, and exhausted here. :(

Added later: NHS direct has been fantastic, really helpful. We rang as soon as we got home and they had someone speak to us right away and I’ve had two further calls from the specialist children’s nurses. They’ve really ruled out anything serious, and been very thorough and above all kind about the whole thing. When one asked “where is she right now” and I replied that she was breastfeeding, there wasn’t a beat skipped - in fact she was so nice about it I thought she’d misheard, but later she said, “her stomach is probably fine if she can find room for mummy milk!“ smile

We have to keep her close over the next few hours, and someone will co-sleep with her tonight (their advice!) and then we’ll need to see a doctor next week in case she develops a chest infection. But it sounds like she didn’t breathe any water at all, something the nurse had never seen in a child of this age. When her face broke the surface, she gasped rather than spluttering, just like you’d expect from a baby. It looks like somehow, Morgan has kept her dive reflex (or enough of it to have saved her life on this occasion). How amazing.

And how thin the line is that we tread between everything being fine, and serious harm coming to them. It still makes my heart stop to think about it.


  1. More and more ((Hugs))

    On top of my comment on GP about double checking whether she should be checked out at A&E - get yourselves back down to that swimming pool as quickly as possible. Give yourselves a few days, then get back down there a kind of get back on the horse after a fall, type thing. I'm sure at the moment your inclination is never to go near a pool ever again, however, to ensure wee morgan doesn't develop a fear of water you guys needs to get back in the pool and have fun.

    And more ((Hugs)) to you all.

    Love Jacq & Rye.

  2. oh dear!! How awful for you all. Thank goodness you looked for her when you did!!!

    It does seem strange there was no lifeguard. I always though there had to be one.

    Hope you spend the next few days cuddling.

  3. Someone was watching over Morgan today. So glad she is ok, hugs to you all x

  4. Oh no! Thank god she's okay, was there supposed to be a life guard on duty?

  5. There were lifeguards there but not poolside at the children's pool and not within sight of it either. There were two guys on duty, they came in and out a few times, but weren't there when it happened - we had to go and find them to get her checked over. And fill in an incident form...

    She seems fine now, totally normal. Nursing away! No breathing problems and she didn't need any resuscitation or become unconscious so I think she's going to be OK. :( Poor baby.

  6. how terrifying!! so good to hear she is okay. you must all be very shaken, hope it doesnt affect you sleep to much i belive the pool did have a responsabilty to provide supervision and its worth writting to the coucnil if its council operated

  7. How awful for you all her guardian angel must've been working overtime. So glad that she appears ok, but good advice to keep a firm eye on her these next 24 hrs. Really hope and pray for you all that you manage a peaceful nigt, thank God for boobs I say! Hugs san xx

  8. Just want to send a big hug to you all xxx

  9. Very scary - we are thinking of you all! Have a lovely night snuggling with her, and we're just so relieved to hear she's ok!

    Sinful's Wife

  10. Omg, what a terrifying experience! I'm so, so glad she is okay and am sending you all love and hugs. Have a peaceful night xxx

  11. Oh god, that made me cry! How utterly terrifying for you all, thank all that is good that something stopped her breathing that water in. :( hugs for you all hun, if you need a shoulder, you know where I am.... x

  12. shouldn't you have been watching her?

  13. How scary - so glad she's ok, best wishes and here's hoping sleep helps you all recover.

    Love to all

  14. How very brave of you to be anonymous. ;)

    I was watching her from the side of the pool, whilst nursing the baby. My husband was watching her whilst playing with the five year old. Neither of us realised she had thrown the armbands into the other pool. One of us was looking right at her almost the whole time she was under, but neither of us noticed that she wasn't able to reach the surface right away - in fact I think it's pretty obvious from the post itself that I was slow on the uptake and blame myself for that.

    If you have three little ones and nothing has *ever* happened that could have killed one of them, I would argue that you are neglecting to allow them a normal life. In real life, you can't account for everything. The only way to do so is deprive them of normal interaction and thereby save all of those rebellion and risk-taking moments until later in life when they will be just as catastrophic, but with the additional emotional and developmental consequences of such action.

  15. Eloquent reply to a cowardly and thoughtless comment Sarah. I hope you don't let it upset you (that comment not the incident!)

    I know exactly how easy it is to lose sight of one child, even for only the briefest moment, when you have three little ones. It must have been terrifying for you all. I'm so glad all is well now and I wish you a peaceful evening together.

    Much love
    Gina xx

  16. What a terrifying day for you all. Hold each other close and just be thankful. So glad Morgan is safe. Be kind to yourself too xx Lou

  17. I'm doing OK, thanks Gina. I can't imagine not looking back at it and having that horrible moment of what-could-have-happened, but actually I think having to be calm for all of the children has worked its magic and I'm therefore not in pieces. :)

    The nurse remarked that I'm "very together, much more capable than I'd have been in that situation" but I reckon if it happens, you have to be... You don't know what you're capable of until something extraordinary happens. I'm so glad this day has ended the way it has, and that my babies are all intact to face another day of real life (and the occasional near miss).

  18. My darling, my heart goes out to you. I can't even begin to fathom what you've being going through. Thank God Morgs is okay.

    You clearly acted right in a very difficult situation. Try not to blame yourself, or anything like that. What if's and holding people liable can't change what's already past. You just have to move forward with it, and continue with life. You are an amazing parent, and such an inspiration to me. You're such a wonderful, thoughtful parent who has three amazing little girls.

    I'm glad you've got some useful, supportive help. Hug her for me, and big hugs for you, Martin and the other girls. I'm thinking of you, and if you need anything, be it a chat, or a chance to sound off about anonymous people's comments, you know how to get me. Love to you all. Ash.xxx

  19. Don't feel you have to publish this post my darling, just I know you will read this; I just want to offer my disgust at "anonymous" comment and please, please do not let this person add to the guilt you have already felt... we don't always see - and at the end of the day Morgan is fine and beautiful :-)


  20. Oh thank goodness she is OK Sarah. Try not to keep going over it all in your head - I know it's easy to say XXX

  21. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone, least of all people who can't even be bothered to sign a comment. :)

    Thank goodness Morgan is OK xxx


  22. Really sorry that you had to deal with that nasty annon post, don't let them spoil your peace... assuming you have any right now?!

    Hugs again san xx

  23. Pah, stupid anonymous people! Grace toppled head first over the end rail of the bed today while I was standing right next to her! Busy blowing my nose! These things happen with little ones - especially with the spirited adventurers like Morgan & Grace. You are a star - I don't know how I'd managed swimming with three - and you absolutely mustn't blame yourself, whatever cowardly anonymous people say! I think Joxy's right though - getting back in the pool will be good for all of you - make some more good memories to dull the scary ones!

    Sinful's wife

  24. How horrible for you all, hope things are feeling a bit calmer for everyone today.
    This has happened to me before with my littlest ( and he had a vest thingy on ) he'd been 'swimming' with his sister who had been holding him then they were both out of their depth and panicked pulling each other down. I noticed before the lifeguard ( who then dived in fully clothed ) but felt absolutely guilt ridden and know EXACTLY how you feel. A very scary and thought provoking time.

    On a seperate note, we went swimming yest afternoon and was speaking to a friend beforehand whose sons swimming lessons were cancelled at M pool in the morning because the lifeguard had rung in sick ! Don't know if thats relevant to you?
    Love to you all

    Charlotte xx

  25. Sooo glad she's OK. I can't imagine how scared you must have been. Not good about the lack of lifeguards though - have they explained why?

  26. oh my lovely, holding you all very close in my heart

  27. Oh thank God she is ok x x

  28. How scary for you... Just re-emphasises to me how thin the line we walk with children is. Truly admire how you have coped with it... Hugs to you, praise God Morgan's ok. HOpe you're managing not to dwell on it too much...

  29. It's odd, but I found it quite easy to let go of feeling guilty about it. Oh it wakes me up in the wee small hours thinking, "what if?" and every time I look at her I think what a little sunshine she is and how glad I am she's OK - but I'm not beating myself up about it. How many parents lose sight of their three year old in a crowded place, or no longer hold their hand along side roads? Sometimes things happen to those toddlers, and it's nobody's fault, it's just sad and horrible and scary.

    (hugs to you all and hoping your own tinies escape such things as far as possible)


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