Becoming a parent means that from the moment kids are born, one has to somehow gain superpowers. Parents need to be able to see and thwart dangers they never even considered before. And, because there are no actual powers bestowed upon new parents, mistakes will happen. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes can be deadly — which is why Nicole Johnson Goddard, mother of three, is sharing what happened to her family when she had a casual oversight with her youngest toddler son, Nash.
The cause for one of the scariest moments in her family's lives? Popcorn.
"I wanted to share our experience because as I’ve shared the story so many people were shocked and unaware of the bad effect popcorn can have on a toddler, " she wrote on Facebook. "[We] were all watching a movie and eating popcorn which is a very frequent event on the weekend in our home. I didn’t think twice to give Nash popcorn. Nash had a small choking episode but was fine. We didn’t see anything come out so we assumed he swallowed it. He seemed completely fine and continued to watch the movie. The only thing we observed was a cough he developed after the episode. The next day he was fine but still had a weird sounding cough which concerned me a little."
"I just assumed he was catching the same crud we had all been going through," she confessed.
"Monday came, Jake [her husband] left for a three-day trip and it was pretty much the same as the day prior. As the evening came I noticed Nash felt warm and he was super fussy. He had a fever, so I gave him Motrin and put him to bed. A very long night with him and then his breathing looked a little labored to me and he just didn’t feel good. I called my pediatrician immediately and said Nash needs to be seen ASAP. We went in and got sent to children’s main campus immediately. After a chest X-ray the doctor didn’t like what he saw so he got scheduled that evening for a Bronchoscopy."
The procedure revealed that Nash had actually aspirated popcorn into his lungs from the choking episode.
"The body recognized it as a foreign object and put pus pockets around it," she explained. "All the inflammation caused him to develop pneumonia in his left lung. During the procedure the doctor got out six pieces."
However, because the inflammation was so bad, the doctor wasn't confident all of the pieces were out. Nash had to undergo a second round of the procedure, and luckily, it was then they got all of the pieces out.
"If I wouldn’t have trusted my instinct and brought him in, the outcome wouldn’t have been good," she admitted.
"We’re so thankful our little man came out OK. All of this over popcorn which is eaten on a regular basis in our home. I got a lecture of course on how popcorn isn’t supposed to be given to anyone under 5. I hate to use the excuse he’s our third child so I overlook and don’t pay as close attention to the do’s and don'ts as we did with our first."
Honestly, it's pretty easy for anyone to make this mistake. We're so glad Nash is on the mend, and hope other mamas can learn from his story.
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.