That smiley little cherub in the pool is my 2-year-old Evelyn, and this is the story of the night I saw her drowning.
The Night I Saw My Daughter Drowning
by Krystle K | The Snap Mom
“It can happen to anyone,” I said to Whitney J. Little did I know that an hour later it would happen to me.
A local family has just had to walk through every parent’s nightmare with a near-drowning incident and are in the process of recovery and healing as we speak. This family is in my daily prayers and thoughts every single time I enter the water with my children. I am CPR certified. I have taken water safety training courses. My pool has passed the DCF safety inspection. We have a new pool gate, door alarms and multiple door locks to prevent accidental drowning. Not to mention, I have lectured all my children’s care providers on the fact that drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5 in the state of Florida. By no means am I above an accident, but I have sorely learned it really CAN happen to anyone. Anyone who follows my Facebook has even seen me share many drowning stories to help bring awareness to the seriousness of this and it pains me to say that I have now experienced it myself.
I thought about keeping the incident private because I feel so guilty and horrible and ashamed. But every experience I have (good or bad) I view as an opportunity to use for good.
The sun was going down and the mosquitos were coming out so we decided to head home. All the girls were out of the pool, out of their swim gear and even showered. Whitney and I both had our backs to the pool as we packed up our bags. The girls were all playing by the showers away from the pool. We were mid-converstaion and I (for some reason) turned around and looked in the pool. My heart stopped. There was my 2-year-old under the water. All I could see was her eyes. They were enormous with fear. She knew she was in trouble. All of her limbs were moving, but she could not get her head above water. Everything stood still. I feel like it was in slow motion. It felt like it took so much time for my body to respond to what my brain was seeing.
“OH MY GOD!” I remember saying as I dashed into the pool. I scooped her up, and she started immediately coughing. Her mouth was bloody. I sat and cradled her as she sobbed.
Whitney put a towel around us and I just kept thinking, “WHAT IF??????”
“What if I hadn’t turned around? What if another one of the children had to use the bathroom and we had been even more distracted? What if…” followed by questions: “How long was she under for? Why is her mouth bleeding? Had she tripped and fallen in? Had she rolled off the steps? Did we need to call for help? Was she ok?” I’ve read so many stories about secondary drowning that I was concerned she could still not be out of the woods.
“I’m so sorry,” I told her as I rocked her back and forth on the edge of the pool. “I…. was…. scared,” she managed to get out in-between sobs. The sun was just setting and I looked up to the clouds.
“Thank you,” I said to God as the moment began to sink in.
What makes me shudder is thinking about how silent it was.
There was no noise. There was no splashing. I didn’t hear her enter the pool and I never would have heard a thing. My child was in such danger and I didnt hear a peep. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a helicopter parent. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. I’m a safety nut, and even hate the playground because I can see every open nook and cranny that my kids could possibly fall through. I could go on and on trying to convince you of all the ways in which I am a careful and cautious parent but it doesn’t really matter does it? Accidents happen. To all types of parents. The irony is that I felt like she was the safest because she was in swim bands the whole time, while my older child was navigating the waters without them as a wobbly new swimmer.
I have been through a few nasty accidents with my girls in the past but none that have ever made me look at my child and think, “I almost lost you.” Through the joys of co-sleeping I still get her kicking me in her sleep all night long, but that night they were very welcomed, and I kinda felt like I deserved it.
It’s still quite fresh and still makes me cry, but anyone can learn from this and I hope it makes a difference to someone. It’s made a major impact on me.