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The Longest Ninety Minutes

February 18, 2015 Sarah Coggins

I sat frozen. Unable to move and hardly able to even breathe. My heart raced as I tried to calm my mind.

Ninety minutes that seemed like an eternity slowly ticked past.

Hourglass by Nile

I know because I kept looking at the clock. Then the door.

The clock. Then the door.

This was exactly 4 months ago on October 18, 2014 in the wee hours of the morning. Elise was less than 24 hours old. We were still in the hospital. She had been sleeping peacefully for almost 4 hours and, while I was more relaxed being the second time around and do agree with the general “don’t wake a sleeping baby,” I started to wake her anyhow knowing the nurses would come around to check on us and see when she last nursed. I knew once home we could adjust to our own schedule. But in the confines of that room, you fall under the “rules” so better to wake the sleeping newborn and at least show you attempted to nurse them.

I had just gotten us settled into my hospital bed with pillows fluffed all around trying to get us as comfortable as possible when one of the techs came in to check us on. The quick check of were we okay, glance over the nursing/diapering log, and how was my pain level. Nothing fancy. The tech started making notes on her clipboard when she stopped and stared at the two of us for a split second.

The next few seconds flashed by my eyes as she commented something about Elise choking. Grabbing her from my arms. Flipping her onto her belly and patting her back. I remember her saying that Elise was turning colors and running out of the room with Elise in her arms while yelling for a second nurse to grab the infant cart and follow her.

My blood ran cold as fear ripped through me.

I can barely remember yelling at Trent who was just as exhausted and stunned as I was to chase after them and find out if our baby was okay.

I couldn’t move.

I was sore and in pain from delivery as well as literally frozen with fear.

I sat like that for 90 minutes. My mind running a thousand miles an hour thinking and yet not thinking. I was terrified and afraid of thinking the worst. Because I know.

I know it can happen.

Throughout my pregnancy a dark cloud was over every moment. It eased a bit in the end, but due to the miscarriages I suffered before this pregnancy, it never fully went away. I knew that just because we reached the finish line didn’t mean getting the prize.

I knew because my kids have a cousin that was due in August 2013, the same month I was due with my first miscarried baby, and that little girl arrived stillborn in July 2013.

I knew because one of my cousins was due with a son in October 2014. He arrived early and then was called home to Heaven a short time later.

I knew it didn’t have to be the same story for us. But it could. And that was my greatest fear in those long 90 minutes.

Even when Trent returned soon after Elise was taken away from us to tell me she was okay and was being kept in the nursery for a while for observation.

Even after one of the nurses came to tell me the same.

I sat frozen in that hospital bed for the full 90 minutes. Unable to hardly move beyond breathing until she was returned to our room. At which point I grabbed our little girl and embraced her tightly and held on for as long as possible.


Yesterday we celebrated 4 months. Four months of this beautiful girl in our lives and I feel so blessed. So if you catch me holding, hugging, snuggling and covering in kisses either one of my kids “too much” – there is no such thing. Grateful I am able to do just that. Life is a beautiful fragile thing and somehow I’ve been blessed with two beautiful children to love. I don’t take that lightly.


  • Tracy February 18, 2015 at 9:48 am
    Motherhood sure is terrifying! I had a VERY high risk pregnancy with my second child and delivered 6 weeks early with my first, which made for one EMOTIONAL mama! I'm so glad your precious baby is happy and healthy! You go on holding her tight!
    • Sarah Coggins February 18, 2015 at 10:17 am
      Nothing can prepare you for the roller coaster ride of emotions from motherhood. Glad your pregnancies ended well too. And, thanks - I'm snuggling her all I can!
  • Julie S. February 18, 2015 at 9:16 pm
    Kenley had a choking incident in the hospital as well (from being a C-section and having some more fluid) and it was horrifying. So sorry you had that experience, but so happy she is healthy and thriving! :)
    • Sarah Coggins February 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm
      One of the thoughts was it had to due to fluid from her fast delivery. There was a question just before she was born and mention of her possibly being taken to special care nursery (which was done for Dylan after birth due to worries about him taking in amniotic fluid since he was sunny side up). However, she checked out fine immediately after birth so this caught us off guard hours later especially on little sleep. It was a huge relief when she was okay, but we came home nervous and started her as a side sleeper. Now, even though we put her on her back, she rolls to her side on her own to sleep. ;)
  • Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? February 18, 2015 at 9:28 pm
    I can't even imagine. My heart was racing the whole time. So glad she's okay!
    • Sarah Coggins February 18, 2015 at 9:38 pm
      It was a very terrifying time and I can express enough how grateful I am that it ended well. A tough reminder to me that every single moment really is a blessing. I have some challenging parenting moments (as I'm sure we all do) where I have to remind myself of that. The good & bad days are all worth it. Nothing more wonderful than being a parent.
  • Nikol Murphy February 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm
    Becoming a mother is so very emotional. I think you become a mother the soon as you learn you are pregnant. Thank God for the nurse's keen eyes and quick movement. Life is so precious and it is easy to forget in the day to day. Stay in that cuddle place long and enjoy it.
    • Sarah Coggins February 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm
      So true. Motherhood is definitely an experience you don't understand until you have been through it. I'm so very grateful for the care we got and that all ended happily. I'm snuggling both those kids every chance they will let me! It all goes by so fast.
  • Janet February 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm
    Oh, my absolutely scary! I'm sure that took a very long time to get past. She's a beautiful baby and I'm glad she's doing so well!
    • Sarah Coggins February 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm
      It was. When we first came home, Trent & I would position her on her side to sleep overnight with a rolled receiving blanket against her back and another over her tucked into the sides of the bassinet to keep her from moving. The slightest sound used to have me waking up fearing she was choking again. Thankfully, we've all made progress and now sleep peacefully through the night. But she's hooked on that side sleeping. We'll put her down on her back and often return to find her sound asleep on her side. :)
  • Jennifer Wood February 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm
    Thank you for sharing - you are absolutely right - there is no such thing as "too much." My son was seven weeks early and spent 2.5 weeks in the NICU - it was terrifying - he's now a healthy, happy freshman in college and I still tend to hug him just a little too tight when given the opportunity.
    • Sarah Coggins February 19, 2015 at 6:29 pm
      So glad he is okay! What a tough time that must have been. Dylan spent a few hours in special care nursery and that was enough for me. I can't begin to imagine what other parents have had to live through.
  • Tina February 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm
    Goose bumps. What a scary feeling. I can not imagine how you felt in those 90 minutes. And I hope you never have to experience that particular scary feeling, there will be others. My kids are 12 years and 9 years old, and so many "scary" times.
    • Sarah Coggins February 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm
      Nothing can prepare you for the fear of anything happening to your children. Motherhood is amazing and certainly something you don't understand until you experience. I can only imagine the scary parts ahead. I think I'll focus on the good for a bit! Although I do warn my 5yo son to be extra careful at times because I'm afraid of him getting hurt.
  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt February 20, 2015 at 7:41 am
    Wow. How terrifying. Thank god she is ok! I have never heard of that happening!
    • Sarah Coggins February 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm
      I think it's more common than I realized. I had another friend tell me of a similar experience during her second born's first day. It was mentioned to me during our stay in the hospital that it might be related to any fluid she took in during birth. Both the friend I spoke with and I had fast labor & delivery the 2nd time. Elise arrived within 2.5 hours of our arrival at the hospital where I was there a good 14 hours before Dylan came. Regardless of what caused it, I'm grateful we're past it although nearly anytime she coughs or sounds like a possible choke, I lunge for her. I haven't totally shaken it off.
  • ter April 8, 2015 at 12:28 am
    sarah as I read this post I felt my eyes fill up with tears. They burn still as I type this comment. I'm so glad it worked out for you but how scary! I'm sorry you had to go through that. I'm glad that nurse looked in on you right when she did, and that you had the gut instinct to pick up your child when you did. <3
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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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