Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There was a little lady who swallowed a barrette.

Did I ever tell you about the time Noelle swallowed a barrette?

I still can't believe it.

Just after Noelle turned 2 (a year ago) I laid her down for her afternoon nap, closed the door and started folding laundry. A few minutes went by and I heard a faint noise coming from her room. I figured she was just fighting the nap so I ignored it for a while, but heard it again about 10 minutes later. I opened her door and found her sitting up in her crib.

"Lay down and close your eyes, Noelle." I reached in her crib and touched her face.
"I put my bow in my mouth."
"Your bow?" I combed my hand through her hair looking for the barrette I put in earlier that morning.
Nothing. I searched the bed. Nothing. The ground. Nothing.
"You put the bow in your mouth?"
"Your bow?"
"Yes." She opened her mouth.

The details of the next hour or so are a little blurry. I remember calling my mom and Mr. G to tell them what Noelle said she did but I still didn't believe that she actually swallowed. it. Mr. G came home and asked Noelle what happened. Again she said she put the bow in her mouth so I called her pediatrician and we went in right away. 

Dr. D told us that if it is in fact in her body there are three scenarios that can be played out. First, the barrette makes its way through ALL of the intestines without opening and doing any damage, then passes with no problems within 3 days. 
Two, if we don't find the barrette in her poop after 3 days, she will get another x-ray to see if the barrette has moved. If it hasn't she will need surgery immediately to have it removed. Panic. If the barrette has moved but hasn't come out after 5 days, surgery. Panic.

It was also important that the barrette was still closed. If the x-ray showed that it was open, she'd have to have surgery asap to get it removed before it went through the intestines, inevitably causing damage.

I was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time so I couldn't go with Noelle to the x-ray room. Mr. G went with her. Once they disappeared behind the door I took a deep breath and prayed. It wasn't long before I heard the screams. Noelle HATES laying down on tables. "Daddy NO! Daddy NO!" It was awful. Everyone in the waiting room stared at me and my eyes filled with tears. Mr. G had to hold her down so they could get a picture. It was only a few minutes, but felt like hours. 

The screaming stopped and soon my little girl was running into my arms. I tried to read Mr. G's face but for the first time I had no idea what was going on. He handed me a large green envelope and said, "It's in there."

I ripped the image out of the envelope and could not believe what I was seeing. I hated myself for not taking that barrette out of her hair. I always took her bows out before she laid down. Why did I forget that time?

It wasn't until later I realized just how bad this could have turned out. If she choked, I wouldn't have heard her and probably wouldn't have even checked on her for 2 hours. I can't think about that, it makes my stomach hurt and my heart race.

Luckily this story has a happy ending. That night, Noelle complained of a stomach ache and we let her sleep in our room. The next day, she crossed her arms around her stomach several times in pain and I held her tight telling her that it would be okay. I called Dr. D about 50 times that day. Before her nap, I changed her diaper (which I made her wear to make examination easier) and there it was. The barrette made its way out. Thank you, Jesus! It was broken in half at the top and had three very sharp edges, but no harm was done.

She hasn't worn a barrette in her hair since.


  1. So scary! We have friends whose daughter swallowed a needle! She had to go for x-rays every few hours to make sure it was traveling through her intestines ok. It didn't bother her at all until it came out in the diaper and poked her hiney. You were both very lucky!

  2. Oh my gosh!! That's one for her baby book!! Poor thing, both you and her!

  3. So scary! My kids are 6 and 8 now but if I had read this then, there would be NO hairbows for them either! Glad it turned out the way it did. :)

  4. So scary! Glad she is doing okay!

  5. Ahh! That's so crazy! So glad everything turned out okay :)

  6. My goodness, how scary! Glad everything ended up okay and no surgery was required. I can only imagine how sick to your stomach you felt when you saw that x-ray.

  7. OMG!! I am never sending my daughter to bed with one in again, so scary, as a matter of fact, I think ill just stop using all together!

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  9. That would be scary! I'm glad that everything turned out well in the end!~
    ~Lisa @