Well I debated blogging about this but I decided to for a couple of reasons. First, if my experience could possibly prevent someone else from having this experience than it is good information to share. Also, it is one of those experiences that weighs on my mind so venting my thoughts and feelings about it may be good too.
I will start with then end result - Elizabeth is fine and mommy is grateful!
Okay so now back to the beginning - Elizabeth was eating an orange. I was giving her an orange slice at a time and she kept coming back for more and then running off to play. About 5 minutes or so after I had given her the last orange slice I noticed she needed a diaper change. I laid her down and started changing her when she began choking. I immediately began trying to dislodge whatever was in her throat by performing Heimlich maneuvers. After several attempts she began crying. I was relieved and looked to recover what appeared to be part of the orange when she inhaled and began choking again. I again attempted to dislodge it and finally was able to pull the stringy mess from the back of her throat. What she had choked on was the casings from around the orange slices. Instead of swallowing them after each slice she kept storing them in her mouth and then was unable to break them down by chewing or swallow them.
I think what I learned from this was to watch for this in the future when she is eating oranges but also to be aware of what may be in her mouth before I lay her down in a prone position on her back.
While I remained calm and did what needed to be done during the event, I wanted to really let out a good cry after it was over. I withheld it (mostly) in front of Elizabeth and then only partially released the awful build-up when my husband returned home from a quick trip to the store (which is where he was when the incident took place). May this experience be our last and may you readers never have to share in a similar one yourselves.