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FROM A PARENTS EYES
OUR EXPERIENCES WITH SIDS AND HOW IT AFFECTS US


PAGE 2

I am a mother who is still trying to survive the aweful death of my precious son, Cody. I was a very young mother. I had Cody when I was 16 yrs old and what a dream come true. A baby boy, born on july 8, 1992 and weighing 7lbs 14ozs, 21 in long. So beautiful! What a dream come true. I was so happy, so proud and so was his daddy. Even though I was a young mom I spent every minute that I could with cody. I was such a proud mommy. He was so healthy, happy and so full of life.

 One early morning is when my nightmare began... On Nov 22, 1992 Codys daddy woke me up saying, "I can't look at Cody." so I turned over to see my precious son lying right next to me, so lifeless,so blue and so cold. I screamed so loud, "Help me! Help me!" I ran out of our bedroom, dropped to the floor, and screaming as my dad came running to help, he gave Cody CPR and tried so hard. As I held Cody's hand and the tears fell over his body. My dad got his color to come back and then he wasn't as so cold. I kept asking my dad, "WHAT DID I DO? WHAT DID I DO?" My dad kept working on him until the ambulance got there. I begged them to let me ride with but they said, "No". All the way down to the hospital, even though in the back of my mind I knew he was dead, I thought, as soon as he got into mommys arms he'd wake up for mommy. As we sat in the waiting room they came in. I knew by the looks on there faces that he was gone. "No not my baby! No, please! You have to do something!" They! then brought me my precious son.

I held him so tight, thinking that forsure he would wake up. I sang to him. I tried so hard but he never woke up. I sat there with him for along time. His daddy and I just can't even explain the pain and suffering we felt. As the nurse came in to take Cody I screamed, "No, you cant take him, he's my son. He needs his mommy, I need him! You can't take him!" They took him out of my arms. I felt so helpless and so alone. As I talked to the coriner I felt so to blame. They then came to get me to say good-bye to my son. As I walked into that cold, heart-shattering room I saw that he was covered up with a white sheet. So horrible I couldn't beleive what I was seeing. As she uncovered him I knealt down and cried. I hugged him so tight. I felt I could never let go of him but they made me. As I screamed leaveing the hospital, I can't explain the pain I felt and haveing to go home without him, there is just no words to expain. I walked into the house to see his walker, toys, playpen,
 carseat, and everything that belonged to him and my baby was gone..The days we had to face were horrible.

  His funeral was the day before Thanksgiveing.....What was there to be thankful for? I lost my son, my life. It was all gone. Right before my eyes, but then I thought I was thankful that this little guy gave me so much in his short life, that people dont give or feel in a lifetime.

  I'll never forget the day before he died...we got up early, played, (he loved just being in his diper) all full of smiles. We looked out the window together and waited for grandpa to come in. He walked in the door, he always called, "Cody! codyodyo!" and he would laugh and laugh. Then he took a bath with mommy, after I dressed him up so cute, grandma gave him his first taste of a hershey's bar. He loved it! And also that day I remember that I got to show grandma how he could roll over. I was so proud my baby boy. The pain still remains just like it was yesterday, but at least I have the precious memories of my baby boy, Cody.... Cody now has 2 sisters and a brother. There wasn't and still isn't a day that im not terrified of SIDS. I have made it so far with 1 brother and 1 sister but I'm still terrified for my one child who is only 8 months. No matter what, the nightmare will always remain...

in memory of: Cody
born: July 8 1992
died: Nov 22 92
**Mommy loves you litte buddy and misses you so terribly much!**

Lisa Morseth-Boldt


Going to sleep at night is the hardest because it was when I was sleeping
with little Benjamin next to me that he died. I woke up in the morning at
6:38 am and the first thought I had was wow did I sleep long. I
immediately went to the washroom without looking at him and my boyfriend
Rim, and father of our child, yelled up from downstairs, "do you want a
coffee?" He was getting up for work. I felt something was wrong while I
was peeing and said no. I ran back to my room and saw little Ben lying
there looking very weird and his face was red and blue and his little
mouth was in a kiss. I touched his hand and it was cold. I thought he's
dead. And yelled out He's dead. Ben is dead. But I didn't believe it. Rim
came bounding up the stairs screaming NO NO and gasping grabbed him off
the bed and began CPR. I phoned 911 and between sobs got instructions
from the guy on what Rim should do. The ambulance came and Rim and
Benjamin and the rest of them took him away. I was still screaming and
walking around in circles saying my baby my baby. I had him. I had him. I
want him. My baby. And things like that.

The cops were gross and treated us like criminals. I got a drive to the
hospital and I asked the policewoman if he was going to be saved and she
kept saying keep praying which of course I was. When I got to emergency
they ushered me into this room and there was Rim all huddled in the
corner with little Benjamin in his arms and Rim was just crying and
crying. I slammed the door and walked out knowing he was really not going
to come to life. Then I went back into the room and held Benjamin and
cried and cried. I couldnt stay. So we left to go home and the detectives
wouldn't let us leave. But Rim, who hates cops, insisted. I asked that no
police be at our house when we got home. We took a cab and when we got
home our street was crawling with cops and detectives. We ignored them
and walked up to our house but they said "Where do you think you're
going" Rim said in my house. Oh no you're not. You'll stay right here.
You can sit in the police car if you are cold. I couldn't believe it. I
was wailing and thinking of nothing but how can my baby die?

Anyway they finally let us sit on our couch. It was so horrible. Finally
they took the sheet he died on and left. Rim suggested we go back to the
hospital to see Ben again since we didn't know what else to do. I'm glad
we did. The hospital people were really sweet and after the autopsy they
brought him to me. And I told him I was sorry. And to tell me why he
died. And what did I do wrong. Did I sleep through his needs? Was I
horrible? Did he hate me?

It was the most awful day in my life. That was a week ago. Then we had to
arrange a funeral and a wake and it was all a blur. The day of the
funeral I somehow pulled myself together and actually spent the two
viewing hours consoling my family and Rims family and our friends. Most
people never saw him alive.

Rim has two children by an earlier marriage aged 12 and 10 and I have one
beautiful daughter aged 11. My daughter, Gigi, was away at camp for the
week. She kept calling me but everyone would tell her I was freelancing.
She came back Friday, the day of the viewing. When I told her she reacted
just like I did. She blamed herself for being mean, she wanted to die,
she wouldnt believe it. Rim's kids, who spend much less time here were
very sad too but not as heartbroken as Gigi.

She is still getting over my breakup with her father 2 years ago and then
I moved in with Rim and then bam the next thing I knew I got pregnant.
After much thought, we decided to have the baby. My pregnancy was easy
although it seemed to go on forever. On Sept. 2 I woke up at 6 with labor
pains, got to the hospital at 8 am and Benjamin was born at 8:36. So
fast. No time for any pain killers or filling out papers. He seemed in
such a hurry to be born. And then on Oct 5, 4 weeks and 3 days later,
gone. Unfuckingbelievable.

When the cororner told me it was SIDS I wanted to puke. I thought I might
have squished him, or snapped his neck, or gave him poison milk or
something but he said no, no, no. SIDS is what we call it when we have no
explanations.

Benjamin's doctor kept saying what an extremely beautiful healthy baby
you have. He is at the top of the charts. Growing phenomonally (however
you spell it) well. Nothing wrong with him.

The Monday (his last live day) before he died Rim and I talked and I told
him I wanted to stay home with Benjamin until he went to school because
he was such a character I didn't want to miss any of his childhood like I
did with Gigi, going back to work with her only 4 months old. He said
that was fine. We had some company over - which happened alot people
always wanted to see him.

I was very tough. My baby can handle this, my baby can handle that. I
took him out early. I lost all my weight and had my natural skinny body
back in less than 10 days. I could wear all my old clothes. I kept saying
I want to go out and party but I guess I can't while I'm breast feeding.

I loved him so much. Every day was ours alone, with Gigi at school and
Rim at work. Monday was the best day I had with him. I finally figured
out how to take him shopping alone, went to visit a girlfriend and he sat
contentedly on my lap.

His eyes were crazy, yet I never had him smile for me except in his sleep
when I heard him laugh. I never saw his tears. I never saw him do
anything. What a horrible thing to be pregnant for so long and finally
have your prize to love and hold and fall in love with, then suddenly
some mysterious disease takes him away. I want to know what is SIDS. Why
do so many babies die from it? They say that SIDS affects more boys than
girls, and
usually the healthier ones. Yes I smoked. I smoked with my daughter too,
and Rim with his kids. Did the smoke kill him? Did the fact that I took
him outside right away after he was born? That I only stayed in the
hospital one night? That I slept through his death?

The eeriest thing I read was that the first sympton of SIDS is death.
Yuck.

One thing that holds me strong, and I must be stronger than I ever was,
and I was and am considered strong emotionally, is that at least he chose
our family to visit for such a short time. That my life has changed
dramatically.

I am 39 years old, but look younger and am in good shape with a youthful
mind. One of my best friends is 23. I want another child and we are going
to try, but I know sweet lovely Benjamin Blaine van Leeuwen-Budrys will
never be replaced. He was different and special. I spent nights writing
to him when he was alive.

The night he died for some reason I wrote to him how I was going to take
pictures of his birth cards and his presents and celebrate his "infinite
birth" and "rejoice in his arrival" and make a big poster for him to
keep. The last three lines of my little letter to him was
My Airport Boy
Flying in your eyes
Away.

I didn't mean DIE.

He had the wildest craziest computing eyes I ever saw. I can't believe
he's gone.

I feel like I have to go on, to make my son proud, to keep my daughter
safe. She still hasn't gone back to school and I am spending the day with
her today. She is in a special gifted class because she has above average
IQ. With such a smart brain, this all hurts her very deeply and
dramatically. She has been wonderful to me though, I keep crying and she
is there and when she cries, I comfort her.

Only 1 week later and the tears are drying up. I cried so much, there is
a dump truck of cement on top of my body that makes me feel heavy. But I
know Benjos isn't coming back and I don't know if he died because of
something inadequate or stupid thing I did, but I must go on. I never
want to forget him but I do want to know more about SIDS. How can people
just accept it?  Its too damn weird for me. I never even listened before
when people talked about it because I thought no way could that every
happen to me.

Even the night he died I bragged to a concerned friend who said I might
squish him if I slept with him - not me, I am so in tune with him, if he
stirs I feel it. I said that that night and what do you know, I missed
his passing. I'll never get over that, my baby dead beside me while I lay
sleeping. YUCK. YUCK. I want him back. But I can't have him. What cruel
justice.

Sometimes I think I'm gross that I can still
smile, that I can go on. I hope its not improper but what else am I to
do. I know he's not coming back. No way never.

Here is a poem I wrote to him a few nights after he died

-----------

Benjamin

You get to have the little happiness I have to offer you
But I am shaking
Whenever I think of you I feel so scared
But baby forever I will take care of you
by taking care of me and my loved ones
You have provided me
with oodles of ammunition.

Of very heavy doses.
I will find the strength to go on
and carry your most beautiful soul
with me

Benjamin

You are my god forever.
You have given me reason to be proud.
You have given me joy
and love
leaping and abounding
in my heart and soul.

You have ripped me open.
Left me sucked wide open
Out.  Fast.
Slam the door.
All goes well.  You cry.  They say that's normal
And yet you grow at "the top of the charts"
Then bam.
You die.
And leave me shocked.
And in despair.
And feeling.
And thinking all kinds of things
deep rumble
I'll have to draw your face over and over again.
vitamin
thread
to have loved and lost
than to never have loved at all.

what am I to do.

Being with B-man, is heaven.

You and your sunshine of love.

--------------
Love you forever my little Benjos, B-man, brother and son, your mommy,
Yvonne.

Yvonne van Leeuwen
yvl@connection.com

 

To give birth is what is considered one of the greatest miracles on this earth, to allow the life of your child to begin with the snip of the cord that brought life for nine long months.  What is one to do then, when the same breath that the child took to become whole and real in this world, also takes his life?

This is the story of my third child, and only son, Zackary Shane Herkins born on 12/11/1998 at 7 lbs and 4 ozs, blonde and pink... perfect and a boy( we have two girls) we kept checking "down there" to make sure we were not dreaming!!!

The life of this little boy was nothing but pure love, and in his death which occured sadly on February 10th,1999 at 11:33 am ( his daddies birthday) while his mommy was in the same hospital thatthey brought him into, has forever changed my, our life.

No longer do I take anything for granted, I cry daily, and miss my little man.  I question why you, why us, and there must be a reason.  People say in SIDS time we are at 8 months which translates to ...oh about two hours after the death... that is what some days feel like.

I am so sad that he is gone, and I loved every moment with him.  I am active with other SIDs parents and will work until my last breath to see why... and how come

I love you my little man

Candace Herkins
MOMMY
EMAIL:
herkins@jps.net


MESSAGE OR STORY:
Caleb Aaron Joshua Barnhart was born December 17th, 1998, and was born by caesarean in Victoria, BC, Canada.  I still remember the first time I saw him emerge.  I could see them take him out of my through the reflection of the anestisiologists glasses, and I started to cry.  He was a perfect healthy 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and we were home within three days...just in time to celebrade Daddy's birthday.  Although I can remember moments like this, the memories that over-ride are of me turning him over, seeing his face, so doll-like and still.  I knew as soon as I saw him that he was gone, but I called 911 and started CPR  immediately.What else could I do?   It seemed like forever until the ambulance came.  The time: 8:11 a.m., April 30th, 1999.  The last day.  At the hospital, my friend Christine came within 5 minutes and I just stayed in another room, crying and praying.  Begging God to take
my life...if only he would wake-up. 

My son was a beautiful strong little man.  All who met him said that he was the strongest, most alert baby they have ever met.  He rolled over for the first time at eight weeks, and sat up by himself for the first time on Thursday.  I'm so glad that Christine and the others could share that memory with me on what was to be the last day of his life. He was never one to be content with just lying on the floor playing with his toys. No, not him.  Caleb had to, and loved, being the centre of attention.  Although there are many things that my son will never do on this earth, there are many things that he did do in his short four and a half months.  He played in the sunshine, he ate grass, he tapped his fingers on a keyboard, he grabbed a cat tummy.  My son was strong and gentle, and also ticklish.  I remember my Mom getting such joy out of finding his tickle spots on his back and behind his pudgy little knees.

Later, when the coroner talked to me she told me how well taken care of he was, not even a diaper rash.  I just looked at her and said...of course he's perfect, so what the hell went wrong.  Why can't anyone answer my questions.  It makes me so angry that by the time you have finished reading this another child has died.  How wrong is that??  Most people have some reason for a death, but not SIDS families.  All we are left with is self-recrimination and
guilt.  If only...What if... Why didn't I.... Why did we....

My son was precious and beautiful and I'm so thankful I was blessed with him.  I will miss you eternally, my little baby blue.
Bonnie Barnhart
October 24th, 1999

EMAIL:
a.barnhart@home.com

NAME OR NICKNAME: Kitkat

 

When i found out i was pregnant the 2nd time with my son Jeffrey  I was so happy and then the doctor told me that i was not going to carry him  far at all and It tore me up and months went by and he was doing fine, then on September 17th, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 8 pounds even and he was so beautiful blond hair and blue eyes. very healthy,.On the late morning of December 19th 1992 I woke up late, I went to go and check on my 2 sons and Alex my first son was playing in the room and Jeffrey was asleep so I thought but the closer i got to his bed I had such a horrible feeling in my stomache that something was so wrong and I put my hand on his back to see if i could feel him breathing and to my horrible surprise he wasn't. I started to scream.I never thought this kind of heartache could ever happen to me, but it did.It's been 7 years now and I still think of him everyday of my ife and sometimes I just cant wait to be with him again.one day we will be!
 together.I love you my angel
love mommy


EMAIL:
fourmaddox@aol.com

NAME OR NICKNAME: angie maddox

 

Hi my name is Jodie i lost my son to SIDS on the 4th of july 1999.I will start out by talking about my pregnancy i had a great pregnancy tell about 4 months when i contracted Chicken pox and a bad case at that.My pregnancy went okay after that i had Reece 5-12-99 he weighed 9lbs 4ozs at birth heweoghed 12lbs 12 ozs at death.He was such a happy baby me and my husband had only been married a year when we had Reece.He has 3 other kids one is 12,8,6.I have 2 other kids 7,6.Reece was our binderthe one who pulled us together.He was 7 weeks old the morning he died.I will tell you of that morning.The night before we went and watched fire works and everything was great we all were together and everybody was so happy.We took the kids home and put them to bed.Reece was reall tired that night but i had fed him cereal and thought he was tired from that he woke at 3:30 and i fed him he slept with us so he ate and went back to sleep me and my husband both woke up around 9:00!
 when i rolled over i knew he was gone he was on his side but he had some lividty on his face when i pulled him to me.I screamed at my usband to call 911 that reece was dead e stoped looked at and said are you sure and i told him do it know.I started cpr but i didn't want to take him out of our room for fear our children would see him like that.My husband was frantic for me to come in the living room so that he could see for him self that his son was gone.I proceded to living room knowing that m kids were going to hear and get up on the wat to lving room they all apeared at my feet looking at me i yelled to them to get back in there room wich they did our 2 other sons were sleeping on the couch and i new that are oldest son had seen that his brother was gone because he rolled over and through his face in the couch and cried i had taught him cpr 2 days before and he new that if i was doing cpr that his brother was gone the ambulance showed up and the emt took over i fed the information to him that he needed and the rest of the crew showed up.They said there was room for one of us to go and i new it was going to be me i told m husband i had to go and out the door we went.W e got to the hospital and they put me in a room they called the quiet room i don't know how long it took them to tell me but it felt as if it were hours the dr came to the door and said he is gone and i lost it being in the nursing feild was going to get me i screamed bring him back i know you can .I got to hold him and rock him and say good bye he was our angel in disguise .My husband showed up and held him and said we had to go there was nothing left to do our son was gone.We had him creamated and he is in our house close to us everyday we had a memorial service and it was amazing the people he had touched in his short 7 weeks.  

EMAIL:
carlsonmcgraw@webtv.net

NAME OR NICKNAME: jodie carlson

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ANY ONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THERE EXPERIENCE,
AS A PARENT, GRANDPARENT, AUNT, UNCLE, OR EVEN A FRIEND.
PLEASE FEEL TO USE THE
FILL OUT FORM OR YOU MAY EMAIL
ME WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE AND I'LL WELCOME THE ADDITION.


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