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

PAGE 3

In the summer of 1999 I met a wonderful woman who became a great friend. We met through our teenagers who were dating. She has a 17 yr old son and a 14 yr old daughter and was pregnant. On Dec. 31, 1999 she gave birth to a beautiful son and named him Kobe. He was the apple of everyone's eyes. His mother couldn't put him down, she held him while he was awake and while he slept. She even did housework with him in her arms. She knew that in a couple of months she would have to return to work and the thought of leaving Kobe was almost unbearable for her.  I have 3 children of my own and I baby- sit my cousin's 2 yr old so I told her I would love to keep Kobe when she returned to work. She said that would be the only way she could go back to work and not worry about Kobe because she knew how much I loved him and that he would get all the love and attention he was accustomed to. Each morning when she dropped him off, her eyes filled with tears as she kissed him goodbye because she missed being with him, holding him and watching him as he slept. I am a picture fanatic so I took tons of pictures and videotaped him during the day so that she could see that he was happy and doing well.  On March 13th, she was running late and said he had thrown up after his bottle and would probably be hungry soon. She kissed him goodbye just like every other morning and left. And just like every other morning I sat down in the rocker and talked to Kobe. He was cooing and smiling his great big wonderful smile and played like this for 30 minutes or so. He began to fuss for his bottle so I fed him and he kept it down this time.  I changed his diaper and by this time he was getting sleepy.  I put him on my shoulder with his head against my cheek and hummed a song and rocked him to sleep. I held him for awhile after he fell asleep and went to lay him down.  Kobe always took a long nap and since I had been up most of the night sick to my stomach, I decided to lay down and rest while he slept.  I had never laid down while he slept but I was so exhausted and drained I did this one time I'll never forgive myself for that. The next thing I knew my daughter woke me up and said I need to come look at Kobe. I asked her what was wrong and she just said to come look. I jumped up and ran to see what was wrong. As soon as I saw his face I knew something terrible was wrong. He was turning blue around his mouth and was real pale. I screamed his name and picked him up while yelling at my daughter to call 911. I just remember screaming his name over and over and trying to feel his heartbeat or breath from his mouth. There was nothing! Oh God...don't let this be happening!! I had to do CPR until the paramedics arrived. The rest is a blur of doctors, nurses, police, child abuse caseworkers, the hospital chaplain, all coming in and out of the room I was in.  They had to send the sheriff to get my friend fromwork and she had to be sedated for the trip to the hospital ,They never let me see her at the hospital and that was hard. I was asked so many questions by so many people. I begged God to take me and not Kobe, he was just a baby. But it was too late. The police had to come to my house and take pictures and do a report. I don't remember what they asked or what I said. At the funeral home I finally got to see my friend. I was worried about how they would feel about me but the entire family embraced me and said they did not blame me and knew how much I loved Kobe. They also said that God knew that Kobe's mother couldn't have handled finding him dead and that was why it happened when it did. He looked like he was sleeping, so peaceful, with a little smile. I like to think he was smiling because he was with God.  I just wanted to pick him up and hold him. It's been 3 months now and the pain is still as strong as if it happened yesterday. My friend and I are taking each day one minute at a time. We both still don't understand what happened, why it happened and why so many beautiful healthy babies die from this horrible thing called SIDS.  I don't think I'll ever
get over this, I just pray for the day when I can be at peace with what has happened and try to live a semi normal life again. I would appreciate any advice from someone who has been through this.  We have no support groups in our area for SIDS and I'm not doing too well dealing with this by myself. God bless every person who has been touched by SIDS, and God Bless you Kobe...our "little man".  Now you are "God's little man".  I love you.

EMAIL:
txlady2@netscape.net

NAME OR NICKNAME: Sandra

 

it was in the beginning of february and i was feeling very sick. i felt like i had the flu. i couldn't hold anything down not even crackers. so i went to the doctors to find out what was going on with me. i asked them to take a urine test to see if i was pregnant. that test came up negative.i was upset.i was hoping i was pregnant. my fiance and i were trying but didnt make it known that we were. i wasnt feeling much better the next week so i went back to the doctors.i was having pains in my right lower abdomen.so they took a blood test. friday february 18, 2000 i got a call from the doctors telling me i was pregnant. i immediately called Joe (his dad) and told him the good news. the next day i told my parents. i was only 17. i may have been young but i was ready. and my parents were behind me 100%. after i found out i was pregnant i called the doctor to start prenatal visits. i was having a lot of pain in my tummy so the were concerned he was in my tube. i was devastated.  i had normal sonograms and regular check ups. he was fine. the first time i heard his heart beat all i could do was laugh. it was so amazing. for those 9 months i was happy up until labor. i was supposed to go to my grandfathers wedding on October 15,2000 but woke up a little wet. i didnt know what it was so i called the doctor. he told me to go to L&D to see if it was my amnotic fluid. i was being checked out and i asked the nurse if i would be leaving today. she told me no but in two days you'll be leaving with a beautiful baby boy. they put me in room 248. and started me on pitocin. my contractions we ok at first. from 11 am that morning till 3 o clock i had no pain. the pitocin made my contractions so hard that they gave my epidural early at 3 cm dialted. i fell asleep until it was time to push. after 45 minutes of eye buldging pushing he was finally here. he was out. he wasnt crying when he first came out and i got worried so i asked the doctor why aint he crying then his little lungs werent so peacful anymore. he weighed in at 8 lbs. 1.6.oz. he was 19 1/2 in long. he was born healty all except for the jaundice. his levels went up to 19 and had to be treated for the jaundice in the hospital. i had him on a monday at 2:27 in the morning. we didnt leave the hospital until that friday. i was so tired i hadn't had sleep in a week and i finally got to bring my bundle of joy home. we had so much fun . and he was a really good baby. he only cried when hungry and always looked content. we dressed him up for halloween as SUPERMAN!!!!!! we had all dressed up his daddy and i were prisoners and joey was our arrester. however, my world crashed on november 18, 2000. joey slept in bed with his daddy and i. he was so spoiled. he wouldnt sleep anywhere else. that saturday november 18, 2000 i had slept the way we had always done. i had him cradled in my elbow with his body towards mine. my mom needed the phone and it was in my room. so she paged it. i reached up looked for the phone and when i looked down at joey i seen he was a little blue, not breathing and his arms were flailed back. although he had a peaceful look on his face i was going crazy. i looked down seen him like that and i started screaming. NO NO NO NOT MY BABY NOT JOEY!!!!! not my son! his father immediately started cpr and called 911. i ran out the room i couldnt face the fact my son, my baby wasnt here no more. he was dead at our house. my neighbor came over and tried cpr and to no avail. the paramedics arrived grabbed joeys lifeless body and continued cpr. we ran to the ambulance and tried to squeeze his father and i and the driver in to the front seat. no luck. i went by myself to the hospital and i was screaming for him to wake up or just breathe. thats all i wanted was for my baby to breathe. the firemen brought his daddy to the hospital. i had already left when the cops had came to the house. they had to investigate the crime scene which is understandable. but when i came home from the hospital i realized they had taken the sheets and pillows off our bed, they took a baby bottle, and his baby blankets that werent even on the bed where he passed. i was at the hospital holding my baby and the police wanted to interview me. not right now!! i told them. they were working on joey in a different room from where we were and we were not allowed in the room to see him. everytime i took a step towards his room an officer stepped in my way. after they finished working on him the doctor came in a said the whole speil of doctor mumbo and smiled when he told me the was nothing else they could do. the doctors had him breathing and his heart beating but only by machines. i called for the hospital clergy to come down and baptise my baby so that his soul would go to heaven. we held him for about 5 hours and the told us that they had to take him to the medical examiners to do an autopsy. they said it was the law but how can the state tell me i have to let them cut him open. i couldnt stand the thought of them cutting my baby. we tried to fight it but we couldnt. my parents handled the funeral arrangements. i picked out his casket, his clothes, and what lasting memories i could give him. i can only sum this up by saying this I SHOULD BE PICKING OUT SANDBOXES NOT CASKETS!!!!!!!!  BABIES DONT DIE!!! the funeral was the hardest. i was not one to be able to go to funeral the thought of it just grossed me out. my son was laying in a box. i however didnt feel that way when my son was in that casket. i wanted to grab him and run off. joey liked music and his favorite was celine dion. everynight i would play her falling into you cd over and over. it was the song his father and i first danced to. at his viewings we were allowed to play his sleepy music. at the services i dedicated a song to him that i will never forget the rest of my life. I LOVE YOU was the song and its about never getting to hear those three words a mother cant wait to hear. mommy i love you. i said my final good byes. and told him i loved him and that i was sorry i couldnt protect him. if as losing a child isn't hard enough ive had so much more to endure. the medical examiner did the autopsy and came to the conclusion SIDS. but the chief medical examiner wasnt satisfied with that. the chief medical examiner claims to be an expert on SIDS.so i was told to re-enact what happened. that was fine i dint care about that. like any mother who has lost a child i was determined to find out why. why my baby wasnt here anymore. but if re-enacting wasnt enough they wanted me to cradle a baby doll the way i cradled joey that night. the reason the medical examiners wanted to do this was because they were tring to change their offical findings on what joey died of. so after initally calling his death SIDS they werent sure it was SIDS. they wanted to call his death SUDDEN DEATH WHILE IN CARE OF PARENTS WITH POSSIBLE OVERLAY. this was because they thought a double bed was to small for two adults and on little itty bitty baby. so they came to the house with the doll and told us the worst that would happen would be the ruling of "UNDETERMINED". this was all because there were 4 beer bottles in the room. mind you all were more than half full. after the medical examiner left the next day we got the call. the said they were leaving it SIDS. to add injury to insult we were sold grave plots next to joey that people were already in. so we did the only thing that we felt was right. we bought more grave lots together and decided to move joey so that we could be with him at the end. well, that didnt go so well. on february 27, 2001 we disintered joey from the ground only to find that he had been submerged in water. his vault, his casket, and his toybox were soaked and filled with water. we had to have joey taken out of his vault, out of his casket, out of his clothes and redone. i have to go through buring my child again. i had to pick out new clothes, a new casket, a new vault, and a new cemetary. the cemetary has a stream underlaying about 100-200 graves. no one told us about this stream until about one month ago when we couldnt go double deep in a grave there. we had planned to bury joey double deep so that when his father or i pass over we could be close to him. so now we have to re-live this nightmare. the only thing that gets me through day to day is thinking about those 33 days of memories with my beautiful baby boy.  Joseph Alvin Drabic Jr. was his full name. although his mommy branded him CHIPMUNK. he has the chubbiest cheeks and the middle name alvin how could i resist???? after joey died i didnt know what to do. i was so lost and i feel all the parents pain from these pages. i prayed to see him one more time and i did get to see him. i got to see him the day they brought him back up. hes still perfect even after all the water. but the weirdest thing about seeing joey now 3 months after he passed he now has a smile on his face literally after seeing his mommy again. i walked into where they are holding him until we can bury him again u can see his smile, the kinda a smile that shows just how perfect and loving he was. i know i took up a whole lot of space but this is the first time i have actually been able to put these events on paper or air them out. i have family to talk to but i would like to talk to someone who has lost a child eventhough i dont wish this on anyone.

thanks for taking the time to read about my little angel.

EMAIL:
gudenuff4u@aol.com

NAME OR NICKNAME: chipmunk

 

My nephew died Feb.25,2001 I remember getting the call. It was all a blur.He was born Oct.14,2000 he was almost 5 months old.The cause of death was asphyxiation due to overlaying. He was sleeping with his mother.Its very hard to deal with because I have two boys and I cant imagine my life without them. This is without a doubt the worst thing that has ever happened to my family, and since then my sister has had a miscarriage.I lost another nephew also from my other sister.I love you Jesse, and Jacob and I will miss you always.

EMAIL: mailto:kdcc@alltel.net

NAME OR NICKNAME: KRISTI

 

It was cold and rainy when I admitted to the hospital to be induced early early on November 23rd, 2000 (Thanksgiving).  I was a week overdue with my little boy, so I got all hooked up and going, ready to meet my little boy in a few short hours.  My first baby, and it was a boy!  I was so excited. 

After about 6 hours, I started feeling the contractions...mildly, at first.  They gradually began to intensify; 7 more hours went by, and then I asked for an epidural.  After 4 more hours, I was not progressing: I was at only 4 cm, so they decided to go in for a C-Section.

Dominic James Miller was born at 7:58pm on Thanksgiving Day 2000...the first thing I thought when I saw him was "He has his daddy's nose!"   But he was a beautiful baby.  He weighed a healthy 8 lbs 4 oz, and was 20 in long.  That first night he slept on my chest between feedings...I was exhausted, but could not sleep a wink.  I just kept looking at this perfect little being lying on me, thinking, "This is my son.  I am a mom."  And I promised him the world.

We went home three days later.  His daddy carried him upstairs to the apartment where he would spend his short life.  I remember laying him in his bassinet that night and just watching him sleep, and the tears just started to flow.  I still couldn't get over how perfect and beautiful he was. 

He was a blessing from the beginning.  At 13 days old, I went in the kitchen to make him a bottle, while he laid on his playmat on the floor, on his tummy.  When I came back in, the little stinker was on his back....little Hercules had already rolled over!  Many a night, while his daddy was at work and I was on my maternity leave, my adorable little boy and I would stay up and keep each other company.  So many nights I sang and rocked him to sleep...my song for him was "You Are My Sunshine".  He was so content, and would stare at me until he drifted off to sleep.

My little man was a very strong, wiggly little guy.  So happy.  He smiled in his sleep at 3 days old (and I know it wasn't just gas), and he smiled so much that people started calling him Smiley.  He was also a little piggy.  He was always a lean baby, but finally around 3 months old, he started getting some cute little rolls.  He started eating solid foods at 2 months old (cereal), for on the bottle alone he was eating 6-8 oz every two hours, and not satisfied. 

Dominic had the most beautiful dark hair and gorgeous deep gray eyes to go with it.  He was a spitting image of his father.  Every where his proud daddy went with this little boy, people would immediately say, "He looks just like you!"  I often joked about buying a personalized shirt for Dominic that said "Mini-Me." 

Every day he got cuter and cuter.  He started giggling, and talking baby jibberish...especially to this little monkey toy that had a yellow plastic banana (he loved yellow and red).  When you pushed on its chest, it would say, "I love you! *Kissing noise*" then would play a song.  Every time the monkey would say "I love you", Dominic would bring the monkey to his mouth for a sweet, wet kiss!  It was so adorable.

The last day I spent with him was one I'll never forget.  I got up for work the morning of April 10, 2001...because his daddy works night shift, and I work day shift, I had to take little man with me to work, and his daddy would take him home.  I usually feed him before we go, but that morning I was running late.  I bundled him in his little Winnie the Pooh snowsuit (it was coooooollllldddd) and off we went.  He was unbelievably content while we waited for daddy.  He just looked out the window.  After we had parked, he looked over at me, stared for a minute, and just grinned so big....I was surprised, because I knew he was hungry, and that's the only time he usually wasn't happy.  I cherish moments like those.

I got home from work at 2 pm, and his grandma and cousin Tyrelle were there babysitting (his daddy had to go to a job interview).  They left shortly after, but not before telling me what a good boy he was.  I fixed him his afternoon meal, and we spent some time together.  Daddy got home a little while later, and went to bed.  I remember before he went to bed, he held Dominic as I made an appointment for his 6 month check up, and Dominic stared at me so intently, without so much as a blink, no expression whatsoever...he did this for at least 2 minutes. When I was finished, I picked up my little boy, and his daddy went over to the computer to check his email.  Dominic then stared at his daddy in the same manner, for the same length of time.  After daddy went to bed, I had to get ready to go to school, so I took Dominic into the bathroom with me and sat him in his bouncer seat as I showered.  When I was done, I took him out to the couch and played with him...I distinctly rememb!
er tickling his sides and listening to him giggle, and blowing kisses on his little cheeks.  He then, with a big smile on his face, stroked my cheeks with his chubby little hands, and grabbed my lips.  Time flew, and 5:30 came...I had to leave.  I woke Jason at about 5:15, and fixed the baby's evening meal before I left.  I usually kiss them goodbye, but that night, I didn't.  I regret it.

At 7:00pm, I got a strong urge to call home.  I figured that Jason had fed the baby and played with him, and then laid him down and went to sleep himself.  I shook the feeling, saying that everything was alright, and took a quiz.  At a little after 8:30, I was pulled out of class by a police officer.  My heart began to pound.  He took me to the Dean's office (who had no idea what had happened, and the way to her office had asked how my baby was), and told me that around 7:15pm, daddy had found Dominic in his crib, not breathing.  He did CPR, the paramedics came, and took him to the hospital.  That they did all they could, but Dominic was pronounced...(I hung on that word)DEAD (NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!) at 8:04 pm.  I screamed.  Not my baby!  He was fine!  He was happy all day!  There has to be a mistake!

He proceeded to take me to the hospital, where I found Jason in a room, sobbing and clutching to Dominic's monkey toy.  Everyone at the hospital was wonderful.  About 30 mins after I arrived, we got to see him.  By that time, his daddy's parents and my parents were there, sharing our grief.  Me, and his daddy went in by ourselves at first.  There he was on that gurney, wrapped in a homemade blanket beneath a white sheet.  My first thought was, "He's going to get cold!  I have to cover him up better than that."  My mom came in shortly after, with my brother...then in came his other grandma and grandpa.  Then in came his great-grandparents (my grams and gramps).  By that time, we were allowed to hold him.  I held him first.  The tubes and everything were still down his throat...he just looked so unreal.  Here was my baby, but he couldn't be dead.  Just earlier he was playing with me.  Now he wasn't moving.  Just earlier he gave me the brightest smile.  Now tubes were coming ou!
t of his mouth.  How could this have happened?  We all took turns holding him, and 3 hours later we left.  Dominic's daddy and I stayed at my parents' house. 

When we found out that it was SIDS (my gut instinct had already told me that...but I still blamed myself), I was so angry.  I remember reading about it in my pregnancy books, and just thought, "Those poor babies....at least that won't happen to my son."  I pretty much just skipped over those chapters.  I knew the risk factors, but Dominic didn't have any.  I didn't smoke or anything.  I never laid him on his tummy to sleep.  I never kept him too warm.  He was full ter. The only risk factor he had was that he was bottle fed.  But I, as well as my 3 younger brothers, all were bottle fed from birth AND slept on our tummies.  I kept second-guessing myself, going over and over in my mind what might have happened if I had called home.  If I had not gone to school that night.  Just that day I had talked to my mom and told her I was trying to find a way I could stay home with him more often.

My mom did most of the arrangements for the funeral.  I just remember there being alot of family visiting, and a lot of crying.  I remember that the worst part was telling people for the first time.  Everyone who had met or seen Dominic had fallen in love with him instantly.  The moment I would regain my composure, I'd have to tell someone else, and my heart would break all over again. 

Dominic was buried 4 days after he died. So many people came.  So many people cared.  I was touched, but at the same time, broken.  A part of me died with my little man, and a part of me was buried with him that day.

The day after the funeral, Jason and I moved to a new apartment.  We couldn't handle going back to our old place, where I had spent the majority of my pregnancy and all of Dominic's life.  Fortunately, we found another place, and they let us move in on Easter Sunday. 

I went back to work 2 weeks later. I could not make it through the day without crying.  Just to face every day, no longer able to look forward to seeing my son when I got home...it just didn't seem worth anything.  How could I possibly function?  Every day I worked, I would go home and that evening completely "crash"...screaming, crying...I was just so angry.  Jason and I could hardly speak without a fight erupting.

It is now nearly 2 months later.  I still visit the cemetery every day, bringing my little man fresh flowers once or twice a week.  Jason and I are better...we've learned to support each other; after all, WE BOTH lost a child.  A beautiful child.  We are now planning on getting married on June 23, 2001...we chose the 23rd to honor Dominic, who was born Nov. 23.  We are now looking forward to a future, while never forgetting our short but perfect past. 

Though at times I still expect to see my baby in his swing, or wake up in the night thinking I need to feed him, I feel like my life has a purpose again.  I feel that in order to honor his memory, I cannot quit.  I need to make people aware of SIDS, that it can happen to anyone.  At my work, there were 7 other ladies who had babies, 5 of them boys.  And mine was the one who was taken.  WHY?  I've learned that the answer to that question may never be known.

I find comfort in believing that I will see him again someday, that I will rejoice in getting to know him like I had always planned.  People always say, "At least he passed away before you really got to know him."  My mother even said that initially.  Yes, it would have been painful if I had lost him a month or a year down the road...but it is STILL painful even now.  I would love to have gotten to know him, see him grow for another year or even month.  THE PAIN OF NOT KNOWING IS JUST AS INTENSE. 

We plan on giving Dominic a couple of siblings, like we had always talked about it.  We know that the odds of it happening again are slim, but not impossible.  We will always live with the fear of another child death, but the joy that a young child brings, the love, the lessons...to me, it is worth the risk.

In my 20 years, I have never been up close and personal with death.  I hadn't even gone to a funeral until I was 18, when my 17-year old cousing drowned.  Frankly, I hope that this was the closest I'll come (other than the deaths of my future husband and myself, that is).  I know that I could survive if another child died, but I can't say that my life will be worth living.  I just hope the worst is over.

Dominic, we love you so much.  You are my sunshine.  Keep smiling little man.

EMAIL:
HoNDaHuNNy93@aol.com

NAME OR NICKNAME: Lace

 

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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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