“Don’t pretend it can’t happen to you.”
Leah H. lost her son, George, when he was just shy of five months old. Here, she shares her story with us.
I had George at 35.5 weeks on December 8th, 2015. My water broke one night and it was so light that I honestly couldn’t tell if it was my water that actually broke. But we went to triage anyways, where they confirmed I was in labor.
I delivered George and he had to stay in the NICU for 9 days. He was a couple days shy of being full term, so I guess it’s standard practice.
When he came home just before Christmas, and up until now, he was the most amazing baby. Way easier than my first–never cried, was sleeping through the night, and was always smiling and laughing. He never got sick.
On the morning of April 29th, 2016, he woke up at 5:30am to eat, and I fed him in his room and I put him back down to sleep more. At about 7:30 am, he woke again, so my husband brought him into our room where I fed him, and he fell asleep again so I left him on the bed while we got up and had breakfast with our older son.
My husband was about to take a shower and I decided to go check on George. That is when we both found him, and he was not breathing. We could tell instantly that something wasn’t right.
We tried and tried to revive him until the ambulance came, and they tried so hard. There are so many hard details to talk about from this day, and I still can’t believe how traumatic the events of that day have been. When we got to the hospital, the doctors told us they were able to get a little bit of a heartbeat back, but it wasn’t enough and he didn’t make it.
I believe that I am still numb to what happened, even though I’m still sad and crying throughout the day, but I also have another child right now that still needs me and he has been my saving grace. He makes me laugh sometimes, makes me sad sometimes because I think of what should have been, but I also know I have a really long road ahead of me and I know a part of me died that day too. I will never be the same person I once was.
What did you know about SIDS before you lost your child?
That SIDS can happen to anyone, you can take all the precautions the internet says to do and it can still happen. There are so many things parents can do to prevent SIDS, yet no one knows what causes it.
What do you wish you had known sooner?
I wish that people talked about it more. No one talks about it until it happens and when it does, everyone around you is shocked. And you know in the back of their minds they think there is something you could have done, because that’s what you keep thinking—that you could have prevented this.
Are there any SIDS support groups or resources you’d recommend to other parents who have lost a child?
I don’t know of any. Thats what I’m looking for.
Is there anything other parents can do to help spread awareness about SIDS?
Don’t be scared to talk about it. And don’t pretend it can’t happen to you, because it can happen to anyone.
Have you lost a child or family member to SIDS? Share your story with us by using the form here.