Mom Shares Warning About Stomach Sleeping
Laura Williams is a young mother who recently lost her son, Tyson, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Laura shared with us what she wishes she’d known sooner about safe sleep, and tells us more about her baby boy.
Laura, tell us about your story.
On May 15th, 2014 we had a son. We called him Zachariah.
He had some complications when he was born, but nothing majorly serious. He was my everything.
A year passed and I got pregnant again. I was only 19 when I got pregnant with my second. We found out we were having another boy.
December 1 rolls around and our little Tyson was born. I breastfed him for almost a month, but then switched to formula because I hadn’t been producing enough. For several weeks he was very gassy. He would cry a lot at night.
On January 15, it was like any normal day. My husband would get up for school in the morning and I would get my other son up. Tyson had a rough night due to gas, so I left him sleeping. I never really took a good look at him; I assumed he was alright.
He always slept on his stomach. He was always fine and he seemed to sleep with his face down a lot, and I would check if he was breathing okay and he was. So, I thought it was his way of sleeping.
I left him there to sleep and got my son and fed him breakfast, did the dishes. I brought him downstairs to the play room to wait while I went and grabbed Tyson.
When I walked in the room, I saw him on his stomach like usual and his face was in the pillow. He looked so white I panicked and put my hand on him. I noticed no movement and coldness. I turned him over and he was lifeless. His face looked smushed a bit.
I ran into my dad’s room screaming and he did CPR while I called 911. They got there and worked and worked on him but he was already long gone.
I’m terrified that it’s my fault for letting him sleep like that. He was always such a strong boy, he lifted his head and turned it. He was so alert and he was only six weeks old.
I can’t get the moment out of my head. It hurts so much. I feel responsible. I love him so much. My little peanut. I wish I had never been frustrated with him ever. After he was pronounced, I just held him in my arms and said how sorry I was for leaving him alone.
What did you know about SIDS before you lost your child?
Not much, just that they say babies forget to breathe sometimes and that’s what happens.
What do you wish you had known sooner?
I wish I had known when he stopped breathing. It could have been the middle of the night when we were sleeping. I have no idea. If I had known, I could have saved his life. He was so upset the night before he died. It makes me feel worse. But he was also always a very smiley baby.
What is your best piece of advice for other new or expecting parents?
I guess I could say to practice safe sleeping. Don’t put them on their stomach on a pillow, no matter how much they like it. But, we really don’t know why babies die because my first son always slept on his stomach and he lived.
Are there any SIDS support groups or resources you’d recommend to other parents who have lost a child?
Honestly. I have no idea. This just happened to me. And being on this site seeking support is my way of coping.
If your family has been touched by SIDS, please visit our SIDS Support and Resource Directory here.