Forever Missing Maya

Many new and expecting parents are unaware of the dangers and facts of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This week we talked with Danielle Tully, who shared the story of losing her baby girl.

Danielle TullyDanielle, please tell us about your experience.

My daughter Maya Tully was born on October 31, 2014. She was the most beautiful thing my husband and I had ever seen. Our first child, a beautiful, perfect, tiny angel. We loved her instantly and fiercely. We took her home at five days old and had a wonderful almost six months with her.

She was so sweet and funny, and had a smile that could light up the world. Her personality was so huge for such a small little girl.

On the morning of April 25, 2015, when Maya was five months, three weeks, and four days old, I woke up by myself. Not to a baby crying over the monitor. I panicked.

I woke my husband and screamed that Maya hadn’t gotten up in eight hours, something she had never done before. We ran into her room. She was gone. I called 911, but they didn’t try to revive her. It was too late.

We are devastated. I did everything right. She was breastfed, slept safely, was always in her car seat correctly, was always dressed appropriately for the weather, wasn’t fed solids too early, was never left to cry. She was loved. And she was still taken from us.

Did you know about SIDS before you lost your child?

I actually knew a lot about it. I spent a lot of my pregnancy researching things because I was a first time mom.

I had read stories of moms losing their babies to SIDS, but you never think something like this could ever actually happen to you.

What do you wish you had known sooner?

I wish that I had known that SIDS is non-preventable. All of the things I did, didn’t matter. There was nothing I could do.

What is your best piece of advice for other new or expecting parents?

Just go with the flow. Don’t stress about the little things, and don’t become so obsessed with fear of losing your child that you forget to live. I was always so anxious about anything happening to Maya that I could never slow down and just enjoy her.

Are there any SIDS support groups or resources you’d recommend to other parents who have lost a child?

I haven’t been in any in person groups, but I have found some good pages on Facebook for SIDS support. I even started a SIDS page myself, called Forever Missing Maya – The Aftermath of SIDS, along with a blog.

Is there anything other parents can do to help spread awareness about SIDS?

Talk about it as much as you can. Don’t rug sweep this and pretend like it doesn’t happen, because it happens every single day. This isn’t something to be ashamed of.

More than anything, I wish that people would stop advertising “ways to prevent SIDS” because there is in fact nothing that you can do, and I think this slogan gives parents of SIDS angels unnecessary guilt and regrets.

Has your family been affected by SIDS? Share your story and help educate other new parents here.

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