Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sometimes it just happens.

Lately SIDS has been a hot topic of conversation. Especially since there have been many new articles out talking about it. They are finally making it known that SIDS is not suffocation deaths but now they have the nerve to say, "The majority of SIDS deaths are because of unsafe sleeping environments".


That is such a huge slap in the face to those of us who have lost children. Day cares have pretty high standards and rules. Are we supposed to be putting all the blame on them?  Thats ridiculous. What about all the mommys I know that followed the SIDS rules, baby on back, fans in rooms, baby in their own sleep environment. People that are worried about SIDS do not fill the crib  up with junk. Most of us have been scared to death of SIDS all of our children's lives. It just disgusts me because so many people I know did all the right things and yet their kids still died and now these articles are making out like it is somehow our faults.  Thats how it reads. 
Lastly the moms that co slept. Yes there have been cases of a child being rolled on and suffocated but now they are creating this huge stigma that all co sleeping will cause deaths. Bed sharing.  I don't believe that for a second.   Yes you have to take precautions but I don't believe for one moment that the mothers or fathers I know rolled on top of their children and suffocated them.  This would be suffocation.  This is something that they can find out during autopsy, this is a cause of death. SIDS and SUDC are the band aid answers when they cannot find the cause of death.  I know of one person in my huge baby loss community that this happened to, a bed sharing accident.  Yes there is safe sleeping and bed sharing is not for everyone.  It does not however mean that your child will die if you do it.   Ive stated many times before that I often felt that my own bed sharing with Megan  kept her alive longer.  I had this huge fear of her sleeping alone at night away from me because every time I moved, I moved her as well.  She was constantly waking up out of that deep sleep and readjusting.  Who knew that it would be a nap that would take her away.

The majority of the parents I have met who've lost kids. Lost them in day cares, in cribs alone at night or nap times, in swings, and only a few were actual bed sharing when it happened. The majority of them were alone. Alone. My child was alone and it is something I and I'm sure many others regret every single moment of our lives. 

I understand that with a older child dying it jades my opinion a tad. I can't just think "oh it couldn't roll, got stuck etc". My healthy active vibrant 18 month old who could walk and talk and jump died. You cannot tell me there were unsafe sleeping circumstances involved. Her face on my bed created no alarm. Nothing was amiss when I walked in that room. Nothing was near her face but the mattress. Nothing screamed out at me this is wrong. What was unsafe about that? Yes she was on her stomach.  She was 18 months old, after what 5 months you no longer have the control to keep them on their back.  She had no blankets on her, she was not near pillows. She was peaceful. If a healthy active 18 month old can die this way then why in the hell are people making other moms feel bad about their younger ones dying? Well you co slept, well you had that bear in the crib, well you didn't have a fan, you let them sleep on their stomach. You had bumpers!

We are all already suffering and I hate that these new articles that I'm reading are so condescending. Someone reading this who has not gone through what we have is thinking to themselves, "they should have known better. Its their fault." 

Like we don't put enough blame on ourselves as it is. Like we don't battle the "What ifs." Daily, we mothers battle the what ifs. Lets just keep kicking us while were down. Give us one more reason to feel like others think its our fault.  We did something wrong.

Sometimes the unimaginable happens and there is no way to prevent it. Nobody wants to hear the truth of that so lets just keep saying other things. Kids don't just die.


michelle said...

I watched my son struggle for life due to is heart, he was only five months old and from the time he was born he struggled for breathe and went through every compication there was and survived many of them until all his organ failure was to mutch; because of that I dont believe that a child unless maybe, a brand new newborn could possibly suffocate or unless trapped possibly in between the matress and bars with no way out- these cases should not be lumped in with SIDS though. When I saw everything he went through and the obsticles he overcame at such a young age I have a hard time beleiveing a baby could simply suffocate just by not turning their head . SIDS has to be something else!Something in the brain or organs that causes the baby to stop breathing. I also understand the stigma, the blame, people just cant beleive these things happen even when Jacks heart condition was caused by Down Syndrome, even when it says that in all the medical articles, their are still people out there that think I must have done something while pregnant to cause it. Most people are inherently ignorant.

Deanna said...

I love this post. THANK YOU!

"Sometimes the unimaginable happens and there is no way to prevent it. Nobody wants to hear the truth of that so lets just keep saying other things. Kids don't just die.

I haven't heard any words more true than these. Should kids "just" die? Heck no, but they do. I wish the rest of the world could read this and understand!


Completely...100%...agree with you. Like you said, we already have enough guilt over things that we couldn't even control...I co-slept and yet my son died alone following all SIDS reduction guidelines and he's still gone. I don't believe that co-sleeping has anything to do with SIDS, I feel better with my babies sleeping by me, I can watch, I can make sure that he is breathing. I may not sleep the best BUT I can feel him breathing all night long and that helps me get through the night. Co-sleeping definitely isn't for everyone but it works for me.

Lily Jane said...

Wow, what a powerful post. As a soon-to-be mom, I appreciate your honesty and openness here. :)

marisa said...

Parents who have lost a child have enough guilt that we don't need more. You post was very powerful!

mrsnice777 said...

AMEN! You post it girl!!

The Strattons said...

I really appreciate this post too. I lost my 10 week old daughter to SIDS April 2010. I was cosleeping at the time as I did with my other two daughters. I have a nine week old baby boy that I took to the pediatrician just a few days ago and she was telling me about this so called study. I think it is so sad that the medical profession can't just say that they don't know. They dont know what happened, if it will happen again. Makes me sick. So do I not only beat myself up everyday about the coulda, woulda, shoulda's.....I have to hear it from my babies doctor as well.

Rebecca said...

Yes! I hate it when I read things that imply that the parent was at fault. SIDS and accidental suffocation are not the same thing. It infuriates me. I ran into one of my old school teachers not long ago and when I told her that my son had died from SIDS she immediately responded with a, "Oh, did you not have him on his back?" Um, thanks!

I love these "helpful" people and "helpful" studies.

Hawaii said...

Jennifer, you are so right. Sometimes, things just happen in life & it's not fair or understandable at all, but it happens beyond our control. You were a good, loving mother, yet Megan died & it's so WRONG. Mother's are blamed for far too much, so all this negative or blame talk from other places just adds more pain to an already painful situation. Like grief=hell isn't enough. I'm so sorry Megan is not here with you & that you, and so many others, have to endure this. Love you lots, Lisa

Rona Fernandez said...

Jenny, thank you so much for your post. You have articulated for me what I feel I've been unable to. I just lost my daughter to SIDS a little over three weeks ago, and I did everything 'right': I breastfed her, had her on her back for naps and nighttime sleep, and yes I bedshared with her but like you I believe that that kept her alive. The night before she died (she, too, died in daycare in a cradle by herself, and sometimes I can't stand that thought, that she died alone), I came to bed pretty late and she'd been asleep for a couple hours. She was so deeply asleep that I swear it looked like she wasn't breathing. I gently placed my hand on her belly and then her belly started rising and falling again and she made breathing sounds. Who knows? My daughter could have died that night in our bed if I hadn't come to bed at that time. So thank you for voicing my anger and outrage at all the so-called 'experts' that are probably making some kind of money off SIDS 'research' while children continue to die. I'm sorry if I"m venting too much here, but I felt like you are the first person who's written what I've been feeling for the past few weeks. Thank you for your words and your voice.