Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Story: The initial shock

I'm going to start my story with the night before Olivia passed away. It seems like the date that I always remember is March 13th, the night before, not the day she passed away. I picked her up after work and went to Target to find her an outfit for our family pictures that we had scheduled for the upcoming weekend. She was tired and the last thing she wanted to do was go shopping so I quickly found a cute white shirt, some jeans, and a turquoise cardigan. As I pulled into my complex Mike called, but I asked if I could call him back since we had just gotten home and I wanted some cuddle time with Livvy before I put her down for bed. I tried kissing and cuddling her, but she was so independent and wanted to play instead. I sang our little goodnight song and put her to bed.

The next morning was like any other morning. I tried to get ready while she tried to get my attention. We were running late and things were crazy like always. On the way to work I heard the song 'You're gonna miss this' on the radio and posted it to my Facebook page. It was a cute little song about living in the moment and enjoying the craziness, and I thought it was fitting for our morning. I met her Father in the mall parking lot, our usual meet-up place, handed her over quickly,  blew her a kiss and headed to work. I went to McDonald's for lunch and got a kids meal so I could get Olivia one of the My Little Pony toys and was so excited to see what her reaction would be when I gave it to her. As I pulled back into the parking lot at work my phone rang, it was Jamel. I almost didn't answer it since I needed to get back to work but as a Mom, had no choice.

It still takes my breath away when I think of that call. All I heard was sirens and Jamel crying. He couldn't tell me what was going on and I just remember screaming 'What's going on? Where's Olivia?' Finally he spoke the words that 'She isn't breathing, he checked up on her during a nap and she wasn't breathing, they were on the way to the hospital.' I remember dropping my phone to my side and pacing, I couldn't believe this was happening. I knew that I shouldn't drive, and I was at least 30 minutes away. She was going to be okay though, she was on the way to the hospital, they paramedics were with her, there was no way she wasn't going to make it. I put the phone back to my ear and asked him where they were taking her. He told me and I told him to call me as soon as they knew anything, I was on my way. I ran inside my building hysterical. My boss was on a phone call in the lobby and I told her that my baby wasn't breathing and I had to go. I ran back outside and called Mike to come get me.

While I was waiting in my car crying, my boss came outside and asked me if I needed a ride to the hospital. I told her that Mike was on his way. She took me back inside the building, got me some water, and assured me that everything would be okay. I felt like I was in a nightmare. I tried having a conversation with her and tried taking my mind off of what was going on, but I couldn't focus. I knew how serious this was and I had heard of SIDS, there was no way she was going to be okay. Mike picked me up after about 15 minutes and I knew she was gone. No one had called me, it had to be bad news. I called Jamel but there was no answer so I called again. When he answered, all I heard was crying and I just started screaming at him to tell me, tell me she's gone, tell me she's okay, tell me anything! Then a man got on the phone. He introduced himself as the doctor and told me that he was sorry. They had tried everything, she was warm when she got there, but there was nothing they could do, she was already gone. I asked him 'How? How? She's a healthy 11 month old, this doesn't happen to healthy babies and she had reached 6 months!' All he could tell me is that sometimes this happens to healthy babies and he was sorry.

I hung up the phone, closed my eyes, and bawled. There was no way this was happening to me... it was a dream and I was going to wake up. Mike was crying and I was worried that we weren't going to make it to the hospital okay, and I really didn't care. If I died I wouldn't care, I would be with my baby. I called my Dad and asked him to meet us at the hospital. 

When we pulled up I was numb. I got out of the car and couldn't walk, I dropped to my knees and Mike and I cried in the parking lot for a few minutes. When we finally pulled it together enough to get to the ER I was in shock... I looked around at all the people. No one knew the kind of pain I was in, everyone else was going about their day just the way I had that morning with no worries, and they would go home and see there kids. Why was this happening to me? It couldn't be. I still kept thinking that I was going to walk through those doors and Olivia was going to be there. Maybe they had found some way on our drive there to bring her back.

We were met by an older woman. She gave me her condolences and I knew that Livvy was really gone. I told her that I didn't want to see Jamel. I was so angry at him and I didn't know what I would do if I saw him. He was with Olivia, so she took us to a small family room in the back and then went to get the doctor. I remember sitting there shaking, I couldn't cry anymore, and my shock had turned to pure anger. I remember seeing the doctor, but I can't remember anything he said, just that they tried. Someone else came into the room to talk to us, but I can't remember who that was either. They brought us a platter of food and some water but I had no appetite. Then the paramedic came in. He had explained that they got there and she was warm, explained some things that they tried (I can't remember any of them), and then he asked if I wanted to see her. I had thought about it up to this point, but if I saw her it would be real. I was so scared. I was afraid that she would be hooked up to machines and I didn't want that to be my last image of her. I was afraid that she would be cold and hard and wouldn't feel like my baby. I was still in so much shock that I really couldn't think. I asked him if she looked and felt like my baby, and that I wasn't sure, but him and Mike told me that I would regret it later if I didn't see her, and he told me that they would wrap her up in a blanket for me.

The police and detectives took Jamel into another room for questioning, so the paramedic led Mike and I into the room where Olivia was. Livvy was swaddled in a blanket on the table. She looked so tiny. I picked her up and held her for a minute, and they were right, I would have regretted it if I hadn't. It was so impersonal though, the detective and paramedic stayed in the room with us and after a few minutes I was very uncomfortable and asked to leave the room. When we stepped outside my family was there, and we all went back into the small room. I don't think I stopped shaking for hours. They wouldn't let us leave until we had met with the detectives, I was questioned by myself about every detail of Olivia's life, and then given pamphlets about planning a funeral and how to cope. Funeral? I just wanted to go home, sleep, and wake up from this nightmare.


  1. This just breaks my heart. No parent should ever, EVER, have to go through this. I think you're amazing for being willing to share your story and spread the word about SIDS. I didn't know a lot of these things that you have shared about it and it scares me that I didn't! Love you lots, lady.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am tearing up, it breaks my heart. Remember you are loved and we are always sending you thoughts and prayers daily. Love you

  3. I cant imagine how you felt and what it's like to have lost a baby.I'm sure this is hard for you to do.Thank you for sharing your story, I believe there is healing for you as you share. My heart goes out to you.