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Charlie's death story: trigger *infant loss*

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
It was his first, and only, camping trip.
After Adaline was born, we had so many problems with her, at least I thought they were problems at the time. She wouldn't latch and we had to feed her via syringe and with a spoon. I had to pump nonstop. She had what is considered to be "colic". Whatever- she wasnt easy.

Charlie was easy. Easy-peasy. He latched 4 minutes after birth, nursed like a champ, was super healthy, gained 9 lbs in the 11 weeks he was alive, and slept like a baby. As in, he slept 6-8 hours a night. I didn't know babies came like that. My life was almost perfect. My toddler was potty training and sleeping through the night and my infant was amazingly easy and slept better than my toddler. Life was so good.

My grandmother died right after Ada was born. It was the most traumatic event of my life at the time. We were so close, she was the mother I never had. My grandfather quickly remarried- just six months after Mimi's death and none of us were too happy about it. He moved to Tupelo and my cousin rented the house from him. My cousin finally moved out last year, and my grandfather has decided to rent the house to someone else outside the family. He decided to tell us this just two weeks before the new person was to move in.

So, I made the decision to travel to Alabama to collect our family heirlooms from the house that I grew up in that was about to be ripped out from under me. It was important for me to go, to say goodbye to the residence among other things. Oh, if only I could remake the decision.
We drove from Louisville to right south of Nashville on the afternoon of Easter Sunday. Adaline had an Easter egg hunt that morning and Charlie sat quietly in the stroller and soaked up the sun and was happy as could be. He sat snug in his Moby Wrap as we walked about and looked for eggs and I detested my mother in law for her plastic eggs and wished I had stood my ground and insisted on the beet dyed eggs I really wanted to make and hide with her. Now all that seems so trivial.

We arrived at a state park early evening on Easter and after setting up camp, we went for a stroll along the river. Adaline played in a field of yellow flowers and we went to see an old mill. She kissed Charlie, and for the very first time said, "I love you my Charlie"- something she continues to repeat even now. DH and I were the epitome of the happy family we hadnt even strived for. DH watched the kids for a little while, I went running, and the we went to the playground and Ada went down "her wee" (the slide) about 20 times. It was the last perfect day.

We woke the next morning and drove to Birmingham, my hometown. As soon as we arrived, both kiddos were fussy and miserable- which we chalked up to heat and travel stress. We went to my grandmother's house and packed everything into the truck. Afterwards, we went out to eat and walked around. Charlie fussed the whole day, so unlike him. Since we'd be camping the night before, we decided to set up our tent in my grandparents backyard. It was so hard for me to want to sleep in the house, knowing she had died there and knowing that it was about to be the end of an era of my life. I felt like every single thing I did that day was the last time I'd ever do it. The house, that was the symbol of stability of my childhood was about to disappear.

We put Charlie to bed in the tent with us. He was on a changing pad, swaddled in a Miracle Blanket, in appropriate clothing, no blankets near him, and with the moonroof of the tent open. Safe as could be, right? There were so many nights that he slept right next to us, with blankets and pillows in our bed. But not that night. I was worried about being in a tent, so I had him separate from the rest of us.

When DH woke up he cuddled with DD. He looked at me and told me how beautiful I looked as I was waking up. He was on vacation, waking up to his perfect family outside in lovely weather. Until he sat up and saw Charlie. I'll never forget that moment. That scream. That fear in his eyes. I followed his gaze and when my eyes hit my son it felt like a ton of bricks landed on my heart. He was blue and stripey. He wasnt moving or breathing. I picked him up screaming and trying to breath life into him as DH ushered us all out of the tent and into the truck. We didnt put Ada in a carseat. We didnt drive on the road. We drove in the emergency lane the whole way, honking the horn and screaming and crying. Ada just kept asking, "Is Charlie ok?" over and over again. He was so cold. So lifeless, so blue, and nothing I did mattered. I did chest compressions, I did cpr, I prayed, I shook him, I listened to his little heart hoping for a beat and- nothing. Nothing changed the nightmare I was in. I shook myself to try and wake up. It was the longest 9 minutes of my life. He was gone when we got there, and had been for several hours.

I handed my baby to the ER man. He immediately took him away and I could hear over the hospital intercom "Code blue to ER" over and over. Doctors were running down the hallways and we were sent to wait in a tiny room with a chaplain that was not great at being sensitive. The nurse came to take us back to see him and DH wanted to know why. We were told it would be better for us to see in the longrun. We walked into a large room with at least 20 doctors in it. Some of them were holding hands. Some were crying. Most were looking at us like they knew it was about to be the end of our world, and the head doctor explained that they were all still there so that when we look back on this moment we will know how many people tried to save our baby's life. And then they asked me if it was ok for them to stop trying. We said goodbye to Charlie, said we loved him. DH laid on his belly in the hospital room floor and screamed a gutteral scream like nothing If ever heard before. I was in complete shock. I wish I'd spent more time with him to say goodbye, but I just wanted to lay down and die.

He was gone. All gone. The onslaught of detectives, social workers, chaplains, and nurses to follow was a lot to handle. My grandfather had been detained in his home, without even knowing why we had left. Our vehicle was taken from us for investigation purposes and we were drug to the homicide department- the homicide department- 2 hours after I lost my child. The whole day I kept shaking myself to try and wake up. It was the worst day of my life, but sometimes it didnt even feel real. I wanted to kill myself and take my daughter to playgroup all at the same time. I couldnt understand the concept of how much my life was about to change, so I just wanted to pretend that it had never happened.

Oh, but it did. And life sure does fucking suck. a lot. And I still can't wake up from this nightmare. Thankfully, I have an amazing community of support and family and friends that have taken such good care of us. The autopsy report (which they did without my permission) showed no cause of death. They guaranteed that he didn't suffocate, and that he had no internal organ damage, and hadnt been abused within the first few days. We had to wait for the full report until this week, and after a full autopsy with tox reports and the whole nine yards, they still have no answers. Undetermined death- SIDS. Im a big, huge mess. Life will go on, we'lll have other kids, we'll get back to a routine, we will be ok- but for now, it sure does suck more than anything ever has. I hate this life. It's not fair, and this wasnt supposed to be how it happened for me. Or for anyone. Little babies shouldn't just up and die for no reason. It's just not right. Just not fair. Just not okay.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me so far through this situation, and Im glad to be apart of this community, even if I'm not very active right now. The death, the funeral, the burial, dealing with all the questions from people who dont know he's dead, Adaline wondering where he is, not staying in my own house (we've been staying with family), and so desperately wanting another baby have been the center of our focus lately, but MDC means a lot to me and was there the whole time I was pregnant with DS, so thanks for still being there. I need ya'll now more than ever.

post #2 of 44

I am so, so very sorry.  Thank you for sharing your story with us.  I can't even fathom how much pain you must be in.  Sending you much peace.

post #3 of 44



praying for you!

post #4 of 44
I'm so sorry. There are no words.

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post #5 of 44



I'm sorry.  From the bottom of my heart I'm sorry.  You're right, nobody should ever have to feel the pain you have felt.  Nobody should ever have to deal with what you dealt with on the very day you lost him.  And none of it can be sugar coated.  I could say it will get better, but honestly you will always have that void.  You will always miss him and you will always ache for him.  I only hope that you find a way through all this chaos.  That you will emerge stronger and somehow you will find a distinct purpose for what has happened.  Even if there isn't one.  I want peace for you so badly. 


You did nothing wrong, you can't change that you took that trip.  And you can't know that it wouldn't have happened if you were at home in your own house.  We're all here for you.  You could grieve from eternity and back and I'm pretty sure we'll all still be here for you. 


Giving you all my love and all my hope for peace,



post #6 of 44

I am so very sorry for your loss.  How completely tragic. :(

post #7 of 44

I am so sorry honey.


It meant a lot to me to hear of all the doctors and nurses and staff who stayed so you could see them all and know they all tried so hard to save your son's life.


Imakcerka is totally right, you did absolutely nothing wrong. We all try to ascribe some meaning or figure out what we could have done differently, and that's ok, but you really and truly did nothing wrong.


I'm so sorry, truly and deeply sorry.

post #8 of 44

we've cried some tears for you here, too, and i'm so sorry you didn't even get to grieve the loss of your grandma's house, along with everything else.  You're living through something that is the most awful experience anybody can imagine.

post #9 of 44

I had no idea that happened to you and I'm so sorry.  I can't imagine how hard it must've been that day and continues to be.  I don't know what to say, but I want to let you know that I'll be thinking of you and your family.  

post #10 of 44

So, so sorry for your loss! Sending peace to you and your family.

post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I know that there's nothing I really could have done, but it is helpful to write out my true feelings about everything. My therapist suggested I write this, since I wrote his birth story. I found it somewhat helpful, but really it is hard to remember all the little details without completely losing it. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers and good vibes sent my way- Im glad to have you ladies around because so far the real life support groups have been really hard to go to and not very helpful to us.
Thanks smile.gif
post #12 of 44

I am so very sorry. Also want to agree that you did nothing wrong. Your ds knew he was loved mama.  I will pray for you and your family.

post #13 of 44

Oh Holly.....


I wish there was something I could say or do to alleviate your pain.  There are truly no words to adequately express my sadness for your heartbreaking loss.  I'm glad that the support you've received here brings you some level of comfort.  Be gentle with yourself...

post #14 of 44

I'm so sorry for your loss

post #15 of 44
So so sorry for your loss. Devastated for you actually.
post #16 of 44

candle.gif  So very sorry for your loss!!!candle.gif

post #17 of 44

I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

post #18 of 44

i am so so sorry for your loss.  know that you are supported by this invisible web of those of us who have walked this path before you and you will get through this.  sending hugs

post #19 of 44

i am so so sorry for your loss.  know that you are supported by this invisible web of those of us who have walked this path before you and you will get through this.  sending hugs

post #20 of 44

Charlie was deeply loved! (And he still is). I'm so sorry he's not with you anymore. I hope you believe that he's in a better place and that you will be there with him one day.

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