This post may be upsetting, trigger.
I was nearing the end of my maternity leave. I started back to work part-time, as a way to ease Grey, and myself, into daycare and our time apart. It was a Friday, his second full day at daycare. I dropped him off and headed to work. At lunch I had contemplated stopping by to visit as the sitter’s house was less than 10 minutes from work but I thought, it’s the weekend, I want to get him home early. That decision has endlessly haunted me. I had just gotten back from running errands during lunch. It was a little after 12:30 and I was showing a co-worker a video of Grey. He walked away and I noticed that I had missed a call, it was the babysitter. Before I had a chance to call back she called again,
“Grey’s not breathing!” she cried
“Ambulance is on the way”
I hung up the phone and ran out of the office. It had snowed the night before so the roads were slick and snowy, I was driving so fast and I didn’t care. I managed to call Stacy and tell him what was happening, not having any information for him as I just wanted to get to Grey. When I turned the corner I saw that the ambulance was already there. I ran into the house and saw my son on the floor. The EMT was already administering CPR and I went into a state of complete shock. My tiny, helpless son was surrounded by technicians and next thing I remember is them telling me that they were heading to the hospital. Did I want to ride in the ambulance or someone would drive me? “I am staying with my son!” I shouted. I had to be assisted to the ambulance and they put me in the front seat, not allowing me in the back with Grey.
Driving to the hospital I was just saying, “please, please, please, please” over and over, praying so hard for Grey to be ok. When we arrived, I saw my husband running into the hospital. The next moments are like flashes, getting escorted into the hospital, two hospital chaplains waiting for us, my husband arriving. I was hyperventilating and I heard him say under his breath, “be strong.” I took some big deep breaths of air and thought, this is the best hospital for children, Grey will be ok. Next thing I know, the doctor walked into the room and knelt down by Stacy, “I am sorry, your son is dead.” I just screamed and wailed. NO! No, no, no, no, no. How could this be happening? This isn’t real.
They told us that we could see him. We walked into the operating room and he was on the table. How could this be?! I embraced my son and kissed him and rubbed his head. I had my face to his cheek, kissing him and looking at him, “Grey?” He looked so peaceful, like he could wake up and look at me with his big, beautiful eyes. A police officer came into the room and said that he needed to examine Grey, we stepped out and my mother in law and Aunt had arrived.
The police officer informed us that they were conducting an investigation to find out what happened. He stated that at this point, they did not find any neglect on the part of the babysitter but assured us that a full investigation would occur. We went back into to OR to spend time with Grey and to say our final goodbyes. Leaving him was devastating, I didn’t want to. How could I leave without my son?
We went home and I went into Grey’s room, grabbed a handful of his clothes and blankets and laid in our bed. Our families and friends came over and I couldn’t move, they came into our room and hugged us, provided what support they could. That evening, after everyone left and Stacy was asleep I was still just, awake, confused, in shock. I called my best friend, Leah, and she came over right away. I hadn’t yet actually cried and that was bothering me. Realizing now that the shock was preventing me from that release. When she came over and it was just us I was able to let go – crying harder than imaginable. Also, my milk was in and way ready to come out- I was in pain from needing to breast feed. I left my pump at work so Leah went and bought me a pump at Target. I pumped, and cried, and cried and cried.
Why do I want to share the story of this day? Because after Grey died I scoured the internet looking for answers. What happened, why? What did other families experience? Why did my perfectly healthy baby go to sleep and not wake up? I was so grateful for the strong and brave moms out there that were able to share their stories. I hope that by sharing Grey’s story it may provide comfort and healing to other moms. As I am writing this post it has been over a year since that day and I have just found the strength to share. My love for Grey continues to grow and I will fight for him forever.