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Sudden Infant Death

Sudden death with no warning and no chance to say goodbye. How cruel! If only you could rewind the clock and spend more time with your live baby.  That feeling is universal, as is the sense of empty, aching arms.  The shock and deep sadness is overwhelming.

If your baby died at your home, or even at the daycare or someone else’s home, you have had to endure the intrusion and suspicion of the police and authorities. This adds to your burden of grief and healing.

The most important thing is that your precious little one has died and the stress and suspicion distracts you from doing what you need to do right now. Be with your baby if she/he is at the hospital, if it is allowed.  Or just ‘be’ with yourself and family as you attempt to process this unbelievable turn of events.

If you get to the hospital while your baby is still there, you may ask to see her/him. You could bring in a special blanket, memento, other clothing, a new diaper and even have some pictures taken of you near or holding your little angel.   Others may rush you, but take the time you need.   It is likely that you will told your baby must have an autopsy. Think of it as surgery with stitches afterward. They are looking for any answers, and while there are no guarantees, they may uncover something that gives you some important informatio as to the cause of death.

However, I have heard many stories where parents were not allowed to touch or be too close to their baby, or even older child who died due to it being a 'crime scene' or evidence.  This feels all wrong and can hurt a mother or father's heart very deeply.  One mother stated that she was not even allowed to touch her baby who had suddenly been shot by a stranger.   It was so difficult for her that she had to leave the hospital room and passed out.  Not being able to hold him at that time was very, very traumatic.  It may be an option to spend some time with your child after the atuopsy.  If you, or a suppor person, have the peace of mind, you could tell your doctor or the police that you want that time. 

You are not alone.  Sadly, there are many like you who never expected to be in this place.  All that happiness and hope, now dashed.  The loneliness and anguish can be overwhelming.

A book you may find helpful is The SIDS Survival Giude which we do have in our eShop.  There are many books and support organizations that can help you now.  First Candle and local SIDS/Stillbirth organizations, which may be in your community have many resources and people who understand and are available to help you. The Public Health Department may be a place to call for locating support and information.