Angel Baby

Friday, September 2, 2011

We have not received the coroner's report yet, but it is pretty clear that Maxie died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), even though we were careful to make sure that none of known risk factors were present in our home.  We did not smoke, we did not have any loose blankets of stuffed animals or anything else in his crib, Maxie was put to sleep on his back, in a wearable blanket, in a crib with a tightly fitting sheet.  That is the absolutely crazy thing about SIDS - there are no warning signs and even if you do everything "right", it can still happen.  It is like these little babies are predestined to die.  I have made "friends" with a few mothers of SIDS babies.  I haven't met any of these women yet but I have been emailing with them.  One wrote to me when she was forwarded a message that I wrote to a support group leader.  Bianca found the other two: One because her sister's friend has a child in pre-school with Bianca's boys and the last one had a friend who contacted Bianca after she posted my blog on a mommy website.  They are all in various stages of grief.  One is only a couple of months ahead of me.  The other two are "on the other side", meaning, that they are still sad every single day and that even though the hole in their hearts will never be filled, their hearts have grown as new children have been born.  I am looking forward to that eventual time, but wonder how on earth I would ever sleep again, knowing that healthy babies can be put in their crib and stop breathing.  The statistics say that .06% of the 4,000,000 babies that are born every year die of SIDS, so the chances of this ever happening to us again must be even less than that.  But, we have been part of the "never gonna happen" statistic and there is nothing that can assure me it isn't ever going to happen again.  I just have to have faith, something so elusive to me right now. The mommy who is in the same stage as me says it gives her some peace knowing that there is nothing she can do anyway.  That even if she stayed awake all night long and stared at the baby, if the baby stopped breathing, she probably wouldn't be able to revive him anyway.  She wasn't able to revive her baby that just died.  Max's daycare wasn't able to revive him and they started CPR right away.  I would still probably use a breathing monitor...but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

In the SIDS community, the babies who have died are often called "Angel Babies".  (I think that many people who have lost children call their babies Angels but I have noticed that it is particularly common in the SIDS community.)  With all that the medical world knows, with all of the research and vaccines and medicines, THIS is still a disease or cause of death that is a total mystery.  The only explanation parents can wrap their brains around it seems, is that these babies must have been angels.  The idea helps parents make sense of the whole scenario.  They call the babies that come after the angels "Rainbow Babies".  Maybe because they appear after the terrible storm.  Maxie was our angel...always was...he didn't need to leave us to prove that.

Teddy's favorite children's song is "The Rainbow Connection" sung by Kermit the Frog.  I have sweet memories of Ted, Maxie and I, hugging in our living room and dancing slowly to this sung.  Those were the moments when it struck me that I had everything in the world I could ever want and we were our own lovely little family.  When Maxie was in the hospital, Teddy played the song for Maxie over and over again and we sang and cried and hugged him.  Last night I had a weird dream in which I found a little girl who seemed to be lost, in a room full of other children and babies.  She had Maxie's spirit somehow.  Anyway, I sat behind her on the floor and put her in my lap and together we started singing the Rainbow Connection.  The song got louder and louder as others begun to join in.  I woke up and the house was quiet, only the sounds of breath coming from Ted, Jake and Layla in the room.  I had to pause for a minute to catch my own breath.  My heart was beating out of my chest.  When I closed my eyes and laid my head on the pillow, I heard the song again.  It was too much actually, like a sound frenzy.  I decided to concentrate on my own breath and try to clear my mind.  Finally, I fell back asleep.  The songs we listened to with Maxie are so bittersweet.  I wonder if "The Rainbow Connection" will be too sacred to share with our "Rainbow Baby" or maybe he/she will just deserve their own soundtrack.  Will I always cry when I hear the sweet songs from Maxie's life?  I never ever want to lose Maxie's soundtrack, just as I never ever want to lose my Maxie.  I will keep him in my heart forever.  My first born, the love of my life.

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