Mom to Justin Allen

 April 22, 2008 – August 11, 2008

Roanoke, Virginia


I was 17. Me and my on again off again boyfriend had just found out we were going to have a baby. We had just gotten back together and were completely surprised. I never once questioned what I was going to do. I had wanted to be a mommy ever since I could remember. Our families were shocked, but we were only 17 so we knew it was going to take some getting used to. I was sick every single day from the very morning I took the pregnancy test. I lost a bunch of weight and never really looked that pregnant. I just turned 34 weeks and it was time for my check up. My previous appointments I was told everything was fine and I didn’t have a big bump because I was staying so sick, but with my medicine I should stop getting sick and start putting the weight back on. Well the previous couple days before my appointment I hadn’t felt my baby move that much. I mentioned it to the doctor and she measured my belly and felt around a bit and sent me straight to ultrasound. There was hardly any amniotic fluid and my placenta had begun to shut down. My baby wasn’t getting enough oxygen or nutrients to stay in me any longer. They put me on the monitor to see if the baby was in distress and while I was hooked up I started having contractions and his heart rate dropped to 60 so I had to go to the hospital and have an emergency csection. So on April 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm my beautiful 3 lbs 16 in baby boy Justin was born. He was the most gorgeous thing I had ever laid my eyes on. The hospital I delivered at didn’t have a NICU so I got to kiss my baby and then watch him be wheeled away in an incubator to the hospital across town. Turns out I had iugr which is growth restriction and undiagnosed preeclampsia. I wasn’t able to leave the hospital for 3 days but luckily I got discharged after only 2 days because me and my baby were at different hospitals. Finally after a 2 second look I was able to see my baby for the first time in 2 days! I can’t even describe the feelings I felt seeing him. He was so tiny and helpless but he was the most perfect baby in the world. 10 fingers 10 toes. I couldn’t tell who he looked like me or his daddy. I got to hold him as soon as I got there. The tiny life that had been growing inside me for 7 1/2 months was actually in my arms. His warmth was amazing. It was like nothing I had ever felt before.

He was in the NICU for 28 days. He was 4 lbs when we got to bring him home. I was surprised because they told us not to expect to go home before his due date but I couldn’t have been happier! We had  signed up for all the classes like infant CPR, caring for a preemie, and just little tips to help comfort us in the exciting but scary time but we were discharged before our scheduled classes so they briefly went over the basics. I remember specifically talking about SIDS and thinking, “Oh, that won’t happen to us.” But little did I know that in 2 1/2 months that nightmare would play before my very eyes. Justin was thriving! He had finally reached 6 lbs. finally doubled his birthweight!

August 10, 2008 we were throwing a going away party for one of my best friends. She was going to college in Bluefield so the house was full of our close friends and it was the best day ever. We ate and talked about the past and already what we were going to do when she came home for her first break. And of course we all cuddled baby J and loved on him. It was her party but he was always center of attention! Things started to wind down and we put Justin to bed. We went to bed about 12:30. I was exhausted after an already emotional day. I remember laying Justin in his bed and praying he would sleep through the night. I kissed him and went to bed. He woke up at 9 on the dot every single morning. My phone rang and woke me up I just hit ignore and lie there for a second and when I realized what time it was I hopped up real quick. I was calling my best friend back as I was walking to Justin’s room. I knew something was wrong I went to his crib and he lying on his belly curled up in the corner of his crib. 

I picked him up real quick and realized he wasn’t breathing. I dropped the phone and was screaming for my boyfriend. I started doing CPR. I don’t remember calling 911 but I remember the operator telling me to keep doing it till the medics arrived. It seemed like a lifetime. The guy rushed in took my baby and ran to the ambulance of course I followed and rode with them to the hospital. I was still in my pajamas and didn’t even have shoes on. I prayed so hard the whole way there but I knew in my heart he was gone. They weren’t doing CPR or anything in the back the guy driving had his arm up trying to block me from seeing back there but I could see my baby and the guys doing absolutely nothing. We ran in the hospital and they made me wait outside the room while they were working on him I kept begging to go in and they finally let in while they were doing the final ultrasound to see if there was any heart activity. And to no surprise…there wasn’t. I knew in my heart there wasn’t going to be, but I still didn’t want to believe it till I saw the screen with my own eyes.

Before they had let me in the room one of the nurses that sat with me took my cellphone and started calling people in my contacts she thought would need to be there. I don’t even remember her doing this. But when they told me my baby was gone she said she had called my mom and she was on her way. But she didn’t tell her any information. They immediately wrapped up Justin in warm blankets and let me hold him. I was the only one in the room. Our family started showing up and while the nurses were letting them in the room they hadn’t told them Justin had passed away so they walked in and saw me rocking him and thought everything was ok but it wasn’t. I had to tell them that he was gone. Every single person that came into the room I had to repeatedly tell family that our precious boy was gone. It was the worst day of my life. And to top it all off the detective wouldn’t let Allen leave the house they were questioning him and he wasn’t even at the hospital yet. He had to ride in the cop car to the hospital and he didn’t even know his baby boy had passed away. So I had to tell him, too. It was horrible. I had to leave the hospital without my baby again. But this time I wouldn’t be going back to visit. The detective asked us a ton of questions before we left the hospital and told us it sounded like SIDS, but we would get the autopsy results and toxicology results if we wanted them.  And it was.

SIDS stole my baby.  And I will have this hole in my heart forever. I love and miss you Justin. Every single day.

You can contact Kelsey at

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  1. This is heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss, on so many levels- as such a young mom just starting out on your “grown-up” journey, (I had my first living child at 17.) As a baby loss mom- I lost a baby last year….. I am so sorry that you were treated so poorly, and that the hospital/police agency weren’t more kind to you. <3

    Sending much love to you, and Allen, and the rest of your family.

  2. Jessica says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. The way the hospital handled things sounds terrible and I’m also sorry for that too.

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