Mom to Jovi Sloan
March 16, 2012 to July 10, 2012
Jovi was born March 16th, 2012. She was the most content baby we’d seen. She was so happy and so full of life. She did have some major vomit episodes. At one week of age, she had a large vomit (soaked the clothes/floor/bed) and stopped breathing. We had to call 911. She was ok by the time the paramedics arrived. We never had to do CPR, but did have to blow a breath in her face to get her to take in breaths for a bit. The ER checked her out, deemed her fine and sent us home. I encourage everyone to look into ALTE’s (apparent life threatening events) and the treatment for them. Jovi continued to have these large vomits and continued to have a hard time recovering from them. We did see an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist and she did have a swallow study. She also had terrible reflux. This is what we were told was causing the big vomits. She was on meds and we were told to side sleep her, which we did. When she could roll to her tummy, we unswaddled her and let her tummy sleep. She would never sleep on her back. If she rolled to her back, she would wake up in an instant. Reflux babies don’t sleep well on their backs…despite the numerous health scares (also admitted at 5 weeks of age for a fever), she was the best little girl. She was so fun. So happy.
July 10th, 2012 was a normal day like any other. I went to work in the morning. I went to the gym for a quick run. I went to the store. I came home and played with the kids. I put my older boy down for a nap. I nursed Jovi. I played and snuggled her. She got crabby and I put her down for a nap. Little did I know, this was the last time I’d see her sweet face alive. I put her down at 3:00. I did some homework. I took a 20 min nap. I went in at 4:30 so I could wake her up and feed her, so we could go to Target. I walked to the door and heard her Angel Care monitor going off (I didn’t have the receiving end with me…and I always figured that it would be loud enough to hear through a closed door…we have a small house). I ran to her and picked her up. Her face was pressed against the top of her bassinet. I rushed her to the living room, grabbed my phone, called 911 and began CPR. I looked her over and over. She was warm. Her hands and feet were not purple. But, I couldn’t get any breath sounds. I knew in my heart this wasn’t a good sign. My husband was working, so I was alone with the kids.
My dad was the first person who responded to my 911 call. He’s a fireman at the local fire station. The paramedic was with him (also a family friend). I was able to hand my baby to my dad. I can’t say enough how comforting it was to see my dad. My husband works out of town, 2 hours away. My dad took me to the hospital. We were led into the room where they were working on Jovi, but were told to stay outside. A voice said, “Let the mom in.” I walked into the room and saw my little beauty being worked on…tubes and lines everywhere. Our pediatrician was working her code. I work at our pediatrician’s office. I am friends with her, even. I know her heart stopped when she put everything together and that this was Jovi. They had no info on her before I arrived. They worked on her for maybe a few minutes while I was there. I was able to stand at her head and rub her head and talk in her ear.
Our pediatrician told me she was gone. I was able to hold her for a long time before her daddy finally arrived. He was able to snuggle her, too. We got handprints/footprints done. We were offered pictures, but didn’t want to remember our baby in death. We wanted to remember her full of life…smiling and happy. When she began to show some signs of death, we decided we didn’t want to start watching that, either. We both held her tight for the last time and gave her so many kisses. We left her with our pediatrician, who stayed with her for hours until the coroner was ready to take her. I can’t say how that transition helped so much. I didn’t have to leave her with a stranger. I didn’t have to leave her in a room by herself. I was able to leave her with a friend; someone who loved her, too.
We are still waiting on Jovi’s final autopsy reports. We are just waiting on tissue samples…everything else has came back “normal”.
It’s been 8 weeks since we lost her. It’s becoming “normal” without her here. I hate that feeling, but welcome it at the same time. I don’t think it’s just a cruel joke and someone is going to knock on my door and hand me my smiling girl. It still is very hard. We are still just in the beginning of this. We found so much comfort in our faith. We know our baby is with Jesus and we know we will get to see her again. We find comfort knowing He’s here helping us through this painful event. I don’t believe God took my baby, but He’s been here for me giving me everything and more that I’ve needed along this very difficult journey. We have a 3 year old son, Cash. He’s helped so much as well. He’s so fun and funny and keeps us getting up every day. We’ve decided we will not let this terrible even ruin us or our family. We are trying hard to stay strong and to keep life as normal/fun as possible for our son. Whenever I laugh or don’t feel sad for a second, it’s hard not to feel guilty. I have to remind myself that Jovi would never want that. I know she is watching us in Heaven and the last thing she’d want was for this to ruin us.
We have been back to work now for a few weeks. Life is starting to get a routine. The routine has helped. I’d definitely say it took a good month to feel like I could occasionally breathe…the first month was so hard. We aren’t far past that first month, but I’ve had moments where I did feel like we can do this. I didn’t have those in Month 1.
It’s still hard not to question her death. She was tummy sleeping, but we had really no other choice. She could roll from her back to tummy as well. I have to remind myself of that…she was breastfed, she had the Angel Care monitor, she had a fan in her room, she was sleeping in her own bed, she was not dressed too warm, she had no blankets, she was never around cigarette smoke…I can find some peace as well knowing she was so loved while she was here. That we did everything we could to give her an amazing life. She blessed us so much and has taught us so much in her short life. I miss her so much. Words can’t even describe how much I miss her. I’m so thankful for the time I had with her and would do it again in a heartbeat for the same amount of time.
Molly blogs at http://ajournalforjovi.blogspot.com.