Mom to Tanner Ryan
Born March 9th, 2007 and passed March 19th, 2007
So…my story is a little long but I will try my best to keep it short.
I was about 8 months pregnant with my second child; my first was a little over a year old at the time. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship that one night became physical. Early the next day I realized that something was wrong. I was, for lack of a better term, ‘leaking’. My mother took me to the ER, each of us saying it was just “better to be safe than sorry.” I was told there that I was actually leaking amniotic fluids and that I was going to be rushed to a hospital two hours away to find out whether or not labor would be induced. My mother stayed in our home town, keeping my oldest until one of my sisters could watch him while she made the drive up.
After a few days of testing, and not only my mother but my children’s father driving up, the doctors decided it was time to induce. Friday morning, March 9th 2007 I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy named Tanner. He was about 5 pounds but had absolutely nothing wrong. For three days, although their father and I argued a bit, our son was perfect. Sunday both their father and my mother drove back to our home town for work and to prepare for the baby coming home. My sister drove up to see us and took tons of pictures. I thank God now that she did!
That night it was just Tanner and me. It was quiet, and calm. Our nurses were amazing and helped with even the smallest things. At about midnight I fed him and changed him before laying him in the little hospital bassinet and catching some zzz’s for myself. His nurse had told me that at 2am they would come in for the regular vitals check and that she would feed and change him for me and perhaps even keep him with her for a bit.
So 2 am rolled around and I heard her come in. I rolled over and remember squinting at her as I said good morning gruffly before turning back over. Next thing I knew she was screaming and yelling ‘Code Blue!’ as she ran out the door, carrying my son over her head.
It felt like a bad dream. It had to be a bad dream. When I stumbled into the hallway, they were empty and completely quiet. They had a small ‘emergency care’ room on our floor; I had seen it when I walked the halls. The closer I got to the room the more real it all became. Nurses and doctors alike were rushing in and out of the room. The door had a large glass pane and inside I could see my son as they tried to revive him.
The rest of the day is a blur of raw emotions. From calling everyone I knew to find support, to walking the halls and sidewalks waiting for my chance to see my son again. It was around 7pm before we were able to go up to the NICU. They had been fighting all that time to keep my son alive.
For a week he was kept alive by machines. They breathed for him, fed him, etc. All we could do was wait. After numerous tests, poking and prodding…they finally declared him brain dead. The lack of oxygen had done too much damage.
His last day was spent with me, my mother, and two of his nurses, creating memories to take home and preparing him best we could. I gave him his last bath and dressed him in a lovely outfit that the hospital gave us. I held him for close to an hour before he passed.
Because of the medications they had given him when reviving him, I wasn’t able to donate any major organs. I was, however, able to donate his heart valves. I’ve prayed ever since that they helped a parent take home their baby like I was never able to do. It’s been five years now, almost six, and I am now also the proud mother of a gorgeous little girl. I am proud to tell people I am a mother of three and when they ask where my third child is I am happy to tell them of the tiny boy who changed my life forever.
No one was ever able to give me answers for why he stopped breathing. The Medical Examiner ruled the major factor in his death as Interrupted SIDS. Someday, somehow I hope I can live to see the cause of SIDS and maybe even a way to cure or avoid it completely.
You can contact Tabitha at firstname.lastname@example.org.