Mom to Dylan Harry

June 21st, 2006 –  November 13th, 2006

Maple Shade, New Jersey

I had a perfectly normal, healthy pregnancy. 

Dylan came into this world on June 21 2006. He was 2wks early and thankfully so, because I was told had he gone to term he would have been stillborn due to a knot in his cord. We were so grateful and so happy to be holding our second beautiful little boy.

Dylan was a happy, healthy, energetic little guy. He had these beautiful eyes… my mom used to say he looked like he was a little angel… Dylan was always smiling, always laughing. He loved sitting in his bouncy seat and just bouncing his little legs and making himself jump around. Dylan’s big brother Connor was the best big brother a baby could ask for. He loved him so much. My boys were only 15 months apart and they were so so sweet to each other. From the first day Connor was never jealous of his little brother. He always wanted to hold him and sit with him and give him kisses. He used to help feed him too. They were my sweet little angels. I couldn’t have been happier. I was tandem breastfeeding at the time, and one of my fondest memories was of lying on the couch with one boy on each side and they would hold hands over my heart and stare into my eyes. It was the most amazing feeling ever. 

November 13th changed our lives forever. Dylan had fallen asleep nursing the night before. I woke up in the middle of the night and checked my boys like I did whenever I woke up. I remember putting my hand on Dylan’s chest and finding that he was not breathing. I’ll never forget the panic I felt. Picking him up and feeling him not as warm as he should have been. Not seeing his chest rise and fall. I screamed for my boyfriend. Yelling, “oh my god. The baby.” I didn’t know what to do. I remember it was raining.

We called 911 and I carried Dylan around to my neighbors thinking maybe they could help us, but I couldn’t find it in myself to knock on their door and I just ran back inside. The operator on 911 told us to remove his clothes and told us how to perform CPR. We pulled his clothes off and Steve told me what to do as I laid my baby down and tried to give him mouth to mouth. The fire trucks and police and ambulances came fast and took Dylan with them. We followed close behind. They blocked roads and tried to get us to the hospital as fast as they could. The hospital was only minutes away. 

We were in shock as we arrived. They were trying so hard to revive him. I’ll never forget looking into that room to see him all hooked up with everyone standing around him trying so hard to wake my little angel up.

Sadly that was not to be. The three of us were able to go in and we were able to hold him for the last time. We stayed in there holding him and kissing him for as long as we could. But his little body was no longer warm. He wasn’t there anymore. I kissed his beautiful face. Daddy kissed him too. And his big brother kissed him on his little forehead and told him night night. The most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do was give my baby boy to that doctor and know that it was the last time I would ever see my precious angel again.

I was sick leaving the hospital. I remember thinking “just yesterday we were 4. Now we leave as a family of 3”. Nothing made any sense to me. I didn’t and still don’t understand how a perfectly healthy, thriving, almost 5 month old, little boy can just stop breathing. I don’t understand how it is that our little boy can be stolen from us and we have no reason why. I had never really heard about SIDS before we lost Dylan. I’ve done so so much research since then, and sadly I still don’t really know much about it. It’s hard to find out a why when not even the doctors or researchers know why. 

We showed up to my boyfriend’s grandmoms house that morning…a family of 3 instead of 4. It was still raining… we must have looked so pathetic standing there at 5 in the morning with only one child. But I couldn’t bear to go back to the house where my baby had died. We never did go back, except to pack up our things and get out. It was just too much for me to be in that house every day.

We had to make phone call after phone call. Repeating over and over again what had happened. That we had lost Dylan to SIDS. It was a horrible horrible day. Week. Month… so many people came to support us and say their goodbyes to our little guy.  I remember people coming up and talking to me at his funeral and looking at them and not having a clue who they were.  

At the cemetery the sun decided to peek through the clouds, and somehow that gave me a little sense of peace. I can’t explain but it did. It was just the timing and the way it shone through that I felt like he was there with us. 

Everyday I think of my little guy. The pain of losing my son will always be there… that’s a piece of your heart that doesn’t just fix… but I have found that in time it becomes a part of you and you just learn to live with that ache in your heart. I still have my good days and bad days, my good moments and bad moments. You never know what will just make you break down. Sometimes it’s just looking at my boys playing and knowing there should be 3 not 2. Sometimes it’s a picture. A date. An outfit. Words that I read.

The other day Connor drew a picture of his family and there were five of us. I can’t explain the feeling of heartbreak but happiness that that gave me. I know he remembers his little brother, and it makes me happy to know that his memory is there. And that we will always be a family of 5… Even if one of our little guys is waiting up there in heaven for us.

SIDS stole our son from us. I will never understand it and I will never be ok with it, but I will live with it and hope that one day they are able to find WHY my son and so many other little angels died. It’s impossible to find a cure without finding the reason.

Please educate yourself about SIDS. Listen to the information that is given to you.  No one thinks their child will be the one. I know I never thought it could be mine.

I love you Dylan Harry. More than the world. xoxoxxo to my lil bub. 

 Crystal can be contacted at


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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I have a one-year-old, and I can’t even imagine what losing her would be like. Stay strong and thank you for telling your story.

  2. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Sending gentle hugs and sharing tears remembering with you.

  3. Crystal, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your son. That is beyond heartbreaking! My second child, my first boy was born June 21st as well. My boyfriend Steve and I are so crazy about checking on him. Now after reading your story it just makes me so much more aware. Again, I’m sorry! Dylan was too perfect for earth!

  4. One of my best friends just lost her son a few days ago to sids. We are all so heartbroken. Strangely I find it comforting to know that we are not alone in this struggle. Thank you so much for telling your story…

  5. Dear Crystal,

    I too have lost my son to SIDS. Evan was about the same age and dates (6/23/2011-11/21/2011). I was aware of SIDS. I did mostly the right things. Still, it had nothing to do with me at all. Evan died during his nap at the babysitters house. She has been doing at home daycare for 25 years and has 5 of her own kids. The entire family is like a part of ours. She was a better caretaker than I am. It was not her fault either. One of the worst parts about it is that we tried for years to get pregnant, had to have advanced fertility procedures to get pregnant at all. As I said in my son’s eulogy, we moved hell and high water to have our children. My daughter will turn 3 in 2 weeks. She is certainly a good distraction mostly but it has been difficult to cope and properly care for her some days as well. I would like to have another baby but not sure it is in the card for us which breaks my heart. It is good to hear about women who have healed some and moved on but scary because most of them have a “rainbow baby”. I hope that life gives us a break and would appreciate hearing from others like me if they are out there. Good luck with your family, it sounds like they are precious.

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