Cause and Effect

I have battled my own mind for most of the day, wanting to write about having finally been given Sloan’s toxicology results. I wanted to express what this feels like. I wanted to express how everyone thinks being told a cause of death should be “closure” and  how, for us, in every way- it is not. 

It took twelve weeks for the person at the other end of my weekly phone call to the M.E.s office, to say “Yes we have results”. Twelve weeks for her to finally be able to say “It is documented as Sudden Infant Death”

 I had expected her to tell me they had no results yet, like every other call I had made, so I had called while I was home alone. I heard those 7 words she said, and then I was underwater. Everything else she said was muffled, almost inaudible. She said something about how sorry she was for our loss. I couldn’t absorb anything else, so I said “Thank you” and hung up. I was shaking, my chest felt shallower than usual. My eyes stung and my knees felt weak. I was alone. 

I thought about what this meant. How we’d pretty much assumed and expected these would be the results. How despite that, it still felt so fresh and wounding to hear. SIDS is a diagnosis, a cause. But it is not closure. 

There is so much confusion around SIDS and its potential causes, and not enough awareness. Parents of infants, please research SIDS, understand the importance of sleep safety, utilize baby monitors like the Owlet, the Angelcare, and the Snuza. Approximately 2500 infants a year die of SIDS, our baby boy was one of them.

It is not just suffocation that causes SIDS. Babies that die of SIDS could either have an undetectable brainstem abnormality that prevents them from responding appropriately to a lack of oxygen, or a serotonin imbalance preventing the signals from their brain to body to react. Some babies can’t recognize this lack of oxygen correctly, so they don’t wake up and move or move the item obstructing their breathing. It could have been the blanket, or it could have been the reason he didn’t remove the blanket. 

We will never know. We will never have anything but “Sudden Infant Death” to blame. So please, do not tell us how great you think it is that we can “finally move forward.” Don’t tell us you’re hopeful this is the closure we needed.  Try to understand that this is a bittersweet step in this journey. This is another reopening of the wound, it is another wave crashing down. Our baby just didn’t wake up. He just, didn’t wake up. There is no closure in that. 

15 thoughts on “Cause and Effect

  1. Jordan and family, may his light continue to shine. You’re all so dear to so many people. Your words perfectly put the feeling every person who has had to deal with SIDS. It is not a closure, but I hope the last of these weekly phone calls is one step closer to finding closure you need. ❤

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  2. I have no words to offer that could possibly bring you any comfort right now and “so sorry for your loss” isn’t enough. I don’t know you but I wish I could just give you a big hug right now.

    I do want you to know that I’m praying for you though. I pray that somehow that you and your family would just be wrapped up in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. 💗

    Just know that by sharing Sloan’s story you have potentially saved so many other babies. I know you opened by eyes and gave me the wake up call I needed regarding crib safety. Much love to you and your family.

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  3. You do what you have to. That’s all you can do. You don’t have to move forward at this moment. You just do what’s best for you. Cry. Scream.Kick.Shout. Whatever helps you. Sending all my love and prayers!

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  4. You are right. There is no closure in a diagnosis like SIDS…only more questions, more what-ifs, more tears. I imagine that even if there was a different cause of death, “closure” would still never exist when it comes to losing own child. I can’t say I know exactly what you are experiencing in these days when your wounds are still so fresh, but I would absolutely encourage you to grieve for as long as you need to– in whatever way you need to. Just because SIDS is labeled the official cause of his death, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept that he is gone. ❤

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  5. Sending all the love and prayers your way. I know nothing I say could ever help heal your pain, but I will continuously pray for your family. Sloan has touched so many people’s hearts, and his memory will forever continue to do so!

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  6. Oh, Jordan 😔. My heart breaks all over again for you. Wish I could just hug you and your family and promise everything will be okay. You have the right to feel any and everything that you do. I so wish and pray for peace and comfort for you every day, dear mommy. Your sweet Sloan will always be with you. Always.

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  7. I can relate to this post so much. My two year old son passed away suddenly this past November. It took 4 months to get the cause of death from the medical examiner. We had an idea it was from myocarditis but weren’t sure until the finaI report came in. I kept telling myself once I knew, I would feel so much better. But, I didn’t. He was still gone and even though I offficially had a cause of why, I still had no understanding of why this happened to him, to us.
    I know what you are going through right now is so hard. Others’ expectations of grieving parents to have some type of closure is not possible. I just wanted to let you know I connect so much to what you write and I really appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts. It can be so hard to relate to others who have not experienced the loss of a young child, and reading your blog makes me feel a little less alone.
    Sending so much love to you and your family.

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  8. I am so sorry. When we received the same “diagnosis” for the loss of our sweet Jack, I remember feeling such a range of emotions. You are not alone. Sadly, there are many of us who are walking along this similar path of grief. Much love and light to you and your family. 💙

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  9. Sending you love…ALWAYS!!!
    My daughter and I think of you and your family often. Your words and pictures penetrate our hearts and our minds and we grieve alongside you though we’ve never met you.
    Let his light shine, let the memories his giggles always create butterflies in your stomach and let his love for you ALWAYS bring you comfort in your darkest of days.

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  10. My heart continues to break over and over again for you and your family. There is never any closure with child loss. Never. My heart and prayers are with you and your precious Sloan. Thank you for sharing your story. Sloan continues to touch so many hearts.

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  11. I imagine there is nothing anyone can say to help the void in your heart. All I can say is I’m so sorry, and thank you for making my baby safer by sharing Sloan’s story. Seeing his pictures makes me smile. He was a beautiful boy.

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  12. There are no words that can make this easier , but please know I am holding space for you and your family in my heart. I see your grief and acknowledge how incredibly difficult this will be, and it is something you will,carry with you always. I hope though that the burden gets lighter and, with the help of others, you are able to push through and find moments of peace.

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