Night number two without him. For only the second time since his birth, I did not get to kiss my baby goodnight and lay him down. I did not get to sing him the teddy song he so loved. I did not get to tip toe out of his room or silently close his door. I will not hear him hum himself to sleep or chatter at the wall. I will not sleep soundly in the next room. I will not wake in the morning to his smile. His arms will not reach for me, he will not softly touch my face and press his forehead to mine.
I want to remember what his skin felt like, the smell of his hair, how it felt to place his hand in mine. I want to remember how his eyes looked for me every moment, no matter where we were. How he would watch me intently any time I spoke. I want to wash his hair and snuggle him after bath time. I want to see him pull the spoon to his mouth because I’m not feeding him fast enough for his liking. I want to see his silly hand movements, the way he would outstretch his arm above his head and practice grasping imaginary things while he studied his own fingers.
These previously tangible moments are only memories now. Routine is gone. Death took these moments from us. Replaced by horrid images of how I discovered him, what happened to him. Seven months feels like two minutes in comparison to a lifetime without him.
It is the 4th of July. What was formerly my favorite holiday is now simply “the day after”. How does the world keep spinning on, when it feels as if it has come crashing down. Sleep has not yet overcome me. I cannot close my eyes without seeing his blue, lifeless little body, helpless to what happened to him. My guilt is overpowering, my grief immense. I am encompassed in so much support and love, yet I feel so much absence. The waves of destruction wash over me as if his death is happening over and over again. I replay the scene in my head and I’m stuck. I am spinning between worlds, while he is just out of reach.
Tonight we celebrated our sweet Sloan’s light. He brought joy and peace to everyone who knew him and knew of him. He was here on our earth for much too short a time, but his life and death has impacted hundreds of thousands of people.
Your purpose was to bring people together, to bridge divides and remind everyone how fleeting life is. You did your job my sweet baby.
Until we meet again,
24 hours ago right now our lives changed forever. We have not let Ro out of our site for even a moment. I cling to him as if my own life depends on it now. The hands, and people who have held me the past 24 hours have been immeasurably impactful and comforting. My mom holding me and justin as we were told he was gone, my dad holding me while I wept over Sloan initially, Kailynn holding me as I sat on the couch rocking Sloan as if he’d been sleeping, my brother holding me while I traced every inch of my babies lifeless face and gave my statement to the detectives. The EMT who held me as he explained in tears that he’d lost his own infant son several years before, Nicole holding me while I sobbed into her shoulder after they took him away and out of the house. But most importantly, Rowan holding me, at 3.5 years old and saying “Mama I’m sorry baby Sloan died.”
We just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your words, your thoughts, your prayers. Thank you for wrapping us up in your comfort and trying as best you can to ease our pain. Tonight was the first night in 7 months that we didn’t get to kiss our baby goodnight and lay him down to sleep. Our house was so quiet, and I still felt the need to be silent as if not to wake the baby boy that will never lay in that crib again. This time is dark for us and it will be a long while before we claw ourselves out of this hell we are in. I feel like I’m in this delicate dance between this world and his. A dance I don’t want to end, but then I’m brought back to reality where I’m needed by another child. It isn’t fair. My spirit is forever connected to his. I know I’ll find him in everything I do. I know that connection will keep us afloat when the waves of grief try to drown us. Sloan was our rainbow baby, born after two miscarriages and fertility treatments. He was our warrior baby, true to his name. Death took his body away but it can’t ever take his spirit. It won’t ever be right, because he should here. We should be getting to watch him grow up. It isn’t fair that the world keeps going when we want it to stop. The things you are all doing for our family are amazing and we cannot express enough gratitude, thank you.
Our sweet rainbow boy is gone. I don’t even have words to explain the immense hole in our hearts right now.
This morning I went into his room just after 9:40 am to check on him. He was face down and unresponsive in his crib. I yanked him upright and I screamed for Justin. He grabbed him and held him while we both screamed for what felt like an eternity but was only moments. Our neighbors heard us and came rushing in to help administer CPR on the kitchen counter while Justin called 911. Rowan saw everything. I called my mother and best friend sobbing asking them to come. By the time paramedics arrived it had been nearly 20 minutes since we found him. They tried for about a half hour to revive him but were unsuccessful. One of the paramedics had gone through the same thing with his infant son several years ago and sat down on the floor with us to tell us it was too late, he was gone. I asked to hold him and he walked me out to the living room where they had him laying on the ottoman with a blanket draped over his lifeless body. I flung myself over him sobbing. My dad came in and held me while I held Sloan. Someone was in the bedroom calming justin down and trying to keep Rowan from seeing anything. I say on the couch with him wrapped in his rainbow blanket for hours while people filtered in and out. Detectives had to get statements, chaplains had to explain what happens “after”, paramedics didn’t want to leave, most of them in tears as well. He looked like he was sleeping, but he didn’t feel like him anymore. He was colorless, his lips blue, his body ice cold and stiff. I touched his lashes, traced his lips and nose, kissed his cheeks and cried on his hair. My baby was gone, and probably had been for long before I found him. If you’ve ever lost a child you understand that there’s an unimaginable guilt you feel. I should have checked on him in the night. I shouldn’t have laid awake in bed this morning instead of going to get him. I should have I should have I should have….nothin can bring him back, and yet you still try and find all of the ways you could have prevented it. The Medical Examiner came in to take forensic photos and they made me reenact (with a doll) how I’d put him to bed, then how I’d found him. I was forced to relive it. They took the blanket he’d slept with, that he’d had at bedtime since he was born, to be tested. Then finally, they took him away in a bag. It seemed so thoughtless, so inhumane.
A year ago yesterday we announced his gender. Tomorrow he would have been 7 months old. Sloan Valor was the happiest, smiliest baby, he lit up everyone’s lives who knew him and we were so blessed by his short life. We must find the ways to grieve and live without him, ways to make his brother understand, ways to help us understand.
I appreciate your love and support so very much. We have chosen not to have a funeral as neither of us can fathom standing in front of so many people while they watch us cry. We will be having him cremated so we can have him with us forever. Justin will be out of work for quite a while, and I have closed the website for however long I need to be able to cope again. Orders are just not my priority right now. Friends have set up a fund to help us with expenses I’ve attached the link below. The support means the world.