Our sweet rainbow boy is gone. I don’t even have words to explain the immense hole in our hearts right now. I’m alone for the first time since this morning, unable to sleep, unable to do anything but replay the nightmare that was this day.
This morning I went into his room to check on him. He was face down and unresponsive in his crib, his small blanket under his forehead and eyes. 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.
We put our 7 month old to bed with a small blanket, we thought he was old enough, able enough…and now we’ll never get to put him to bed again.
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.
We appreciate your love and support so very much. We have chosen not to have a funeral and will instead have a private memorial with family. We will be having him cremated so we can have him with us for ever.