I am a wife and mother. I married Travis the summer of 2007 and life really took off. We welcomed our first born, Adrian Reese, June of 2009. We welcomed our second born, Ainslee Ryan, October of 2010 and had a short time with her. She was taken from us in February 2011, just 3 months and 10 days old, from the silent killer called SIDS. 6 months after she passed away, we found out we were expecting our 3rd, due in April of 2012. Our rainbow baby is a girl, sweet Hadlee Hope. We're slowly picking up the pieces and learning how to fit grief and happiness into this crazy thing called life.
PREFACE***This is a long post and also is graphic about what happened the day Ainslee passed. It's raw emotion but remember, it's important for me to remember. I never want to forget.
Just thinking about writing about what happened...the grief..the terrible things we've had to do since Ainslee's been gone makes me so "heavy." I feel a physical weakness, a cool numbing feeling, a heaviness that consumes my mind, body, and heart. I miss my girl when I walk into Ainslee's room. I get heavy. So many memories, emotions and wishes come flooding in. I still can see her sleeping in her crib-I can even feel her in there. Every night, Travis and I check on Adrian before we go to bed and then go to tell Ainslee goodnight. I leave Ainslee's lamp on all day so I feel like she's still here. Last night when we turned her light off, I stayed in her room for a minute. Her night light was on and I felt her there-she should be in her bed sound asleep. I should be next to her in the guest bed, waiting for her nightly feeding.
I cannot believe she is not here. I cannot believe we have to live without her-we have to live this life of pain and anguish. It all still seems so unreal. I can't believe she's now been gone longer than she was alive. We've spent more time without her than with her. How could this be? The pain is so strong-like it's just beginning. I feel so sorry for Adrian. He should be able to be playing with his little playmate. They were going to be the best of friends. He knows she's not here and I can tell he misses her too. I feel like I didn't do my job as a mother to protect her. I could've been a better mother and advocate for my daughter and I wasn't.
The day everything happened was by far the worst day of my life. I've had 2 other calls to date that people I love had died-but that was NOTHING compared to this call...the call that would forever change me...the call telling me my DAUGHTER was lifeless.
February 8th, 2011 was awful. The morning started out as a very normal joyful morning. I woke Ainslee up at 7:15 to get her dressed. I changed her diaper and had her ready for our daycare lady's. Travis fed her a bottle at 7:30-I was mostly breastfeeding but we had to supplement formula too. Ainslee was happy that morning and ate just fine. The last image of her I have is her sitting in her car seat on the dining room table while I tucked her blanket around her so the kids could leave with Trav. I gave my kids a kiss, told them I loved them, and was off to work. I would never, in a million years, would have thought I'd get the most horrific call just 2 hours later.
Travis dropped Adrian and Ainslee off at 8:00 a.m. The daycare lady said Ainslee was happy and smiling all morning and even flashed her a huge "Ainslee" smile before she laid her down. She said she laid her down for her nap at 9:15. She didn't take her paci when she laid down like she normally did. Ainslee always took her paci.
I was at work and was enjoying my morning when I saw my phone ringing. It was our daycare lady. I had no idea that what she was about to tell me would forever change our family. When I answered the phone I remember her saying, "Channan...I went to get our girl up from her nap and she's not breathing."
Make her breath! Dangit why couldn't she make her breath! She said she did CPR without any response from Ainslee. When I found out 911 hadn't yet been called, I literally hit the floor at work screaming No. This just couldn't be happening. She called 911 and so did my co-worker. I was now faced with a terrible thing-I had to call Travis. After telling him, I ran out of the office with 2 of my co-workers. We drove like maniacs to get to Ainslee. I kept trying to call my mom on the drive, called my sister in law, Travis, firefighters...I had to figure out where we were supposed to go. Once I found out I told Travis-we met at the hospital. I remember seeing the ambulance that brought my daughter there. I frantically was searching for her and was then shown where my baby was.
She looked so little-so helpless.
We got to be in the ER with her while they kept working on her. They worked on her for an hour and the entire time we held her hand, rubbed her foot and pleaded with her to come back to us. I could tell she was gone. Her feet were losing color, her cheeks looked chapped and dry, her tongue has the post mortem look. I will never forget that. It's awful.
The doctor came to me and said they did all they could do and she wasn't coming back. Our little girl was forever gone. Time of death: 11:17. I will always hear that in my head. We stayed with her until probably 2 that day. My father in law picked up Adrian for me-I wanted him safe.
We held our sweet baby, kissed her, pleaded with her to still come back.