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I am going to speak with a young lady who lost a child to...

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Question by Ed
Submitted on 2/17/2004
Related FAQ: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) misc.kids FAQ
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I am going to speak with a young lady who lost a child to SIDS. I believe the lady was told that her smoking caused the SIDS to take her child. I have read where smoking may attribute to SIDS. Feedback is greatly desired.

Answer by Francine
Submitted on 3/6/2004
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There are a variety of risk factors associated with SIDS, and there are not many studies to support or deny wether or not they play a role in a SIDS death.  My daughter was a back sleeper, we never smoked (neither myself or my husband...ever), we never did drugs, we never bed shared with Madison, she had nothing soft in the crib with her.  We got to her within moments and started CPR right away, her color was good and she was still unable to be revived.
The only category or risk factor that Madison seemed to fit in was that she was 10 days short of 6 mths.......  95% of SIDS deaths seem to occur between the 2nd and 6th mth of life.

I can't understand why anyone would ever tell a parent that SIDS was caused by smoking..............  there is not enough known to support these categories and I know first hand that my beautiful baby girl was in a completely smoke free environment and it still happened.....
My greatest advice to you is that as a SIDS parent we go through an overwhelming amount of guilt about things that we could have done to prevent this from happening......  if, if if,.......  we even try to rationalize thoughts like ...what if we had made her stay awake for the particular nap???  
Things that you know in your mind are normal, everyday things that you do with your children.  I have 2 other children and I know that we did that "right" things in all of their care, but somehow we can't comprehend this happening to our babies, and the guilt of not being able to protect our children at all costs in incomprehensible to imagine; I still today feel cheated by not being given the opportunity to lay down my life for hers.... I mean that's what a good parent would do right??  
The key thing that has kept me going is that SIDS does happen, and it's coming to the realization that absolutely nothing you did or did not do could have prevented it or caused it.  Keep telling the parent that please, please......  I have found it a huge help to talk to others who have lost a child to SIDS.....  I have discovered it's not as rare as I thought it was, and that all these emotions and feelings I am experiencing.... every SIDS parent seems to go through........  I needed to hear it was normal.  This shock, pain and awareness that there are things that can completely devastate your life and afterwards you have this overwelming feeling that something else terrible is going to happen..  something that you won't be able to prevent and you know in your heart that you can't even deal with this pain so what will happen when that other ax falls??  I still go check on my other children (who are 4 and 11 yrs.) at least 7 times per night to make sure they are ok.  It's a horrible, horrible process and I'm just realizing now that this incredible pain will not go away.....  I'm a changed person forever, I now have to find the strength and hope to help my family deal with our pain and loss; and to try to gather the faith to at least not sit around waiting and worrying about that other ax to fall.
I truly don't believe life holds a pain this severe, and the only thing you can do is keep telling the parent that there was absolutely nothing they could have done differently to prevent SIDS.........  they really need to keep hearing that......  every thing else will take time and first after the shock wears off a bit, you realize this loss will be there forever.  There are still days where I want nothing more than to be with my baby girl and stop feeling this unbearable pain, but I know that if I gave up then my other children and my husband would be in even more pain then they are now and the vicious circle that could create.  My family need me .... we need each other to get through this....  and at first I thought no one understood how awful this pain is, now I know that it is a normal part of losing a baby to SIDS.
I hope I have helped........

She did NOTHING wrong.........  bottom line.


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