It is long overdue that I told this story.
Well, that was step one. Making the decision to tell the world about one of the greatest loves of my life and the greatest pain (Good job Nicole. Now, share your story.- I’m still staring at the screen).
Okay, 3,365 days ago I lost my first son, Shaun DeMarcus Weaver, to SIDS ( take a breath).
On August 16, 2007, I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 7oz. ( I think) baby boy whose presence and love was as surprising and beautiful as a beautiful sunset and the color of indigo ( I think indigo is the world’s most beautiful color). His natural scent was as fragrant as lavender and his eyes were as piercing as the bright sun in Florida. His laugh was like a narcotic to my soul and his warmth embraced me like a plush goose down blanket. My son; my first-born; my best thing.
I won’t go into a lot of detail of what happened because, to be honest, it really isn’t that important. But here is what I will tell you, my son was here one day, happy, healthy, smiling, and cooing, and gone the next. Without warning, sickness, or issue. He was just…gone. The day my son passed, or shall I say, while he was passing, I actually called off work that day. I was so exhausted and not feeling well that I decided to call off work. However, I was convinced to go to work just for a few hours due to short staff. I remember being conflicted but thought, “What could a few hours hurt?” So I went to work and left my son with the babysitter sleeping…on his stomach. Never thought much about it as he has slept on his stomach a few times before.
Right when I was clocking out, I received a phone call from a fireman telling me to get the hospital as quickly as possible and that my son was rushed to the hospital. I literally sprinted out of my job. At the time, I live in Atlanta and if you’ve ever been to Atlanta, you know all too well how the traffic can be. I raced down the freeway and weaved through traffic to get to my child while reassuring myself that this is not that serious and everything is fine. Despite the knotting feeling I had in the pit of my stomach, I kept telling myself this is nothing and everything is fine. The fireman calling me is protocol. Then, I saw my Aunt crying hysterically in the hospital room and I knew something was terribly wrong.
As she started telling me how sorry she was and trying to console me along with the fireman, I pushed them away demanding to see my son. No tears yet, just frustration. They met my request and took me to my son. Then, the tears came. When I saw how lifeless and….gone he was I knew that I was not going to be taking my son back home. I knew that his life and mine were not going to be how it was the day before when he was laughing and playing in his bouncer that I bought for him for Christmas. We were taken to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital were the EMT’s had to continue to resuscitate him because he ( I believe) was fighting to be with his mom but wanted to be in peace and in the light that we all will eventually see. He was fighting…fighting…fighting. Yet he had already left. We finally got to the hospital and I was alone. My family was on their way from Ohio along with his father and his family, but for several hours, I was…alone. Alone in the room crying, begging, and pleading to God to take this away.
“God please, please, please give me back my son. Whatever I did, I swear I will never do it again. I have been good; I’ve taken him to church; I don’t do drugs; I am not a bad person. Please do not allow this to happen to me. I will do anything”
I prayed for my son after I spoke to countless doctors and specialists. Taking in all the information given to you in cold medical verbiage was like an ice pick chipping at the cold ice that was slowly building around my heart. I was cold and I was alone. Wait, I take that back there was the Chaplain. A very sweet old lady whose presence was as calm and comforting as a bosom to a baby. She didn’t say much, she just prayed with me and over me. She walked me to the chapel a place where I found strange peace but felt hot and infuriating rage and pain.
Am I really here? Pray to God? What a joke! I need Him because this pain, this load in my heart is too heavy, but WHY is He allowing me to go through this?! What is the point of praying to Him? He is sitting back and just watching me go through this and if He is as powerful as they say, WHY IS HE TAKING MY BABY AWAY FROM ME?!!!! But my heart needs His comfort; I need His embrace, but I am so ANGRY!!!
This is what I thought at that time.
Finally, the family from all over came pouring in. People came praying for me and offering me any comfort they could. I remember people calling me but for the life of me I don’t remember who I spoke to and I don’t remember hearing their voice. I was a walking zombie. I don’t remember eating, sleeping, walking, or even using the restroom. That day was a blur. When his father finally got to the hospital, the doctor was ready to give us his final diagnoses. I wasn’t alone. The doctor began talking and we were sitting on the edge of our seats anxiously waiting for a glimmer of hope or a suggestive procedure that would give our son a chance at life. He started talking and I swear I can’t remember what he said after, “I’m sorry, your son is brain dead and there is nothing we can do”. I must’ve gone deaf. Like seriously, I think for 5 minutes the world slowed down and I went deaf. All I remember hearing was this incredibly loud ringing in my ear; no tears; no screams; I was just…there. I saw the mouth of the doctor continue to move; I saw the Chaplain sadly waiting in the hallway staring at my sadness; I remember the father of my son crumble and trying to hold onto me, and I remember seeing his grandmother crying abruptly. But I became rigid, lifeless, and at that moment a piece of me died. I felt it. I exhaled away a piece of my being.
As definite as my son’s fate was, doctors and specialists continued to ask me if I wanted to keep him on life support as they waited to see if he would begin to breathe on his own. And the easiest moment came to me and I said “No. Let him go”. My son chose the light; mommy lost, and I don’t blame him. How I desperately wanted to join him in that light. The morning came to let my son go. The nurses gave him to me to hold; his father was on the right side of me, and my mom and stepfather were behind me.
Take a breath, Nicole.
I looked at the amazing nurse who cried with me and watched over me and my son like a hawk. I gave her the nod to remove him from life support and I screamed out crying…crying…crying.
“Please, Shaun don’t leave me. I’ll be a better mom I promise. Give me one more chance and I swear I will never leave you or choose work over you again. Please don’t go”. Within seconds I felt his body go limp.
The drive home was torture. A mom going home, but no baby to go home to. Just the day before he was laughing and cooing. I was loving and taking care of my baby. Then, I arrived home. With immense fear, I opened the door to my home and released all the pain and anger that I hadn’t released in the hospital. My son passed away on December 30, 2007. The Christmas tree…his first Christmas tree, was still there. Along with all the gifts, I had bought him and that bouncer that he was just in two days before. His swing in the exact place that I left it with a bib that had milk and cereal still on the coffee table. A bottle that wasn’t completely finished; and a load of his clothes that I had just washed. Walking into his nursery was like walking into a tomb. It no longer had life or joy. My son died of SIDS. Four letters that make the ugliest word that I have grown to hate.
This story is long overdue. I have wanted to share this story with you guys for a while but I have a serious problem with self-disclosure. Especially with this story. I feel that when people know that I have gone through this horrible ordeal, that I get that look. You know the one. The look of pity. I hate that look. I hate that look almost as much as I hate the question, “Is this your first baby?” I mean how do you answer that without receiving that look? Because I hate that question so much, I try to stay aware of asking other women the same thing.
When I started writing out this blog post, I was going to give you guys the before, after, and present story all in one post. But it took me one week to write this blog post. By far the longest time it ever took me to write a post. I had to take several breaths, wipe away several tears, and relive a lot of memories that I tucked inside of my mind somewhere. So, I had to unpack a lot to give you guys this story. With that being said, I will continue this narrative over the next couple of weeks. This story has unexpectedly turned into a blog series over the loss of my first-born son. Stay tuned for next week.
I would like to give my deepest condolences and extend a big warm hug to one of my favorite blog couples, Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom of Pinch of Yum. They have endured a loss of their sweet baby boy Afton and I have the greatest respect and admiration of how they have publicly shared their loss and story as I know there would’ve been no way in the world that I would have been able to be as open and vulnerable to my loss as they have been. So, Mr. and Mrs. Ostrom if you are reading this and it gets back to you somehow, I feel your pain and have cried with you and want you to know that you are not alone.