It’s taken me a couple weeks to think about writing this post.
The preemie community is full of heartbreak, trauma, bitterness, happiness — a full spectrum of emotions. The highest highs and lowest lows. Anyone who has experiences a NICU stay understands this; it’s an inherent part of the experiences, something that bonds us together.
But every parent has one fear: the death of a child. Another member of the community lost her son a couple of weeks ago. Not to prematurity, not to illness. To SIDS. SIDS can affect anyone at any time. The fact that it happened to a family who had already dealt with prematurity was just another blow.
Baby Alex was born too soon. He was home though and doing well. One morning he was cooing and happy, a typical baby. Not long after he was blue and lifeless. What happened? No one knows. The family is traumatized.
People said to me during our NICU stay: ‘oh I can’t imagine,’ ‘oh I could never do that.’ Well, it’s not like any of us have a choice in the matter. We’d never choose to have our babies come early. In this woman’s case, I can imagine. And I’m heartbroken. The image fills my mind, I imagine walking in and finding Sebastien. I have to force the thought out of my head though because death has already struck us.
I hate to whine or say ‘it’s not fair.’ But damnit, it’s not fair. It’s not fair that baby Alex’s family had to deal with the trauma of prematurity and then deal with his sudden passing. It’s not fair that they didn’t get to say goodbye. It’s not fair that his 4 year old sister will remember him, and at least right now, not fully understand what happened or why her baby brother is no longer here. Even now, just thinking about this baby, thinking about the sister, thinking about the parents brings tears to my eyes. It’s not fair.