"Life After SIDS"
KRISTOPHER ARMANDO SOLORIO
A million times we needed you, A million times we cried.
by Kerstin Solorio
reprinted with permission
I would like to tell you my story. I gave birth to my first son on July 12, 1988. Kristopher was the most beautiful & perfect son a mother could ever hope for. I had him for 3 months and 26 wonderful days. Kristopher died of SIDS on November 7, 1988. It was the worst day of my life.
I will never forget the minutes that ticked by that day from 4:00 p.m. on. I was sick that day but went to work anyway. I dropped Kristopher of at my sister Mindy's house (who was his day care provider) in the morning. All day long I wanted to leave work but stuck it out, I got off of work at 4:00 p.m. and went to go pick Kristopher up. I got to Mindy's house walked in and my sister told me that he was sleeping in her room I walked down the hallway and into her room to pick up my son, as soon as I walked into the room I knew something was wrong. Kristopher's face was in the corner of the crib I started screaming that Kristopher was dead. I immediately started CPR while my sister called 911. It seemed like it took forever for the paramedics to get there, although it was only minutes. The paramedics could not get a heartbeat or a pulse. They loaded him in the ambulance and took him to the hospital. When we got the hospital they put me in a room while the doctors worked on Kristopher. My husband was called and met me at the hospital just before the doctors came in and told us that Kristopher had died. The doctors allowed my husband, step children and myself to go into the room to say good-bye.
I never thought that my life could be that bad. My sister and I were up and down for weeks and weeks. All of the family went back to my sister's house where I found out that one of the police officers that came to the scene stayed with my sister to console her and let her know that she did nothing wrong. I was in a complete daze when I returned to my sister's. I went into my nephew's room where all of Kristopher's things were and held all of them for hours and hours. My father and stepmother flew up from Los Angeles to be with me and my husband . As soon as I saw my dad all I wanted was his arms around me to protect me from all hurt and pain.
Around 10:00 p.m. my husband took me home. I tried to go to sleep but couldn't, so I took a sleeping pill to try to help. Once I finally fell asleep I don't know if it was a dream or reality but I woke up and saw my mother, who I had lost 3 years prior, holding Kristopher and both of them were smiling at me. It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that he was not out there all by himself. When I awoke the next day I found my husband taking down the crib and putting all of his things away.
His services came and went. The next few months were a blur. I would find myself in the grocery store and department stores in the baby aisle, looking around for something, for Kristopher.
I joined a SIDS support group in December of 1988 to help me cope with my loss. I still attend those meetings on a monthly basis to help new SIDS parents get through the pain that is so very hard to deal with.
My husband and I were on our way home from dinner one night and decided that it was time for another child, not to replace Kristopher but to fill a void where he once was. I gave birth to my daughter (Melinda) on September 10, 1989. My husband and I were very scared of losing her as well. So we decided to use an apnea monitor. Melinda wore the monitor for 8 months not because she needed it, but, because I needed to sleep. On December 3, 1991 I gave birth to another son (Lucas). We decided not to use the monitor on him because I knew that he was going to be just fine. Melinda is now 6 1/2 and Lucas 4 1/2 and everybody still misses Kristopher and we light candles on his birthday and the anniversary of his death but there is a life after SIDS.
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