Sweet Baby Ryan
by Molly Madison, mother
Ryan Joseph Potts
12 Jun 1998
Ryan was born on September 22, 1989. He was our third son. I took as much time as I could with him before returning to work. On December 18, 1989, I left him and his brothers at the sitter's house at 7:40 a.m. I got a call at noon. She told me something was wrong with the baby. I rushed to her house thinking he may have fallen or gotten sick. When I got there, the paramedic told me my son wasn't breathing. I was confused and scared. I drove to the hospital to meet the ambulance. I was put into a waiting room with the babysitter and my now ex-husband, who met us there. We waited and waited and waited. The babysitter told us he didn't want his bottle and was fussy but didn't tell me about finding him laying on her waterbed--blue in the face.
She didn't tell me about performing CPR while her sister called the paramedics. So when the doctor came and told us "He's gone". I couldn't believe it. All I could do was sob. I wanted to see him. Touching his cold skin was also a shock. I held him the way I always did and rocked and rocked. I didn't want to let go.
The weeks and months after his death are a blur. I can remember showering only because it was something I had done before. I can remember wondering how the world could keep turning and people could keep going after my son had died. How could anyone ever smile again? I don't remember what the pastor said at his funeral. I only remember staring at my beautiful son in the casket. I put a Christmas bib and a Santa's hat on him for his burial. The babysitter did not attend the funeral and did not send any condolences. I haven't talked to her since. Part of me wonders if she has something to hide. Did she let him cry himself to sleep even though I asked her not to do that? Did she check on him? Maybe if I hadn't left him, he would still be alive...
Ryan's daddy and I divorced. I am remarried and have two beautiful children with my husband. Aaron Michael was born September 20, 1995 and Amber Leann was born December 17, 1997. I had Aaron on an apnea monitor for his first seven months and I recently took Amber off the monitor. Amber will be six months soon. I know she will be fine, but I'm still scared.
Time has eased my pain.
Although my heart still aches when I think of Ryan, I know that I must go on. When I hear of a SIDS death in the area, I write a letter and offer a listening ear. It does help to know you're not alone.
To all the parents and families who have also lost their child to SIDS: I am so sorry for your loss. I am here for anyone who wants to share.
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