After arriving home, I started Cooper on lunch and tried to nurse Tyler and put him down for an early nap since he had not slept much that morning. I placed him in his crib around 12:30, but couldn’t find his little blankie I had been putting him down with. You know, the little square ones. I had left it at Britt’s but just figured I’d grab another one out of the drawer. I contemplated between two different ones and chose the thinner one for fear that the other one was too thick. He cried for a few minutes and then stopped and I was so relieved that he had fallen asleep. I helped Cooper finish up his lunch and then put him down for a nap a little after 1:00 p.m.
I began cleaning the house and getting things ready for my good friend, Mitzi, to come into town from Arkansas. I took full advantage of both the boys being down and knew that time was limited. Tyler never slept for more than 45 minutes because we were in that time of him transitioning to longer naps. After my friend Katie stopped by to pick something up, I looked up at the clock and realized that it was around 2:00. I thought to myself how weird it was that Tyler was still asleep.
I went to his room and quietly turned the handle so I wouldn’t wake him up. I entered his room and saw that his little green blankie was over his face. I had found Cooper this way many times when he was a baby and I would just go in and pull it off. I still quietly walked over and started to slowly move the blanket so it wouldn’t startle him. ( The rest of this may be too graphic for some)… As I pulled off his blanket, it was sticky to his face. I pulled it back quickly once I realized something wasn’t right. There was a clear, gooey substance all over Tyler’s face. His eyes were matted shut with it and I immediately started repeating, “Oh my God, Oh my God,” over and over again.
I picked him up and put him over my arm and hit his back like you would if your child was choaking. Realizing quickly that I needed immediate and way more help, I ran with him to the kitchen and grabbed my cell phone. I called 911 and realized that I needed help way quicker than they could offer it. Our neighbor, Trent, across the street was a fireman, so I ran with Tyler across the street, knocked on the door and just handed him to them.
By this point I could barely breath. I knew he was gone, but my mind was racing a mile a minute. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the sound of sirens. Another neighbor was a police officer, and when he heard the dispatch, he knew it was our street and flew around the corner. The firemen arrived first, and then the ambulance. Time stood still. I couldn’t get ahold of Jerrod for quite a while, and the next thing I knew, the police are asking me questions, they’re trying to call Jerrod’s cell, and Tyler is in Trent’s home still receiving CPR. The firemen loaded him into the ambulance, I hopped in our neighbor’s police car, Katie arrived to watch Cooper, and off we went to the ER.
The drive to the ER took what seemed like an hour. I was barely breathing, and could not quit repeating, “It’s all my fault, I should never have put that blankie in his bed with him.” I finally got a hold of Jerrod and all I could say was, “Tyler’s gone, Tyler’s gone, Tyler’s gone.”
Jerrod met me at the ER and they just worked and worked on Tyler. They were suctioning him and he had tubes and cords all over the place. He was in fact gone. I couldn’t even let the reality set in. It was just too much to bear. Jerrod signaled for the doctors and nurses to stop working on him and we went in to be with him. He laid there in just his diaper and was very cold to the touch. Jerrod wrapped him up in a sheet and held him. I just couldn’t. I squeezed his little legs, as I loved to do, but couldn’t bear the thought of holding him like that. We said our goodbyes and by that point several friends had made their way to the hospital. The drive home was even longer than the drive there. How could I be leaving my baby at the hospital? All alone. With no one. It felt very strange and weird. We headed to Katie’s house and by that time people had already started to gather there. There were no words to say. It was very somber and you could have cut the tension and grief with a knife.
And so that began our journey of grieving the loss of our sweet boy. The days that followed were filled with making travel arrangements for family, funeral and service plans, picking out outfits, flower deliveries, unending tears, sleepless nights, and pits in our stomachs that just wouldn’t go away. It was awful. Even writing this over again, it feels like just yesterday.
This blog began as a way for us to share our story and to write about the things the Lord began to show us, even as we walked through the darkest moment of our lives. Join our journey and taste and see that the Lord is indeed GOOD. His mercies are new EVERY morning, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.