Losing Jeffery was the hardest thing that I ever had to deal with in my lifetime, it is something that never goes away, the way I explain it is, the pain is always there, but you learn to just live with it. But time does not heal it, you just get used to it.
I screamed for Jack to wake up, I had Jeffery in my arms, he was stiff and he was cold, I was trying desperately to open his mouth, but couldn’t so I would just hug him tightly to my body. Jack got up ran to the phone and called 911. They asked where the baby was now, and he said my girlfriend has him, and they said that we should put him back in his bed. I refused, Jack came over and said, Jenn, he needs to go back, and I refused, and finally I gave in, and Jack took him back to his cradle. By this time, Jessica had gotten up and she was crying, and I went in there, grabbed her and fell to the floor with her, holding her, rocking her and crying.
The fire fighters were the first to arrive, Jack told me this part later, but when they came to the door, they could hear Jessica making noise (she was crying asking if I was ok) and he said you should have seen the look of relief on their faces, but Jack looked at them and shook his head and said he’s in the last room on the right.
The police were the next to arrive, and one young cop strutted down the hall, and quickly came back up the hall and left the apartment, he looked green, I think it was the first time he had seen something like that.
The police detective came in and wanted to talk to us, we felt like criminals, our house was a bit messy, not gross, but messy – we were young with two young kids, dishes didn’t get done the night before, and well, it was just a general untidyness, and so Jack was actually starting to clean up when the police told him to stop because they needed to take pictures of the “scene” again, we felt like criminals, we didn’t do anything to our beautiful baby boy, I didn’t know what happened at the time, but I knew it wasn’t anything we had done, we loved our family and we loved that little boy.
The police told me to give my consent for Jeffery to have an autopsy and at the time, I thought this was a horrible thing, hadn’t he already been through enough, now they are going to tear him apart? Then apparently it is mandatory for children under 16 to have an autopsy, so then why did I have to give my consent, if it was mandatory, they would be able to do it anyway. I finally signed. The coroner came and basically put him in a tackle box, and took him to the funeral home.
Then we had to call our parents, I called my dad, and told him, and he came over right away, he only lived about 5 minutes away. Then I told Jack to call his parents and he couldn’t so I did, but I just didn’t want to say the words anymore, so I kept just asking Jack’s mom if she would come over, please come over, we need you and Jack’s dad. And she kept saying, I can’t leave work, what’s wrong, so I finally had to say the words again. Jeffery died, please come over, we need you. They were there within the hour.
Then many people many faces many calls came in, one of my best friends called and as soon as I got on the phone, she said, I know, I know, you don’t have to say it, she was a God-send, she called all my friends and family for me, so that I wouldn’t have to repeat those words over and over again.
Now let’s rewind a little, my aunt who was always a little critical of me, my weight, my teenage pregnancy, called and asked if she could come and see Jessica when she was little in another basement apartment that I lived in. I know how she is, so I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, the apartment was old, the carpet was a bit dirty and wouldn’t come clean, our furniture was old, but our apartment was spotless, and she made the comment, you’re not as clean as your mother are you? So then, once we moved to the apartment, she called and said we want to come see the new baby, because there were boxes everywhere, and I was busy with the 2 babies, Jessica’s birthday was going to be on January 13, which was about a week away, I told her just to come then, because we aren’t settled and I know how she is.
So, the first thing she says when she comes to my house, see, we didn’t get to see him before he died because you wouldn’t let us come over.
It’s not like I expected him to die! What the hell, it still makes me mad to this day.
Then later on, my grandmother, goes to the bathroom, and apparently there is no toilet paper, my dad lost it on me, how can you have no toilet paper?? Again, my son died today, had he not died, we would have done our groceries, because toilet paper was on the list. I let go, cried and cried, and Jack’s dad just held me. He asked what happened? More because of what set me off this time, because I had been crying pretty consistently, and I bawled, we have no toilet paper, and he gave the best dad laugh and said, don’t worry, we’ll get some, it will be fine. Why couldn’t my family be like that?
The next few days were a blur, Jeffery passed 2 days before Jessica’s 2nd birthday, and I had presents put away for her, so she got them, my best friend got her a cake, and she had a small family party.
The morning of her birthday, I was sitting at our diningroom table and she came over and said, you get Jeffery up, you get him dressed and you bring him out her. I figured this was a good time to tell her.
On January 9th, I had been feeding Jeffery in our room, came out and noticed Jessica had tears streaming down her face, while she watched Lion King, she had watched this movie over and over again, and that day, she got it. I said what’s wrong, and she said, Simba crying. Mufasa fall, and Simba crying, and Jessica crying. What a sweetie.
I took her into my bedroom, and told her remember Mufasa fall down, and she didn’t want to hear me, she started picking up things on my dresser saying what’s this? She didn’t want to hear what I was going to tell her. I said Mufasa go to heaven, Jeffery go to heaven too.
The coroner had the results of the autopsy and said that Jeffery passed away from SIDS, they said there were no fibres in his lungs, and everything was clear, it is an unexplained death and they were sorry for our loss.