Haddie Bo Bo,
In the first few weeks after you had past I was living in a fog. I was under the impression that you went to sleep and just didn’t wake up. This is the furthest thing from the truth. We slowly started finding out different pieces of information about what happened. After each meeting we felt hit by a bus. We met with the detective who was on the scene first. He would tell us certain things but never really spelled out what had happened. It wasn’t until I met with the lady from CPS, who was there that day, until I found out exactly what happened. After that meeting my whole world was turned upside down AGAIN. A week or so after that I met with the lady from Ottawa County DHS who was in charge of licensing for in-home daycares. That meeting I found out even more information about that day. I went from thinking you just died to knowing that your death shouldn’t have EVER happened.
Haddie I will start by saying that someone failed you. Nothing was done to intentionally hurt you, but decisions were made that day that lead to your death. It doesn’t mean you weren’t loved by this person. There are rules known as Safe Sleep rules that licensed daycares must follow and many of these rules were violated and lead to your death. I will list each violation straight from the State of Michigan Safe Sleep Rules website.
Soft objects, bumper pads, stuffed toys, blankets, quilts or comforters, pillows, and other objects that could smother an infant must not be placed with or under a resting or sleeping infant. Blankets must not be draped over cribs or porta-cribs.
You were put down for a nap in a pack and play that was next to a crib with a thick comforter in your reach, draped over the side of the crib. You were left in the pack and play sitting up and I am sure with a huge toothy grin on your face. Everyone knew how much you loved to cuddle and you grabbed that blanket not knowing it would kill you. You got wrapped up in it and couldn’t find your way out. The thought of you laying there falling asleep wrapped in this blanket kills me. It hurts me so much and it makes me scream I am so mad.
The crib or porta-crib must have a firm, tight-fitting mattress with a tightly fitted bottom sheet covering the mattress. No additional padding can be placed between the sheet and mattress.
There was no sheet covering the pack and play.
Caregivers must maintain supervision and monitor a sleeping infant’s breathing, sleep position and bedding for possible signs of distress.
Haddie this violation is the most disturbing violation to me. During this time your caregiver was laying down resting. Daycare providers are also required to check on a sleeping baby every 20 minutes by physically touching the baby and listening and looking for breath. This is the part that says “monitor a sleeping infant’s breathing”. They learn this requirement in their Safe Sleep class that they are required to take before they can become licensed. If someone would have checked on you just once….you would be here. They would have seen the blanket wrapped around your head and upper body and removed it. Or they would have been able to give CPR much sooner. The detective told me that you had been gone for a whole hour before anyone found you. You were cold, stiff, and your eyes were open.
Living with this truth is torture. I am making it my life’s mission to inform parents, caregivers, grand-parents, of the importance of Safe Sleep. I am sure that some of these rules even seem silly, like checking on a sleeping baby every 20 minutes by touching them. You were a light sleeper and just opening your door would wake you. But it seems silly until you aren’t here anymore.
I am sharing all of this information not to make anyone feel bad but to prevent any more deaths. Over 140 babies died last year because of Safe Sleep Violations. These are preventable deaths that should never happen. People need to think twice before giving a baby a blanket no matter how “breathable” it is. The risk is simply not worth it.
My life changed in the blink of an eye. I dropped you off sweet girl, happy and healthy. Because these rules weren’t followed I was never able to pick you up, Haddie. I can’t even explain how it feels to not be able to pick up your baby.
Haddie, I would move heaven and earth to change the events of that day. You died on Tuesday and I remember saying on that Monday, “If the girls are giving you problems or if you are tired, please let me know and I will pick them up.” Why didn’t someone call me…
I love you and I wish this never happened. I miss you so much, there is a huge hole in our life now, and it can never be filled.