On October 18, 2013 at 9:30 am I took Corbyn and his older sister into our pediatrician’s office for an appointment for them to receive their annual flu shots. I was uneasy with Corbyn getting his shot that day because he had been sick the week prior with a respiratory illness. He was well and healthy at this appointment, but I always had in the back of my mind that you don’t get vaccinated when you are sick.
That concern was based on what the doctors told my mother when she kept trying to take my little brother in for his varicella vaccine. He kept having recurrent sinus infections for several months so he was never well enough for the shot and ended up getting chicken pox, and miraculously survived…. 😉
Anyway, so when I took Corbyn in, I was hesitant to get him his shot. Because of what my education had taught me, I pushed that aside because Corbyn was currently healthy and ignored the screaming voice in my head saying “NO WAIT” as the nurse gave him his shot. I will forever wish I would have listened to that voice. He cried a little bit as the shot was administered, and I will never forget the look in his eyes as he looked up at me. He was so sad and devastated that I would let them hurt him.
We went home after that and I got ready to go to work for my evening shift at the hospital. He was fine the entire afternoon. He and his older sister played as they usually do. He pushed her around in a doll stroller all afternoon because she would say to him on a daily basis, several times a day “come on Corbyn, let’s go for a walk” and he loved to push her around. We shared a bowl of noodles for lunch as I was preparing dinner to go in the crockpot so that they would have dinner that evening.
He wasn’t fussy or seemed out of the ordinary. I finished getting ready and headed out the door for work around 1:30 pm. I kissed him and told him that I loved him – not knowing that was the last time I would feel his warm cheek and see him alive. I remember turning around and reiterating to him how much I loved him and that “mama would be back soon”. His face was so sad as he cried. He never cried as I left. Especially when he was with his daddy. That day, though, he was extremely sad that I was leaving him. I often wonder if his little soul knew.
The three of them went about their day as usual. My husband said that Corby loved the dinner I made. Corbyn was a food lover, but my husband said that he was especially excited for that dinner. I still have that dinner packaged up in the container frozen in my freezer because I still can’t part with the last thing my baby ever ate.
The kids took their nightly bath and Corby was a little more somber than usual, but nothing too unusual. They got ready for bed and Corby wanted snuggles with his daddy. So my husband snuggled him and rocked him to sleep around 8:30 pm. My husband turned in around 11:30 pm. He said that he checked on Corby, but just peeked over the crib and saw that he was on his belly so he thought he was sleeping on his belly. He didn’t think to reach down and check or look closer at his position.
In my heart, I’m almost certain that Corbyn was gone then too, but I can’t be sure. I returned home from work at 12:45 am. I ate a quick snack and then went in to get ready for bed and nurse Corbyn. I reached down to pick him up and saw that he was on his stomach. When I looked further I noticed that his face was face first in the mattress and his ribs were completely still, with his arms straight down to his side and his fists clenched. I reached down and felt him and couldn’t feel any movement. I flipped him over and saw his grey, lifeless face. I screamed for my husband to call 911 because the baby wasn’t breathing. That’s when my nightmare began and has never ended. The autopsy came back showing no suffocation or foul play and was listed as “unknown cause of death”. We had to get the answers we got from a third party.
Corbyn was the most angelic little baby. People would tell me that all the time. He had this beautiful bright light about him. He was so smart! He was crawling at 4 months. Walking at 8 months. Running at 10 months. He loved food, and to nurse. Eating was his favorite time of the day. We called him our little spidey because he was always climbing on things. He was such a happy little baby. Always had a beautiful smile on his face. He was loving and caring too. He would sit there and let whoever wanted to hold and snuggle him as long as they wanted and without complaint. Corbyn wasn’t wild and crazy like most babies are- wanting to always squirm out of your arms to get down and play. He was very in tune with his surroundings and what other people were doing or needed. Corbyn truly was a special soul, whose death has left a massive hole in our entire family.
Thank you for this opportunity for me to talk about my baby. I don’t get to do it near enough, and it brings so much joy to my soul when I get the opportunity to tell his story. Even if it involves having to tell the nightmare side as well