Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grief & SIDS

Isn't she so cute & sweet!!!!!!
 Oh I miss her...

Hey Friends,

Tonight I have been reading about grief & SIDS. I have been reading what is normal and what effect grief has on the body and the 5 stages. The 5 stages have really stood out to me in the sense that #5 is acceptance. I sit and stare at that word and think there is no way I am ever going to accept Macie being gone. How can I? What kind of mother would I be if I accept that my little girl is gone? Acceptance....really? Acceptance is not something I can see myself doing....ever! The first 4 stages I understand, I go through these emotions. I am angry, I can be isolated, I'm depressed at moments and who doesn't bargain. Sometime I will go through 1 emotion a day and other days I can go through all 4 things in a day. But acceptance? How can that be the last step? There has to be something else because acceptance is not in this girl's game plan. Below is the information I read on the stages of grief.

The Stages of Grief:

A Normal Life Process

At some point in our lives, each of us faces the loss of someone or something dear to us. The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process. Grief is the emotional suffering we feel after a loss of some kind. The death of a loved one, loss of a limb, even intense disappointment can cause grief. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has named five stages of grief people go through following a serious loss. Sometimes people get stuck in one of the first four stages. Their lives can be painful until they move to the fifth stage - acceptance.

Five Stages Of Grief

1. Denial and Isolation.
At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.
2. Anger.
The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if she's dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
3. Bargaining.
Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, "If I do this, will you take away the loss?"
4. Depression.
The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
5. Acceptance.
This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

Grief And Stress
During grief, it is common to have many conflicting feelings. Sorrow, anger, loneliness, sadness, shame, anxiety, and guilt often accompany serious losses. Having so many strong feelings can be very stressful.
Yet denying the feelings, and failing to work through the five stages of grief, is harder on the body and mind than going through them. When people suggest "looking on the bright side," or other ways of cutting off difficult feelings, the grieving person may feel pressured to hide or deny these emotions. Then it will take longer for healing to take place.

Recovering From Grief

Grieving and its stresses pass more quickly, with good self-care habits. It helps to have a close circle of family or friends. It also helps to eat a balanced diet, drink enough non-alcoholic fluids, get exercise and rest.
Most people are unprepared for grief, since so often, tragedy strikes suddenly, without warning. If good self-care habits are always practiced, it helps the person to deal with the pain and shock of loss until acceptance is reached.
Information from:http://www.memorialhospital.org/library/general/stress-the-3.html

The other topic I have been reading a lot about is SIDS. Since day 1 I have read about SIDS everyday trying to make myself an expert on this topic. Trying to understand what happened to Macie. I go to www.sids.org a lot and read the featured article, research projects & future research. I don't know if there can ever be a cure, but I hope and long for that day. The day when they will announce that not 1 baby died that year of SIDS. That the risk of SIDS is now 0. Another article I came across that I thought was extrememly informative on SIDS is at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002533/. I have also put it below.

Sudden infant death syndrome
Crib death; SIDS
Last reviewed: August 2, 2009.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
SIDS rates have dropped dramatically since 1992, when parents were first told to put babies to sleep on their backs or sides to reduce the likelihood of SIDS. Unfortunately, SIDS remains a significant cause of death in infants under one year old. Thousands of babies die of SIDS in the United States each year.
The cause of SIDS is unknown, although there are several theories. Many doctors and researchers now believe that SIDS is not a single condition that is always caused by the same medical problems, but infant death caused by several different factors.

These factors may include problems with sleep arousal or an inability to sense a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. Almost all SIDS deaths occur without any warning or symptoms when the infant is thought to be sleeping.

SIDS is most likely to occur between 2 and 4 months of age, and 90% occur by 6 months of age. It occurs more often in winter months, with the peak in January. There is also a greater rate of SIDS among Native and African Americans.

The following have been linked to an increased risk of SIDS:
  • Babies who sleep on their stomachs
  • Babies who are around cigarette smoke while in the womb or after being born
  • Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents
  • Babies who have soft bedding in the crib
  • Multiple birth babies (being a twin, triplet, etc.)
  • Premature babies
  • Babies who have a brother or sister who had SIDS
  • Mothers who smoke or use illegal drugs
  • Teen mothers
  • Short time period between pregnancies
  • Late or no prenatal care
  • Situations of poverty
SIDS affects boys more often than girls. While studies show that babies with the above risk factors are more likely to be affected, the impact or importance of each factor is not well-defined or understood.
There are no symptoms. Babies who die of SIDS do not appear to suffer or struggle.
Signs and tests
Autopsy results are not able to confirm a cause of death, but may help add to the existing knowledge about SIDS. Autopsies may be required by state law in the event of unexplainable death.
Support Groups
Parents who have lost a child to SIDS are in tremendous need of emotional support. Because no cause is found for the infant's death, many parents suffer from guilt feelings.

These feelings may be aggravated by investigations of police or others who, by law, must determine the cause of death. Timing of a subsequent pregnancy is a concern for many parents after experiencing SIDS.
A member of a local chapter of the National Foundation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome may assist with counseling and reassurance to parents and family members. See: SIDS support group
Family counseling may be recommended to help siblings and all family members cope with the loss of an infant.
Calling your health care provider
If your baby is not moving or breathing, begin CPR and call 911. Parents and caregivers of all infants and children should be trained in CPR.
Revised American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) guidelines, released in October 2005, recommend the following:

  • Always put a baby to sleep on its back. (This includes naps.) DO NOT put a baby to sleep on its stomach. Side sleeping is unstable and should also be avoided. Allowing the baby to roll around on its tummy while awake can prevent a flat spot (due to sleeping in one position) from forming on the back of the head.
  • Only put babies to sleep in a crib. NEVER allow the baby to sleep in bed with other children or adults, and do NOT put them to sleep on surfaces other than cribs, like a sofa.
  • Let babies sleep in the same room (NOT the same bed) as parents. If possible, babies cribs should be placed in the parents' bedroom to allow for night-time feeding.
  • Avoid soft bedding materials. Babies should be placed on a firm, tight-fitting crib mattress with no comforter.
  • Use a light sheet to cover the baby. Do not use pillows, comforters, or quilts.
  • Make sure the room temperature is not too hot. The room temperature should be comfortable for a lightly-clothed adult. A baby should not be hot to the touch.
  • Offer the baby a pacifier when going to sleep. Pacifiers at naptime and bedtime can reduce the risk of SIDS. Doctors think that a pacifier might allow the airway to open more, or prevent the baby from falling into a deep sleep. A baby that wakes up more easily may automatically move out of a dangerous position. If the baby is breastfeeding, it is best to wait until 1 month before offering a pacifier, so that it doesn’t interfere with breastfeeding. Do not force a baby to use a pacifier.
  • Do not use breathing monitors or products marketed as ways to reduce SIDS. In the past, home apnea (breathing) monitors were recommended for families with a history of the condition. But research found that they had no effect, and the use of home monitors has largely stopped.
Other recommendations from SIDS experts:

  • Keep your baby in a smoke-free environment.
  • Breastfeed your baby, if possible -- breastfeeding reduces some upper respiratory infections that may influence the development of SIDS.
  • NEVER give honey to a child less than 1 year old -- honey in very young children may cause infant botulism, which may be associated with SIDS.
Until the nature of the disease is fully understood, complete prevention will not be a reality

That lat sentence stuck out ot me. We need to find and understand the nature. There has to be prevention!

Take Care,


  1. Dear Lisa,
    Although you may hear it way too often, I am sorry for your loss. Your daughter is beautiful. I applaud you in your quest for educating mothers and raising awareness. I found another interesting sids article that I thought I would share with you:


    Peace be with you

  2. Praying for you. May God put his arms around you and comfort you during this time. So very sorry for your loss. I find your courage amazing. I know sweet beautiful Maci is watching Down over you.

  3. Lisa,
    I am like you. I have been reading and researching SIDS since I found out about Macie, Maddie, Savanna, etc. I wish there was a cure so that people would know what to do to prevent it. IF they could just find out a cause or find something that may have led to the baby not breathing would be great. THen people could know what to start looking for and buy those monitors that send out an alert when the baby stops breathing. Anyway I am praying for you. I know this is hard on you and if I could bring her back for you, I would. I love her smile, it is BEAUTIFUL!!! She could brighten up anyone's day with it. Hope you have a good week.

  4. Lisa, I agree with you on the word "acceptance". I hate that word but what it means is one day you will wake up, think of Macie and smile, with no more pain, no more aching...just a complete peace. Our mind tells us our heart is broken, but there is a reason God made our hearts the essential organ for us to live. It is not broken, it is expanding to allow room for us to put our loved ones in...to carry with us for the rest of our lives, to be part of our every day activities, to allow us to feel them near always. And thats not your final stage of grief...its the first stage of a new life with your daughter. God bless you both!

  5. i have come to realize, since losing Julius to SIDS in oct, that grief is not as "easy" as people make it out to be. it is not linear, like i once thought. it's messy, it's exhausting, it's all-encompassing. and i'm so sorry that you have to experience it too. i'm so sorry that Macie isn't here with you. :'(

  6. I check everyday for a new post and I got excited today when I seen one =) She is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! I pray this gets easier on you and Im so sorry. It makes me hug my son tighter every day b/c we just never know =*(
    GOD BLESS!!!!

  7. Another SIDS mommy...I lost my son last Aug 2010 and it definitely doesn't get easier and I have a hard time with the "acceptance" part as well...Anyways, just wanted to say that I am so very sorry for your loss :( She was so beautiful!