This single mum describes the horror she felt, when she discovered her 30 days old son dead beside her in bed.
The mum-of-two, who previously served in the US army, drifted off to sleep – but realised something was horribly wrong when she woke at 8am.
Ben was dead, and surrounded by a pool of his own blood. The horror happened two years ago on November 11, and still haunts Amanda every day.
Amanda, who also has a five-year-old son called Trae, told The Scientific Parent: “I looked at my sweet Ben, all cuddled up to me as he loved to do
Tragically Amanda had to wake one day to find her 30-day-old son dead
Pouring her heart out she said
“But something wasn’t right. His face was pale and his nostril was stuck halfway down. I sat up and I realised there was a pool of blood next to Ben.
“I thought to myself, ‘No. No. This isn’t happening!’
“I picked up my little 30-day-old son, laid him on his back, and started to gently shake him saying, ‘Ben! Ben! Wake up! Wake up, Ben!’
“It was then that I realised he was not going to wake up. He was already gone.
“I carried Ben downstairs, pacing my living room as I talked to the (911) operator.
“She asked me a few times if I would like to start CPR. Each time, I told her there was no point. Ben was gone.
“His little hard body was stiff in my arms, and he didn’t look like my Ben anymore. I knew there was no hope. He had been gone for hours.”
Amanda was interviewed by the police on her use of alcohol and drugs, and the case went to inquest.
Amanda added: “I only had one question for the coroner: ‘Did Ben suffer?’
“‘Babies this small generally don’t suffer when they’re smothered,’ he said.
“And that is the moment my whole life, my whole being, was consumed with guilt. I killed Ben?
“But I knew I didn’t lay or roll onto him. The coroner told us that by smother, he meant suffocation.
“Somehow after I fell asleep, Ben suffocated. I explained to him that there was nothing blocking Ben’s airway. How did this happen if his nose and mouth were not covered? I did not understand.
“While the detective was so kind about it, I felt like they were trying to find where I screwed up, as if I must have done something to put myself into an abnormally deep sleep. But there was nothing.
“I call this my hell day. It is the worst story to tell. And it never seems to get easier.”
Ben’s cause of death was recorded of positional ‘asphyxiation due to unsafe sleep conditions’, despite there being no proof he had suffocated.
“I was angry and consumed with guilt,” Amanda said of the ruling.
“Of course when things like this do happen, other people always want to jump to conclusions and make their own assumptions about what must have gone wrong.
“Bed sharing accidents only happen to people who have been drinking, on drugs, or obese, right?
“Surely, this parent or caregiver was not practising the safe sleep guidelines written by the almighty attachment parenting doctors.
“The rest of the world always wants to find a fault – any reason they can cling to to believe this would never happen to them.
“Healthy babies don’t just die, right? Sadly they do. Mine did
Amanda is now speaking out in the hope of raising awareness of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the potential dangers of sharing a bed with a young child.
She said: “Grieving your child is up and down at the same time. It’s mad and sad.
“Grief is every contradicting emotion all at once. I would give anything to prevent others from living this nightmare.
“Not only do you lose your child, you lose yourself. Life will always be grouped as before your child died, and after your child died. You are never the same.
“Since Ben’s death, I feel it is my duty to promote safe sleep knowledge to parents. The knowledge is not always well received.
“I see a lot of information out there on how to safely bed share. After losing Ben, I cannot agree with it.
“Science has proven time and time again that bed sharing absolutely does increase a baby’s risk of SIDS or SUID.
“Many people tell me that if their babies were to die for no reason in their sleep, they would want their child next to them, instead of alone. I would also have to disagree there.
“Never knowing if my baby would still be alive had he been sleeping alone is something I will take to the grave with me.
“If Ben had died while I was practicing the ABC’s of safe sleep, I feel my life wouldn’t constantly be filled with doubt and guilt.
“Could his death have been prevented? I may never know. But I would not wish this feeling of guilt and never knowing the answer on anyone.”
Amanda raises awareness by giving out Benny Bears, with her son’s short story attached, to the parents of new-born kids. Find out more here.
source; THE SUN UK