Robyn – 3.5 weeks

Robyn was born 11/12/07. We had an almost 3yr old son and we were convinced baby number 2 was going to be another boy, so we were shocked and delighted to discover it was a wee girl. I had always wanted more children but said that we were so lucky to have 2 perfect children – one of each sex – that I didn’t think we should push our luck and try again.

However, our life took a dramatic turn on 06/01/08. I had been feeding Robyn during the night and in between I had been up with our now 3yr old Zak who had earache. My husband, Andy, had woken up and went downstairs leaving us three to sleep on. When I woke up I reached over to touch Robyn in her crib – to discover she wasn’t breathing. The following events were all surreal. I felt I was on the outside looking in on a TV drama. I rushed downstairs to get Andy, but all the time thinking I was wrong, that this could not possibly be happening. He took Robyn and ran into my parent’s house next door while I called an ambulance. I then ran in with Zak while we all had turns of doing CPR. The operator had called my parents house to issue instructions. I’m a nurse which made things even more difficult as I knew she was dead and it was already too late but we kept on with CPR.

I felt I should have been able to save her. The ambulance crew came very quickly – although it seemed a very long time to us – and took us to hospital. Andy and I went into the resus room with Robyn but when she was hooked up to a monitor and I knew she had flatlined I became very distressed and asked to go to another room.

A nurse appeared to tell us the news didn’t look good, but I knew she was preparing us for the worst news anyone could hear. After the doctor told us Robyn was dead, a police officer came to see us. He said he knew how we felt as he had a baby die from cot death too. I was confused and thought he was talking about someone else as cot death hadn’t even entered my head.

The next few weeks were a blur. Arranging Robyn’s funeral. Also CID officers were investigating the unexpected death of Robyn as well as offering support to the family. They had given us details of the Trust where I printed off bereavement leaflets for my parents & Zak. I contacted them by e-mail as I was not ready to talk about things yet. They were a fantastic help.

However, we had to try to move on with things for Zak’s sake. I don’t know how I would have got out of my bed every day if it wasn’t for him. Zak started nursery two days after Robyn died. This was very difficult as I didn’t want to let him out of my sight.

Andy and I were very fortunate and I became pregnant again. Not as a replacement for Robyn but it’s what we thought would help us. We needed to focus on the future. During this time I organised a charity night to raise funds for the Trust and this is when I told folk I was 5 months pregnant.

The pregnancy was very stressful as I was constantly worrying. The hospital offered frequent scans for reassurance which was of great help. Lyla was born 31/10/08 – we call her our miracle baby. I’ve still not had a full nights sleep for constantly checking Lyla throughout the night – and Zak also. I don’t see me stopping this anytime soon. It’s just my way of coping. We were given an apnoea monitor from the Trust which we used initially which also helped. Zak tells Lyla all the time about her big sister Robyn. Particularly when we organised a fundraising Welly Waddle in her name. At the time of her death I did not see us being able to find happiness again in the future, but we have.

Although Robyn will never be forgotten; and at times having Lyla can make things more difficult as Robyn didn’t reach this stage. However, things happen for a reason – though I’m not quite sure yet what that reason is. Perhaps it was for us to make people more aware of cot death and raise funds for such a deserving charity. I’m thankful everyday for the children that I have.