Sometimes the answer is…

I spend hours of my life these days searching, researching, questioning.  Trying to find an answer to why my baby is not here.  Every question turns up a possible new idea, another possible cause.  Nothing is definite.  Nothing ever will be.  Doctors, coroners, and researchers a like can’t find an answer.  Not one that they can say they are certain about anyway.

Today we went back to see one of the doctors that treated Kaiya at Children’s.  We were hoping to discover that he had seen something in the autopsy that we had missed.  Perhaps there was something written in doctor language, that we didn’t understand.  Perhaps something that would help us understand what happened.  Unfortunately he found that “the autopsy wasn’t very helpful.”

It could have been a heart arrhythmia that caused her to heart to stop.  But they don’t really know, because there is no way to know what her heart was doing right before it stopped.  She could have stopped breathing first, consequently causing her heart to stop. It could have been something genetic, but it’s unlikely, as she was so healthy up until that point.  Nothing is certain.  The only thing certain is that she wasn’t sick, she wasn’t hurt, and she didn’t have any abnormalities.  The only thing certain is that she is gone. And no one knows why.

Sometimes the answer is, there is no answer.

I refuse to believe that a completely healthy, normal, happy baby girl just died.  For no reason.  I don’t think I will ever stop searching, researching, questioning, hoping, wishing, dreaming.   I don’t think I will accept that Undetermined and SIDS mean the same thing.  That is, I will not stop until the answer is found or I die.  Lord, let it be the former, rather than the latter.

I didn’t cry today.  I guess there is something each day to be thankful for.  Now it isn’t midnight yet, so the tears may be yet to come, but for now, I am thankful for a day with out tears.

I love you Kaiya Rae.  To the moon and back, forever and a day.  You are the light in my life, even if you must now shine from Heaven.


Kaiya Rae’s Momma


For a fellow bereaved Momma

This post has nothing to do with Kaiya Rae, it is a project for a friend. An online friend I met, who has a similar story of loss, was touched by my post about the meaning of Kaiya Rae’s name.  She commented asking me my thoughts on her Angel baby’s name.  I would like to share publicly here, and hope that she doesn’t mind, as I think it is powerful and will touch others as well.

Her angel’s name is Zachary Aiden.  She wrote to me that Zachary means “the Lord remembers.”  I struggled at first to put meaning to this for her little angel.  Then I decided to do some searching.  I also came upon a slightly different meaning for Zachary, “the Lord recalled”   I pondered for a bit the meaning of the word “recalled” and then decided I should consult the dictionary.  The word recall has several meanings, and can be used many different ways.  As a verb, to recall can mean the same as to remember.  However, it also has meanings “to call back; summon to return” and “to revive.”   Little Zachary certainly was called back, summoned to return to his Heavenly father.  He was also, though not in the way we would hope here on Earth, revived.  He is in the hands of his Heavenly father and has been revived to enjoy the glory of Heaven.

It took some searching and pondering on my part to make sense of his middle name as well.  Aiden means “little fire” or simply “fire.”  Now, I know not all people are Christian or particularly religious, so please take no offense to the fact the this post is mostly related to God, Heaven and The Bible.  I am Christian, and I find deep meaning in the words of the Lord and have sought comfort in them, particularly in the past couple months.  That being said, my first thoughts went to the Bible when I pondered the meaning of Aiden and the significance of fire.  Fire often appears in the Bible and in my search I have come to believe the significance of the word fire for this purpose is related to the “eternal flame.”  I believe that little Zachary Aiden, recalled by the Lord, is a source of eternal light.  A symbol of God, eternal life in Heaven and a source of hope for his family.

I’m not sure how I have become so engrossed in the meaning of names, but I feel I have found a calling.  This was a fun little project for me and I have enjoyed putting my own thoughts into the meaning of this little Angel’s name.  This has been therapeutic for me, and I hope it has brought some joy into the heart of Zachary’s momma.  Rest in Peace baby Zachary Aiden.  Please keep my precious girl company in Heaven.  I am excited to meet you some day.


Kaiya Rae’s Momma

I was going to change the world

When I was a little girl I used to tell my mom I was going to change the world.  How I was going to change it would morph into new ideas as I grew, but I always thought I was destined to do something great.  I wanted to save the rain forests, feed the poor, heal the sick, save lost souls.  Most people poke fun at beauty pageant contestants’ cliche wishes for “world peace.”  Not me.  I really did think it might come true some day.  I wished on stars and birthday candles.  “If you dream it, it is so” they say.  Back then it seemed so simple.  Back in the days when having no date to my first school dance, was my biggest problem.

I long for those days.  The days when I thought I could change the world. Some days I don’t even have the energy to change my clothes. Life doesn’t always go the way we planned it.  I still have dreams, I just can’t remember them now.  My biggest dream, my biggest accomplishment, the light of my life, is gone.  I would say my dreams died with her, but I know that’s not true.  It sure feels like it though.  As I said before, I am not the same girl I once was.  What happened to that little girl, with those big dreams?

She is broken and cold.

I was going to change the world, but I have forgotten how.



Kaiya Rae’s Momma

The girl whose baby died.

My life has been changed forever.  Losing Kaiya has made me realize there are so many things in everyday life that just don’t matter.  Yet, at the same time, I have realized just how much each little moment does matter.  “Don’t cry over spilt milk” is a phrase with a whole new meaning.  When you have experienced pain and anguish like this spilling a glass of milk, or even the whole gallon, doesn’t really matter.   Your life is not forever changed by spilling a little milk. Things that once made you cry, now make you laugh.  Things that once made you angry, now roll off your shoulder.

On the other hand, some things matter more.  Have you ever seen the most perfect snow flake land on your windshield?  Would you even remember a day later if it did?  This happened to me over a week ago, and I can still picture it.  God’s perfect little reminder, that there has to be more than this!

I used to get angry when I’d see a mom of multiple children pile all the kids into the car, hop behind the wheel, and light up a cigarette.  Now I have visions of kidnapping all her children and leaving her to fend for herself in the woods, with the bears. No, I wouldn’t really take another mother’s child from her.  No, I wouldn’t really ever hurt another human being.  It’s not my nature. I am a lover, not a fighter.  I always have been and that part of me will never change.  Though, seeing children put in danger, or treated poorly, makes me want to fight.  How can a mother not love her children?  How can a mother treat her children like dirt?  Doesn’t she realize if they were gone in the blink of an eye, her life would end, as she knows it?  She too, would be changed forever.

It is hard not to ask “Why?” about a million different things every day. Why did she die?  Why is she gone, and the 100’s of other babies I know born the same time as her, are still here?  Why is my baby, who I loved more than anything in the world and gave everything she ever needed, gone? When there are so many unwanted children being treated like dirt, left here on Earth with parents who don’t care?  I don’t wish for anyone, ever, to lose a child.  I don’t wish another baby could have died instead of Kaiya.  That is not what my questions or thoughts are meant to portray.  I simply wish MY baby did not die.  I wish no babies ever had to die.

So next time your kids are on your last nerve and you just wish you could get away from them, think of me.  I’m not saying parents shouldn’t spend time away from their children every now and then.  I know every parent needs that.  Just think before you speak and be careful what you wish for.

When you lose a child, your life is forever changed.  I will never wake up in the morning feeling complete.  I could have 10 more babies in my life time, but I will always have one less than I should.  I will never be whole.  I will forever be the girl whose baby died.


Kaiya Rae’s Momma

25 things

25 Things I Love and Miss about Kaiya Rae

1. Kissing her cheeks.  Oh I love those sweet baby cheeks.

2. Her big blue eyes.  Would they still be blue? Would they have stayed blue?

3. Her smile. Her big, huge, beautiful baby smile.

4. Her baby toes.

5. Her mohawk hair.  Red hair. Momma’s Hair.

6. Her sweet little voice.  Ahh-gee-goo. 😉

7. The “ooo” face.  Oh those sweet little lips.

8. Her punching arm.  Yes, I miss her punching my chest while she nursed.  Don’t judge. 🙂

9.  Bath time.  Kick, kick, splash, splash! Her most favorite time.

10. The way she said “maaa, maaa” when she cried.  As if she were calling for me.

11. Her cute little belly button.  So perfect and sweet.

12. They way she lit up when her daddy walked in the room. Oh how she loved to smile at her Daddy.

13. The time she imitated her daddy eating corn on the cob.

14. Boo ba doo (this one’s for you Karl)  A cute little noise between her and her daddy.

15. The way she would calm down, relax and listen when I sang her lullaby.

16. Carrying her in the Moby wrap.  All snuggly warm against my chest.

17. Her laugh. An adorable little high-pitched squeal.

18. The way she tried to turn the pages in her little books, all by herself.  She was a smart cookie!

19. Her little baby chunk wrists.

20. Rocking her to sleep. Feeling her melt in my arms, so peaceful and sweet.

21. The dimple in her chin.

22. Her baby elf ears.  With pretty little earings. 🙂

23. Watching her play with her Daddy.  There was no better thing to watch in the world.

24. Picking her up at the sitter.  Oh how I smothered her with kisses after a long day at work!

25. Her sweet baby smell.  Oh how I miss that baby smell.

I love you sweet angel baby.


Kaiya Rae’s Momma

What’s in a name?

I wrote the following “essay” a week or so ago.  I will use it as my blog entry for today. Enjoy.

I named my baby after Jesus?

Little girls often “name” their babies, long before they are old enough to actually have them.  I used to write lists of cute names for boys and girls when I was 10 or 12.  Looking back now, some of them were pretty silly.  One of my favorites, Jealsea.  For some reason I thought Jealousy would make a pretty name, though it had such an ugly meaning.  So I thought I’d give it my own little spin.   I grew up to have a beautiful little baby girl, whom we did not name Jealsea.  Our precious baby, with us for only 5 short months, had a name long before she was born though.

 It still amazes me how many people know about, prayed for, and love our little angel.  She touched more lives, more hearts, in her 5 short months, than most people do in 50 years.  She was a powerful little girl, with a very powerful name.  My husband and I had a name picked out for her for more than 2 years before she would actually be conceived.   I didn’t see it at the time, but I know now that someone much bigger than us must have played a role in naming her.  It wasn’t until we conceived Kaiya, and found out that we were in fact having a little girl, that I looked up the meaning of her name.  I thought nothing of it when I found it meant forgiveness.  I thought it was kind of silly, really, but at least it was a pleasant meaning.  At least it wasn’t jealousy!  For months we thought nothing of it.  We planned for her arrival.  We kept her name a secret until she was born.  As she began to grow and take on her wonderful little personality, we were so happy we chose such a pretty and different name for her.  She was beautiful, and so was her name. 

It would be 5 months before the meaning of her name made any sense to us.  Another two months after that, before I would bother to look up the meaning of her middle name, Rae.  You see, Kaiya Rae was taken from us suddenly, by an evil disease called SIDS.  Her heart and lungs stopped functioning suddenly, during an afternoon nap, just one day before she would turn 5 months.  Kaiya Rae was rushed to the hospital, but despite all efforts to save her, it took over an hour and lots of medication to get her little heart beating again.  What a strong heart it was!   She was with us, physically, for another 24 hours or so.  Her little brain though, without oxygen for so long that fateful day, just did not work any longer.  It is, in my opinion, the hardest thing any parent will ever have to do; to make the decision to pull life support from your infant child.  It was then, the day she turned 5 months, the day she left us to return home to Heaven.  It was that day we began to realize the power of her name. 

It would take courage, strength, hope and a lot of love and support to get through the next few days, and beyond.  Most of all though, it would take faith, and of course forgiveness.  We would need to forgive, in order to keep faith.  We would need to forgive God for sending us a baby not meant to stay.  We would need to forgive Him for not saving her, for not sending us the miracle we prayed for.  We would need Him to forgive us for being angry with Him.  We would need to forgive many people around us.  Those who didn’t know what to say, and instead of saying nothing at all, said some pretty idiotic things to us.  Our sweet angel baby gave us this gift; the gift of forgiveness toward others.  At this point, I realized the power of her sweet little name.  This, however, was just the beginning!

Almost two months later, at brunch with a friend, I discussed the meaning of Kaiya. This would be the first time anyone would ask me what her middle name, Rae, meant.  I’m not sure why, but I, nor anyone else, had ever really questioned what it meant.  I went home that day and immediately looked it up.  I wasn’t sure what to think at first.  Rae, I found out that day, means lamb.  It was this friend who pointed out how powerful this was.  Kaiya Rae; Forgiveness Lamb.  Jesus, she told me, was the Forgiveness Lamb.  Sent here to Earth, to be sacrificed on the cross, so that we would all be forgiven.  I knew all this, I’m a faithful person.  It just never occurred to me this way, in this situation.  How powerful.  How wonderful.  This little girl, named years before she came to us, was named after Jesus Christ. 

I believe He had a hand in us choosing this special name.  For He knew she would be sent to us, long before we did.  He knew she was not meant to stay long, and that it would take a lot of faith in Him, the Lamb of God, and much forgiveness toward and from Him, for us to go on.  I will never understand, in this life, why He chose us, or why she was sent here.  I do not know what it was she sought to learn, or if it was me that taught it to her.  I only know this.  She was a powerful little girl, with a very powerful name. 

I told you that I would tell you all about her name in a future post!  “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” You’ve got it all wrong Miss Juliette!   A name is a powerful thing.

Funny how a name can mean so much.  Do you know what yours means?


Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Kaiya Rae’s Story

Kaiya Rae, the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world (yeah, I’m bit biased here) came into our lives on June 17th, 2010.  Wait.  That’s wrong.  She came into our lives in September, 2009.  She was born June 17th, 2010.  She was a part of our lives the minute we knew she was growing inside me.  I always knew she was a girl.  I could feel it.  Kaiya Rae had a name, long before she was even “a twinkle.”  More than 2 years before conceiving Kaiya, we decided our first baby girl’s name would be Kaiya Rae.  Don’t worry, you will learn more about her name in a future post.  She was a happy, loving, smiley, social and just overall wonderful baby.  Two parents could not ask for a better baby.  She was happy 95% of the time.  She started sleeping 8-10hrs a night starting at 6 weeks old!  She was easy to entertain.  She LOVED bath time.  Our only struggle with her?  Getting her to take a bottle!  What can I say, she loved her Momma!  For 5 amazing months she would be the light in our lives, our little everything.  She would be called “perfect” and “awesome” by her pediatrician at her well baby visits.  One day, most certainly the worst day of my life, Karl called me at work from his cell phone.  “That’s strange” I thought, “he’s at work, why is he using his cell?”  The conversation went a little like this:

Karl: Do you have a patient in your office?

Me: No, I don’t

Karl: Are you sitting down?

Me: (a little worried..) Yeah, why?

Karl: Lilly just called me.

Me: Ok, what’s up?

Karl: Kaiya stopped breathing.

Fast forward to me driving toward the hospital she was being rushed to, hyperventilating, dizzy, and unable to feel my hands.  I’m not sure how I made it there alive, but Thank You, GOD for getting me there.

When we arrived we were told our baby was not breathing and had no heart beat.  How do you react to hearing this?  Scream, collapse to the floor, cry? All of the above.  We were brought to see her where they were still doing CPR and “bagging” her for oxygen.  I’m not sure how long I was in that room for, but I held her hand, I talked to her, I talked to God.  Her heart started beating again, he body turned pink again.  Now, I’m a smart person, I knew she wouldn’t just “be ok” after all that time with out breathing and her heart not beating.  I did think that she was going to be alive though.  The next 24hrs she would be kept alive by lots of medication, and a machine breathing for her.  The doctors would search for a cause, and none would be found.  We would pray for a miracle, and one wouldn’t come.  On November 17th, 2010 at 5:15pm we turned off the machines keeping our brain dead baby alive.  Our wonderful, beautiful, “perfect”, “awesome” baby was gone.  She had been completely healthy.  There is absolutely no known reason for her death.  Nothing to explain why she stopped breathing that day.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome had now take her spot in our lives.

This brings us here, to this blog.  Which I should have started a couple months ago, but alas, I am here now.  Here you will find the story of my life as a SIDS mom.  Welcome to my blog.


Kaiya Rae’s Momma