I Thought My Son Was Dead

Our 18 month old son sleeps in our bed. It’s easier to put him back to sleep when he’s with us, after he wakes up from his crib during the night. We have the bed against a wall so he won’t fall off; that’s the side he usually sleeps; however, he’s an active sleeper, sitting up in his sleep, crawling over his mom to get near me.

Four photos of Jody and Iain

Last night I woke up and it was too quiet in the room. I could sense my son sleeping beside me, but couldn’t hear him, couldn’t feel any movement – no breathing. A sense of urgency gripped me and I blindly reached around to locate him, feeling for his chest to detect the expected up-and-down rhythm: there was none. I shook him, and he stirred and started crying. After *I* started breathing again, I consoled him back to sleep. I then had to get up and distract myself to get the hellish what-ifs out of my head. I think in my groggy state I didn’t give myself enough time to detect his movement nor to listen to him breathing; I must’ve woken from a bad dream that disoriented me.

That’s the second time that’s happened. I’m going to start sleeping on the couch. I never worried about this shit with our daughter.

3 Replies to “I Thought My Son Was Dead”

  1. Man! I’m assuming that most of the readers on Steel White Table are not parents. A post like this had my heart pounding out of my chest. But you didn’t get any comments!

    Try posting another “Newfie” note… you might get more response.


  2. my kids are older now and sometimes i wish they were dead…well not really…maybe just incapacitated….but breathing….for an hour or so…..Im joking…..i think….yeah i know your speed dialing C.A.S……

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