The Empty Cot

When you have seen a baby dead in a cot

It is hard to put another baby in one

When you have seen your daughter dead in her cot

It is hard to put another of your daughters in one

How am I to look in a cot at a sleeping Bea

And not see a dead Matilda Mae?

It is not the same cot

It is a different one

But I still cannot bear to use it

I cannot even think how to start

The last time I saw Tilda alive

I fed her to sleep

I laid her in her cot

And kissed her goodnight

The next time I saw her she was dead

Laying Bea down in a cot

Is not a small thing to do

It is not an easy thing to do

And I have no idea how to even begin

I have no clue what we should do

When Tilda died

I stored all her belongings in her cot

I used to sit beside it

For hours

Talking to her

Crying for her

Missing her

I could not bear for the cot to be taken down

Beside the cot was a light

The light I turned on

To see her when she died

When I found her

A light I could not bear to switch off

A light that shone

Until I was ready to be the one to turn it off

It took me 18 days

Until the day I tried and failed to say goodbye

I turned her light off on that day

It was 17 months before David and I slept in our room again

Tilda’s room

17 months sleeping on the lounge floor

There is still no cot in that room

A Snuzpod yes

A cot no

How can we have a cot in there again?

David has worked so hard to make our room a peaceful place to be

But it is still the room where our baby died

It is still the room where I found her

How can we have a cot again?

We do have a cot

It is Esther’s old cot

It cradled her safely for over three years

It could do the same for Bea

If I ever do more than stare at it

With Bea safe in my arms

In 10 days time

Bea will be 10 months old

Apart from snippets of naps

In the buggy or car

Some snatched sleep with Daddy

Rainbow Baby Bea

Sleeps in my arms

I eat one handed as her head rests on my left hand

I blog one handed

I do everything with my giant little baby

In my arms

And though it is good for my head and my heart

Holding her close

Feeling her breathe

Keeping her safe

It is ruining my back

It means I cannot do anything

While Bea is sleeping

Bea is not a dainty girl

She is a heavy baby

98th centile heavy

But she gives the greatest cuddles

And I cannot bear to put her down

I don’t know how to put my baby down

At the end of the night

She comes to bed with me

By body wraps round in a protective c

A natural position for Bea and me

empty cot

The cot is in the lounge

The plan is for her to sleep there

In the evenings

With David and I close by

Watching the rise and fall of each breath

But I can’t do it

I don’t know how to do it

I don’t know how to put my baby down

So the cot remains empty

And Bea sleeps soundly in my arms

Beside the empty cot

10 thoughts on “The Empty Cot

  1. Have you thought about a mattress on the floor for Bea? Then she isn’t in a cot, and it will give your back a break? there are no easy answers here though.
    Much love

  2. This breaks my heart to read it and only try to imagine how you feel.
    I was gonna try and say something that may make you feel better, but I couldn’t because I know nothing will, so instead just know that our thoughts are with you and always will be.
    L

  3. Our child had a few apnoea episodes and stopped breathing when she was a tiny baby. So for 3 years, we had a breathing monitor in her cot. It saved my sanity. I hope you will consider it for Bea.

  4. Jennie, this just breaks my heart. The smallest things that i take for granted, like putting my baby to bed, has such an understandable impact on your life. The cot wasn’t the thing that took baby Matilda Mae, it was the place you found her, so it’s understandable you are not at ease. Give yourself small goals if you want to get Bea into the cot. Have the baby monitor mat in the cot (i use Angel Care – it’s brilliant!) and place her in the cot, maybe for a minute, you can stay with her at all times, read her a story, let her get used to the cot whilst you do at the same time. Try not to fear the cot hun, you need to look after yourself and you don’t want to cause serious damage to your back. Thinking of you as always x

  5. This post literally took my breath away, Jennie, and I had to bite my lip so as not to let the tears stream in the office. I can’t imagine the horror of turning on that light, only to see what had happened.

    We’ve never put the twins to sleep in a cot, either. They sleep with us, in our arms. We’ve never experienced a loss but they are so precious to us, it’s frightening to switch off from them at night. We don’t sleep very well with them cuddled up on us but I don’t think that we would sleep well if we couldn’t feel them breathing, either.

    Hard. Even without loss it’s hard, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. I don’t have any advice, I’m sorry, I just want to hug you. x

  6. This must be so hard for you, emotionally it must be such a hard thing to try and overcome, physically it must be so draining on you too. Would she fall asleep on a mattress (or something similar) near to you at night, if the cot is too much for you both at the moment it might be a slight transition…at least it would give you a slight break but she would still be close by xx

    • I found our little boy one terrible morning in 2011.I could not have managed next time round if i didn’t have a apnea alarm.It didn’t stop the every 10 minute checks on her but the beep of every breath helped so much.

      • My nephew lost his son to SIDS and the lullaby trust have given him a breathing monitor that is attached to their new baby 24/7 and they have been taught resuscitation incase the alarm on the monitor ever goes off.Thinking of you xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>