October 22, 2016:

A day like any other. I work third shift, so October 21, my nanny arrived at my house. I left for work probably around 450PM. It was perfect because at work I got to leave my assignment every 2 hours so I could pump. I was finally getting a lot of milk and it made me feel good. Pumping every 2 hours meant I could go to my car for a few minutes and look at all the pictures my nanny sent me of my perfect boy.

Anyway, 6AM came quick, and I was out of there! I even remember posting some of the pictures the nanny had sent and mentioned how excited I was to spend this 3 day weekend with my son. It was perfect! On my way home I made sure to stop at the bank so I could pay the nanny for her first full week. I got home around 730AM. I will never forget how peaceful and beautiful he looked laying on the couch asleep ontop of the nanny. I should have taken a picture it was that perfect. She placed her hand softly on his face and caressed him until he woke up. She lifted him up and placed him right where he belonged, in my arms. He did this adorable frog stretch and puckered his lips. She even commented on the look a few days later, because unfortunately it would be her last memory of him.

I took Preston upstairs and pumped while I nursed him to sleep. I had Netflix on, The Office, it’s what we always watched. It was either that or American Dad. I could never get into movies so we just watched TV shows until we fell asleep. Once I was finished pumping, we moved to the bed and I was ready to fall asleep. I remember sitting there, admiring how beautiful he was before I started nursing him again. I made sure I positioned him so my breast wouldn’t obstruct his airway. My phone sounded, it was his dad at work texting me. At 752 I closed my eyes.

It kills me that I don’t remember the time, but when I woke up (I want to say it was 1256) I had moved down on the bed, so I looked up at my son. I was shocked I didn’t know what time it was, but I felt like I got a decent amount of sleep without interruption. When I looked up at my baby I immediately knew something was wrong. He looked like he was sleeping, but he wasn’t the same color. He was discolored, blue almost. My heart sank. I started patting his stomach and saying “baby, baby, no no no.” His body was stiff when I patted it. I blew in his mouth, I tried giving CPR, but the first breath of air pushed stuff out of his nose. I picked him up and blood came out of his nose. That is when I knew for sure. I called 911. She asked me if I could move his arms, and I tried and I couldn’t. She told me to place him back on the bed, shut the door, and wait for emergency personnel. Seeing as I just woke up, I was half naked, and in shock. I ran outside and the ambulance got there in less than a minute I swear. I saw a familiar face, it was my good friend, Brandi. She is an officer for the city. She was also there to hold Preston at the hospital when he was born. I just kept screaming and crying “my baby, my baby, oh my god my baby- he’s upstairs”

There were so many people: 4 separate cop cars, an ambulance, all of my neighbors, and a lady delivering mail. It didn’t take long for the paramedics to confirm my worst. fucking. fear. I knew already, but just to get that confirmation. Oh, it hurt. My neighbors came over and sat in my porch, the officers and medical examiner were doing their investigation, such as reenacting the scene, how it happened, etc. I was alone for a little while inside and I called Preston’s dad. He said he would be here as soon as he possibly could. I don’t even know why I called him.. Preston was no longer living, there was nothing his father could do to change that. Then I called my mother, it was devastating, I told her I was so sorry. She loved him so much. Every time I went to the kitchen or to use the bathroom, an officer would follow me. I don’t know if he did this because he thought I was going to hurt myself, or if he thought I was going to try and leave. The officers were there for what seemed like eternity. My neighbor sat with my while the medical examiner asked questions that were uncomfortable and made me even more upset. My friend Brandi had to leave because it was a conflict of interest, or something.. because she was my friend and it was an investigation. I was weeping uncontrollably while the officers joked around with my neighbor. That I do remember.

It took them 3 hours to finally take my sons body away. I couldn’t even look. Hearing the sound of the bag was heartbreaking enough. My son, who was just alive hours ago, in a black bag en route to the medical examiners office. Everything was too much. A pastor came over with his wife, he was the one I asked to officiate Preston’s funeral. They were so kind and continue to be just wonderful even though it’s been almost 4 months. I received hundreds of messages, calls, texts- it was all so overwhelming. My breasts were hard, leaking, my body wanted so badly to nurse my son, but I couldn’t because he was gone. It was painful. Friends showed up until my mother and sister got there. It was just so depressing. Every time a person would come into my house we would just cry. I’d have crying spells, feelings of guilt, I’d just cry and scream “my baby, my poor baby”.

And that about sums up the worst day of my life. When I say I lost everything that day, I mean it. There’s not an exaggeration in my context, I sincerely and truly feel as if I lost everything that day. My life has always been so meaningless. I’d try to find something in other people to fill the emptiness I felt inside, and I never could. Until Preston. I didn’t care if my house burned down, if something happened to my dogs, if I lost all of my money, anything. I had him. He made me whole. He brought so much love and happiness to a life that had never experienced a true happiness, and had never really felt love, or had been loved at all for that matter. Every new day, since the worst day of my life, I continued to have the same uphill battle of finding meaning in my life. At first I didn’t want to live, I didn’t think I deserved to live. Why should I be able to, when I couldn’t even keep my child alive? As the days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months the answer became so obvious; him. He was the meaning in my life, and even in death, he continues to be. I choose to live for him, because of him.

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