Our team is Cycling for SIDS- in memory of my daughter, Erin Reid, at Revelry Fitness in San Mateo!
Revelry is donating 100% of the donations to SIDS research.
Erin Kathleen Reid was born the twin sister (baby A) of Emily Reid, February 16, 2001, to David and Michele Reid. Erin was born full term, weighing in at a healthy 6 lbs 4oz. As you can imagine, being pregnant with twins was stressful, so we felt beyond blessed when I delivered both girls to term, both healthy. I weighed 100 pounds at the start of my pregnancy, and on the day of delivery I weighed in at 155 lbs! I thought I was going to tip over!
Erin was like a ray of sunshine the second we saw her. A beautiful blue eyed baby girl with a perfect little face and fuzzy hair. She was easy to make happy, and was happiest when she was snuggled up right next to her twin sister, or on either Dave or myself. I carried her around all day in the baby bjorn, and as long as she was close to us, she was happy. She was a blessing and a joy. We used to joke when we’d see our friends and family to take the “nice” baby, as her twin sister, Emily, was a little harder to please : ) As hard as it was having twins, Dave and I felt like we hit the jackpot being blessed with two healthy, beautiful baby girls.
In Erin’s short 2 months with us, she certainly brought us a lifetime of love and memories. Her smile could light up a room, and her “coos and sweet baby noises” were all I needed to hear to get me through any sleep deprived day.
I remember the day before Erin passed away, I had gone out for the first time ever without both of them. Dave told me to go get a manicure, and I agreed to go, as long as long I could take one baby off his hands. I agreed, and happily went off with Emily. When I came back an hour and a half later, Dave had Erin all bathed, smelling sweet, and happy. He had called all of his friends to tell them he was spending time with her, and probably, to “brag” a little bit about how lucky he was, and how sweet his baby was. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked back, and at first, felt so sad that I even left her for a minute on one of the last days of her life, but also, how grateful I was that Dave had this opportunity to love her all to himself. I’m sure Dave cherishes those moments alone with her more than any in his life.
I went to sleep on the night of April 14, 2001, feeling like the luckiest person alive, and woke up on the morning of April 15th to what would be the biggest nightmare of my life.
That year, April 14th happened to be the night before Easter Sunday. Since we were so new to this whole baby thing (twin thing,) sometimes it could take us hours to get out the door. We were going to celebrate Easter at my parents house, and I wanted our day to be perfect! I had their little dresses laid out, even extra dresses, bonnets, shoes, you name it, and a diaper bag packed to cover anything we could possibly need.
I woke up early on Sunday, April 15, 2001 (Easter Sunday), and found Erin not breathing. I immediately screamed for Dave and started doing CPR. I remember gasping for air myself, I was so scared. The fire department was there within minutes, and took over the CPR with their machines. They went to work on her immediately, and I’m certain they did all they could. They rushed her to the hospital and we followed. I tried to jump in the ambulance, but they wouldn’t let me go. Looking back, I think they knew Erin had already passed, and they were afraid of my reaction if I was with them in the ambulance. I had so much hope entering the hospital. Dave and I were both experts in CPR and the ambulance got there so fast….. But, being a social worker myself, I knew it wasn’t good when they put us in that “special room” at the hospital. The room that’s separate from the other people at the hospital waiting, the one they send the priest into while you wait to “hear from the doctor.” It only took the doctor opening the door and seeing her face, for me to know what she was about to tell me. My precious two month old daughter had just passed away. As you can imagine, a lot of it is a blur from there, and sometimes I thank God for that.
Over the next several days we went through the motions., picking out a casket, a christening gown, naming her Godparents. Where would she be buried? How could I go on without her? Will we ever smile again? What would I do with her stuff? Will I ever wake up from this nightmare? Were people ever going to stop asking me, “where’s the other one?”‘ Yes, I agree, I was SO blessed to “still” have one baby (Emily), but in no way did that minimize the loss of Erin. I think even little Emily sensed she was gone, she was out of sync for a long time after Erin’s death. I suppose she had spent nine months in the womb with her, and two months on earth with her, why wouldn’t she miss her.
In the weeks and months after Erin was buried, It took every bit of strength I’ve ever had in my life to get up and out of bed everyday. I can say with 100% certainty that my friends and family SAVED me during this time. They lifted me up every single day. Some washed my hair, some brought food, some came and made me take walks outside with them, some opened the blinds, they wrote me letters, and sent cards and flowers and books and figurines. They listened to me cry every single day, and cried with me. They NEVER told me to stop or move on, or get better faster. ALL of them loved DAVE and EMILY and ME during that time, with every ounce of love they had, and we felt it.
I had to dig SO deep to get my strength back., but I also knew I had this other little amazing baby that deserved a mommy who was happy, present, and available to her. I couldn’t define Emily’s childhood by a grieving mother. I wanted better for her.
I went to grief counseling for six months, and have continued to this day to openly talk with my close friends and family about Erin, and it doesn’t’ make me sad anymore, it makes me happy to remember her. I talk about her, Emily and Aidan know about her, we reminisce. You don’t have to be afraid to mention her to me, or feel awkward acknowledging my loss- I’m ok : )
So…..that’s why I’m here now. Erin would be turning 16 this year, and I have finally found the strength to put something like this together, in her honor/memory. She was only here for two short months, but she’ll be forever remembered and loved.
Thank you so much for your love and support. Any money donated will go towards the great cause of SIDS research. Erin didn’t have any of the “classic” risk factors for SIDS. She was born full term, female (boys more prevalent), slept on her back, breastfed, and I didn’t smoke or do drugs during my pregnancy., it just happened. That’s the awful mystery. Obviously there’s a lot more we still need to learn.
Sending so much love and many thanks…