A mother has shared the heartbreaking story of the morning she woke up to find her infant son had died.
Amanda Saucedo woke up in the middle night to the sound of her 30-day-old son, Ben, "fussing" in his crib beside her bed. She picked him up to feed him, but soon drifted off to sleep, holding her baby in her bed.
At around 8 a.m. the next morning, Saucedo woke up and knew something was wrong. She looked down and saw Ben laying lifeless, surrounded by a pool of blood.
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She wrote about that morning in The Scientific Parent:
I looked at my sweet Ben, all cuddled up to me as he loved to do. But something wasn’t right. His face was pale and his nostril was stuck halfway down. I sat up and I realized there was a pool of blood next to Ben. I thought to myself, “No. No. This isn’t happening!” I picked up my little 30-day-old son, laid him on his back, and started to gently shake him saying, “Ben! Ben! Wake up! Wake up, Ben!” It was then that I realized he was not going to wake up. He was already gone.
In my shock, I called my family; first my sister, but there was no answer as her phone battery was dead; then my grandma, who begged me to call 9-1-1. I carried Ben downstairs, pacing my living room as I talked to the operator. She asked me a few times if I would like to start CPR. Each time, I told her there was no point. Ben was gone. His little hard body was stiff in my arms, and he didn’t look like my Ben anymore. I knew there was no hope.
Saucedo calls that day her "hell day," and says, "It is the worst story to tell. And it never seems to get easier."
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The mother says she is sharing her story as a way to educate other parents about the dangers of sharing a bed with their babies.
An autopsy showed no proof Ben was suffocated or smothered, reports the Daily Mail. His death was ruled an accidental asphyxiation.
After Ben died on Nov. 19, 2014, Amanda started Benny Bears, an organization that seeks to educate about safe sleeping for parents of young children.
"Since Ben's death, I feel it is my duty to promote safe sleep knowledge to parents," Saucedo said. "Never knowing if my baby would still be alive had he been sleeping alone is something I will take to the grave with me. If Ben had died while I was practicing the ABCs of safe sleep, I feel my life wouldn't constantly be filled with doubt and guilt."