When she loses her nine-week-old baby to SIDS, Michele Cozart faces the hardest days of her mothering life: "This is not what I had imagined mothering to be; however, ironically, it's everything a mother is about: Taking care of her own."
Michele Cozart

Life is not fair
This isn't quite the mother story you expected, but it's a mother story I won't ever forget. My second child, Colby, was born August 17, 1998. He was a healthy addition to our family and brought us so much joy. He was a big eater and was drinking us out of house and home in formula. Making bottles every night isn't a fun job, but someone had to do it. My utopian world came crashing down on October 19, 1998 when he was just nine weeks old. My precious gift of life died of SIDS at the babysitter's house while I was at work. One of the hardest things I had to do as a mother was leaving him alone at the hospital that night with no loved one around to protect and guard him. I kissed his cold soft lips and told him I'd see him tomorrow as soon as they would let me.

That night, after we picked up his empty infant carrier and useless diaper bag at the babysitter's (along with our 22 month old daughter), I went home somberly wishing that I could make another batch of bottles. This time I wouldn't complain. It was just as hard on me as a mother the next day to leave Colby at the funeral home again. Instead of picking out his Halloween costume, I went to the store to pick out the outfit I wanted him buried in. I sobbed when I found one that had "Mommy Loves Me" embroidered on the front. That was the one I wanted. I lovingly ironed it at home before taking it up to the funeral home. I was still taking care of my baby in a way. It made me feel a little better, if that was possible during those dark days. I forgot to bring socks, so I made a special trip back to the funeral home and gave the funeral director strict instructions to put the socks on him. Winter was coming and I didn't want his feet to be cold. Without any hesitation, the director said, "Of course, no problem."

The hour that passed while my husband and my parents helped me pick out his casket and other funeral necessities was the longest hour of my mothering days. Oh, how I wished I could bring Colby back into my womb. Instead of fixing him more bottles that day, I was preparing for visitation and picking out songs to be played at his funeral. This is not what I had imagined mothering to be; however, ironically, it's everything a mother is about: Taking care of her own.

Life is not fair and I never really understood that until I lost my precious baby boy. Touching his face, holding his hand and cuddling his tiny soft body for the last time at the funeral home made me the better mother I am today. I do not take one moment with my living children for granted. Nothing prepares a mother for the rest of her life like seeing her baby's casket lowered into his grave. I know now that the hardest of my mothering days are over. Never again will I have to work so hard at being a graceful mother of whom her son can be proud.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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