Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mom to Austin Micheal
Lost to SIDS
Sioux City, Iowa

I went into labor on Sunday Janurary 14, 2001, my water was leaking so the doctors had to admit me to the hospital. I stayed just 1 cm for 24 hours. On Tuesday Janurary 16, 2001 at 12:39 p.m. my beautiful son Austin Micheal was born. He was 6 lb., 18 inches long. He was stressed from the labor, since it went on for 46 hours before I delivered him. He was rushed to the NICU for observation. He was on a breathing machine for 24 hours to help him breathe on his own. Finally after he was off the machine, we were able to hold him for the first time in 24 hours. He stayed in NICU for a week, the day he was released is the day he was baptized.

Well, on Sunday Janurary 21st, was the first day Austin was home. He was a thriving little boy. His dad only had a short two weeks with him before he was sent off to Korea. Well, in the beginning of Februrary of 2001, his dad left for Korea. It was a sad day. Two months passed and daddy came home on leave to visit his beautiful boy. Austin had this thing where he would always stick out his tongue, that was his mark. My husband left two weeks later to go back to Korea for the Army. He saw Austin anytime he could by pictures or webcam.

During the next three months, Austin grew up to be a big boy. He loved to go to Grandma's house and play with his cousins. I was in school at this time, so he'd be at Grandma's house until I would get out of school. Austin had a favorite uncle, named Jason. No one messed with Austin, or they had to answer to Uncle Jason. It was so cute to see them together.

My birthday came and went in July. My mom-in-law took me and Austin out to AppleBees for dinner to celebrate my 19th birthday which was July 5, 2001. Things were all good, we talked to his daddy between the next few days, and all was well. The morning of July 11, 2001 was the day my life changed. Austin woke up to eat at 5 am, but he would not eat anything. I laid down with him to get him back to sleep, I ended up going to sleep with him. My phone woke me up at 8 am, it was my mother-in-law calling me to get me up for an appointment that morning.

After I got off the phone with her, I looked over to Austin to give him a good morning kiss like I normally do. My baby was not responding. I picked him up, his mouth was blue and his body was lifeless. I kept saying, "Austin, wake up baby". I called 911, they had me do CPR until the medics came. About 10-15 minutes later, the medics showed up. I walked away, because I could not handle seeing them poke my son in his feet with IVs. I called my mom in law back and said "meet me at the hospital, Austin's not breathing". She screamed in my ear. Reminder, my husband is in Korea at this time. I got a ride from the police officer and went to the hospital. My inlaws made a Red Cross call to get the message to my husband that we had a family emergency.

I was a wreck. I was in and out of the hospital, crying and smoking. The last time I went out, I was coming back in and my brother in law was walking towards me. I knew at that time Austin was not alive. He took me in his arms and said "I'm sorry but Austin passed away". They declared him dead at 9:16 am. We cried in each other's arms. I went home that day and cried. My husband was on his way home from Korea. He was back at midnight on the 12th to be with us.

An investigation was done on the death. An autopsy was done and they had no reason for his death. They said he died from SIDS. I had never heard of it before. We made funeral arrangements and Austin Micheal was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery on July 16, 2001 in BabyLand. We waited a few months for his gravestone and his gravestone says "Playing in God's Garden" with a bear swinging on a swing.

Austin became a big brother April 23, 2002. His little brother's name is Ronald Michael III. We kept his name in the family. His brother has his middle name but spelled different and one of his cousins who were born after his death has his first name as their middle name. It was the best thing we could have ever done to use his name as middle names for his brother and his cousin.

Austin,we love and miss you little man. Don't ever forget that.

You can contact Sara at


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