“I still feel guilty for what happened. I know I shouldn’t have had her in bed with me.”
A young mother, torn apart by guilt over the death of her daughter, has vowed to never have another baby after her six-week-old daughter died while co-sleeping with her.
Sequioa Eddy, 18, says she is still haunted by the morning in February when she woke to find her newborn baby, Nevaeh, dead alongside her.
The young mother from Christchurch in New Zealand was overcome with exhaustion when she took her baby into her own bed for the first time in February this year.
She told The New Zealand Herald that her daughter had her own bassinet and co-sleeping was a one off.
“It was just the first time I had slept with her. She was just a mummy’s girl and didn’t go to sleep without mum.”
“I woke up at 7.30 in the morning and she was still breathing, and then I woke up at 8.25am and she was dead. I woke up to her dead next to me.”
Ms Eddy, who fell pregnant at the age of 17, gave birth the same day her mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
While her mother battled the disease Ms Eddy cared for her three younger brothers, 13-year-old twins and an 11-year-old.
Tragically a week after the death of baby Nevaeh Ms Eddy’s mother died as well.
“It’s been such a struggle to come to terms with this.
“I can’t change what happened … but I can’t stop wishing that I could. I sucked it all in and didn’t cry, I didn’t have time to. I do have my moments now and then.”
“She [her mother] died in my arms six days after my daughter. It was sad watching her be in so much pain and I couldn’t do anything.
Ms Eddy says when she woke up to her daughter’s lifeless body she tried to resuscitate her using CPR but she could not revive her.
The Coroner yesterday released his findings into the baby’s death saying that it was a stark reminder of the risks of co-sleeping and a “classical summary of what ought not to have occurred”.
“It is hoped that the publicity provided to the circumstances of the death of baby Nevaeh will serve as a warning to others that the risks of co-sleeping are real.”
In Australia studies show that 80 per cent of babies spend some time co-sleeping in the first six months of life. In NSW alone 44 per cent of the 480 infants that died suddenly and unexpectedly in NSW since 2003 were infants that were co-sleeping.
In 2012 the Victorian coroner weighed into the co-sleeping debate, criticising the inconsistent advice that parents get about babies sleeping in the same bed as their parents.