Nathan Michael King
August 1, 2008 - November 13, 2008
Below is a reflection from Brad and Laura King, Nathan's parents. After his death, they started the Nathan Michael King Foundation.
Our family’s story began on August 1, 2008. That morning, at 2:09 a.m., Nathan Michael King was born. He was perfect in every way. In the days following Nathan’s birth, we quickly adjusted to the new addition to our household and I fell in love with motherhood.
I took eight weeks off from my job as a teacher after Nate was born. Since our school year didn’t start until Nate was 2 weeks old, I was able to stay home with him for ten weeks. I thank God for the opportunity to stay home with him as long as I did. Brad’s job often took him away from home during the week, so I was able to spend most of my time one on one with my perfect little man.
As Nathan got older, he grew up like we couldn’t believe. He was rarely tired, and used every waking moment to soak in the world like he didn’t want to miss a thing. He smiled (a real smile) at 3 weeks and began laughing less than a month later. Laughing and smiling…that was Nate’s personality.
At his two month check-up, he was in the 85th percentile for height and weight and was doing things his doctor said he wouldn’t normally do for a couple of months. He was truly gifted. When he turned 3 months old, he decided that laying down when he was awake wasn’t fun anymore. From that point on, if he was awake and not eating, he was standing in his jumper or sitting in his bumbo chair (or my lap of course). I enjoyed every single moment with him…we were practically inseparable.
As his mother, I was very protective of Nathan and SIDS was the one thing I feared the most with him. I knew I could prevent many other things that could harm him, but I knew that SIDS was not 100% preventable. Statistics of SIDS deaths ran through my mind often, and I could not wait until Nathan turned 6 months old (when the risk decreases drastically). I was able to ease my mind a little by following the recommendations from the “Back to Sleep” campaign.
We always put Nate to bed on his back, his mattress was firm with tightly fitted sheets, I gave him breast milk exclusively, no one was allowed to smoke around him or our house, and his room was always kept at 72 degrees. To help ease my mind a little more, we even purchased an Angel Care sleep monitor that sounded an alarm if it didn’t sense any movement for more than 15 seconds.
I’m not sure why God placed that fear in my heart so strongly. I like to think that he may have been preparing me for the things I would do someday with the information I gained through my fear. He may have been starting the Nathan Michael King SIDS Foundation in my heart long before it entered our minds.