‘HE was a very beautiful baby – he was smiling from day one,’ recalls Rebekah Dewane.
The 19-year-old and her partner Kiefer Oldfield, 22, were naturally thrilled when their first child, Ryan, was born on November 26 last year.
‘He was advanced for his age. He used to love looking around at everything,’ she added. ‘I was just so happy.
‘I was a new mum. We were so happy to be a family at last.
‘He was laughing from the age of six weeks.
‘I couldn’t wait to show him off to everyone.
‘I was so happy that I had made such a happy, gorgeous little boy.’
But now all they have is memories.
Rebekah, from Vian Close in Gosport, went to check on her son one morning and found him dead in his cot.
She called for an ambulance, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
He was less than three months old.
‘It took a very long time to sink in,’ she said.
‘It took past his funeral for me to accept that he was gone.
‘I didn’t want to believe it and I still don’t, but I have to.
‘It’s been a nightmare. It has got harder for us.
‘People don’t think about it when they are pregnant. It was the last thing on my mind.
‘I never thought in a million years that it would ever happen to me and I still can’t believe it.
‘I would just like to say to people, cherish every single moment.
‘If I could give anything to hug him again, I would. I wake up in the night crying because I expect him to wake me up.
‘I would give anything to have that life again.
‘But I know that’s not going to happen.
‘I miss having someone small in my arms. I miss having someone to love and care for. I wanted to show him how to grow up and how to do things.’
An inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall into Ryan’s death on February 9 this year heard how a post mortem examination had not revealed any problems at birth or any diseases of any kind.
David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.
He said: ‘Quite clearly he was a much-loved little boy.
‘It’s a case of sudden unexpected death in infancy.
‘Maybe it will never be understood.
‘But that doesn’t make it any less of a tragedy for the families concerned.’
Dad Kiefer added: ‘I just miss him.
‘He was spot on, he was a normal baby.’