INSIDE EDITION Speaks To Parents About Dangers of Co-Sleeping
Vanessa Clark may be the most controversial mom in America. Not one, but two of her babies died in her bed.
She and her husband were co-sleeping with their babies, the highly dangerous practice of letting infants share the parents' bed.
"I can't express the feelings that I had. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy," said Vanessa.
Vanessa was found guilty of child endangerment last month and is awaiting sentencing.
Her husband Mark was acquitted in a separate trial. Now, in an INSIDE EDITION exclusive, they're speaking out about their babies' deaths for the first time.
"It's something no parent should ever, ever have to go through. It's tragic," said Vanessa.
The first to die was baby Christian in 2009. He was just four-months-old and regularly slept in their bed. One morning, he just didn't wake up.
"She woke me up, screaming and hollering and she handed me Christian. I put him on the floor and proceeded to do CPR but it was already too late," said Mark.
Authorities ruled the child's death was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But was co-sleeping the real cause? The dangers of sleeping with a baby are well established.
A shocking ad by the Milwaukee Health Department shows a baby sleeping next to a meat cleaver. The headline reads: "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous."
In that first death, no charges were ever brought against Vanessa and Mark Clark. And within a few weeks of Christian's death, Vanessa was pregnant again. She believed it was a gift from heaven.
"We had no clue this would ever happen again," said Vanessa.
But incredibly, it did happen again. Despite her tragic experience, Vanessa brought baby Tristan into her bed. When she woke up, he was dead. She frantically called 911.
"My baby, please, my baby!" said Vanessa in the 911 call.
"What's wrong with your baby?" asked the 911 operator.
"He's not breathing!" said Vanessa.
"How long has he been not breathing, do you know?" asked the operator.
"We just woke up," said Mark.
"Is he cold?" asked the operator.
"Yes, he's cold," replied Mark.
"I wanted to die. I didn't want to live any longer," said Vanessa.
"What happened when you woke up that morning and saw little Tristan lying there?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd.
"I thought it was a nightmare. I just thought it couldn't be real, it couldn't be possible," said Vanessa.
"What were you asking yourself?" asked Boyd.
"Why God, why?" said Vanessa.
But authorities believed that, having lost one baby, both parents should have known that co-sleeping is dangerous. They were even coached on the hazards.
"What went wrong? How did little Tristan end up in that bed again?" asked Boyd.
"Vanessa feels more comfortable with the baby beside her," said Mark.
Vanessa refuses to explain—on the advice of her attorney—why she brought Tristan in bed with her when she must have known the risk.
"The people watching this want to know why, how little Tristan ended up in that bed again," said Boyd.
"I want to, I really do. I just can't at this time," said Vanessa.