Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to Love Despite Appearance

Sorry I've been slacking on my updates, but here is a BIG update!! 

On Wednesday, October 2nd, I went for a routine ultrasound with my Perinatologist, my last ultrasound before my Csection on Friday. She started measuring my amniotic fluid levels like she usually does, and I made a comment that it looked like Camden drank up all of his fluid, but didn't let it back out. After a few minutes, she told me that I was right. (My fluid levels were at 5.9, but my levels were at 14 just the week before.) So, my Perinatologist called my OB, she came back, and told me I was going to meet my baby boy later that evening!! I wasn't nervous at all, just very excited!!

It was about 9:30AM when I got admitted to Labor & Delivery. My Csection was scheduled for 5:30PM, so I had a lot of waiting to do! So, I waited... and waited... Got bored and took a picture in my hospital gown, cause that seemed to be the cool thing lately.

Here are a few more pictures of me waiting.

Me and my little sister, Bell.







Mom got bored and made Camden a hat for him to wear after he was born.


It was almost time for me to go back to the OR and meet my baby boy, so I got some pictures with my friends and family.

My doula Nikki, Me, Mom, Bell, and Stetson's Mommy Kim.

 My Step Dad Mark, Me, Mom, and Bell.

Now it is time for me to get ready for my Csection. Still not nervous, just excited.


 Last belly picture. 38 weeks and 5 days.



Now I start getting nervous.

Once my OB started cutting me open, I started getting very nervous. I was scared out of my mind because I was being cut open and reality started hitting me hard. Tears started rolling from my eyes. This is it. I am about to meet my baby boy. The boy I've been waiting on the past 9 1/2 months. I was afraid of how I would feel once I saw him. I knew I loved him so very much, but what if all of this wasn't what I thought it would be? What if I rejected him and didn't want him?




It wasn't what I thought it would be at all... My OB lifted him up to show me and the tears started pouring. I couldn't move my arms to touch him when he was shown to me, which made me cry more. I knew right then that I loved him. He looked pretty gross, but I loved him. He was all mine.
He was wiped off, wrapped up, and brought to me. I cried even more happy happy tears. He was so beautiful. I started loving him more and more.

Here is my sweet baby boy, Camden Lee Steele Whiddon. Born October 2, 2013 at 6:02PM, via Csection, weighing 4 pounds 8 ounces and 12.5 inches long.

Mommy's first kiss.

 

Soon after I met my beautiful baby boy, I was told he was having some trouble breathing, so he had to go to the NICU. That broke my heart. I was so scared for him. Most of all, it hurt me that I couldn't be with him while he was hurting. He was put on the CPAP to help him breathe. I'm so happy I had my Mom there to be with him.

After I recovered for a little while, I was taken to Camden in the NICU for a few short minutes to see him. I was so sad that I couldn't stay there with him and that I couldn't hold him on his first day of life.


The next morning I was told that Camden was off the CPAP and was breathing on his own! I was also told that after I saw my OB and my epidural wore off, I could go see Camden and hold him!! I really really wanted some skin to skin time and to start breastfeeding as soon as possible!! When my epidural was taken out I tried moving my legs right away. It seemed like it took forever!! Finally I could move my legs and a little after that I was able to stand on my own! After waiting and waiting, I was finally able to go see and hold my little Camden!!! I was extremely excited!!

Our first cuddle.


Our first time breastfeeding. He did so good!


When I held him for the first time, I truly fell in love. He was just so amazingly perfect. I started to cry, but I held back the tears. I was the happiest I ever been in my entire life. My heart was overflowing with love! I stayed in the NICU with him for hours, until the nurses said that they were going to take him to the newborn nursery!!! Yay!!! No more NICU!!! 

After Camden was sent to newborn nursery I kept him in my room as much as possible!! I was addicted to this baby!! Had to have him with me at all times!! 

Camden's body was the same size as my Hospital cup.

Couldn't stop looking at him.

Cutest baby I have ever laid eyes on!

Camden and Stetsons first time meeting.



Can't get anymore perfect than this!

Camden and my OB.

Going home!

Me and Camden. 5 days old.

Camden's first bath.







One week old.




Camden's umbilical cord fell off on October 11th. 





2 weeks old.


3 weeks old.


This is a little something I wrote when Camden turned 1 month old:

I have learned several things since October 2nd, 2013... I make cute babies. My son can be awesome things for Halloween, like a Gingerbread Man with his arms and legs bit off or an ice cream truck or spaceship when he gets his wheelchair. Being "different" is WAY more awesome than being "normal". There is no such thing as "normal". People who make fun of others for their appearance are just ignorant and can't see deeper than skin. Arms and legs are not in the definition of 'perfect'. Hats are cooler than shoes. You can fall in love 100 times in one day with the same person. You don't have to be a girl to be a Princess (spoiled little brat). There is such a thing as "love at first sight". You don't have to have a hand to "hold hands" or full length arms to hug. How to love despite appearance... and so so so much more!!
I'd rather
 relive the day I found out Camden didn't have arms and legs 1,000 times over and over again than change one thing about him. Thank you, Camden for teaching me all of these things. When I look at you, all I see is PERFECTION. Thank you for giving me a purpose and for giving me the opportunity to experience what REAL unconditional love feels like. I am so blessed to be the Mommy of such an incredible little boy like you. Thank you for showing me that being a single mom is awesome because I get all of your love!! I never thought that my child would be one to bring so much joy and be such an inspiration to so many people. You are my beautiful, perfect, amazing baby boy and I am so happy that God made us for each other. Happy 1st month of life! I love you, Camden.


Happy Halloween!!


5 weeks old.



When you look at Camden, you probably see that he is "missing" his legs, lower arms, feet, and hands... When I look at Camden, I see just a baby. I don't know how to explain it, but he is just so... NORMAL. He isn't "missing" anything.  He's just Camden. A fat, happy, and sweet baby boy. You will never understand unless you have a special baby from God. This is what I see...


Today Camden is 6 weeks old. Every morning I wake up and he is always right there. Sometimes right in my face staring at me, and it always makes me smile. I just cannot imagine my life without him!! I am beyond blessed to have him in my life.

6 weeks old.


I was just reading my first blog post. I read the part where I was talking about the things that Camden will never be able to do. 
"My sweet baby boy is never going to be able to walk, he is never going to be able to ride a bike, he is never going to be able to brush his own teeth, he is never going to be able to bathe himself, he is never going to be able to go to the bathroom by himself, he is never going to be able to play like a normal child, he is never going to be able to hold someones hand, he is never going to be able to wear shoes, he is never, he is never, he is never...
Now I sit here and I know that Camden will be able to do ALL of those things!!! He may not be able to do those things the exact way we do, but he will do it!! NEVER SAY NEVER!! He's already proven me wrong in one of those things... Like I said above...

You don't have to have a hand to "hold hands"

Thank you, God for giving me such an amazing blessing.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Won't Be Much Longer!

Its been a couple of weeks since I have posted and A LOT of things have happened! Let me catch you up!

August 27th: 33 Weeks 4 Days Pregnant- I had an appointment with my OB, Dr. Fong. The appointment went very well!! Camden's heart sounded great and his head was very low. For a whole month up to this appointment my uterus was measuring at 25 centimeters, but at this appointment it was 28 centimeters!! That was 3 whole centimeters since the appointment 2 weeks before!


August 28th: 33 Weeks 5 Days PregnantI had an ultrasound with Dr. Brown-Elliot. Camden's heart sounded really good and I got to watch him practice his breathing! His head was a bit narrow at previous ultrasounds, but now his head is shaped normal. Everything with Camden looked great, but I didn't get any pictures. I had another NST (non stress test) and I didn't have any contractions at all. Camden was moving around so much that the monitor couldn't pick up his heart beat for a while, but he finally went to sleep and he had a steady heart rate of 138bpm for a good couple of minutes.

Later that night I started having back pain and painful contraction 2-3 minutes apart. I called my Doctor and he said to head to Labor & Delivery. When I got there my contractions were 1 1/2 minutes apart, so I was given a Terbutaline shot to stop the contractions. I had to stay in Labor & Delivery over night and I received 4 Terbutaline shots to stop contractions, but they would only stop the contractions for an hour. My OB came in and checked me. I was a fingertip open and 50% effaced. I was given a prescription for pain and contractions and my OB put me on bed rest until 36 weeks. Camden's heart sounded great the whole time I was there and he was moving around perfectly!

September 3rd: 34 Weeks 4 Days Pregnant- Since I came home from my previous hospital stay, Camden wasn't moving around that much. I drank cold water and soda, he didn't move. I shoved him around in my belly and poked him, and he didn't move. My Mom talked to him and moved him around, and I felt one little tiny movement, but I wasn't sure if it was my Mom moving him or if he moved a little. I was scared out of my mind and getting sick to my stomach. I thought the worse. I headed straight to Labor & Delivery around 10pm. When I got there my contractions were 2 minutes apart. As soon as I was put on the monitor Camden decided that it was time for him to start moving around! He moved around more then, than he had in the past couple of days put together!! I was kept over night and I received 8 Terbutaline shots to stop contractions. I was still having contractions, but they weren't as bad as they were before, so I was sent home that afternoon.


September 4th: 34 Weeks 5 Days Pregnant- I had an ultrasound with Dr. Brown-Elliot. The ultrasound went great! He decided to hide his face, so I couldn't get a picture. He weighed 4lbs10oz! That is a whole pound in 2 weeks! I think he is going to be a chubby baby boy!


September 6th-

Happy 35 weeks Camden!


September 10th: 35 Weeks 4 Days PregnantI had an appointment with Dr. Fong. I didn't gain any weight in the past two weeks. My blood pressure was good and Camden's heart sounded beautiful. He checked my cervix and I am still a fingertip open and 50% effaced, but my cervix is lower! Dr. Fong is scheduling my csection for early morning on October 4th, but he said that he doesn't think I will make it to October 4th. He took me off of bed rest, but I am to take it easy until Friday. On Friday I am free to be as active as I want and I can stop taking the medication for my contractions! So exciting!!

September 11th: 35 Weeks 5 Days PregnantYesterday I had an ultrasound with Dr. Brown-Elliot and after that I had a care conference with everyone who will be involved with the birth of Camden and the people who will be caring for us after the csection. 
During the ultrasound Dr. Brown-Elliot zoomed in on Camden's face and he opened his eyes and started looking around like he was watching something. It was so weird watching his eyeball move around. We got to see him blink too! It was the weirdest thing I ever saw! We also saw him drinking amniotic fluid. I am so in love with my baby boy. It was the best ultrasound so far!


My care conference went amazing! Every question I asked was answered and most of my wishes will be made! I was also set up with a social worker and I am very hopeful that we can get some kind of insurance for Camden, that will be an answered prayer! I love everyone who is going to be caring for my sweet boy! I feel so blessed that we have such an amazing group of people.

It won't be much longer before my baby boy is here. 3 weeks until my scheduled csection, but I really think that he will be here within the next 2 weeks. I am very excited and I am very much ready!

My sweet friend Teresa, who is a Thirty-one Gift consultant, started a fundraiser for Camden!! This is from the event page on Facebook:

"I am a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts. From now until September 28th, I am sponsoring a fundraiser for my friend, Katie, and her sweet baby, Camden. Camden is due in early October. This little guy is very special and he is going to need a lot of extra TLC!!! Camden has no legs and only his upper arms. Because of this, he is going to need a lot of special equipment to help keep him safe as he grows and develops. Please take time to read her blog at http://admirablydiverse.blogspot.com/ I know her story will touch your heart!!!

The purpose of this fundraiser will be to help Katie and her family offset some of the upcoming medical expenses they will incur as well as with the purchase of equipment needed to meet the special needs of her sweet little man.

How to participate: Simply go to www.mythirtyone.com/tjmoon and find the event titled "Fundraiser for Katie and Baby Camden". Click on the "shop now" link associated with the fundraiser, click "shop now" again (the pink button) and begin your shopping!!! The catalog you will be shopping is the new fall line! They have a lot of awesome new bags and prints out so have fun and remember it's for a good cause! If you don't care to make a purchase through Thirty-One with me, you may also go to Katie's blog and just make a donation on her behalf.

All orders can be shipped directly to the address of your choosing. All proceeds from any order placed under this event will go to Katie and Camden. If you have any questions or problems, please contact me via FB, email (tjmoon08@gmail.com), or phone (229-834-5701). Thank you!!!"


And yes, I just have to share another hat that my Mom made! This will be Camden's Thanksgiving hat! I am so in love with it!!
If you would like to order any hats or photo props from my Mom, please go to this link: https://www.facebook.com/fivelilbirds Don't forget to 'like' her page!






Monday, August 26, 2013

Counting My Blessings

All day I have been thinking about how blessed I am. I have the greatest family, excellent doctors, a fantastic support team, an amazing baby boy who will be here very soon, and I have God on my side.

My family... I have no idea what I would do or where I would be without my family. Over the past couple of years I have put my family through so many things and they have always loved me unconditionally. All of the hard times I have had through this pregnancy, they were always there. I want to thank every one of my family members who have been there for me. I never thank you, or never thank you enough, but I want every single one of you to know that I appreciate you and I love you to the moon and back 1,000 times!


My doctors. I knew when I moved to Texas, Camden would have the best doctors. I never thought that I would have (in my opinion) the best doctors! All of my doctors are so supportive and amazing. They never talk negatively about my son and they always seem to put what is best for him before anything else. They are so down to earth and filled with love. I am so very thankful for everyone of my doctors and their nurses! Every one of them are amazing!


My support team (YOU). Where would I be without you guys? You all pray for me and my baby boy, you think about us, you give me such encouraging words, and you have helped me and my son out financially. Without all of your prayers, I seriously don't think I would be where I am today and I don't think I would have my son either. If there is anything that I have learned through my pregnancy, its that THERE IS POWER in prayer!! I am so very thankful for every person that is supporting me and Camden!! You have all made me cry numerous times from feeling too incredibly blessed!! I don't know most of you, but you all have a very special place in my heart. 


My sweetly amazing, soon to be born, baby boy, Camden. Now I am really starting to tear up. I don't even know him yet, and he has completely stole my heart. I have been amazingly blessed with such a SPECIAL baby boy. I know that he doesn't have any legs or all of his arms, but in my eyes and heart, he is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! God doesn't make any mistakes! I don't really know how to explain it, but I am so ready! I am ready for him to be here so I can love him, cuddle him, and spoil him rotten. I am so ready for him to be here so I can watch him grow! I am ready to watch him learn how to do things. I am ready for when he gets his first arms and hands and for when he gets his first wheelchair. I am ready for every little milestone. I know that it is going to be so hard, but I can already imagine that little smile he will have. That smile is what will make it all worth it. I loooove my Camden and I will do anything for him!


My God. I love my God. Without HIM, I wouldn't have my family, my doctors, my support group, or my baby boy. Without God, all of this is impossible. Without God, I wouldn't have the strength I have. Without God, I would have nothing at all. If I don't have anyone to talk to, God is always there. When no one else has my back, God is always there. When I am worried and stressed out, God is always there. When I have something on my heart, God is always there. Wherever I go, whatever I do, whatever I need, God is always there. Sometimes when I am stuck in a hard spot and I feel like I have no where to turn and have no idea what to do, I just remember that I have God on my side. God will always provide. 

While I am counting my blessings and being thankful tonight, I would like to thank a very sweet woman, that I don't even know, who started a Scentsy Fundraiser for Camden on Facebook! You don't know how thankful I am for you and how incredible of a person you are! I am very very blessed to have someone like you as a part of mine and Camden's support team! (To check out the Scentsy fundraiser for Camden, click here and if you do not have Facebook and would like to donate click here.) 


I just have to brag on my Mom again! She is doing so great with her little crochet business!! She has made a couple of new items and I HAVE to share because I am extremely proud of her and well, she is basically the best at what she does!!







 

If you would like to place an order for any of these items or an item of your own choice, click here.


I have a regular appointment with my OB, Dr. Fong, on Tuesday and an ultrasound with my Perinatologist, Dr. Brown-Elliot, on Wednesday. I'll be posting an update soon!!