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!!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Wasn't Embarrassed. I Was Shocked.

Wednesday, August 21st, I had an appointment with my Perinatologist, Dr. Brown-Elliot. I was 32 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I brought my friend, Kim, along with me this time! When I got called back, the nurse checked my blood pressure. It was high so I had to do another NST (non stress test) which is where they monitor the baby's heart and movements and my contractions (if I am having any). Camden's heart rate was great the whole time, but I started off having contractions every 2-3 minutes apart, then every 6 minutes, then 10 minutes apart and my blood pressure went back down, so they quit monitoring me. 
Dr. Brown-Elliot did the ultrasound. Camden looks great today!! He was being a little wiggle worm giving Dr. Brown-Elliot a little bit of a hard time while she was trying to get his measurements. Camden weighs 3 pounds and 10 ounces!! That's 8 ounces in the past two weeks!! I am so proud of my big boy!


Camden's face. The two lines are the sides of his nose.


 Camden's profile. The bump is his nose and you can see that he is blowing me sweet kisses!


Wednesday morning I was at the bank setting up an account for Camden's funds. I was explaining to the man, that was helping us, about my situation with Camden and why I am starting the account, so he could figure out the best way to set up an account for Camden. When my Mom and I were explaining to him that Camden doesn't have any legs at all, only upper arms, no feet, no toes, no hangs, and no fingers, he just like raised his eye brows, didn't say a word, and just looked down. I have never had a problem talking to anyone about my son, but this bothered me for some reason! Every time I have told someone about my son, they never took their eyes off of mine, and I think that is what made the difference. I sat there. Its not like I could just run off, but I just wanted to hide. I wasn't embarrassed. I was shocked. 
This situation reminded me of a blog post that one of my friends sent me. The lady who writes the blog has a daughter with limb deformities. In this blog post she was talking about how her husband took her daughter to the pool and a little boy asked him if his daughter was ugly, because he just couldn't understand. I know that my situation was no where near to even coming close to being as hurtful as that, but it still hurt. It has been on my mind all day!!! 
I dread the day after my son is born and I have run-ins with rude people or people who just totally cannot understand. That day really scares me. I am terrified. I don't know how I am going to handle that, if I am going to cry, hurt someone, or just shrug it off because people are just jerks! I really don't know. Its not like I can just ask someone who is in the same situation as me, because I feel like no words can fully prepare you for that time. This is something that I really need to pray hard about and if anyone can pray for me in this situation I would very much appreciate it!!

Ending on a happy note. I wanted to share something very dear to my heart! My Mom's Dad, who passed away in 1998, made this cradle for her to use when I was born. I slept in it, my younger brother slept in it, and my two younger sisters slept in it. Now it has been passed down to me, by my Mom, and my sweet Camden will sleep in it! In the cradle you can see a green frog. I gave that frog to my Dad's Dad, who passed away in 2004, a couple of weeks before he passed. I am so happy that Camden has two things from two very special men that I hold so dearly in my heart. I know that they will both watch over him from heaven. I love you, Pepa and Grandaddy, and I miss you both very much!!



Friday, August 16, 2013

2 Appointments and a Trip to Labor & Dilivery

I want to thank everyone that has donated to Camden's fundraiser, shared our story, and for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers! Camden now has a Facebook page called, Admirably Diverse - Camden Lee. Please go "like" his page and follow us on our journey there as well! To "like" Admirably Diverse - Camden Lee, please go to this link:  https://www.facebook.com/admirablydiverse

With the help of my family and people who have donated to Camden's Fundraiser, I was able to actually afford to get him a car seat and stroller! I want to thank everyone SO MUCH for helping me!! This car seat is deep enough for Camden where I wont have to worry about his bottom slipping out of the strap and him falling out. As you can see on the stroller, the bottom where a child's legs would come through, is closed. This is the safest car set/stroller travel system that I could find for Camden. Thanks to all of you, my baby boy will be very safe, and less worrying for momma!



On August 14th, I had a regular checkup with Dr. Fong. I was 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant. He measured my uterus and I was measuring at 25 weeks, 7 weeks behind. Camden's heart sounded beautiful, and I gained one pound. 

Dr. Fong told me that he wasn't sure how comfortable he was in delivering Camden vaginally, and that he is leaning more towards C-section just to be safe. I thought about it for a second and agreed with him. If Dr. Fong isn't comfortable delivering Camden vaginally, then that makes me uncomfortable. He said that he isn't comfortable because something could go wrong, like Camden's shoulders getting stuck and if he had to pull him out, then he could possibly damage the nerves in Camden's neck and shoulder and he would never be able to use that arm. I know there is a low chance of that happening, but I rather take the safest route possible. Camden's health and safety are my #1 concerns. So I will have a C-section when I am 39 weeks pregnant, which will most likely mean Camden will be here on or around October 4th!
On August 15th, I had an ultrasound appointment with my Perinatologist, Dr. Brown-Elliot. They were running behind so I was taken for a tour of Labor & Delivery, and when I got back, they were still running behind, so they strapped me up to a machine where I can hear the baby's heartbeat and it monitors the baby's heart rate, movements, and if I have any contractions. I had a couple contractions while I was in the waiting room, but I have them all the time so I didn't think that they were anything to worry about.
 I was laying there, listening to my sweet baby boy's heart beat. My stomach would tighten up and his heart rate would drop, the first couple times it wasn't that much. Well, I was watching the paper, and I was having regular contractions and his heart rate would drop really low and when the nurse came back in it started dropping to the 70s and the lowest it got I think was 64bpm. It dropped into the 60s a couple times. Dr. Brown-Elliot came in and looked at it, and said to get Dr. Fong, my OB, on the phone. She turned on the ultrasound screen to see what was going on. Camden's umbilical cord was between his body and my uterine wall, and every time I would have a contraction it squished his umbilical cord. While she was doing the ultrasound, I told her I was having really bad heartburn, so she sat me up a little and said, "It must be all his hair!". So I asked her if he had hair, she looked, and my baby boy has hair!! I also got to see him practice breathing, but I didn't get any pictures this time :(
The nurse came back in and said that Dr. Fong was on the phone and Dr. Brown-Elliot told her to clean me up. After talking to Dr. Fong, Dr. Brown-Elliot said that she is sending me to Labor & Delivery and most likely stay over night and have my contractions monitored. 
I got to Labor & Delivery at around 5:30pm. The nursed checked me, said I was a fingertip, but not dilated, and that Camden's head is VERY low. (Makes since of why its been hurting so bad to walk around) The nurse strapped me up to monitor Camden's heart rate and my contractions. I was steadily having contractions every 1-2 minutes apart and Camden's heart rate was still dropping, but not under the 100s. My Mom got there around 7:30pm and I was still having contractions every 1-3 minutes apart. Around 8:20pm my contractions started to get really painful and at about that time Dr. Fong got there! He said that I wasn't in active labor, and that I am not dilated, so the nurse is going to give me a shot to stop the contractions and see how I am in an hour or so, and most likely send me home that night. The nurse came in and gave me the shot at about 8:40pm. That shot stung so bad and made me so shaky! They finally let me eat something at around 9:00pm. The contractions stopped, Camden was VERY active, and I was released around 11:30pm! I haven't had anymore contractions since then!
I am so thankful that everything turned out okay with me and my baby boy! I don't know what I would have done if I had him this early. Thanks to everyone who was praying for me and Camden while I was in the hospital. Without your prayers things could have been a lot different.

I also want to wish Camden a Happy 32 weeks!! That is 8 months for us!! Only 7 more weeks until I will have my baby boy in my arms! I'll share a belly photo I took this morning, even though I look very tired! 


Friday, August 9, 2013

31 Weeks

Before I get started on what has been going on the past couple of weeks, I want to tell you about Camden's Fundraiser that I started tonight! I am trying to raise money for my baby boy's medical expenses, I am on Tricare and the moment he is born it will not cover him at all, so I don't know what expenses I will have with him being high-risk and disabled. I am also trying to raise money for Camden's prosthetic arms, as they cost thousands and thousands of dollars and any other items for his use. I want to go ahead and thank everyone in advance for any donations made!! It means so much to me, and for what has already been donated, I am speechless. I feel truly blessed!! If you cannot donate, please share Camden's gofundme page or share my blog because our story could help someone who needs it!


I am so excited! I am 31 weeks pregnant today. That means... ONLY 8 MORE WEEKS UNTIL I HAVE MY PRECIOUS BABY BOY IN MY ARMS, AT THE MOST!!! A lot has been going on the past few weeks, with doctors appointments, getting things together for Camden, and so on. I'll just start from mid July and work my way up to today!


My wonderful Mother! She has been helping me out so much with everything and I really don't thank her enough, so I just want to take 2 sentences and say, Thanks Mom for all you do! Your the best Mom in the whole world and I love you! 

I have to take a minute and brag on her and promote her business!! (Because she is the best Mom) This woman LOVES to crochet. A couple of weeks ago I was talking about a Halloween costume for Camden. She showed me a crocheted elephant hat and diaper cover and it is THE CUTEST thing ever!! Well, she decided to make one for Camden and it turned out AMAZING!! She also made an owl Pirate hat & Monkey hat and diaper cover!! I'm going to show them off real quick! You also need to check out her Facebook page!! https://www.facebook.com/fivelilbirds  She has all three of these items for sale. If you have something else in mind that you want made, just send her a private message and she will see what she can do for you!

 
 

At the end of July I started my biweekly checkups with my regular OB, Dr. Fong. I was 29 weeks pregnant. Everything went really good. Camden's heart sounded really good and strong. My uterus was measuring at 25 weeks, 4 weeks behind, which is expected because Camden is missing his legs and lower arms. 
As you know, I live in the North Dallas, Texas area and all of my family lives in Georgia. So, I talked to Dr. Fong about inducing me so my family and Camden's other family could possibly be there for his birth! He said that if Camden is still breech, we will possibly do a C-section on October 4th and if Camden is head down then he will induce me on October 10th (Camden is due on October 11th) I am so excited about this because I actually have dates now!!

Fast forward to August 8th (yesterday). August 8th I had an appointment with my Perinatologist, Dr. Brown-Elliot. I was 30weeks&6days pregnant. This appointment went amazing!! I had another ultrasound done to check Camden's growth progress. They guesstimated him to be at 3 pounds 2 ounces and 12 inches long!! That's a whole 2 pounds since last month!! His upper arms are still growing behind, but they are growing! I am so proud of my big boy!! Last month my amniotic fluid levels were at an 8, which is on the low side. (They start to worry when it gets to 5) Yesterday my fluid was up to 14!! I was so happy to hear that!! Camden's heart and brain still looked excellent!! Last month they said that his head was on the narrow side, and Dr. Brown-Elliot said it was probably due to him being breech. Yesterday he was head down and his head isn't as narrow anymore!!! I am so proud of him! Hopefully he will stay head down! I see Dr. Brown-Elliot once a week to have an ultrasound, until Camden is born.

Here is an ultrasound pic from August 8th

A couple of days ago I started looking for a doula. I have wanted a doula since I first found out I was pregnant because I seriously want to have a fully unmedicated natural birth! I found North Dallas Doula Associates on Facebook. The first person to catch my eye was, Nikki. I just LOVED her hair!! I emailed her and we talked for a little while. I finally got to meet her today!! That was so much fun! She has the best energy! I am so comfortable around her and she has this calming effect. I don't really know how to explain it, but I love her! We talked for a little while and I told her some about Camden. Then my mother decided it was her turn to talk and she made everyone cry! But anyways, I feel like it was meant to be for Nikki to be my doula and I feel very happy to have her as part of my team! I am very excited for what is to come!

My doula, Nikki Knowles