In Memory of Cameron
by Mama, Daddy, Jack & Daniel
Three weeks ago, on April 14th, our beautiful son Cameron was prematurely stillborn. It was the most devastating day of our lives.....
We are blessed with two healthy wonderful sons, and had been trying for a third child since last April. I got pregnant in April 1997 and miscarried at 5 weeks on Mother's Day. I was pregnant again in July, but suffered a second loss in August at 7 weeks. The next few months we took a break from trying. The losses had been so devastating, it was hard to imagine ever trying again. But then in December, a miracle happened. Without "trying" we unexpectedly got pregnant. The good news came just after the New Year! We thought, "this will be our year -- 1997 was so awful, but 1998 will be wonderful!"
At 6 weeks we went for an US and immediately saw our baby's heartbeat flickering away on the screen. I cried tears of joy and relief! I felt that all would go well. My pregnancy proceeded normally and healthy. I felt great! My pregnancy was being closely monitored as I'd suffered the two m/c's last year. At 14 weeks I had another US and our baby was so big and active compared to the 6 week US!! He was moving and kicking, and we even got a photo of him sucking his thumb. On April 1st I went in for my 4-month appointment and heard his heartbeat so loud and strong - 152 beats per minute. I even tape-recorded it for my husband to hear later. All continued to go well.
At 18 weeks I had another US scheduled. "Look at how big the baby is compared to a month ago!" I said with joy in my heart. "The face is so full, and look at that fat belly!" I could barely contain the excitement in my voice. Then I commented, "He must be sleeping today - he's not moving as much as he was at the 14 week US." The tech had been very quiet, but after my last comment she said three words that continue to ring over and over in my head......"There's a problem." I said, "That's okay -- we never asked for a perfect baby, we just want another baby. What's the problem." "The baby's heart is not beating", she said. "Why not?" I asked. "This baby is dead.", we were told. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! OH GOD, NOOOO!! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING AGAIN!! NOOOOO!!!! PLEASE!! NOOO!"
The rest of the appointment was a blur.....the tech ran out of the room.....my husband and I sobbed uncontrollably......the doctor came in....."hydrops" he said, "fluid around his heart"......"you'll have to be induced".......I remember feeling numb.
The next day I was admitted to the hospital at 7 am. At 8 am the doctor came to start the inducement. "There's been a mistake", I told her, "I can feel the baby moving right now." Another US was performed with the same grim results. The inducing began. At 9:15 I had my first dose of prostaglandin. "It may give you a headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting", I was warned. At 11:00 am the headache kicked in - it was so blinding and painful I couldn't even keep my eyes open. The TV droned on in the background and I heard "An abandoned baby was found in Kingston today" and I sobbed. I was crying for the pain I was in, but mostly for the heartache of knowing this pregnancy was coming to an end and I would never get to take the baby home with me.
At 12:15 the second dose of prostaglandin was administered. The vomiting and diarrhea followed soon after and lasted the entire time I was in labor -- 11 hours. Finally at 6 pm our son was born. I was exhausted from the difficult labor, but anxious to see him and hold him. "Who has the dimples?" the doctor asked. "I do" I replied weakly. "He has your dimples." Finally my son was handed to me -- he was so tiny, just 7 inches long, but so perfect. Immediately I kissed him on the head and told him I loved him, as I cradled him in the palm of my hand.
We got to keep Cameron with us for three hours. In that time, we took many photos of him and the nurse made a copy of his feet and handprints for us. I examined him from head to toe and back again -- I had to be sure to imprint his face into my heart and my mind, for I knew we'd never see him again in this lifetime. He had a beautiful full face with a tiny nose, pouty lips, and the cutest dimple in his chin. His arms were as long as my pinky finger and he had big hands. His legs were long and lean with two big feet dangling off their ends. He had all of his fingernails and toenails, and even had nipples on his chest. I turned him over and looked at his back and his tiny bottom -- yes he was perfect in every way. Cameron stayed with us for a long time. We talked to him and told him how much he is loved and was wanted, and how much he'll be missed. Then we kissed him one last time and said good-bye.
Cameron was buried four days later in our family plot. All of our family were there to say good-bye. My children released balloons to send to their brother up in heaven. There were lots of flowers with ribbons that said "son", "brother", "grandson", "nephew", and "cousin". They were so special to me because I felt they really validated and acknowledged him as a part of our family. I do not remember much of what the priest said, I only remember hearing his name, "Cameron Patrick" said over and over again throughout the eulogy. For most of the ceremony I cried as we were placing our son in the cold, dark earth, and couldn't help but think he should be safe and warm inside of my womb.
Why did this happen? We do not know. The autopsy results showed no genetic or chromosomal defects, which I'm told is "good news", yet it leaves us with the unanswered question of why this had to happen. Will there be more children someday? I don't know the answer to that, but I am so tired of the people who tell me "you'll have more". I don't want "more", I want Cameron. I miss him so much.
We love you Cameron Patrick, our Guardian Angel.
Mama, Daddy, Jack & Daniel
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