The next few months were filled with appointments, meetings and much soul-searching. Cammy is now considered a high risk pregnancy added to the heart defect is the fact that her mom’s diabetes came back at some point during the past 5 years. All this means is that there’s no way the hospital would risk the baby’s life on a natural birth so it’s a C-Section. Which isn’t the worst thing to happen, it allowed us some control as we were able to come up with a date and time of her birth.
We met with the pediatric surgeon and were given a glimpse as to what Cammy’s life would be like. She wouldn’t be allowed to play contact sports and any activity she would participate in, she would have to be monitored closely and have to take frequent breaks.
They also told us that Cammy might not be able to have children. Because of her heart, childbirth for her could be life threatening. My wife and I would joke that at least we could use this to keep her from having sex early, “Cammy, if you have sex and get pregnant it could kill you.” Giving a new meaning to scared straight.
I had planned to write a lot about what we went through, who we talked to and everything that lead to the birth but I’m being VERY honest when I’m saying that a lot of it is a blur. As much as I would like to write about the doctors, the appointments and everything I just can’t remember it all and most of it is repetition. I will tell a brief story about one couple we meet during this time:
After I informed some of my coworkers about our situation I was shocked to learn that someone else that used to work at the company gave birth to a boy who had almost the same condition as Cammy. I was given their email address and we wrote back and forth for a bit a setup a day where we could meet. We met them at their apartment and we shared stories of how we both found out about HLHS. They found out only after their son was born which was very stressful because as I said, after the child is born they must have open heart surgery within a few days. We had months to come to grips with this news but they had only 1-2 days to take all this in.
Luckily the child came through the first 2 surgeries with flying colors and was just a few years away from his 3rd an hopefully last. We ended up meeting him and if it weren’t for him showing us the scar (which he wasn’t shy about) we would have never knew he had any problems. His parents kept him active, he took gymnastics and I believe he played soccer or some other sport. He would get tired easily and he had to make sure that no one hit him in his chest but other than that he lived a normal life, just on a semi strict diet.
We came away from the meeting pretty happy and up beat. It gave us hope that Cammy could have a normal life as long as WE treated her like so. Instead of thinking about all the things she couldn’t do, we thought about all the things we would sign her up for.
I just wanted to mention that before I skipped ahead a few months into the pregnancy. In September of 2014 we began planning for Cammy’s baby shower. I decided that I would handle the planning of the baby shower along with the help of my Aunt. I’m going to post some pictures from the shower just to show what I’m talking about. Hey, I’m proud of planning a baby shower and after everything that my wife and I had to deal with leading up to it I think some praise is in order.
For the invite, I found a nice person on Etsy that create the one at the top of the page. As for the decorations, I wanted something different from the standard pink so we went with a yellow, gray combo along with pink.
For the gift bags that guest would take home, I baked maple bacon sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. My original plan was to mold them into the shape of a tiara. I even bought the mold, but as they baked they fell apart and I had to scramble to come up with the 3 different cookie idea in a gift bag. The Diaper Cakes were made-up my sister and her daughter. The Center Piece was created by my Aunt and I added a few pieces of taffy to the table because the color was close to our shower color scheme. We didn’t want to standard cake so I baked confetti cupcakes and topped half with white icing and the other with pink icing along with some silver/gray candy.
Lastly, we came up with an idea to have a box where people can write in personal notes to Camryn that we would give to Camryn when she got older or have framed.
The shower went great, everyone involved had a great time. The squirrel I scared out of the bathroom the day before didn’t return, yes that really happened. Another thing that happened, my wife got laid off just days before the shower. We kept that bit of news to ourselves because we didn’t want anyone worrying about us. We were 26 days away from our due date, we had her room setup and my paternity leave was setup so all that was left was to count down the days until Cammy joined the party.