Mom to Camden

August, 17, 2013 – May 21, 2014

York, Pennsylvania

On August 17, 2013 our baby Camden was born at 37 weeks. He was born via c-section due to being breech the entire pregnancy. He didn’t cry when he was born and had a hard time breathing in his own, so he had to spend the first night in the NICU. The next morning they brought him to our room and my husband and I took turns loving on him and talking about everyone who was going to come see him that morning. I decided to take a shower and my husband spent that time with Camden. After my shower, I picked Camden out of the bassinet and he seemed a little pale to me, so I set him on the bed. I started to undress him to make him a little more uncomfortable, just to make sure he was ok. I got no response from him. I pushed the nurses’ call button and the nurse came in. I asked her if he looked ok to her and she looked at him, picked him up, put him in the bassinet and ran with him out of the room.

I lost it. I started crying and other nurses came in our room asking how long he had been like that… and a million other questions that I didn’t know at that moment. I just kept asking if he was okay and no one would give me a straight answer. The original nurse came back to our room and took us to the NICU. Cam was hooked up to wires and IVs and monitors. I’ve never seen anything like it. The doctors explained that they didn’t know what was wrong with him. They said he had been fine all night the night before, but now he was having episodes of apnea and bradycardia. They suspected an infection and ran all the tests, but everything came back normal. He was having a hard time drinking and his heart rate would drop while doing so.

He was sent home two weeks later on a apnea monitor and was doing great! One night my husband was feeding him and while burping him, I noticed he was just staring off into nothing… he wasn’t breathing. My husband started CPR and I called the ambulance. He spent another week in the NICU and got a g-tube placed (feeding tube in his belly). At this time the doctors started to suspect some kind of muscle problem in his throat but all the tests were coming back normal.

Fast forward eight months and many hospital and specialists visits later, we still had no diagnosis but he was growing and thriving with his g-tube, so it was time for his orchiopexy surgery. May 20 we took him to the hospital at 6 am for surgery. It was outpatient so we were home around 6 that night. He did great! Just a little grumpy that night but nothing we wouldn’t have expected.

The next morning I left for work as my husband was a stay at home dad with baby Cam. I get a call around 9:15 from my husband that I missed and just assumed it was a butt dial… that happened often. I called him back and he just screamed “he’s not breathing!”

I ran out of work and to the hospital….calling everyone on the way. When I got to the hospital, my husband told me Camden had been napping in his swing like every morning, and when he checked on him he wasn’t breathing. He did CPR and called the ambulance. They made us wait in the waiting area forever…..we were questioned by police about what happened.

By this time I knew he was gone. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just knew. The patient support person came and got us and started leading us to the room–the room where they give you bad news. The doctor came in about 10 minutes later and started the whole typical, “We did everything we could…..”

I couldn’t speak, cry, run… nothing. I was frozen. My husband ran out of that hospital… Two completely different responses. They asked if I wanted to see him. I didn’t want to. My mom talked me into seeing him and that I will be forever thankful for. It was hard. And all I did was lay on him and cry.

After four hours they told us we had to leave because they had to take him… I went back twice because I wasn’t ready to leave. That was the hardest part of the whole thing… leaving him.  About two months later, the coroner called. Camden had died of acute pneumonia and also had an enlarged heart.

We were shocked. He had just been in the hospital the day before but he died of pneumonia?? He showed no signs other than a slightly runny nose, which I had brought up to the nurses on the morning of his surgery. They said it was fine because he didn’t have a fever and may have just been from teething. I should have known better and I think about it every day.

God has helped me through a lot of this journey and I guarantee I wouldn’t have made it through without Him. God had a plan for Cam whether I liked it or not… it’s not up to me… or anyone. Maybe Camden came to help my relationship with God? To teach me love and patience? I won’t know for a while.

We were blessed with Camden’s sister just ten months after his death, which is amazing considering it took two years to get pregnant with him.

There is still no answer to Camden’s “condition.” His blood and ours have been tested by the best of the best at NIH and still no one knows why he had a hard time eating or why he got sick so often.

We miss Camden everyday and I truly can’t wait until I see him again! Fly high, big pappa!

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  1. Your story touched me. My son passed away 12 days ago and similar scenerio.

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