I was never a big picture taker. I liked looking at them, but never really took them on my own and didn’t care to be in them (I still don’t!). But after leaving the hospital and coming home and realizing I only had two pictures of my precious baby, I’ve become more adamant about taking pictures everywhere.
The morning of August 31st, I went to the doctor hoping that Cameron was still alive, but knowing in my heart he wasn’t. I had my clothes laid out on the bed, ready to pack them and take them with me to the doctor. I knew there was a chance I would have to go to the hospital right away. But I figured that even if the doctor wanted me to, I would tell him that I wanted to go home first to pack and then come back to check into the hospital. So, Eric and I went to the doctor, the nurse led me the room for the ultrasound and asked me the typical questions of how I was feeling, did I feel sick, etc., etc. I finally had to ask her, “Do you know what is going on?” She didn’t seem to know since she was asking me the same questions she always did… the only difference was that she didn’t get a urine sample this time.
She said she sort of was, but not really. I think I nodded, I don’t remember. But I sat on the table waiting for the doctor to come in. He came and put the jelly on my tummy and I watched the screen waiting for Cameron to pop up… hoping to see a little tick coming through. Hoping that they’d tell me it was all a mistake and the other doctor was wrong and he was completely fine. Instead there was silence… silence while he moved the hard thing on my tummy looking at different angles. I finally asked, “Is there a heartbeat?” He simply said no, and shook his head. I could see the hurt in my doctors eyes. I could see that he was trying to find the heartbeat, but he couldn’t. I cried outloud. I was looking at him on the screen, but there was no heartbeat. Eric touched my shoulder and put his head down. He made a comment that the baby had turned around. The day before Cameron was right-side up, but in that day, he moved himself upside down. I kept looking at the screen, hoping this wasn’t happening. Crying outloud for my baby.
The doctor told me to check in the hospital right away. They would be inducing labor… I was already almost 22 weeks… I was not expecting to go into labor this soon. I hadn’t prepped or anything. I had read to see what labor was or what it felt like or what I was supposed to do. I didn’t know anything. I’m a huge prepper and researcher, so this was very unsettling to me. Although I had planned to go back home and pack, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I wasn’t in the state of mind to go and pack… I felt like I was in a dream. Like it wasn’t real. It took an effort just to get out of the car in the hospital parking lot. It took an effort to walk down the hallways of the hospital. This wasn’t supposed to be happening now. I still had another four months.
The nurses were incredibly understanding… for the most part. But that’s a different story… I was supposed to be talking about pictures! Well, I packed a camera with me… for some reason, I knew I needed to bring it just in case. I don’t know why and I still don’t know why I even though of it then, but I am so thankful that I did. I started having contractions (though I didn’t know I was!). I was even googling on my phone what a contraction felt like because I had no idea! Haha. But all of a sudden, my water broke and I had Cameron. He shot out like a cannon! So tiny… one pound, one ounce, ten inches. I remember the nurse put him on the scale and displayed proudly his weight to me with a huge smile… trying to give me some sense of normalcy. I knew what she was doing because up until that moment, I kept wondering what it was like for other mom’s and family’s that just delivered their babies, but their babies were crying. When that nurse did that, it showed me what would have been happening either way… it showed me what their routine was after a mom delivered her baby.
The day before this, I was calling funeral homes and Eric and I were looking at pictures of urns to fit our baby… heart wrenching. While we’re expecting to go into labor, we’re picking out an urn for our future angel. I never expected this. The nurses put a white rose on the outside of my door… I knew it symbolized to others down the hall that my room wasn’t a happy room… my room was full of sadness. And I know I needed it there to shield me from others that may come in congratulating me. But seeing that white rose was a constant reminder of what I was there for. Though I didn’t need a reminder.
Well, I delivered Cameron and held his tiny body. He was beautiful. I was in awe of him. He had the most perfect hands and feet. Little tiny nails. And I was mesmerized by his mouth. His mouth. He had Eric’s mouth! I would always joke with Eric that he had a ‘fish face.’ He would kinda frown with his lips together and it reminded me of a fish. That’s how Cameron came out. But he had big lips – my lips! The following days, I kept trying to get Eric to recreate that face, but Eric didn’t know what I was talking about. I know he would get frustrated and feel terrible that he couldn’t, but I wanted to see Cameron in his face so much again.
By the time I remembered about my camera, Cameron’s body was already letting go… his mouth no longer had Eric’s expression it… instead it was more like a scream. Like a scream like he was in distress… his little precious mouth was now in the form of a scream. So, my aunt took pictures then… I never got a picture of his precious face with his mouth in the frown… his own ‘fish face.’ I only got two pictures of him, but I wish I had more. I wish I had tons of pictures of his feet and hands… I couldn’t imagine any more perfect feet or hands. I wish I had pictures of me holding him or kissing him. I know Eric felt uncomfortable taking pictures… but he did. Hesitantly. And I know he feels bad for not taking pictures earlier, but to be honest, I think he was handling it harder than I was at that time. I felt more numb at that moment.
I wish others in my family would have taken the initiative to take pictures on their own… but I can’t fault them for that since everyone was in distress at that time. I just wish I could have been better prepared… but really? How can you be prepared for something like this? I wish I had enough sense to take pictures of the whole event… this was the only time I would see my son. I won’t see him again until I meet him in heaven. But I only have two pictures of him to last a lifetime… and my memories.
I won’t post his pictures because they are just too precious to me. And because of his deteriorating state… I’m afraid not everyone will see the beauty that I saw in him. His pictures are sacred to me… I was under medication then... how I wish I wasn’t because then I would have a more clear memory of him. But I was, and I can’t change that. I just hope that all mom’s and dad’s that do have to go through this know to take pictures… take as many as you can! Even if you don’t want to or think you will ever look at them, take them and put them away. This will be the only time you see them and those pictures will mean everything.
So, because of this, I am now trying to take more pictures of everything around me… of family and friends… of Eric and I. I don’t want to ever not have a picture of something I wish I did. Like with Cameron.