Monday, April 7, 2008

My Peanut in Pictures

As I did with Connor, this is a look back at pictures of Cameron in the years before I began this blog in honor of his fifth birthday. Cameron was our much-anticipated first-born child and the first grandchild on both sides. We were so fortunate; everything about the pregnancy went well and according to our grand plan. I imagined a birth quite like those I had been watching for years on TLC's A Baby Story; maybe there wouldn't be the swell of violins at the most emotional moment, but regardless of the pain of birth, I just knew it would be beautiful. Hmmm. Well, our baby was beautiful, but the birth was far from it.

I went to the hospital on my own birthday around 5:00 am, and things were going well until many hours after our arrival when my doctor told me not to wait much longer if I wanted an epidural. I had decided I wanted to experience the contractions in all of their glory for a while, but by this point, I was convinced that I had enough memories to bring on the medication. Several hours and three epidurals later (yes, I said three, and no, you don't want details), I was still totally feeling those contractions. And my dilation stopped. So an intern "intervened" so that I would be able to begin pushing (no, you don't want details of that, either). After almost two hours of pushing and no progress (none!) I was told I would need a c-section. I had feared this, but I was exhausted, and Cameron's heart rate was in question, so we agreed. They told me I had to stop the urge to push. And that's when I felt the worst physical pain of my life. While I was pushing, I was working with the contractions, but not being able to push was a nightmare. Thankfully, we were finally able to see our beautiful boy (who, by the way, was lodged in my pelvis) on April 7th at 11:34 pm, weighing 8 pounds and 5 ounces.

Besides having jaundice (which Connor also had), all seemed to be going according to plan again. He was a good baby in the hospital, and I had many sweet, emotional moments just holding him. He was most certainly our dream come true.

I wish I could leave it at that. But, if I am being completely honest, the next several months were some of the hardest I have endured emotionally. My sweet little baby started non-stop crying and stopped sleeping. The only way I could get him to end the crying for a respite was to nurse him, and when he would finally settle down, he would nurse for hours. Yes, hours. When I would try to remove him, the crying began again. (And I bet you can guess what repercussions nursing for hours at a time did to my body.) I questioned all those things a new mommy lacking confidence does: What am I doing wrong? Why can't I settle my baby? and What if my baby doesn't love me? It sounds a bit silly now, but I really was a wreck. (And I have to add, my husband was, too.) We had multiple visits to the pediatrician and lactation consultant. Finally, after over a month of this, Cameron's doctor said nonchalantly, "Well, since this is one of the worst cases of colic I have seen in a while..." WAIT!!! Colic??? You're right, it was obvious. But remember, I was a brand new mommy. I wasn't trusting my instincts because I didn't even think that I could console my own baby. I wasn't about to self-diagnose, especially since he had been seen by several doctors and the lactation consultant numerous times by now for various reasons. No one had ever uttered the "c-word." I vividly remember my sigh of relief -- not that he had colic but that there was an answer. He told me it would be over by the time he was three months. Three months came and went with very little relief, but by around five months, he had made great strides. He still wasn't a sleeper, but he smiled and cooed, and the joy he brought began to completely outweigh all of those tears.

Three months old
(The photographer still reminds me that this was one of the toughest sessions she has ever done and how empathetic she felt towards me! But I do adore this picture.)
At six months
Whew! The colic is over and we are all glad for that!

Happy at seven months
(Watch out! That Gingerbread Man is gonna getcha!)
Daddy and Cameron celebrate at nine months

One Year Old

One Year Old
He had now became a boy who loved giggling, singing, and enjoyed riding in the car, although when the occasional crying jags occured, we still relied on our faithful Josh Groban CD (hence the songs you hear on this blog). We had lots of fun playing in our daylight basement and going for walks in our neighborhood.

Two Years OldAt two, we played many games and sang songs. Cameron loved watching Bear in the Big Blue House, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, and reading every book he could find. We had lots of rituals in our house, many of which revolved around Sesame Street music. And he was sleeping now without help! Hallelujah!
The above picture was taken a week before Cameron's third birthday and the day before I had Connor. We also have a loving picture of Cameron nestling up to my huge belly, which we love, but the world certainly does not need to see. :)
His big brotherly instincts really seemed to kick in right away. As an infant, Connor would respond to Cameron's voice almost immediately. Cameron would routinely sing, "If You're Happy and You Know It" whenever Baby Connor cried. He continues to look after him and helps him with his coat, toys, or finds him fun pictures to color.
At three, Cameron began preschool and LOVED it! He could only go three days a week, but at four, he could go all five days. He couldn't wait to be four!

Connor at one and Cameron at four

Their brotherly bond continues to grow. We can't wait until they can really play with each other. They do try now, and Cameron is usually awfully patient. Last Thanksgiving, Cameron's teacher asked each child to tell what he or she was most thankful for and draw a corresponding picture. Cameron's picture read: "I am so thankful for my baby brother." That one was a keeper!

Drumroll, please! This is the debut of Cameron's brand, spankin' new picture, taken just last week. (Side note: I apparently *really* like blue and yellow stripes.) When he was a baby, I wondered if Cameron was so acutely aware of his surroundings that his senses were overloaded which would cause much of his crying. I do think he is still very aware; he is a smart, witty, and funny boy who has a sensitive soul and a dramatic side. And we have no idea how we ever felt whole without him.

If you have read this far, thank you for helping us to honor the last five years of life with our Peanut. And to Cameron: How much does Mommy love you?


Gemma said...

Ohmigosh! I cannot get over how grown-up our sweet Cameron looks in the new "5" picture! So suave, so debonair! :) I really enjoyed all the memories that you brought back to life. Hard to believe it's been 5 years!

Kelly said...

Awh! What a sweet, memorable post! :)

I can't get over how much Cameron looks like you, but I REALLY see it in the one year old picture (the blue outfit with ducks on it). That looks JUST like you! But I see your husband in there too...

Anyway, very cute and very sweet.... just like your boys! :)

Anderson Family said...

Thank you for sharing the memories (some of which don't sound like too much fun to re-live) and pictures.