Sunday, November 7, 2010

An update, FINALLY!

The last time I updated my blog, I was about 7 weeks pregnant and on summer break.  I'm now 26 weeks (!!!) and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Since my grandpa checks my blog every day hoping for an update, I think it's about time that I finally gave him something to read, and more importantly, some pictures of his great grandson:)

First of all, we found out at the beginning of October that Baby 2 is a GIRL!  Her name is Finley Blair, and we are so excited for Camden to have a little sister.  Finley is a Scotch-Irish name from Patrick's side of the family and Blair is an Irish name that has been really popular on my side.  In fact, when my family immigrated from Ireland, they settled in Blairs, Virginia.  
I felt Finley move for the first time at about 16 weeks and she is a wild woman.  I didn't feel Cam move until I was almost 24 weeks with him, so she definitely made her presence known early!  Camden points to my tummy and says "baby" all the time, but definitely doesn't know what he is in for with a little sister:)  

Things looked great at her 12 and 20 week ultrasounds and we go back in a few weeks for one more.  We are going to the same Maternal Fetal Specialists that we went to when they found the spot on Cam's heart for a more comprehensive ultrasound to just double check her growth.  They are just doing it as a precaution because of Cam's dwarfism.  There isn't any indication that she has Hypo and it would be really rare if she were to have it since neither Patrick and I are carriers, but since we opted out of the amnio we get to see her one more time.  
This is a picture of a distracted Cam and me at 25 weeks on Halloween.  She is getting so big!  I can't believe I am going to be in the 3rd trimester in a few weeks.  I am dying to get started on her nursery.  Patrick is using her room as an office so he can study for his CFP exam, but as soon as he is done (just a few more weeks!!!!!), I am going to be in a nesting frenzy.  

Camden is growing up so fast and we still can't believe he's ours.  He's running everywhere and is so sweet.  He's really into giving us kisses and hugs and loves to share his snacks and toys.  Let me just tell you, already chewed-up gold fish are super appetizing.  He's really into cars and blocks and anything he can push around.  Especially his little car he got from Aunt Jess and Uncle Joe last Christmas.  He runs over our cat and slams it into walls.  He's not getting his drivers license until he's 40.  

We stopped daycare a few weeks ago because Cam was sick constantly and now one of my student's moms (I taught his older brother too!) is keeping him for us.  I can't tell you what a blessing she has been to us.  He's doing great now and we have been ear infection-free for about a month!

Since I'm a bad blog-updater, here are some pictures from the last few months:


Friday, June 25, 2010


Camden is going to be a big brother!  My official due date is February 17, 2011.  Those of you that know my sweet husband are aware that he is obsessed a big fan of Michael Jordan.  If Baby 2 happens to arrive on its due date, he or she will share a birthday with #23.

We have debated telling family and friends this early on in the pregnancy but we realized that neither one of us could keep it a secret for too long.  That, and I'm already showing a little bit.  I'm hoping I'm just bloated but I've already had someone ask me when I'm due.  Joking aside, the main reason we wanted to tell everyone this early is so that you can keep this little baby and our family in your prayers.  Please pray that Baby 2 is healthy.  Please also pray for an uneventful pregnancy.  We had lots of stuff going on during my pregnancy with Camden (meetings with perinatologists, non-stress tests, high blood pressure, etc) and I'm starting to feel a lot of that anxiety coming back.

We went for our initial ultrasound this morning and Baby 2 is measuring right on track and had a fabulous heartbeat!  It has already learned how to wave hello!  All it needs now are some arms.

Right now, Baby 2 is the size of a sweet pea:

We haven't decided yet if we are going to find out the sex of the baby.  Patrick let me decide when we were pregnant with Camden so it's his turn this time:)    We go back in a few weeks for another ultrasound called an NT (nuchal translucency) scan where they will be able to give us an idea if the baby is at risk for certain types of birth defects.  There is also a sequential blood screening that goes along with it.  When I was pregnant with Cam, my doctor only recommended this test for high risk patients so we didn't have it but this time around it's become routine.  Plus we get to see the baby again!  This pregnancy is not considered high risk but because of Camden's dwarfism we were also offered an amnio to see if Baby 2 is affected.  We declined.  Because Cam's dwarfism was spontaneous and neither of us are carriers of the mutation, there is very little chance that Baby 2 will have hypo. 

When we were leaving our ultrasound after talking about all of the testing that's available to us, I couldn't help but wonder how we never found out that Camden had hypo before he was born.  With all of the technology available, it just amazes me that there weren't any clues along the way.  It wouldn't have changed anything if we had known before he was born, but maybe it would have helped us prepare a little more.   

Things like that make me realize how purposeful God's plan is and I revel in the fact that even though it may not be what we expect, it's perfect anyway.  I may never understand why things happened the way they did but I have faith that they happened that way for a reason.  And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forget Voice Mail

Apparently I'm worse at updating my blog than I am at listening to voicemails.  Now that school is out for the summer, I have no excuse for not updating:)  I think one of the reasons it takes me forever to return phone calls/write blog posts is because I want to have time to invest in the person I'm talking to or writing for.  If I only have a few minutes, I feel like I can't put my heart into what I say.  And my heart has been so full over the past few months that I just felt like I couldn't get everything out the way I wanted to without spending some quality time with my Mac.  And unfortunately for it, my Mac has some serious competition when it come to attention-getting:
He wins every time.  What has this baby toddler been up to?  Here is a quick little update about Camden to catch you up:
  • He is talking and babbling constantly.  Currently anything he points to is an apple or apple juice.  I don't think I have to add a separate bullet for his favorite food/beverage.  He also says hi dad (with the phone up to his ear), hi cat (usually while he is terrorizing our cat Chloe), mama, dada, baby, bottle, Aunt B, yay, and a bunch of other stuff we haven't quite figured out yet.  He also meows when he sees or hears Chloe.  
  • He is sooo snuggly.  My favorite is when he comes up behind me when I'm cooking and attaches himself to my leg like a little koala.  So cute.
  • He is walking!  This is such a big deal for us because we were told during our whirlwind appointments surrounding his diagnosis that he probably wouldn't be walking until 18 months.  
  • He has 9 teeth and 2 molars.  We haven't gotten a lot of sleep lately.  We did have about 2 blissful months of all-night sleep until round 2 of teething started a few weeks ago.  
  • He LOVES Chloe.  She loves him back and lets him do this:    
(Sorry this is sideways!)
  • He loves to dance and pretend like things are drums:
  • He can point to his belly button, nose, and tries to put on his shoes by himself.  He also tries to put on his own diaper when he's not spinning like an alligator on the changing table.
  • He is a climber.  He loves to climb onto the back of his chair in our living room and turn the TV on and off.  I have also found him on top of the whicker hamper in his room.  Hopefully I won't find him on top of the refrigerator one day like our cat. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hypochondroplasia Update

I'm am way behind in updating our blog and am working on a 1st birthday post but I just wanted to get the boring medical stuff updated before I move on to more important things:). We met with Cam's genetic counselor, the other Cam, about his new diagnosis of Hypochondroplasia (from now on I'm going to refer to it as "hypo" because, let's be honest, it's the longest word ever) just to get a little more information about it and ask her a million questions. We played phone tag for about a week (I'm still working on being a better voicemail checker...) and we finally decided on a time to meet the next morning. This is just another example of how amazing the genetics department at Levine Children's Hospital has been through all of this. They have gotten us in super-fast for appointments that usually take months to schedule and have gone above and beyond to make us feel comfortable. I really can't say enough about them!

Anyway, Genetic Counselor Cam explained at our meeting that hypo is very similar to achondroplasia but that Camden may grow to be a little taller than expected and we may be able to use growth hormone treatments that we wouldn't have been able to use with achondroplasia. Generally, hypo is milder than achondroplasia. The mutation for hypo is in the same gene as achon (the FGFR3 gene) but it occurs at a different position within the gene. We have to monitor the same things and he will still be measured on the achon growth chart. There is still a risk for spinal compression so he will have to be careful about rough sports and get regular CT scans.

We went for Cam's 12 month well visit yesterday (it was scheduled for today but he's been sick so I took him in yesterday) and he has almost fallen off the charts for average height kids but was in the 75th percentile for height on the achon chart! Go Cammers! He escaped getting his shots since he had a fever so we have to go back for those once he's better.  We are going to an ENT in April to talk about having his adenoids and tonsils removed so he can breathe better and hopefully won't invite us to anymore late-night dance parties in his room (as much as we love those, we also love sleeping too:)).  Kids with dwarfism often have issues with breathing/snoring and sleep apnea, so it's a pretty common procedure.  After that, hopefully there won't be anymore big doctor visits other than check-ups.  He needs a break!  

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Voice Mail

I am really bad at checking my voice mail. REALLY bad. I have a habit of leaving them as reminders to call people back after I've missed a call. Then I forget that they are still in my inbox and a few days (or weeks) later, I realize that I forgot and panic that the people whose calls I've missed are upset because I haven't called them back. Then I listen to all of them at once and try to call everyone back. And then usually I have to leave voice mails for the people I call back and then they call me back and I miss their call and they leave me's a vicious cycle and maybe one day I will learn my lesson.

Anyways, today was one of those days that I panicked and realized I had a bunch of voice mails I hadn't listened to. I had a few from my mom, a reminder that I had an appointment to get my hair cut last Thursday, a call from my dad, and a few from Patrick when he was still in Jackson Hole.

And then there was the one from Camden's genetic counselor.

When we had our initial meeting with Cam's geneticist on December 15th, they did a skeletal exam (aka, they took about a million x-rays of every bone in Cam's body) and also took blood to run a DNA test to confirm that Camden has the genetic mutation for achondroplasia. A few days after the appointment, his genetic counselor (who is also named Cam:)) called to tell us that the skeletal exam came back consistent with Dr. Spence's diagnosis of achon. She said she would call us in a month or so when the DNA test results came back for more confirmation.

I called her back when I got the message today and of course, got her voice mail. I left her a message to call me back while simultaneously praying that I wouldn't miss her call so she wouldn't fall back into my voice mail black hole. She called back about 15 minutes later, right after I picked up my phone to make sure my ringer was on. I apologized for being a crappy voice mail checker and she laughed and told me that she was actually glad that I called back today instead of last week.

This is when it gets weird.

She told me that she called last week to tell us that the test they ran to confirm Cam's achon came back NEGATIVE.



Apparently they tested him for the 2 most common gene mutations that are found in people with achon. And they both came back NEGATIVE. WHAT?

So of course I freaked out. Did this mean that we are back at square one? Would we have to go back to more specialists to try to find out what else could be causing all of Cam's growth issues? Would he have to have more tests and meet more scary people in white coats?

Then she told me the good news. She told me that they sent his sample back to the lab to test it for a different mutation--one found in a different type of dwarfism called hypochondroplasia, which is very similar to achon. Apparently when I called a few minutes before, she had JUST gotten the results back from that test. She told me was seeing a patient and when she finished with that appointment, the results were waiting for her on her desk. Dr. Spence hadn't even seen them yet. She said that as she was thumbing through Camden's folder, she happened to check her voice mail and hear my message. WEIRD.

She then went on to tell me that Cam DOES have the mutation for hypochondroplasia.

I can't tell you how excited I am to know 100% for sure what is going on with my little guy...

...and I promise I am going to be a much better voice mail checker from now on:)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby Teeth

Camden has been getting a bunch of new teeth lately. This means that during the day, Cam is his super-perky, cute self and then he transforms into a drooling, grumpy mess as soon as he realizes bedtime is near. Last night when we were playing in his room before bed, he was happily clapping, dancing, chasing our cat, and pulling up on everything. About 15 minutes later, you would have thought I was lowering him into a fiery pit of lava instead of his crib. Usually at bedtime, we put him down in his crib, he sits up and waves as we walk out of the room, and then we hear a plop over the monitor a few seconds later and we know he has zonked out, so this whole crying when I put him in his crib thing is new. I think part of it is a little separation anxiety from being away from his daddy (Patrick is on a snowboarding trip to Jackson Hole this week, and it's the longest he's ever been away from Cam) but I think it's mostly because of those teeth. He literally shakes with joy when he sees the Tylenol bottle. My poor little guy.

Camden is also suddenly into everything. He's been mobile for a long time but has always been happy moving from toy to toy and pulling up on the occasional piece of furniture. Now, all of our furniture is bolted to the wall and his favorite "toys" are any type of electrical cord and any teeny tiny little object that he finds on the floor that he's not supposed to have. After an afternoon of intercepting him speed-crawling toward a variety of cords and pulling little crumbs out of his jaws-of-life grip, I am now an obsessive vacuumer and all of our cords are carefully hidden away. We baby proofed our house a while ago but it's amazing what you overlook. This age is SO much fun but it takes the worrying to a whole new level:)

All of these new developments have brought me closer to coming to grips with the "T" word (toddler). I can't even type it without getting teary-eyed. I have been in total denial and have tried really, really hard to ignore the elephant in the room, but I guess it's time for me to admit that he's not a baby anymore (even though he'll always be my baby). Everybody tells you how fast it goes but I had no idea it would go by this fast. I feel like I'm going to wake up one day and he's going to be a kindergartner. Or even worse, a teenager.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Camden's First Date (and some other fun stuff)

We went over to our friends P.J. and Jessica's house for dinner on New Years Day and Camden got to hang out with their their precious baby girl, Cara. They held hands and gave each other hugs. And then Cam stole her lipstick. And they poked each other in the eyes and stuck their fingers in each other's mouths. You know, typical first date stuff.

Cam got his hair cut for the first time on Saturday. We went out to eat lunch before and we ordered from the kid's menu for the first time. He got a grilled cheese and danced while he ate it. Then we went to a place near our house called "Pigtails and Crewcuts" (how cute is that?!) and Cam settled into his fire truck for his very first big boy hair cut. He laughed, he cried, he drove his little heart out, and then it was finally over and he got an animal cracker to celebrate.

On Sunday, Camden's good friend Emma came over to play. I got to chat with her mommy, Jennifer, about how fast our babies are growing (they were born 2 weeks apart) and the babies had a blast.

This is one of the few pictures of their playdate where Camden wasn't doing this crazy looking "smile" that he all of a sudden decided to do in all of his pictures. As soon as he sees the red-eye flash, he poses and does this huge grin. Here is a picture I took of him tonight cheesing it up before bedtime:

He is such a ham:)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Normal

It's been almost a month since we got our news about Camden and I can't tell you how much this little boy has changed our lives, especially in the past few weeks. I keep saying this has been such a blessing to us, and I know it may be hard for a lot of people to understand why, but it truly has been. Don't get me wrong, we have struggled and shed our fair share of tears, but most of that happened BEFORE we got Cam's diagnosis when we were in that scary place of knowing something was "wrong" but not knowing what it was.

After that first well-child checkup when Camden's measurements were so disproportionate, I found myself holding my breath whenever the nurses would pull out the tape measure. Every single time they would say "that can't be right" and recheck everything, only to get the same measurements. His growth charts always looked so "off" and that's such a nerve-racking thing to see as a mom. We started blaming ourselves, thinking he wasn't eating the way he should, or that we needed to start supplementing with formula, or that he wasn't getting enough of all the vitamins he needed from me. Camden has never really been a fan of the bottle since he's been exclusively breastfed since he was born and I started blaming myself for the fact that he wasn't growing the way he "should." We thought it would get better once he started solids but it never did. Cam's pediatrician has always been wonderful and has been very emphatic that we were doing everything right, but we couldn't help but feel like we were failing our son if he wasn't growing the way he should.

It turns out we were doing everything right, but we just weren't measuring him on the right scale. Once Dr. Spence inputted his measurements on a growth chart for kids with achondroplasia, suddenly Cam's measurements were completely on track. His head circumference was in the 25th percentile and his height and weight were in the 75th. We had been comparing apples to oranges all along. It has been SUCH a relief to know that Camden is okay and that he's been fine this whole time.

Not only has Cam's diagnosis brought us peace about his growth and his health, but it has also brought our family together in a way I never knew was possible. It has made me realize just how supportive and loving both sides of our families are. It is so humbling to know how adored your child is by the people around you. Everyone has handled the news about Camden in their own way but it has ultimately brought us all to the same place--a place where we are just thankful for the healthy, happy little guy we are all crazy about. It has also added a new dimension to my marriage that I will forever be grateful for. It has made me fall in love with Patrick all over again and has really shown me what a wonderful friend I have in him in addition to the amazing husband he's always been. We've met so many new people that have truly become part of our family and have had so much support from everyone around us. I know Camden will have challenges being a little person, but it is incredibly comforting to know that he's got so much support and love around him. Thank you so much for all of the prayers and encouragement. You have no idea how much it means to us.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Pictures