This gorgeous little lady is the amazing Cameryn! Cameryn has Trisomy 21. The term trisomy is used to describe the presence of three chromosomes, rather than the usual matched pair of chromosomes. Cameryn was born with three #21 chromosomes. Trisomy 21 is also known as Down syndrome. Cameryn also has a few heart defects that include a murmur and a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). The VSD is a small hole in one of her ventricles that hasn’t closed all the way, she’s been closely followed by cardiology since she was born. Around age 3 she was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on daily medication to control her levels. Cameryn is so Beautifully Different!
I asked Cameryn’s Mom to fill out a brief questionnaire about Cameryn, so I could do the best possible job telling her story. I was so moved and could feel the love and strength that was put in to every single answer, I am just going to cut and paste her Mom’s words, because there is no way I could do a better job at telling the world how strong and amazing Cameryn is.
There were suspicions when I was pregnant with her. They found some things on an ultrasound that pointed to DS. They sent me for testing and high tech ultrasounds. The specialists convinced me I was too young and not to worry. I didn’t. I knew right then, no matter what she was ours and would be so loved. This was the daughter I waited for after two boys! Fast forward… Then, the birth happened so fast! I was admitted to the hospital and she came less than 2 hours later! My husband was beaming, he was calling all the family. Calling in his coworkers to come meet her! The pediatrician came in while he was out on the phone and told me she suspects Cameryn has Down Syndrome, then she walked out and left me to tell my husband. Alone. I knew as soon as they pulled her out and set her on me that she was different, I felt it. I knew what that doctor was gonna tell me before she said it. I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t sad. She was mine and she was gorgeous.
When Cameryn was born, I hemorrhaged pretty bad and was rushed off to the operating room to stop the bleeding. That’s when Cameryn took a turn for the worse. When I went Into surgery she was peaceful in her bassinet next to her daddy. She turned blue right after they took me away. She wasn’t breathing well and she was experiencing pulmonary hypertension. She was transferred to a level 2 nursery within the tiny naval hospital where she was born. She had to be transported to a bigger hospital more equipped to deal with her battle. The kicker was, my husband had to arrange her transport. See, he worked in that naval hospital as the transport coordinator for the ED. I wasnt in good shape and now she wasnt either. He was so torn, I said go with HER. The hospital they took her to was 2.5 hours away. They said she’d likely need open heart surgery very soon. Thats all I knew. With the complications I had, they wouldn’t discharge me to be with her for 2 days. Her doctors prepared us for the worst. Open heart surgery and a lengthy hospital stay. Said she wouldn’t be home by Christmas. She was born 11-23 sent to the NICU that same day. She was in the NICU for 10 days. Around day 4 her other heart defect she had at birth (ASD) had miraculously closed by itself! So, no surgery yet! They said we had to work on wearing her off of oxygen so she could breath on her own…on day 8 they had to run some test so we left for a few hours to Christmas shop for her big brothers. When we came back, she had pulled her nasal cannula out and was breathing on her own at 100%. We went home December 5th! No more hospital. We were SO lucky and thankful every day that she is a miracle. She’s still followed closely by cardiology to monitor her VSD.
Fearless. Determined. Amazing.
Cameryn was put in to early intervention at 3 months old, early intervention is very important, and has helped Cameryn achieve so much! She has smashed every single statistic that doctors said she wouldn’t. Cameryn is in school with typical peers and takes dance classes with typical peers. She does tap, jazz and ballet and has her 3rd recital in June! To know Cameryn, is to love her. She lights up a room! When she arrived at the studio, I could tell she was something special, she stole my heart right from the first second she smile at me. I could also see the tremendous amount of love her Mom has for her. In her Mom’s words- “I feel like I won the lottery having her as my daughter. I will fight for her every step of the way.”
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So here we are, nearly one month in to 2018. Each new year, I set myself goals. Lose some weight, eat healthier, make more time for this or that. And I almost never follow through. I always say, if there is anything I am consistent about, it’s not following through. (always good with the self deprecating jokes, I am)…. but I digress. First of all, photography has always been a creative outlet for me, each year is a journey that takes me somewhere I never expected it to. I had a busy year, a profitable one. Successful but anyone’s standards. Well, except my own. I wasn’t in love with it anymore. It was becoming monotonous, doing the same thing over and over again.
I follow a lot of photographers on Social Media. Near the end of 2017, I met another photographer who mentioned that she was taking a workshop the following year, Journey 2018, given by a big photographer we both love. Meg Bitton. It’s a 365 day workshop where you take a different photo each day, after being given a prompt. I knew this was my opportunity to challenge myself, and find the love I lost for my art.
Life sometimes gets in the way..
Last year was a tough one. Health issues with our daughter, losing grandparents, among other things. I felt so very lost by the end of the year. it seem ed like I had taken care of everyone else, but myself. It was clear to me, come the new year, I needed to make some changes. So i decided that I would take 2018 to find myself again. So I am hopeful and optimistic for 2018 and what it has in store for me. You all will be following along with me as I post weekly, my Journey and where it’s taking me. Since I am a little behind (what? me behind? Never!! Haha!)
Here is the past two weeks.
1/365 Something representing my name
8/365 Free Day
14/365 Free Day
Thank you for joining me on my Journey 2018. If you would like information on how to book a session, please contact me!