Meet Camden James + His Birth Story

Camden has officially been earthside for almost a month and half and we couldn’t be more in love with him. He’s come into the family so seamlessly and while I can’t believe I now have “kids” it all feels very natural and meant to be. The experience you bring to your second child is absolutely priceless. It’s so different this time around and I’m so grateful for that. Mike and I are just so much more relaxed about it all. I’ve said this a few times, once you have a toddler, the newborn phase is a breeze, lol. 

Cam has already gotten SO big. It almost seems like he’s as big as Harper was when she was 6 months, ha. They are already very different. Camden came out with light features – hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes, while Harper’s features were all very dark. He also came out with little hair, while Harper had a full head of hair. Camden was super squirmy in my belly and he came out exactly the same. It makes changing his diaper more challenging (that plus the penis/peeing situation makes it more difficult) than it ever was with Harps. Cam was a very sleepy newborn. There were instances where we wouldn’t even wake up to nurse. Harper was always very awake during her awake times. Cam has refused the pacifier while Harper took it right away. He is able to self-soothe, so we’re running with it. 

Many family and friends say Cam looks exactly like Harper, but Mike and I don’t see it as much. There’s definitely moments or looks where we’re like yes, I see the resemblance, but for the most part, we don’t see it. It could also be his receding hairline throwing us off, lol. We also wondered where his light features came from… but then, we both said the Portuguese side can be very fair, especially as babies. His hair has already started to darken, so we’ll have to see how it all plays out. 

Cam is a great eater, sleeper, and pooper and we couldn’t ask for a better babe!

I’ll be sharing his monthly updates soon, but for now, read on for Cam’s official birth story. 

Camden’s Birth Story

Camden James was born November 27th at 4:33pm. He was 7lbs 5 ounces and 20 ¼”. His birth story was a dream, especially compared to Harper’s (maybe I’ll type that one out now that it’s been 4 years and I’m fully recovered, lol). Since Harper’s birth was so traumatizing, we were already leaning toward having a planned C-section with Camden. We talked to a surgeon to get another opinion and to hear all the facts before making our final decision. Based on our previous experience (of having an emergency c-section), my size, and feeling like Camden was measuring big, the surgeon “plugged in our numbers” and said we only had a 20% chance for a successful VBAC. She said that most people able to have a VBAC have a 75% chance of success and that she would recommend we don’t do it. This sort of solidified our decision. 

We initially wanted our planned C-Section to be on the 27th (1 week from our due date), but they couldn’t fit us in until the 30th. Not ideal for someone who was SO over being pregnant, lol. My family was in town for my birthday and Thanksgiving and on Saturday they stopped by our house before they headed out on the road back to California. I randomly decided to take a shower right before lunch time and right before they got to our house. During my shower I started having contractions. I was monitoring them because a week before I had some Braxton Hicks contractions in the middle of the night and wanted to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm. I got out of the shower, saw my family, and was still having and monitoring my contractions. They were happening regularly and were painful enough to make me stop what I was doing. I ended up calling the advice nurse to see if we should come in because the last thing I wanted to do was have Harper go to my aunt’s house and the dog sitter to come pick up Lola, just to be sent home with false labor contractions. I was advised to come in. It was GO time. 

We arrived at the hospital, checked it, and waited in the triage room. My contractions were getting stronger. The doctor came in to check me and I was only 5 cm dilated, 1 more cm dilated than I was a week before. The doc explained that I still could do a VBAC, etc, etc. Mike and I ultimately said we would love to stick to our planned c-section. For surgery, they want you to go in on an empty stomach (8 hours from the last time you eat). The last time I ate was breakfast at around 8am. So, we were scheduled to go into surgery at 4ish pm. We waited in the triage room for a bit, Mike updated our family, I met everyone who was going to be in the operating room, and was breathing through some pretty strong contractions. 

Next thing I know, the surgeon comes in and says we’re ready to go! I instantly got nervous. While I had a C -Section before with Harper, I was pretty knocked out for it. I had been in labor for 24 hours and highly medicated, so once the surgery happened, I was completely out of it and sleeping. I was most nervous about the spinal tap (similar to the epidural, but used for c-sections. It doesn’t last as long as an epidural). I can’t handle needles and I remember the epidural hurting so bad. I walked into the operating room and Mike said it was the exact same room I had Harper in, but again I didn’t remember a thing. Something they don’t tell you or you don’t realize, the operating room is FREEZING. My body immediately went into overdrive. I was trembling – from being so cold and being so nervous. Of course, this is when my mind started to think of all the things that could go wrong. I was keeping a brave face, but also panicking a bit on the inside. Right when you get into the OR, they prep you for the spinal tap. It was terrifying and uncomfortable, but not as painful as an epidural. With that being said, if I were to do it again I would be just as fearful, lol. Thankfully, I was given warming blankets to put  on my arms, chest, and head because I was so freezing. This helped me calm down tremendously.

As mentioned, I didn’t remember much during the surgery with Harper. This time around I was very much awake, but very drowsy as well. But, I did feel all the tugging and pulling. Wow, what an experience. They basically man handle you. It was the weirdest, most uncomfortable pressure ever. Not painful, but just a lot of pulling and tugging on your skin/organs. All that to say and baby was here within 15 minutes. Once the baby was out, I was so relieved. So relieved to be done with all the pulling, but also to know it was all over. We had a healthy baby and this mama did it. It was a sigh of relief from the whole year – 2 moves, having a hard pregnancy physically and mentally, battling depression – it was just a burst of emotion and I started crying. What a moment. 

We spent 2 nights in the recovery room and as much as we wanted to go home (the food situation is always a battle at the hospital and you just want to be in your bed), Mike and I really enjoyed our stay this time around. It was so peaceful and calm. I don’t think we did anything for that long since having Harper, lol.  We watched a full day of Sunday football without being interrupted and just rested (what!). I was recovering well and quickly and I was producing quite a bit of colostrum. Camden latched right away and we had no issues breastfeeding. 

The whole experience could not have gone smoother. Mike and I reflect on those few days in the hospital a lot and we’re just so grateful for how it all went down. Not only did I have a smooth delivery, there were other little things where the stars aligned and made it all so great. First and foremost, my parents were here to help get Harper to my aunt’s house where she was staying (we didn’t have to do it). The dog sitter was able to come pick up Lola right when we called her. I didn’t eat lunch the day I was having contractions, I only ate breakfast. This worked out because you need to wait 8 hours after you eat to go into surgery. If I would have eaten, we would have had to wait longer and who knows how bad my contractions would have gotten. I went into labor on the day we originally wanted, Saturday the 27th, which was better for everyone involved. We also got discharged quickly. For any new mamas – checking out of the hospital takes a while and if you’re not on top of it, it can lag. The nurses and docs have a checklist and the baby needs to go through a round of tests to get cleared. There’s so many things that could slow you up and we were on top of it all and had our main nurse help us speed things up. Those 3 days could not have gone smoother.

This will be a memory that lasts with me forever. It was so memorable and special and I can’t thank everyone involved for making it happen so smoothly.