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October 31, 2005 – November 3, 2005

My name is Christelle and I was 15 weeks pregnant with Camdyn when we found out that she had anencephaly.

I had went to the dr to confirm that I was pregnant and she decided that I needed to have an ultrasound to determine whether I was farther along than what we thought or if there were twins. So my ultrasound was the next day, my mom and sister were there with me in place of my husband. The tech kept saying that the baby – not twins! thank goodness – wouldn't hold still enough to get a good shot of the head. So she went and got another tech to help her finish the scan. This tech came in and started running the wand on my tummy then she turned the screen away so I couldn't see it. She then said that she wasn't getting a good reading either and the baby kept moving around so I needed to lay on my side for a few minutes. They both left the room and came back in a couple minutes and finished everything up and told me that I needed to hang around a little while, that the computers were acting funny and to make sure that they got everything that they needed, that way I wouldn't have to come back again.

So I told my mom and sister to go ahead and go and I would call them later. The techs came out and told me that they got everything and that I needed to go to my dr's office to find out my due date. Which I thought was odd because I had already had appointment for next week. I walked into my dr's and her nurse was waiting for me crying and I remember thinking to myself "oh she must be having a bad day". I seen my dr and the look on her face, I knew something was wrong.

She asked me to sit down and began to say that since I have already have one healthy baby that she felt that she could say this and told me that our baby had anencephaly.

I was alone...

I just sat there trying to process what I had just been told. It took me awhile. I remember thinking: not us, not me! Not this baby! It just can't be true!

My dr and I cried together and she asked me what I wanted to do and I told her: "Nothing... Absolutely nothing." I don't believe in abortion and even if I did I wouldn't do it.

She told me that she felt the same way and she was relieved that I said that. I was too devastated to drive so my brother came and drove me to my husband's work so I could relay the news. I told him and he just looked away. I know he felt the same as I did. He left work and came home and our family came over and we all just held each other and cried the rest of the night.

All along this pregnancy we both secretly hoped that the ultrasounds were wrong (we had another to confirm the diagnosis and to find out the sex) and hoped she would be born prefect. It was just so hard to believe, she was soooo active!! She kept me up at nights and I was short of breath from her being so active. It was a hard pregnancy. I was sick a lot, it wasn't morning sickness, it was all day sickness!

During all of this we found out that our insurance would not cover anything maternity. Oh No!! It was a new insurance company and did not have to encounter this with our first baby. We didn't know what we were going to do. I am a stay a home mom and my husband works all the overtime that he can and we just didn't know how we were going to keep ends met.

When some friends of ours Kyle and Emily Myers found out about our situation, knowing that it was bad enough that we were going to lose our baby, they decided to do a fund raiser for us. They were a God send to us.

The fundraiser was announced in the local paper and myself and our son was on the front page of it with our story. We had such a wonderful response! I had strangers calling me telling me that we were such a inspiration to them and that they were praying for us. I even got cards in the mail from people giving us support. We were so surprised.

We had felt so isolated not knowing anyone else that had been through a situation like this. Our fundraiser turned out so wonderful. We realized how much our community came together for us to help us get through, there were over 400 people that showed!! That's a good turn out for our little town.

We were coming down to her due date and getting very anxious on what was going to happen. I was so miserable. Huge and sick and not sleeping well. I know the women can understand....

I carried her to 37 weeks and was induced for a natural delivery. I did not have excess amniotic fluid. The dr had to break my water for me. When Camdyn was born on October 31,2005 she weighed 6 lbs exactly (which is what she needed to be in order to donate her organs). She had no other birth defects.

She was the most beautiful baby, she looked perfect from her toes up to her eyebrows. Above that she had exposed brain, where her skull had not fully developed. She had a little dark brown curly hair and the most beautiful blue eyes. She lived for 73 hours and 22 minutes. Camdyn left us November 3, 2005.

Our angel lived long enough to take her home. She was held every minute of her life. Camdyn opened her eyes (but we don't think that she could see), she was very ticklish, she would grasp our fingers and would root to eat, and respond to my voice. To see her do all of these things was so exciting because we were told that she wouldn't have any expression, would not feel pain and would not react.


She ate about 1/4 -1/2 ounce at a time but she had a hard time keeping it down. I don't think that her oesophagus was full developed. Camdyn's first day of life she met so many people. All of our friends and family was at the hospital to support us and hopefully be able to meet her. (We anticipated that she would not live very long.) When she was being born she got stuck and her shoulder was dislocated and she was so bruised so when they handed her to me so was so blue and purple we just thought that it was going to be a matter of minutes with her. After they put her directly on my chest we had her baptized immediately, they never put any oxygen on her. I just kept talking to her and telling her that everything was going to be alright and that we loved her very much.

She had determination to live. Her breathing got a little better and her colour improved and she was trying to open her eyes. It was wonderful.

Camdyn's second day of life we just all felt like we wanted to go home. I didn't feel the hospital was the place she needed to be. So we took her home in the evening. She slept most of the time we woke her up to feed her a little. We gave her her first baby bath and she was so cute and was so easy to tickle. But that was when we started to notice that she was having seizures. Just small ones but enough to scare you.

Thank goodness we had some family members stay with us the entire time to be with us and spend as much time as possible with Camdyn. We took shifts to hold her so we come get some rest. My husband and I were exhausted and I hadn't slept since the night before she was born. We gave strict instructions that if anything happened at all to come get us.

We were awakened at 4 am to tell us that she had pooped! I know that sounds silly but we were so happy because we didn't think she would be able to do that!

The third day of Camdyn's life we seen a change. Her colour was bad like when she was first born, and she was crying out in pain. So heartbreaking to hear that sound from such a sweet little innocent angel. And so far to this day that sound is one that I have not been able to forget. Hospice had been working with us since the very first day to support us and help Camdyn stay comfortable. The nurse asked us what we wanted to do to help our baby stay comfortable. Well, Camdyn was no longer strong enough to eat and when we did it came right back up. We decided that really it was for our behalf to feed her not really hers and she was so apparently suffering... so we decided to stop feeding her and to begin Morphine. This was at 11 o'clock in the morning. The first dose she threw most of it up. But the nurse said she absorbed most of it. She cried out a lot.

All of family and friends once again were there by our side in our home where we needed to be and by 2 p.m. we knew that we were losing her. She passed on in mine and Daddy's arms at 2:43 p.m. She cried out to the very end.

We kept her with us for a couple of hours to let everyone say goodbye. Our hospice Chaplain was there to bless her and to help us let her go.

We know that she was a blessing to not only us but to everyone that was able to meet her and see her little personality. She is actually the lucky one not to have to suffer anymore. Camdyn is an angel in our life and we know that she is in her new life. She touched so many lives in her little time and helped more people than I think that we will ever know.

We took lots of pictures of her and now it doesn't seem like we have enough.

We donated Camdyn's organs, they took her heart, eyes, liver and skin. We have been told that her heart has already helped two babies. Thank God. I hope that we were able to help another family from feeling the loss that we feel.

Camdyn has an older brother Layne, they are exactly one year apart. He is too young to remember all of this but when he gets older, he will know who his sister is.

I would be more than happy to talk to anyone regarding Camdyn and our pregnancy with her. I hope to help someone else. I felt very alone. I don't want anyone else to feel that.



Last updated March 29, 2019