Monday, August 15, 2011


Anaya almost died yesterday.  We were at home.  My friend Danielle, who is a nurse, was visiting and helping out.  I went upstairs and had a nap, taking advantage of her watching Anaya for a while.  I came down around four in the afternoon.  Danielle was leaving so I thought I would pick Anaya up and change her diaper and hold her for a snuggle.  As soon as I changed her position she started choking.  It was a terrifying experience for her, and for all of us.  This was the worst it's ever been.  The closest she's ever come to leaving us.

She couldn't get a breath.  Her eyes snapped open.  They were huge, wide and panicked.  I've never seen her eyes so wide open since she could see.  It was like she was staring right at me, begging me to do something.   Her mouth opened in desperate scream...but no sound, no breath came out, no breath went in.  Her lips went blue, her face went blue, her hands and feet went blue.  Her eyes darted back and forth desperately.

I fought down panic and put her facedown over my knee and rapped on her back, trying to dislodge the obstruction from her airway.  After a few seconds I flipped her back over to look at her face, and to suction anything out of her mouth.  Danielle ran across the room to turn up the oxygen, unable to find the source (which is upstairs).  Solara jumped up from the couch and danced around the room in panic saying "Do something!  Do something!  She can't breathe!"

I shouted "Danielle!  Help me!  We need more oxygen! I can't get her to breathe! What do I do?"

She took the few steps across the room at a run and we had a blue baby pass off that most football players would envy.  It was so fast I don't even remember it.  She held Anaya in a drainage position and worked some kind of magic.  My little love took a breath! Immediately I took her back from Danielle to calm her and soothe her.  Her eyes were wild.  Her breathing became rapid and the color began to return  to her face.

At that moment Brent walked in the door.  "Turn up the oxygen!" I yelled.  He immediately sensed the urgency of the situation and ran up the stairs, taking three at a time.  Right away the flow of oxygen in the nasal prongs increased and her face flooded with color.  Her perfect little lips turned red, and her panic began to recede.

I held her and kissed her and loved her.  Solara hugged her. Brent kissed her.  We all were together.  Danielle stood at my side and waited for the moment to pass.

It was so fucking intense.  I was elated that she was still alive.  We all were.  So was she.

I always thought that when Anaya died it would be peaceful.  That she would just stop breathing in her sleep and drift away.  I never envisioned a traumatic death of asphixation before my eyes.

Then at bedtime she was seizing so badly she needed Ativan.

So that was what happened yesterday.

Today I was an emotional mess.  I cried when I woke up.  I cried when showing the house to some people (I need to move somewhere cheaper), I cried when my pharmacist asked how I was doing.  I cried when the bank teller asked how my day was.  I cried looking at the wall of vitamins - wondering if any of them would help Anaya come out of this pneumonia. I cried just thinking about her face.  Her wide eyes, her fear.

Today was the first time I've left the house in five days.  It was surreal.  Like a completely different world.  Solara and I ran errands together.  Brent stayed at my house with Anaya.  We got home as quickly as we could...and then Solara and I played "Wild Leaf Restaurant" up in her room.  She made me an imaginary meal.  It was good to be alone with her.

Anaya slept almost all day today - a side effect of the Ativan.  Hopefully she is healing inside and getting good rest.  We continue to love her and cherish her.

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  1. I just realized I held my breath through the whole post.I also cried after.
    I am so sorry you are all going through all of this...and I am terrified of it happening here.
    I love the whole gaggle of you, and you're in my thoughts daily. I wish peace and comfort for Anaya...and all of you.xoxo

  2. Camara, I'm so sorry that you had to go through that - it sounds so unbearably scary. I'm wishing you and Anaya peace and comfort in all the ways you need it. And to Solara and Brent, too. I just made a donation to you and I hope that many others do as well and that you can be supported to just focus on Anaya and your family right now. Holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I think of you and your family every day. I cannot imagine witnessing such a situation full of fear and terror. You are an amazing Mom and your girls are lucky to have you!

  4. I'm sorry to say that I have been there. Painfully helpless while your baby suffocates. I am happy to say that my experience was 2 years ago and my little statistic basher is at my side and healthier than ever! As much as Anaya is a miracle, you are a miracle too!

    Your love and faith in Anaya is soul nourishing for both of you. I'm sure of it because I know my son and I have that relationship with each other. We held each others hands on the cusp of death and danced back together (a few times).

    I hope you know how amazing and loved you are and Solara and Brent!

    Love and shared tears,

  5. Thinking of you all with love at such an intense time. Life is so precious. Every day, every breath. Big hugs to you all!

  6. Camara,
    So very terrifying. I am sorry you experienced this! I am very glad to hear that Anaya has pulled through and that she has chosen to stay with you, her sister and her daddy for a longer time. I love you. I wish I knew what to say when I am on the phone with you. I just feel utterly helpless. I am always thinking of all of you and sending my thoughts and prayers. I truly hope that when Anaya chooses to leave this realm, she is able to do so without fear or pain.

  7. Camara - My heart breaks for you and the very dark trial you are all walking through. Please be assured of my prayers for your strength and Anaya. I want to write more to you later but know that this is not the best time so until then I pray that God may bring some measure of peace and comfort to your heart, which only He is able to fully do. With much affection....Kim

  8. i think that you have an amazing sense of Grace, you are handling this (on the outside anyway) with amazing Grace.

  9. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I look at Anaya's pictures and fall in love with her over and over again. No child and no family should have to go through this agony. When I read that you gave Anaya permission to let go I was reminded of my cousin when he had to do the same thing for his 16 year son who passed away as a result of CF. It is a very brave and selfless act. You are all in my thoughts and prayers daily. Stay strong for Anaya.

  10. There are no words on this earth say how sorry I feel about your family's struggle. This special little girl has a world of people wanting to take a breath for her. Camara, please close your eyes for just a moment and take a deep breath, this breath is from all of us to your very special child. Just know we are all here hoping and praying for your family <3

  11. I am so sorry you and your family had to go through that. You handled the episode beautifully and crying is a great way for you to release all of your pent up emotions. Please do not feel like crying is a bad thing, you need to let loose every now and then. Anaya is such a strong little girl. I am always thinking of you and your family and your family is very lucky to have a strong mommy like you. My thoughts and prayers are with you all! Xoxo

  12. The amount of love and courage in your heart is inspiring, Camara. You are a wonderful mama, and you and your sweet baby Anaya are in my thoughts daily.
    Much love to you and your family.

  13. Overwhelming love and affection. Keep it up all the time.

  14. I love you girls and miss you already!
    ~ Danielle.


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