‘It’s cruel to have a baby like that’
Katie didn't know how to feel as she stared down at the positive pregnancy test in her hand.
On one hand, the then-18-year-old wanted nothing more than to be a mum.
But on the other, a baby would only complicate the situation with her boyfriend.
"I knew what kind of relationship I was in. Abusive and unfaithful.
"'Maybe this will make him truly love me and want only me. And he can't hit me or push me while I'm pregnant,' I thought.
"My joy started to seep back in - such a naive girl I was."
'I FINALLY FELT LIKE I HAD CONTROL OF MY LIFE'
Katie realised nearly straight away that her pregnancy didn't change her boyfriend's behaviour.
Before she finished her second trimester, he had already left several times.
"I don't even know how many times or the reasons why, to be honest," she said.
"So, I decided that since I was most likely going to be a single mum, I needed to finish high school so I could give my baby the life that he or she deserved.
"I graduated one week before my anatomy scan.
"I finally felt like I had control of my life."
'I COULDN'T HEAR ANYMORE. MY WHOLE BODY WAS NUMB'
But that feeling of control slipped away as soon as the nurse ran to get the doctor just minutes after starting Katie's scan.
Katie was there with her baby's father and her 15-year-old sister - who was sent out of the room by the doctor as soon as he arrived.
"'Things aren't looking good. Things are looking really bad' - I didn't process the doctor's gentle tone properly, and thought he was joking," Katie said.
"I don't remember my doctor's exact words after that, but he told us that they couldn't find any arms or legs on my baby.
"I couldn't hear anymore. My whole body was numb.
"I felt like I wasn't even living. This was limbo. A cruel limbo."
'IT WOULD BE CRUEL TO HAVE A BABY LIKE THAT'
The next thing Katie remembers is being home with her boyfriend, who was begging her to terminate the pregnancy.
Her baby, who was definitely a boy, was growing without legs or arms past his elbows - and might not survive past birth.
"It would be cruel to have a baby like that. He's a monster!" she heard him say.
"''You can't have this baby, ESPECIALLY if it's a boy. That would be even worse. He would never be able to be like me'.
"I was ultimately persuaded to have an abortion if the specialist confirmed the baby was missing limbs.
"That whole day, I held my belly and prayed my baby was, in fact, stubborn and just balled up so tight that seeing the arms and legs was impossible at that time."
'MY HEART WASN'T ABLE TO BEAR THE PAIN'
At the time, Katie had told her boyfriend she agreed with him about terminating the pregnancy - but her body told her differently.
The day before her termination, she woke up sobbing uncontrollably.
"I was alone, holding my belly tightly because I didn't want to do this," she said.
"I wanted him, but I didn't want to be selfish.
"I screamed to my baby boy that I love him and I just wanted to do what's fair for him.
"My heart wasn't able to bear the pain."
'IT WILL BE WORTH IT BECAUSE I WILL GET TO MEET MY SON'
So Katie decided to go against her boyfriend's demands and keep their baby.
She wasn't sure if it was selfish considering they didn't know how her baby's disability would manifest - but she found she didn't care.
"It will be worth it because I will get to meet my son. I will be able to hold him. Smell him. Touch his soft skin," Katie remembered thinking.
"Hopefully be blessed enough to hear him cry once, at least.
"I can tell him how much I love him and always wanted him.
"I'll get to see if he looks like me."
'I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE'
Her boyfriend wasn't happy about the decision - and immediately broke up with Katie.
He said didn't want to be part of his son's life and had actually told everyone in his life that he had already passed away.
Katie was on her own - giving birth via C-section to little Camden with only her mum and sister by her side.
"I only caught a glimpse for a second, but that glimpse changed me on a level no one will ever understand," she said.
"It changed my heart, my soul, my reason for living and breathing, my entire existence.
"My heart burst with a kind of love I didn't know before, but somehow completely understood.
"I knew I made the right choice. Love came out of my eyes in the form of tears. There was no holding it back. I made the right choice."
'CAMDEN HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IN THE BEST WAYS POSSIBLE'
Since then Katie has only fallen more and more in love with her son.
"I love him with every cell in my body. He was so beautiful. Not a vegetable. Not a monster. Not deformed. Just my perfect boy," she said.
"Camden has changed my life in the best ways possible.
"He has shown me my strength through his.
"He has shown me that love can get you through any obstacle.
"He taught me that I have a voice, that it is LOUD and HEARD and I can use it to help others.
"He taught me to never give up, even if I feel like I can't push on anymore."
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This article originally appeared on Kidspot and was reproduced with permission