Saturday, June 22, 2013

Houston's Story

This blog is dedicated to our sweet angel boy Houston Todd. He came and went too soon, but we know without a doubt we will hold him again. He made me a mommy, and Nate a daddy. For now, we know he is safe with his Father in heaven, and his two grandmas. I wanted to start this blog, so others could know our story, and so I could have a place to get my thoughts out. Its easier typing than writing sometimes. We love you so much Houston!

I was eating lunch with a friend from work, when I had this overwhelming feeling I was pregnant. I couldnt even finish my lunch, I was way to anxious to get to a store and buy a pregnancy test. Haha, I made my friend Tara finish her lunch in the car!! I ran inside purchased the test, and went back to the office. I went into the bathroom, took the test, and waited. Two lines. I felt as if my heart had leaped out of my chest. I wasnt sure what to think. I was excited, nervous, anxios, HAPPY! I miscarried  during our last pregnancy about a year and a half ago. It was one of the most painful nights of my life. Emotionally and physically. I didnt want to have to go through that again. I just wanst ready. So naturally I was a little hesitant this time too. But I was all ready in love with the little person growing inside me. I came out of the bathroom, as I passed Tara...she had a look like...Well?? Haha. I smiled and nodded me head as I continued passed her. I felt like an idiot, I couldnt even concentrate the rest of the afternoon. I was like K...WHAT DO YOU  NEED FOR A ROOT CANAL???!!! LOL I kept thinking to am I going to tell Nate. The last pregnancy was really boring and lame. We both just sat and watched the test as the words Pregnant appeared. I wanted this time to be different.

I had read a bunch of cute ideas on the internet before I left work. All of them were cute, but nothing stuck out to me. As I was driving home, I just decided to keep it simple. I stopped at smiths bought some pink and blue balloons, and a poster board. I wrote on the poster "welcome home daddy!" with the balloons tied next to it. As Nate came through the door my heart was POUNDING!!! I was so excited to see his reaction, I even filmed it. haha. At first glance he thought I was just being a cute wife welcoming him home from work. But it didnt take long for him to look again, and he looked like a deer in the headlights. LOL. I started laughing and we exchanged a long hug and kiss. This was the begining of our story.

The first 12 weeks were typical. I felt pretty sick. Its hard when you're that early on, and you cant feel the baby...all you feel is an upset stomach!! At that point you just have to have faith that there actually is a baby growing and you wont feel like this forever.

Finally I hit about 16 weeks, and I realized I didnt feel sick anymore. What a relief!! But not to long after I started feeling the pains and aches. Swollen feet, swollen hands, back pain, heart burn. The only thing ok about feeling all these things, was my tummy was growing!! I could actually TELL there was something going on.

We hit 20 weeks, and went in for our main ultrasound. So many mixed emotions about this appointment. Excited...we get to find out if its a boy or girl, but nervous...what if something is wrong?? Our ultrasound tech was so awesome. Right off the bat she said heartbeat looks GREAT. Everything was perfect and was a BOY! We were so excited. I felt one small tear fall down my right cheek as my face was turned and looking at our son. His profile was perfect. I could see even the details of his little fingers and nose. SO cute! I was so ready to meet this perfect little boy who would be ours forever! Nate was so happy he was going to have a son.

At 24 weeks we went on a "babymoon". One last final trip just the two of us. We road tripped to california, hopped on a boat and cruised to mexico for a few days. It was so much fun! Nate and I love to travel, it was a little sad knowing this would be our last trip...just being Nate and April. Sure we would travel after kids came, but we would always be thinking about how they were doing back at home, if they werent with us. We had a great time, but I was ready to get back home and start painting the nursery!!

The nursery was so much fun to prepare. We went with the colors of aqua, orange, white and gray. The theme was airplanes. Nate hand painted an airplane on the wall above the crib. It was AMAZING!! Nate is extremely talented, and I am so lucky to be married to him! The nursery was done and ready to go around 28 weeks. I contstantly went in there and sat in my chair rocking...just staring at this masterpeice. Im not gonna lie, it was perfect. It should have been in a magazine!! LOL. I kept staring at the crib, thinking I cant believe in just a few short months Im going to be laying a baby in there, and waking up to his adorable smile every morning. Or I cannot WAIT to dress him in this adorable outfit. His yellow skinnies.....adorable.

Saturday night during my 32 week, after such a cute shower might best friends threw for me, I started to feel this weird pain in my upper stomach/lower chest. I figured the baby stuck his foot up there and it was just pressure. I kept trying to push on my stomach to move him, but it never worked. I just told him he was a stinker and dealt with it. That night we went to buy buy baby and bought a video monitor. It was hard walking around, but I didnt care, I was so excited. I also almost bought him his going home from the hospital outfit. A cute sailboat white and blue outfit. But I figured we still had time, and I might find something cuter.

I didnt sleep well saturday night, as it was hard to breathe. Sunday the pain increased, and I was starting to get impatient. By the evening, the pain was excrutiating. I called the on call doctor. She said if it gets worse, I need to go to the hospital because it could be a blood clot, and those are life threatening. In my head I just KNEW it had to be the babys foot, and I didnt want to go spend  a 1000 dollars for them to tell me what my own doctor could tell me in the morning. My dad came over that night and helped nate give me a blessing. The blessing ony helped give me peace. The pain increased even more as the night went on. I slept mabe 1 full hour. I felt as if I was having mini heart attacks. I couldnt breathe, it hurt. Finally 9 AM...came I called my nurse, and she got me an appt for noon for an ultrasound. I was excited to see my baby houston again. Even though I knew this appointment would just be reassurance that it was the babys position, I still needed it. My friend Bergandee, told me she could drive me. Nate was at work. I figured why not, it would be fun to hang out, and plus she could see the baby too. As we were sitting in the waiting room, we were talking about the future of her baby boy lex, and my soon to be baby boy. How they were going to be best friends, and our plans this summer for hanging by the pool with our babies. Then the nurse called us back. Everything was going to be fine, I kept telling myself. Why wouldnt it be? I laid down on the bed and the nurse started scrolling around on my stomach. I could see him. I LOVED HIM. There was that little stinker of mine, I thought as I laughed to myself. My doctor at my last appointment 6 days prior...told me the heart beat was perfect, but he wanted an ultrasound done to make sure he was growing normally, as he seemed a little small at this stage. So we decided since I was all ready here to check this out, we would check his growth progress. So she first started measuring his legs and arms, and they were indeed smaller than normal. She didnt seem to concerned though, so I wasnt. After a few minutes of her doing her thing. I finally asked..."so hows the heartbeat?" She then said "well, actually thats what I am trying to find now, and I cant seem to find it, but these babies sometimes get in weird positions and makes it difficult for us, so just hold on one second here..." I STILL wasnt worried. She seemed to become frazzled...she started scrolling around faster. She then turned the volume up, so we could hear the swoosh sound of his little heartbeat.......Silence......My heart started beating faster, I could feel bergandees grasp on my hand get tighter. She then said "I am so sorry, there is just no heartbeat here." She turned off the machine, gave me a paper towel to wipe off my stomach, and then said " Let me go grab the nurse" she left. Bergandee immediately started crying saying " I am so sorry, I cant believe this, I am so sorry april, I am so sorry!" I STILL didnt believe it. In my head Im thinking "user error". Maybe the machine was broken!!! The nurse then walked in and said "April, we were not expecting this today at all. I am so so sorry sweetheart." I felt sick instantly. My heart felt as if someone had just dropped it and it shattered into a million little peices. I looked at her and said " so this is it? Hes just gone?" she slowly nodded her head, and thats when I  dropped mine and started to scream in my hands. Even though I had my friend on my left side, and the nurse on my right, I had never felt so alone. I kept thinking to myself...This isnt happening, this isnt happening this isnt happening!! NOT AGAIN!!! Within seconds my mind was thinking of EVERYHING....his nursery was now not going to be used....his clothes....his new more perfect was I going to tell Nate, and our family...WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME!!!! My sweet sweet baby boy, come back to mommy. She needs you. Dad needs you. Our family NEEDS you. Why have you left us? The nurse tried to calm me down, so she could take me to my doctores office. I told her I had to call Nate first. I grabbed my phone as tears streamed down my face. The worst phone call I have ever had to make. Nate picked up and I told him the baby was gone. He yelled, "WHAT??" I told him again. The baby is gone, Nate...can you come to the hospital. He came right over. At this point  I was sitting in our doctores office with bergandee. Nate then walked in, and I lost it again. I felt like I was having an out of body experience...watching myself hug my husband, and watching the dr sympathize with us. Nate sat down and threw his face into his hands and started to weep. I threw my arms around him and we both just cried. The doctor told us, the best thing to do at this point was to induce labor. I thought for sure we would be doing a c section. Just get the baby out. But the doctor said, its more healthy for me and quicker recovery to do regular delivery. Are you kidding?? I have to go through the motions as if I was going to take a baby home with me? This really isn't happening. I didnt want to believe it. I was sick.

We walked down to labor and delivery, with heavey hearts. The nurse showed us to our room...showed me where to undress and what to put on. I walked in to the bathroom and shut the door. I saw the robe I was supposed to put on hanging on the door. I fell to my knees and sobbed. I was not supposed to put this robe on yet, is all I coud think. Puttig this robe one was supposed to have a different meaning. It was supposed to mean, the baby is coming. It was supposed to mean, our lives were about to change. I guess it did have those meanings. But not in the way I thought it would. The baby was coming, but it had all ready gone home. Our lives were about to change. We would never be the same after this.

After I walked out of the bathroom I saw nate sitting in a chair. He looked numb. It was safe to say I felt the same. I climbed into the bed. With no emotion it felt like. I just stared. The nurse came in did a few things, and said she would give us a little bit to call our families. Because...thats exactly what I wanted to do today. Call my family and tell them they too lost someone special in their lives. I first called my mom. With shock and sadness in her voice she said she was on her way. I then called work, to tell them that I actually wouldnt be coming in that afternoon, in fact I wasnt sure when I would be coming back. Those were the only calls I made. I let my mom be the messenger. It was too hard. The first person I remember seeing was my Dad. My dad and I have a very special connection. I saw him walk in with huge tears swelling in his eyes. I lost it. He held me for a few minutes as we cried. He lost his grandson today. Then I remember my cousin Tessa walking in. She and I too both have a very special friendship and love. She was my sister growing up, and she still is. She miscarried a few weeks after I did, so we have shared that sorrow together, and we were excited for her baby Milo, and Houston to become close friends. As soon as I saw her I started crying all over again. It was like as soon as I would calm down, someone new I loved and cherished would walk in, and Id lose it all over again. Its true what they say, if tears could have brought Houston back to life, he would have lived forever. Shortly after my mom arrived. She knew exactly what to do somehow. She just came over held my hand and kissed my forehead, saying "oh sweeatheart, I am so sorry. Oh our sweet baby Houston!!" She cried too.  Then arrived my brother. Nothing can explain how sad I am, that I was not able to give my little nephew and Neice a cousin. Preston told me, not to worry hes still their cousin, and Houston will send down another spirit soon. Thank you Preston.

Both Nate and I were overwhelmed with the love and support of our family and our dearest friends. Nothing could have prepared us for this nightmare we were living in. I still felt like I was waiting for the nurse to come down, and say JUST KIDDING!! Most the day we had family and friends in the room. Due to my high high blood pressure they put me on magnesium, this awful stuff that makes you hot, and then FREEZING. It also made my eyes very sleepy. I could barely keep them open. Not only did I have to go through this horrible hell I was in, but I had to go through all the motions of labor and delivery. Not cool. Not cool.

I was in labor for 19 hours, 1 in the afternoon on april 29th to 8 in the morning on April 30th.

Houston Todd Nielsen was still born April 30th 8:11 am. 2 lbs 7 oz, 14 inches long. Our angel.

There was such a sweet spirit in the room when he came. Nate and I held him, and just stared at his beautiful face for it seemed hours. I didnt want to let him go, he was holding my finger, and it seemed like his fingers were holding on and wouldnt let go. He was there with me and nate I know it. Heaven was not far from us. All though we were filled with a peace, It was excuriatingly painful not to hear this baby cry. Or to look into his beautiful eyes. Instead of waiting months to meet our son, we would now have to wait years. This was a very emotional day for us. Family and friends started to pile into our room to hold our baby. He was a Son, a Grandson, a Nephew, a Cousin, a Friend and Angel.

I am so glad I had pictures done of Houston and ourselves. I was sure I wouldnt like them. It felt morbid and weird. And I knew for a fact that I looked like hell. The two ladies who did the photograhy were so sweet and gentle. It was a beautiful memory that Ill never forget. Our first family pictures.

After a few hours, they moved me up to recovery. We had a baby blessing for Houston a few hours after that. Before family and friends came in the room for the blessing, Nate was nervous he wouldnt be able to get through it, and was not even sure what to say, as this was not the blessing he was planning on giving Houston. Everything he said during the blessing, was absoloutly perfect. I wish I could describe the feeling that was in that room that afternoon.

Later that evening my sister in law Missy, and brother Preston, showed up with Charlie and Ali. Missy said to Charlie "Charlie, where is baby Hugh?" Charlie ran up to me, pointed at my tummy and said "right there". My heart broke all over again. I had taught him to point to my tummy when I asked him where baby Hugh was. Missy showed him where baby Hugh was. He was in a bed next to me. Every few minutes Missy would ask him the same question...finally by the end of the night he knew where baby Houston was. One day, he'll have a better understanding of where his cousin is. Im now currently trying to teach him to say "Heaven". We had a family prayer that evening, it was about 9 o clock. Then everybody left. It was just me, nate, and Houston. They Nurse let us know to notify them when we were ready for them to take him, so the funeral home could come pick him up.

I was dreading this moment the whole day. How could I just let someone take my baby. He was mine. I was supposed to take him home with me where we could keep him safe. No matter how much anyone up there could love and protect him, we could have loved him so much more. Heartbreaking.

Nate and I held him and sobbed. I have never seen Nate cry like this before. It made it that much harder for me.  A moment I will NEVER forget. Its imprinted on my mind. It was the last time on this earth we would hold our son. We both kissed his beaitful little face and told him good bye. Told him to watch over us, and to send us his brothers and sisters soon. We told him we loved him so much, and that we would never forget him. The nurse came in and wheeled him away, the door shut and I fell into nates arms. Crying like I have never cried before. Feeling like a part of me was just torn from me. I knew I would never be the same.

That next morning was when they released me. We left empty handed.

We drove home, a part of me was relieved to go home, but then another part was like....why would I want to go home. Go home to what? the Nursery that I cant use? His baby shower presents sitting in the living room that I received just hours ago? Home did not feel safe at that point. I remember as we walked in I just sat on the couch and stared at the wall. Was this really my life? I miss my baby.

Nate and I were so overwhelemed by the pouring out of love and support over the next few weeks. The memorial service for Houston was beautiful. Nate and I both carried him in his little casket. Our bishop spoke, my Grandpa Foster dedicated the grave, and then my mom finished with reading the lyrics to a song by Celine Dion called "Fly" she finished we all released white balloons up to heaven. Another moment I will never forget. The last words to the song says...."go now, find the light" seemed as if the balloons gravitated to the light, and right then a jet had flown by leaving a jet stream. How amazing is God? Knowing his room was airplane themed, would make sure something so sweet and symbolic was made known to us.

Nate and I are both not sure yet why we were asked to go through this trial. We pray that one day it will be made known to us. For now...we will lean on eachother, missing our baby boy, and praying he sends us a brother or sister in the near future.

We love you more than anything son, we will see you soon.