Monday, August 17, 2015

The story of Chandler Nixon...

    I've always wanted to start a blog, I used to joke that my life was too boring and I had nothing good to write about. I didn't think sharing pictures of food I cook, trips we've taken, or experiences we've had would be enough to keep the attention of anyone but our immediate families. One month ago, our lives were forever changed in a way that we could never imagine. In one of the most difficult times of our lives, several people were able to reach out to us and share their stories. Many were similar to what we are going through and it brought us soo much comfort, we want to do the same with our story. We hope that Chandler and his story can help others, just as so many have reached out to help us.
 This is the story of Chandler Nixon Sturgill. I will be sharing the story of my pregnancy and pieces of our lives prior in several parts, but this is the story of his birth....

   
 For several days leading up to Chandler's arrival, I noticed he wasn't as active as he had been. We had watched him turn flips on ultrasounds and I had been feeling his kicks for about 7 weeks leading up to the week of his birth. I had worked several busy nights, had a busy weekend and contributed him being less active to a "growth spurt" and assumed he was sleeping while I was on my feet working. I didn't really get concerned until Tuesday(July 14) when I had made a point to pay close attention and count his movement throughout the day. I had worked the night before and sneaked a little peek at Chandler on ultrasound(perks of being a nurse) and saw a strong heartbeat and my sweet one all curled up in a ball, so I felt reassured that he was just sleeping more this week. On Tuesday, I sat down more than normal and felt no movement during the day, which wasn't unusual, Chandler was a night owl (like mommy and daddy) and did most of his moving after 11pm. That night,  Evan and I laid in bed and tried everything from  playing music on and nudging my belly hoping for a kick from him, nothing. We decided to give him through the night and if I hadn't felt him move the next morning, we would call the dr. Around 8am the next morning, we called my doctor's office, spoke with a nurse and were told to "go to labor and delivery to be monitored." I questioned if that was really necessary, couldn't we just make an appointment to come to the office today? They insisted they would send me for monitoring anyway for decreased fetal movement, so I should just go there first. So we got ready and headed to the hospital. I still felt like maybe we were overreacting and even insisted my mom not meet us there,  because I felt certain we would be sent home after reassurance that our little one was just fine and nothing but stubborn like his daddy(and mommy).
      Once we arrived on the L&D floor, I explained that my doctor sent me here, but I felt like we were just worrying for no reason and needed then to tell us everything was ok, send us home and hope not to see us again for at least 10weeks. They took us in a room and placed me on the monitor. I should mention for those reading who don't know me well, I am a nurse, but not a labor and delivery nurse, I'm an ER nurse. So some of the things they do on L&D is foreign to me, I did learn about the basics in nursing school, but I'm far from an expert at anything that goes on in that world.  But, I know that at 27weeks they should have been able to immediately pick up Chandler's heartbeat with their fetal monitor, and when they could not, my heart sank. That's when they fear sat in for me. I grabbed my husbands hand and the tears started flowing, I knew something was wrong. By this time, several nurses were in the room with us, and they calmly sent one of them out to get their ultrasound machine. Once the ultrasound screen came up, the room got quite, the tears began to pour and I began to question. They tried to protect me for just a few more minutes, to delay the news no one ever wants to hear. They explained they wanted to call my doctor and get the ultrasound tech to bring in her machine to confirm, but they could not find a heartbeat. I will never forget that feeling. Like I couldn't breathe, like if I tried to stand up, my feet wouldn't hold me up- a desperate desire to wake up from this nightmare. This can't be happening to us! We've done everything right, he had been perfect at out last ultrasound, I saw his heartbeat on Monday night, please tell us this isn't happening. But it was, the ultrasound tech confirmed the same thing, she couldn't detect a heartbeat, and our doctor assured us of the same when he came in- our baby wasn't living. I felt out whole world fall apart in that room, our hearts were broken. Our doctor explained what would happen next, we would need to induce labor and go through  delivery. He would be out of town, but his partner would be with us for however long the process took. We decided to go home for awhile, get our things, be with our families and come back later in the day.
        We checked back into the hospital later that afternoon and started the induction process at 8pm. Surrounded by our families and close friends over the next hours, we continued the long process. By around 4pm on Thursday, approx. 20hours later, I was not making much progress. There were times, I wanted to give up. Not because of pain- until this point I had received nothing but the induction meds. But, because labor in itself is exhausting-being in a bed for 20hours when I am used to only sitting down a few hours before bed and on my feet non-stop most days, was wearing on me, and I was emotionally exhausted. I feel like I would have had more strength if I knew at the end of this process, I would have my sweet baby- it would all be worth it, but that wasn't happening to us. We had made the decision to hold our baby, show him off to family and friends at the hospital with us, and take pictures with him. But we knew our time with him would be short, and we wouldn't get to take him home with us.
       We sat down with our doctor around 4pm on Thursday and made the decision that we would continue the same course of induction we had been using, but he highly  recommended an epidural at this point. He felt like I couldn't relax enough to make progress and that an epidural would best step to help move along. I was very reluctant, I didn't want to give in to not being able to get out of bed when I wanted to stretch my legs, I wasn't in uncontrollable pain, and I was scared. Like I said, I know just enough about the world of medicine and labor and delivery to be anxious and cautious about everything going on. I felt like I was giving up all control I had of the situation, and my doctor quickly caught on to the fact that I like to be in control. After much discussion with Evan and our doctor and nurses, I gave in. I received an epidural a couple hours later.
    I want to mention our nurses and how I know without a doubt that the fact that they took care of me through the whole process after both of them had went through very similar heartache was a "God thing." They were amazing. I can't even begin to describe how much they comforted us and went far above and beyond just providing care to me during the labor and delivery. We could never thank them enough for how wonderful they were. Two of the most compassionate human beings I have ever met, and they passed me on to each other over the whole process, that was a blessing. So we knew that we would be facing a shift change, in which neither of our beloved nurses were scheduled to be working if Chandler was not born, so we began praying that he would arrive before night shift was over.
     Around 1215am, things started to change. I felt a lot more pain in my back than I had even before the epidural, and I knew something just wasn't right. My dear friend, a fellow nurse, knew something was going on and brought my nurse in. My nurse said she felt like she should bring another nurse with her to my room, based in the symptoms my friend told her I was having. Another "God thing," for sure. Once they came in, they told me it was time. When I realized what was happening, I began to sob, I told my husband "I wasn't ready for this." He assured me we were ready and this was an answer to our prayers. I knew delivery meant we would get to meet our precious boy, but it also meant our time with him was limited, and after carrying him for almost 7months, he would no longer be a physical part of me. Chandler Nixon Sturgill arrived at 1234am on Friday, July 17, 2015.
    We spent lots of alone time with him, just the 3 of us, our little family. We studied his every feature, told him how loved he was, and how proud we were to be his mommy and daddy. But, we also proudly showed him off to our family and close friends who had been going through this journey day and night, with us. Chandler had a head full of dark hair, so much that it had already started to extend down his little neck. He had long fingers and toes(like both mommy and daddy), but he looked just like his daddy, I had always hoped he would. He was a perfect tiny bundle, 1lb 12.4oz and 13inches long.
    We had planned a perfect life for him, his nursery was painted and crib up, his bedding was being handmade, his closet already full of clothes and diapers, 3 showers already being planned, and numerous people were making him blankets for the cold fall and winter months we had anticipated snuggling him. This is not how we had planned his arrival, or the rest of our lives as his mommy and daddy. For 7 months I carried him, felt his sweet kicks, saw him on ultrasound, and heard his heartbeat often, and now he was gone. No longer with us, but with our Heavenly Father, such a bittersweet thought.
  Ours hearts are broken. We know that God's plan for our lives are so much greater than any plans we could ever make, and we are trying to cling to the promise of His plan. But as Chandler's mommy I want him here with us. On my darkest days, I find comfort in the thought that our sweet boy did not have to face any of the evil things in this world. He knew nothing but warmth and love from so many and went straight from his mommy to Jesus' arms. Although his daddy and I had big plans for the life we wanted to give him, I know his Heavenly Father is taking care of him and he has lots of grandparents snuggling him as well.
     We are slowly figuring out our new path and plan to share pieces of our journey in this blog. We desire your prayers and are certain they are what has kept us going this far.

      With love,
        Haley
       
     

44 comments:

  1. Praying continuously for you both..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't help but let the tears slip as I read your blog. I can't begin to know what you are going through - I just pray for you to have peace in knowing our Heavenly Father has Chandler in his arms, all snuggled, warm and loved. God has a greater plan - and one day you will find peace in knowing that. God is never blind to our tears, never deaf to our prayers, and never silent to our pain. HE sees, HE hears and HE will deliver. God Bless you & Evan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Viv, the fact that you all are going through so much right now and stilll continue to pray for us means so much! We do find comfort that Chandler is well taken care of with our Heavenly Father. Much love to you all!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haley, I believe part of our healing comes from sharing our story with others. God created you to want to reach out just as others have reached out to you and Evan. Just like Paul wrote, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." 2 Cor. 1:3-5 I am comforted knowing that you and Evan have been taught The Truth and even as painful as it is you both know your sweet Chandler is with his Savior. He is our only Comfort!! May God continue to comfort, strengthen, sustain and heal you sustain you as you continue walking this journey. I love the lyrics to the song "Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman. He wrote, "You give and take away, You give and take away, My heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your name." Choosing to praise even during our darkest moments is how we get through those moments. Continued prayers for both of you!! ~Gina Bolling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina, thank you so much for your encouraging words. It's funny, ( actually a God thing) that you mentioned the song "Blessed Be Your Name" we played that song on Evans phone the night before we went to the hospital, trying to get Chandler to move and then heard it the next morning on our way to the hospital. We appreciate your continued prayers so much!

      Delete
  5. Haley, thanks so much for sharing your story. I know for sure that someone will read this and be so encouraged by your faith during this sad time. Faith like that doesn't make logical sense and can only come from Jesus being in us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Our faith in God's plan is what we are clinging to help us through this time.

      Delete
  6. Haley, I found your blog from Kelly's Korner and just wanted to let you know how sorry I am about the loss of your precious Chandler. As I read your words about delivering your sweet boy that you knew you weren't going to be able to keep, my heart ached for you. I remember having many of those same emotions as we lost our Isaac Cooper in December of 2012. I truly mourn with you ever hope and dream and plan that you were faced to leave behind you in that delivery room that day. Praying that you are sustained in these days and months and years to come and that His presence fills you with unexplainable joy even in the darkest of days.

    Love,
    Esther

    http://www.loveisaac.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and your sweet words. It's something no momma should ever face and not bringing our baby home with us was truly a nightmare. But, we have comfort knowing that Chandler is well taken care of by our Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for your prayers

      Delete
  7. Haley, I found your blog through Kelly Stamps' blog, and I just want to say that I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet and precious boy. Thank you for sharing his story with us; by you talking about him here, not only is it helpful for you, but think about all the people who will know about him now. His sweet life matters! God allows us to connect with moms all over the world through the internet, and you touched hearts today through your writing. I'm in New York reading tonight about your beautiful boy and thinking of you and your husband as you grieve, and I'm praying for you and your families as you walk this journey.
    God bless you, Haley, as you walk this road!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Just as you said, Chandler may have been tiny in size, but he certainly had weight in this world. He has changed our life, and we hope by sharing our story it touches others and draws them closer to God, just as it has us.

      Delete
  8. My heart aches and tears slide down my cheeks reading this and imagining the sadness you, your husband and your families are feeling. Sending love and prayers your way; thank you for sharing Chandler with us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking time to read about our Chandler, we appreciate the prayers!

      Delete
  9. I found your blog through Kelly Stamps' blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. 7 1/2 years ago I went through a similar experience. I delivered my daughter at a little over 20 weeks. Reading your post I was able to relate to the pain that you are feeling. If you ever want to talk please send me a message. Please know that I am praying for you, your husband, and baby, Chandler.
    Love,
    Karen
    http://karenandstu.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading our story and reaching out to me. I am so sorry for your loss, as well. As much as my heart longs for my son, we find comfort in knowing he is with our Heaven Father, just as your precious daughter. We appreciate the prayer

      Delete
  10. My heart aches for you and your family is in my prayers...may the Lord shelter you and hold you all!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine. Prayers for you and your husband, but also your extended family and your friends as they try to comfort you as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We appreciate your prayers so very much.

      Delete
  12. My prayers are with you. I also lost a sweet son name Chandler. He and his twin sister, Paisley, were born too early and didn't make it. A blog follower commented on one of my posts and shared your blog link with me. I am so sorry. My heart just breaks reading this. The emotions are so raw and the pain so real. Hugs!

    michellelynnehurst.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry about your sweet babies. Thank you so much for your kind words reaching out to us. We appreciate the prayers!

      Delete
  13. Hi Haley,
    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your son. I can not believe the similarities in our stories, down to the exact date. If it would be of comfort to you, please read our story at http://maggiemcblogger.blogspot.com, the entry from August 29, 2008. If you ever want to talk my email address is maggiemagoo81@hotmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reaching out to me.

      Delete
  14. Thank you for sharing your story about your precious son. Take comfort in knowing there are so many people out there to love and support you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is comforting to know we are surrounded by so much love and support, thank you so much for reading about our sweet boy.

      Delete
  15. Hi Haley,
    My sister-in-law told me about your blog. I'm so very sorry you had to say good bye to your sweet Chandler. My heart breaks for the pain I know you are in. We also lost a baby boy and it was a very hard time in my life. I started my blog to document my feelings although now it has turned into a family blog. There is a link on the side bar titled Jonathan where you can read about our experience. I also have a few resources in another link on the side bar. Sufficient Grace Ministries is an excellent resource. The best advice I got was to be gentle with myself and I would encourage you to do the same. Find your way to grieve and take as long as you need. I found the online community to be so helpful but in person support is also so valuable. We went to a group called grief share that was excellent! I hope you will keep blogging and documenting your feelings it was so therapeutic for me. I am saying a prayer for you now and will continue to life you up in prayer!!! I If you need to talk please feel free to contact me teshapapik@yahoo.com my blog is http://teshastreasures.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I have found such comfort in reading similar stories and finding that I am not alone in my emotions and daily struggles during this time. We are taking it day by day right now and just trying to get through. I have found that writing is therapeutic for me and I hope to continue to blog. I appreciate your encouragement.

      Delete
  16. God bless you, Haley. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet baby Chandler. I will be lifting you up in prayer and holding you and your family close to my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for you sweet words and prayers!

      Delete
  17. Haley, I have cried for you and prayed for you reading your story. I also had a baby boy at close to seven months in 1994. His name was Chase and he just celebrated his 21st birthday with the Lord. Please know you and your family are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry for the loss of your son, I truly know the pain and imagine it's still so real, even 21 tears later. We appreciate your prayers so very much.

      Delete
  18. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Prayers to you during this very difficult time. I, too, lost my little boy. I was 27 weeks & one day just stopped feeling him kick. Tried to drink a coke as that always helped get him moving. And nothing. Called my doctor & they told me the same thing as they told you. I still remember that day like it was yesterday (I lost him in 2005). I will pray for you & your husband as you grieve the loss of your precious son. The pain never goes away. It just lessens a little as the days, months & years pass. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry you had to face the same heartache we did as losing your precious son. We are realizing that each day comes with new challenges and it will take time to lessen the pain just as you shared. Thank you so much for your prayers.

      Delete
  20. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, my heart breaks for you. I am keeping you in my thoughts & prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Haley - I too came to your blog thru Kelly's prayers to you. My heart aches for your loss. I too lost a child - but my son was 24 years old when he died in his apartment during a kitchen fire. He is my only child. Very different from your story - and yet, we are both grieving our boys. I certainly hope my Jonathan was present when your sweet boy passed on. I've heard from many others about God's plan. And I get it. But it was so hard to give up on my dreams for Jonathan, just as I'm sure it was VERY HARD for you to do the same for your boy Chandler. I don't think I will ever stop asking "WHY". And that's ok too. I have leaned on God and Jesus and family and friends and total strangers. I will keep you in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading about our Chandler and sharing your story of your son. My heart longs for my son, and the life we had planned for him, and I think it always will, but I do find comfort knowing that he is safe and has a better life with our Heavenly Father than we could even imagine. Thank you so much for your prayers.

      Delete
  22. I am friends with Penny Herrell and found your blog through your mom's Facebook page. Although I don't know you personally, I am a momma and my heart hurts for you. Your words were beautifully written. I pray for comfort and peace that only God can give.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am friends with Penny Herrell and found your blog through your mom's Facebook page. Although I don't know you personally, I am a momma and my heart hurts for you. Your words were beautifully written. I pray for comfort and peace that only God can give.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you so very much for sharing this with me! I'm crying as I read this because this is exactly how I'm feeling! Our stories are pretty similar, and I so wish I could just hug you in person and talk. Our sweet baby boys are playing together in Heaven! Praying for you guys!

    ReplyDelete