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So we are nearing the end of our month of attempt at making this pregnancy as routine and enjoyable as possible. I cannot believe we only have 2 weeks left. This month has been nice as we have tried to make everything as “normal” as possible.

Our collection of Tristan-memorabilia!

Our collection of Tristan-memorabilia!

Neil has finished Tristan’s quilt, with much thanks to Melissa, our sister in law, for the loaning of her amazing sewing talents. It’s very sweet and I am excited to see Tristan warm and cozied up in it. McKenna picked out her gift; a soft little blue puppy, since Adele and she both have puppies that are special to them. My aunt Lila and uncle Kelly sent us a beautiful receiving blanket, crocheted and with his name embroidered on it.  And we went to the state fair with one very specific purpose in mind; there is an oriental man that comes and does the Korean picture-letter signs. Adele and McKenna both have one of their names and we really wanted Tristan to have his own. But my favorite thing we have done, was maternity pictures.

I have to put a great big thank you out there to a caring stranger named Kristy. She bumped into this blog and offered her time to take some maternity photos.  I have always found this type of photography (of other pregnant women) beautiful, but never had the desire concentrate a photo shoot around my overly swollen belly, with my first 2 pregnancies. After reading “Waiting with Gabriel”, I felt a whole new way about it. I felt like if I were to do this for Tristan, the pictures would be more of him than of me; one more of the limited tangible proofs I could collect that would remind us that Tristan was with us.

Adele and the bunnies at the fair

Adele and the bunnies at the fair

So we went to Murray Park and did several shots of the girls and of Neil with “Tristan” (aka my huge tummy!) It was so fun and the girls did a great job of it. Then it was time for the one picture I had thought of and personally requested. Before I even knew if doing maternity photos would be an option, I thought I really wanted to get a picture with all the girl’s hands, and maybe Neil’s too, on “Tristan”. I knew there was no way we were going to be able to get that shot- not with Adele anyway! So then I thought, what if we painted our hands and left hand prints all over? Kristy loved the idea. So there we were in Murray park, painting the girl’s hands in bright primary colors and laying them on my bared stomach. It was very odd to be that exposed but I think these pictures will be my favorite! Then Neil had room for one of his huge hands so that covered the whole right side of me! Kristy then painted Tristan’s name across the top and I was a work of art! I am so excited to see those!

McKenna LOVING the ponies!

McKenna LOVING the ponies!

Anyway- again- thank you to Kristy (and her husband) for the time she took for that. It was such a great and fun experience where I think we all felt our worries about Tristan melt away for a time and we were just able to enjoy him.

Speaking of thank you’s, I have to keep saying, Neil and I are so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, service, concern, kind words, thoughts and prayers for our family. I am amazed at how responsive everyone has been to our needs at this time. I hope I have expressed to each kind act or word, my deepest gratitude. I am afraid that, in my preoccupation with all of the sorrow and sadness of coming events, I have not expressed enough gratitude or joy in the wonderful joys and comforts that people have offered.

It seems so inadequate, but sincerely, Thank you all!

Neil's flowers receiving an honorable mention- Not bad for his first entry!

Neil's flowers receiving an honorable mention- Not bad for his first entry!


This past Wednesday we had our latest echo done. We wanted to confirm the last diagnosis and get an idea of the progression of Tristan’s condition.

This was definitely the physically hardest one in the series, for me. Laying on your back for 45 minutes at 8 1/2 months pregnant is no small feat. Possible complications are nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, tingling limbs, shallow breathing, and sciatica. I experienced all of them! The tech kept asking me if I was alright and I just wanted to get it over with so I kept saying yes. I figured I wouldn’t be any better until I was off the table. At one point I opened my eyes and everything went white so I had to finish out the echo on my side. I felt terrible for about 2 hours after!

Dr. Petrowski was out so we had a different cardiologist come in. Neil and I were both worried that he was going to give us a different opinion- “You really should consider going for the surgery,” or something to conflict with our resolution. When he came in he told us that the tricuspid valve has gotten much worse since the last time, his heart has enlarged significantly, and now there is water on his heart. The Dr. said that at this point Tristan really is not a candidate for the surgery. If we wanted to pursue intervention we would have to put Tristan on life support and wait for a heart donor.

So while the condition has gotten worse, Neil and I were prepared for that and it means this: Even after all of the confirmation I have felt about letting Tristan go, I have still felt a hesitation, thinking about how we could ever be sure that the time we could buy with surgery would not be worth it- to us and to Tristan. And deep down my wills were at odds with each other- my selfish will to do just about anything to try and keep Tristan, against my will that knows what will be best in the end- the peaceful and less painful, yet brief life Tristan will have. I have cried much over this “battle” and I think maybe Heavenly Father answered my needs by taking this doubt from my mind. The doctors are saying that the surgery is a risky and unrecommendable option, and I can let the battle go.

Tristan will come into this world and leave without the pain and challenges all of us face in our lives. He will be cherished every moment of his life, and know nothing of this world but love. There are not many lives lived to such perfection.

We used the last week in August to get all the “dirty” work done. We wanted to take a solid block of time to get the really hard stuff out of the way so that we could enjoy the last month of this pregnancy as much as possible. So we met with the mortuary, picked out a plot, picked out a casket, met with a dear friend/florist, and planned the program.

The day we went to Heber to pick the plot, Neil and I had braced ourselves for thinking it would be a dreadful day. We both agreed on the spot quickly and stood there to admire the peaceful view of Mt Timpanogos to the west. McKenna and her cousin romped through the headstones to visit my great grandpa’s grave and we left with no twinges of pain or sorrow. It was actually soothing in a way.

The day we went to pick out a casket was a little different story. Since the experience of picking out the plot had been so much easier than we had anticipated, we didn’t dwell so much on the possibility of meeting with the mortuary being a hard experience. Brother Scott Russon of the Russon Brother’s mortuary is in the choir with Neil. He met with us and had a model picked out that he thought we would like. We followed him to a small corridor under the stairway where he had it sitting on the table for us to see. As we sat down on the couch, the casket- hardly bigger than a large shoe box- seemed to take over the whole room. A small silk blanket to line the inside, a teddy bear in the corner, and the lid molded with little daisies. It was so overwhelming at first I could hardly breath and the tears could not be held back. As I sat there though, discussing our options, I was able to pry my eyes away, and focus on the details we were planning. It was such a paradox to feel Tristan squirming and wiggling inside me as I kept diverting my attention to the casket we will inevitably lay him in. It felt very wrong.

So, Everything for the funeral is set in place for the most part and now we can do the fun things that go along with the “normal” pregnancy. We are going to go pick out a blessing “tux”, make a homecoming blanket, and this week we are going to the fair to have one of those name signs with the Korean picture-letters made. The girls have them and we want one for Tristan too. Another thing I am excited for is that I am going to make a tree for Tristan for the Festival of Trees. I have wanted to donate a tree since I first moved here and saw the Festival. This year I am going to do it for sure. It will be a constructive outlet for me.

Neil is still working on his music. He is slowing down with lessons for a little while, but we both think its important not to let the upcoming events consume us before they have to. This past week the choir recorded a new cd. Yesterday was the last day of recording and David Foster (producer of such talents as William Josef and Josh Groban) came to record with them for a Christmas video, I believe. They also had the opportunity of being in the tabernacle to hear Andrea Bocelli, live. Mr. Bocelli was very impressed with the choir and yesterday fulfilled his dream of singing with them. At the same ttime Neil fulfilled his dream of hearing Andrea Bocelli in person.

I wish I could say I am being as productive as Neil but I am afraid all I want to do anymore is sleep whenever I get a free moment. (Usually I end up cleaning or something instead and my free time is no longer!) This pregnancy has been physically draining. I don’t ever remember feeling this weak or exhausted with either of the girls. At 8 months pregnant, I was still wearing 4″ heels with McKenna, and with Adele I worked (and took the stairs) til a week before I was due.

Anyway, for anyone who has not heard, October 11th (it is fast Sunday because of general conference) our bishop is asking the ward to fast with us. The specific purpose is to have some time with Tristan- that he will hold on for a while after he is born, long enough at least, that I can hold him while he is still alive. We decided to post this as an event on facebook and I just wanted to let everyone know that they are invited to join with us in prayer and/or fasting that day.

I also want to say on here, thank you to everyone who has reached out to us. I am amazed and humbled by the response of so many who have kept us in thoughts or prayers, who have offered service, or who have just left comments of love, support, and sympathy. So many of you who didn’t have to let this touch your own lives, have taken a moment to touch ours. Sincerely, thank you.