We have been without our computer for a while, but I will try to make an entry by next week!


Julie, the NILMDTS photographer, gave me a sneak peek of the pictures she got of Tristan. I will be sharing them after Neil has had a chance to see, but they are spectacular. I stared at each image for ages today trying to recall his baby scent and the silkiness of his hair under my chin, and the feeling I had when Neil brought him to me around the surgical curtain and held his cheek to mine. I just kept begging, whispering to him, “Please stay- just as long as you can. Please, stay!” But how do you convince an angel to stay in this dreary world? Even so, he did.

Tristan Pro 9

Daddy's boy

So many memories in one day and they all keep fading, more each day. But those pictures have brought those memories back to me on a day I really needed it.

I think I am doing well in some ways. I get out of bed each morning, I go for days without crying and I think in general I am handling things well. But in a separate compartment of my life, my heart is broken. Shattered, actually. A new heart-angel friend said it so well; That out of the millions of pieces of her broken heart, she was being built a new and stronger one. But it’s such a painful process.

I am not worried about Tristan at all. I know he’s perfectly ok. He’s probably watching me with a “tsk, tsk, tsk… if only i could show you the whole picture,” on his face. But my heart aches for the moments I should be having with him now; the middle of the night feedings, the excitement to take him out to church and in public, waiting for the night he would finally sleep all the way through, the trip to Kiddie Kandids to get his first pictures done, reminding McKenna not to try and pick him up, and keeping Adele from poking him in the eyes!…Just holding him.

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Welcome to our family, Tristan

I thought I would share a poem I wrote for Tristan shortly after we were given our options and asked to consider them. It’s very rough and flawed, but I don’t want to edit it because the way I feel now would change it because its different from how I felt then. And I want to keep that. So for Tristan,


The Choice

What would you pay

For one single day;

To feel the warmth of sunlight,

As it’s washed from your face

Tristan Pro 8

Mommy's angel

By late Autumn breeze laced with frosty bite?

What would you give,

For one moment to live;

To be held in a tearful embrace,

As your heart blazes warm, overflows with pure love,

As it reflects golden in my face?

How much is it worth,

Your foot on this Earth;

To run, to jump, to dance, to play,

Chasing fireflies o’er grassy hills

As pink skies retire Sun another day?

Is there pain too much, a price too high

Tristan Pro 7

"we said hello, and at the same time said goodbye"

For the chance to see tomorrow’s dawn sky;

When you  long to return Home above,

Leaving our loving hands

For the arms of Jesus’ love?

– By Arae Wyatt 2009

Happy One Month memories to Tristan today. We love and miss you dearly.

Our beautiful Angel

Tristan and the puppy McKenna picked for him -photos by Julie Williams, NILMDTS


Our Girl!

So every primary program has “that one kid”. And Neil and I are not surprised that in our primary program, it was McKenna. But the extent to which she played the part was quite impressive.l-October17.2009.DRG. 001

She was the first of the sunbeams to be taken out of Sacrament meeting to go potty- starting a trend for her class. Then of course, the fact that she knew the songs by heart led to a competition between she and her cousin. I think it’s safe to say that, decibel for decibel, McKenna won. In fact she pretty much over powered the whole primary!

During “Our Father Has a Family”,Neil was out at the other end of the hall with Adele, and could hear her. And she didn’t even have to overpower the rest of the children at one point because she jumped to the wrong verse and sang a solo of it through the piano interlude, which sent the congregation into fits of laughter. At this point I had tears running down my face, I was so embarrassed and laughing so hard!

McK2When it got back to the speaking parts, McKenna decided to start shouting at a little boy in her class- “HEY! YOU TOOK MYSEAT! THAT WASN’T VERY NICE! THAT’S MEAN!” Then they sang “Families Can Be Together Forever” and of course the shout-singing came back. This time she wasn’t quite up to tempo- but being every bit as loud as before, made it sound more like a round! Through the rest of the meeting, her teacher was wrestling to keep McKenna with her. Neil was ready to go drag her off the stand!l-October17.2009.DRG. 044

When the benediction was given, expressing gratitude for the spirit these “precious children” brought to the meeting, I was sent into giggle fits again.

A friend sitting behind us patted me on the back and mentioned that American Idol might be a good possibility in 15 years. I said that winning American Idol would be the only way she could ever make up for this.

Tristan's funeral

At the cemetary

Last Saturday was 2 weeks since the funeral so I thought I would write a bit about it for anyone who wasn’t there.

the displayWhen Neil and I got there before the viewing, we seemed to be handling everything really well. We went into the Relief Society room to dress Tristan and Neil and I both had a hard time with that. It took me a while to do more than just stand there and hand the clothes to Neil. I knew when I decided to touch Tristan that he would be cold and hard and it was difficult to break the illusion that Tristan was still “there”. We had a little more time with him that we both sat and held Tristan’s body. I just kept feeling his soft hair, hoping to ingrain the texture to my memory, since it was about the only part of him that seemed real anymore.

Tristan's funeral

the display

So we put him into his tiny casket and let everyone else come in for the viewing. As soon as the crowds came, my tears automatically dried up and I felt like I should be giving the “viewers” words of comfort and not the other way around, since most of them were the ones crying. There must be something wrong with me that I can hardly cry in front of anyone else. Neil is one of the rare few who gets to see me emotional!

Anyway, the service began and I was supposed to read the obituary- a miniscule task, considering that it consisted of 1 or 2 sentences. So I had decided to add a little to it with something I had been thinking about for a while. So it went something like this:

“Tristan Neil Wyatt was born to Neil and Amanda Wyatt October 12th, 2009 and returned home to his Heavenly Father later that evening. He is survived by his parents, sisters, McKenna 4 and Adele 1, and many extended family members.

“There is a story that circulates support groups and blogs of families and patients with heart defects. It tells of a beautiful day in Heaven when Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus “I don’t want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you”. He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that he is just going for a visit. He is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, “How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?” The angel smiles and says, “I guess that will work”. But the little angel is still a little scared. “Will I be okay with only half of my heart?” Jesus replies, “I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine.” Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says “When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.” -Author Unknown

” I wanted to finish this story for Tristan.

“When he returned to Heaven, amid tears of joy and hugs in reunion, Jesus asked, “How was your turn on Earth?” The little angel replied, “It was beautiful- so many arms of warmth and love to hold me, smiles through teary eyes to greet me. A king couldn’t have asked for more!” Then tears appeared in Tristan’s eyes. “My sweet angel, what is wrong?” Jesus asked and pulled him close. ” I think when I  left, I broke their hearts, ” he whispered.

“Quietly, Jesus reached in His pocket and pulled out the other half of Tristan’s heart. Tied to it with fine silvery threads were the pieces of hearts, of all those the little angel had touched in his brief life. Even as he looked the chain grew and grew.

” My dear little one,” Jesus said, “You did not break their hearts. You brought a piece of them back with you. And one day, they, like you, will return to me for the other piece of their hearts.”

Tristan's funeral

beautiful flowers

Luke 12:34 -For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Tristan has become our families treasure and our hearts are truly with him.

A seminary teacher Neil knew from high school carpools with Neil to choir each week. Hal Is a wonderful friend of our family and gave a beautiful, comforting talk.  I am going to try and get it from him and I want Neil to make a post sometime soon to include his talk and chronicle his experience with Tristan.

There were 2 beautiful musical numbers. Jesu, The Very Thought is Sweet, and My Shepherd Will Supply My Need-  one with a 6 part group and the other with 8, as well as the full orchestrations. Antoinette headed up the coordination of the music and I could not have expected such a beautiful result. Amazing!

The graveside ceremony was in Heber and the drive was glorious; blue skies and sunshine with the peak of autumn’s colors through the mountains and down into Heber Valley. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day. It had to have been close to 75 degrees.


Tristan's funeral

Neil and Michelle

My dad dedicated the grave and then Neil and Michelle sang May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.


At the gravesite

As a bonus blessing I was able to hold out through the whole day with little physical pain, (thank you to all who offered those prayers on my behalf!) and I don’t even look as drugged as I was in most of the pictures I have seen!

"There is no foot so small that it does not leave an imprint on this world"- We borrowed this quote for the epitaph from the MILMDTS website. We really felt after all the stories of ppl inspired by Tristan that this was appropriate.

"There is no foot too small that it does not leave an imprint on this world"

Anyway, it was a very peaceful day and a great way to “end” this chapter in our lives. I have had many hard days since, but the feeling of peace and assurance from October 17th will be a sweet memory.

October birthstone

So one of the most touching gifts I received was a necklace with 3 birthstone baby rings on it. I love it and I haven’t taken it off since I got it on the day of the funeral. McKenna’s ring is diamonds, Adele’s is emeralds, and Tristan… poor Tristan. His is tourmaline- a bright pink stone. So Neil and I were talking about it and we decided he must have been a high fashion baby. Pink- it’s the new baby blue!

Here are all the maternity pictures that Kristy took. Again, thank you Kristy- I will cherish these forever.mat pic 3

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mat pic 6

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mat pic 11

mat pic 12

mat. pic 1

mat. pic 2

Tristan 244

Tristan 246

Tristan 245Tristan 238

Tristan 239

All together at last

All together at last

At 12:42 p.m. on October 12th, our little miracle came into the world. His dark hair was so evident that before Dr. Clark cut the amniotic sac she could see it and called Neil over to look. He then had the privilege of cutting the cord, and I listened intently for the sound of Tristan’s little cry. Please baby, cry! I thought over and over. Finally it came and i had tears in my eyes I was trying to blink away so that I could see my baby clearly when Dr. Clark held him up over the blue drape for me. They quickly took his heart rate, wrapped him in a blanket and without the usual rituals of weighing and measuring, handed him to Neil.  Neil brought him around to my head and sat there with me holding Tristan’s head against my cheek as they sewed me back up. It seemed to take forever. The nurse told us his heart rate was low and we could tell his color was not good. I was scared that we weren’t going to make it out of the OR with Tristan alive. At last they took  the curtain down and wheeled us back to the L & D room where everyone was waiting.

Sucking his fingers

Sucking his fingers

When the nurses finished hooking me up to all the monitors, Neil handed me Tristan and I held him for the first time. I was amazed at this little person with dark curly hair and dark eyes and just kept wondering how long he would stay with us. McKenna and Adele both got up on the bed with me and took turns admiring their brother.

McKenna was SO anxious to hold him and I was completely shocked by Adele’s reaction. Lately she has been so jealous of any other child that gets near me. McKenna often gets hit, pinched, or hair pulled if Adele doesn’t like her proximity to me! But as she looked at Tristan, she just got excited and kept saying “Baby!” She didn’t try to get him away from me or anything.

After I had the chance to hold him for a while, Neil took him and announced that he was ready to give him a name and a blessing (kind of  what other churches call a christening). The blessing Neil gave was beautiful and left little doubt to anyone what a special spirit this baby was. It was amazing because after the blessing Tristan pinked up quite a bit and his breathing seemed to improve as well. Nurses doing my vitals also checked Tristan’s heart rate at our request and this too had improved to a normal range.

Proud parents

Proud parents

At this point we started passing Tristan around, and almost everyone got the chance to hold him. That’s saying a lot- there were aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins, and many close friends. So many teary eyes. The photographer from “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” was there. She got a family photo of Tristan with Neil and me and the girls. She also took many other shots and I am so excited to see how they turned out. We never really got a break but Neil and I had both thought that this day would be for everyone who wanted, to be able to meet Tristan.

So later that evening, Julie, our NILMDTS photographer came back to get some shots of us after I had recovered a bit. So many pictures that I know I will treasure. THANK YOU SO MUCH JULIE!

McKenna loves Tristan

McKenna loves Tristan

Adele loves Tristan

Adele loves Tristan

We moved to a tiny gloomy room out of the maternity ward. When we were moved, the nurse over there informed us that they did not have diapers or formula so we would have to get our own if we needed them. Yeah, I’ll just run to Smith’s and pick those up! They had no idea what to do with Tristan. While the nurse was doing my vitals, I asked if she could take Tristan’s heart rate and said she needed to talk to the pediatrician about what they could do for Tristan, first. It was like he was no longer a patient at all!

When Beth and Joan came over from Rainbow Kids, Beth stepped out to talk to the nursing director. She got us moved to a big bright room in the new maternity ward. Apparently, somewhere along the line the message was passed along that we didn’t want anything done for Tristan and that we would feel better not being around the well babies. THANK YOU BETH for straightening out that misunderstanding!

Visitors continued into the late evening and we asked the last of the visitors to leave at 10. The nurse came to take my vitals and Tristan’s heart rate. 110- still in normal range. Neil and I took turns holding him and by 10:30 I was dozing with Tristan cuddled up on  my chest. I woke up to admire him and see if Neil wanted another turn. We talked about how we didn’t want to go to sleep, we didn’t want to miss out on any time we could have with Tristan.

At this point Tristan started crying.  I tried breastfeeding him- for the umpteenth time- just in case he might want it. No luck. Tried the bottle and he didn’t want that. Neil changed him and he was messy but he continued to cry. After everything we could think of, he still cried. I actually enjoyed the sound and told Neil that it was probably a good thing. From what I understood, he would probably be too weak towards the end to be able to cry. We got out the video camera and recorded his voice. Then the crying stopped and he only made a few newborn noises as I curled him up with his head of soft hair under my chin.

Our beautiful boy

Our beautiful boy

I started to doze as the nurse came back in to take my vitals. She then helped me to unwrap Tristan to take his heart rate. She listened and adjusted her stethoscope and listened again. He’s gone… she can’t find his heart beat. But I didn’t want to believe it and neither did she. She readjusted and listened again. I whispered for Neil who was on the computer and didn’t know what was going on yet. The nurse went to get the pediatrician.

I looked at the clock. 11:25. We had been counting the hours of his life.  More than we expected but what never could have been enough time. Here it was- 18 minutes short of 11 whole hours- the entire lifetime of our son, Tristan Neil Wyatt.

This is probably my favorite so far, despite the stethoscope being in the shot. I love his soft expression and open eyes.

This is probably my favorite so far, despite the stethoscope being in the shot. I love his open eyes.

UsArae and I would once again like to tell everyone thanks for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf.
We wanted to let everyone know that we have planned a memorial service for Tristan on Saturday October 17, 2009. The service will begin at 1:00 P.M. at the LDS Stake Center located at 619 W 5750 S in Murray.
Anyone who would like to attend is more than welcome.
In lieu of flowers, small donations to cover funeral expenses would be greatly appreciated!

Arae and Neil are in the maternity patient rooms.  They are in room number 2102.  This is for any of you who might be thinking of going to visit her.

Arae called this morning and they are doing fairly well today.  They appreciate all the wonderful support that so many of you have given them whether it be through prayers or small acts of service.  They wanted me to let you know that they would welcome visitors today!  Thank you all for everything you do!  You are truly amazing!