Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1 month ago....

Today is February 27th! I cannot believe that 1 month ago our precious little boy quickly slipped from my arms into the arms of Jesus. We miss Tristan so much as our hearts, our lives and our home has been changed forever!

I look back on Sunday, January 27th and I am still in shock of how everything happened so fast and unexpectedly. I really believed, as told by several doctors, that we would see a change, a decline in Tristan's health, something that would prepare us for the end but we didn't! I am so thankful now that we "lived in the moment" and lived every day to the fullest because our time of saying goodbye was so quick. It's still hard to even remember exactly what happened from the moment I rushed in the door, ran up the stairs to our bedroom and Trayc handed Tristan to me at 4:35 pm and he passed away a mere 5 minutes later. I question Trayc about those last few minutes all the time asking "he was alive when I got home right?" "he was looking at me?" "do you believe he knew I was there?" "do you believe he heard me?". Just so many things as a mommy that I need to be reassured of! I only have one regret in 56 days - I regret going to the store that day as that was always my biggest fear of why I never wanted to leave the house!!!! My sweet husband tells me, all the time, that I don't need to look at that day with any regret because Tristan looked great before I left for the store. We changed his clothes, his diaper, he was alert, his apnea monitor had not gone off that day nor the night before, he was looking at me when I leaned in his bassinet to kiss him on his little checks and said, "Mommy loves you, I'm going to the store and I'll be right back okay!" I really didn't want to leave that day but then again I never wanted to leave his side. Because I was having such a hard time leaving him Trayc and I even talked about him going to the store instead of me but then I told him that we needed a lot of groceries and I'm better at that than he is (we've always gone to the store together so if he goes alone then he gets what he thinks is important like cookies, cereal and Dr. Pepper). Trayc reminds me that if I had seen any kind of change in Tristan I never would have left and he's right. He also said that I need to turn the regret I feel into thankfulness for the way everything happened for several reasons: (1) it was a Sunday so Trayc was home and not at work (2) Trayc was home NOT me, I can't imagine how I would have been if I had been at the house without Trayc (3) Tristan 's health looked as though he was progressing not digressing so we did not know we were near the end (4) We did not see Tristan decline and suffer (5) Tristan passed away quickly without any pain or suffering (6) Tanner and I made it home from the grocery store in time to have the last 5 minutes with him and most importantly, (7) Tristan had the strength to hold on until I got home - oh how thankful I am for this!!!!! So, I'm trying to remember all of that and although I regret going to the store that day, I know in my heart that just as the Lord planned for Tristan to be born on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 12:42 pm and planned for him to have 56 days with us, He also planned that on Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 4:40 pm He would take Tristan home. That was His plan and I trust in His plans far more than my own plans or desires.

There are days when the pain still feels so fresh and real and yet there are days it seems like a lifetime ago as our lives are adjusting to a new kind of normal. Overall though, I honestly believe that I am doing a lot better than I expected to be doing this soon afterwards and as a family we are back to laughing, having fun and making memories. I wake up every morning, turn on the computer just so I can get to this blog and enlarge (full screen) the last picture we took of Tristan on Day 53. He looked so sweet, so happy, so healthy and I certainly never imagined that would have been the last picture we took. During the day I'm good. I am busy home-schooling Tanner, taking him to soccer 2xs a week, piano lesson 1x a week and church 3xs a week along with keeping up with Tayden. However, at night time (when we're at home) it's a different story. As soon as the sun sets and the darkness appears my emotions change and my carefree, happy, fun spirit seems to quickly diminish and I become very quiet and sad. I try so hard to stay the same way I am during the day but along with the darkness also comes the memories which breaks my heart! My nights are really hard at home so whether it's church on Sunday night or Wednesday night, going to the mall, going to the grocery store, walking in our neighborhood, a family member's house, whatever it is....... as long as we're out of the house at night time I'm good. It's like I've mentioned before, Tristan's days and nights were mixed up, he was awake at night so that is when we made all of our memories. You know, when you're living day-to-day, in the moment and trying to cram a lifetime of memories into a short period of time you don't think about anything else except making memories so now, even the simplest of things we did like praying at the dinner table is hard. We would put Tristan's bassinet, or his bouncy seat, between Trayc and I so that I could hold his little hand as we prayed so I feel the emptiness from the very beginning of the evening with prayer at the table! And then there are the other things we did for 56 days that I miss like looking into his big brown eyes, rubbing his little face, kissing his little cheeks, holding him in my arms, watching him turn his little head and look at me when I'd talk to him, changing his little diaper, dressing him in new little outfits, using Dreft detergent to wash his preemie clothes, sitting in our brown chair and holding him when we watched TV, getting in bed and leaning halfway in his bassinet to pray with him and sing "Jesus Loves Me", sleeping without the noise of the oxygen concentrator, sleeping with the lights on so I could see him ALL NIGHT, feeding him every 3 hours, running every time his apnea monitor went off, coming up with creative family events to do every night, taking pictures, bathing him and the absence of his bassinet beside our bed. And the hardest of all - being able to hold my precious little boy in my arms with Trayc, Tanner and Tayden beside me and feeling as though time stood still for 56 days and my life felt more perfect, more whole and more complete than ever before! The days we shared together healed every tear I cried and every fear I felt when the doctors shattered our hopes and dreams, on August 15th, with the Trisomy 18 diagnosis for our precious little boy. The days we experienced were everything I had ever prayed for and more! I am so thankful the Lord chose us to be Tristan's parents and that He allowed us so much time.

Although the last month has been hard as we grieve the loss of our little boy, I would do it all over again! The fulfillment I experienced being Tristan's mommy is far more than words can describe. I always feared the thought of having a "special needs" child however I now know that there is nothing to fear, they are just the same as healthy babies they just require a little more attention and you know what, I would have spent the rest of my life giving that required attention to Tristan and never have any regrets!

The comfort we hold to on the hard days is that Tristan is now in Heaven and in the presence of Jesus, face-to-face! He has no feeding tube, no apnea wires, no oxygen tube and he takes no medications. His little body has been made whole and one day our family of 5 will be reunited. Oh, I long for the day to stand in the presence of our Heavenly Father and thank Him for the 56 days he blessed us with and at the same time be reunited with our precious little boy! The song that comes to mind is one we used to sing at church when Dr. Lindsay, Jr. was alive - "What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the one who saved me by His grace, when He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land, what a day, glorious day that will be". In elementary, jr. and sr. high I would sing this as just another church song, but oh how time and life experiences change the way we long for Heaven and causes us to sing songs in a whole new way. I can't even get through a song at church these days without crying (sweet tears) as I sing them with all my heart and as a praise to the Lord for all that He has blessed our family with. I long to be at church and 3xs a week just doesn't seem to be quite enough - I just want to sit on the front row and be ministered to and sing songs about the Lord and Heaven 7 days a week. How grateful I am for such an incredible pastor, music ministry, church body and Christian friends who greet us with smiles, hugs and words of encouragement and support every time we're there.

Thank you for understanding my inability to blog the last 2 weeks. I can honestly say I now know what it means to have writers block. I have been at such a loss for words and didn't really know how or what to say. I greatly appreciate my sweet husband being willing to blog on behalf of our family.

I would ask that you continue to pray for our family as we are healing, please pray for me as I continue working through the night hours and especially pray for Trayc and I as we are working on the foundation, in honor of our little boy, to help minister to other families that will eventually travel this same Trisomy 18 road.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yvette- it is so great to hear from you. I have been in prayer for you and for your sweet family. The video yesterday was amazing and I appreciate you all sharing that with us "outsiders". I had a friend who lost a baby yesterday- at 9 weeks gestation, the heart just stopped beating. I told her of your story and that there are others struggling just like her and that she would too be covered in prayers. Your words are so honest and sweet. I know you "regret" going to the store, but just like you said, Jesus knew Tristan would live 56 days, he knew you'd be at the store- and He also knew that you would make it home in time. Our God is a merciful God. Remember that. He might not be on our time...but He's always ON TIME. May God bless you and the rest of your family as you continue this journey with the memories of Tristan. Much love.

Annie- Nashville

Jen in Al said...

yvette, please don't apologize for not feeling like writing! Praying for you every day. the updates are truly a blessing. the video is so beautiful! praying, jen in al

Anonymous said...

There just are no words. Tears streaming down my face - and prayers for you all.

Tina

Laurie said...

Hi Yvette,

So good to hear from you. I have been following you for months before Tristan was born and the entire 56 days of miracles. You did everything perfect, every single kiss, diaper change, night shift, prayers, loving this little boy with all of your heart, every detail, just perfect. There is no room for second guessing anything here. Tristan only knows love, how amazing is this and how many of us can say this? My heart hurts for you missing him and trying to get a new normal routine going. I miss him and his daily updates, such joy. Your family truly lived in each and every moment and I believe this has not changed. I am looking forward to seeing Tristans foundation being born. I know I will be a prayer warrior for you there. If it is anything like this blog, countless numbers of people will find so much hope and be so blessed. Praying for you daily and asking God to bring you new joy each morning. And praying for your hearts that hurt.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

Yvette -

Thanks for coming back an sharing with us (complete strangers!) so openly!!!

Your ability to share this experience is such a ministry.

Praying for your sweet family ...

Shannon and Nathan said...

It has been 1 yr, 2 months and 2 wks since my little girl passed away and it still hurts. But, by the Grace of God, you do make it through day by day. I do not know you or your family, but have found my way to your blog and check it often. You are not alone and I pray for your family.

The VW's said...

Continuing to pray for your precious family! I'm so glad that you can see all the good that God blessed you with from day 1, to day 56, to now! God's plan is always perfect! May He continue to grant you the peace and strength that you need! I'll pray that the night hours will become a little easier on you too.

Thanks for sharing and continuing to share Tristan's life with so many! What a beautiful life and purposeful life he had! God Bless You!

Amanda Ellis said...

Yvette
You and your husband amaze me every time I read your blogs. How, in a time numbed with pain, you both can look to God and be calmed.

I remember I was angry with God when the doctors told me of Dereon's CPC's and Enlarged Cisterna Magna. I was angry that God would do that to me, to any good mother, father, and family.

And even though I was angry, and hurt, and feeling betrayed by him, I still prayed and prayed and prayed that he would change his mind. And as much as it broke my heart to continue following your story and the stories of others, knowing that I wasn't alone in this helped calm my fears.

Even though Dereon did not receive the Trisomy 18 diagnosis despite his Soft Markers, we are now facing the possibility that he will have special needs. I am thankful every day, even though, as you said, we all fear what it would be like to have a special needs child - So thankful that he is still here with me in this Life.

Every day I come to your blog, especially when I have had a bad day, I remember how fragile life is, and how good it still can be in the midst of hardships and tragedies, and as long as I am surrounded by the ones I love, and love me in return, it is still a good day after all.

Thank you for sharing your story with the world - Your strength is amazing. Your foundation in honor of your son Tristan is a huge deal. If ever you may need any help at all, or advocates, PLEASE, let me know. I feel, as you do, that as rare as Trisomy 18 is, it should be a much bigger deal.

I pray that one day this is preventable, and those destined for "incompatability with life" will live, laugh & love for as long as the rest of us.

Still praying for your family,
Amanda Ellis
mellis23@live.com

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Dear sweet precious Yvette,
It is good to hear from you. My sweet friend, I know how you must be feeling. I hurt for you, for me, for Kenzie, for Emily - all of us - for what Chrissy is about to face. What a curve ball we have been thrown - but we will help each other through and by the grace of God we will survive this....
I am sorry you are having to re-think the day and about leaving for the store so much.....but you know the truth Yvette - so just keep repeating the truth to yourself. I have a few things about the day that Mary Grace was born and left us that I replay and question....it can drive me crazy at times but I have to think on what is true...I will pray God keeps placing that truth in your mind. I watched the video and I smiled through the whole thing - those 56 days, I remember each picture that was posted, I love the one of the 3 boys feet - all your hands on the bible, precious times Yvette. I will treasure Tristan forever - he was our miracle boy!! I love you, I pray for you and I will think about you every night and pray you are comforted.
I loved Tanner's post. I commented to him - you must be so proud of that sweet young man!
With love and prayers,
Kim

Kourtni Knobel said...

You guys are so strong! You don't need to apologize for anything! I really appreciate you sharing your story with us! You are so positive and are looking for the positive in the hardest situation you will ever deal with! I love your family and you precious little boy was nothing more then a precious angel of God!

The Hull Munchkins said...

Thank you for sharing your hearts on this blog... even to strangers like me. Your testimony of trust and willingness to obey God during the loss of your son is encouraging to encounter.
My heart needs to see families like you. I'm trying to be the best mom I can be to my little girl who has significant special needs. Some days are very hard, but your words on this blog have reminded me of a future of promise from our Lord!
Lord bless you. I'm praying for your healing during the grief.
-Patty

Emily said...

You are beautiful. You love and honor Tristan in such a powerful way. God is doing a work in your and reaching hearts through your broken one even now. I love you, dear friend, though we have never met. I praise God that our babies are together with their Creator now and while you and I lift our eyes and our voices to God in faith, Miller Grace and Tristan know what true worship is all about. How blessed we are to have held tiny residents of Heaven for a blink of an eye. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will pray you through the nights, as I am usually awake. They will get gentler with time. Mornings, waking up and facing reality and not needing to be quiet so I didn't wake Miller Grace in my womb, were the most painful to me. They're gentler now that I remind myself to choose to thank God for choosing us of all the families in the world to be hers. We are blessed. And so are you.

Psalm 139

Anonymous said...

I was working with someone this week who lost her baby right before birth. I was able to share with her about Tristan & what you are doing in his memory for other moms walking the same road. You are a blessing to others and God is using Tristan to reach places that have never been touched before in peoples lives. Thinking of you and your boys with prayers. Colleen

Heather said...

Thank you for your email. I continue to pray for you and your family. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Dear Yvette,
I've followed your blog ever since our sweet Pastor told of your pregnancy and your precious baby boy. I've never posted but have prayed for you and your sweet family continually. I am praying for you as you continue to deal with your loss - especially at night. I'm thankful that in a week we will have longer days when the time changes. I'm praying that the longer 'light'time will help you. What an honor to have been chosen to be the mother of this precious angel for those 56 days!
Because of Him,
A sister in Christ

Clare Dungey said...

Yvette,

I completely understand and sympathise with all you say here. I am four months further down the road than you (having lost my Theo at 5 hours old on 10th October 2007)and our situations are slightly different (Theo had dwarfism) but I know the feelings and emotions you speak of only too well.

I promise you, as hard as it is to believe right now, it does get easier as time passes. My best advice about the slippery slope of evening sadness is to make sure you don't allow yourself to get too tired - thats when the irrational thinking and guilt creeps in!

You are doing so well but don't beat yourself up over hard days. Today, being Mother's Day was really hard for me as Theo was my first child but God gave me such peace at church today and I know He has my life and future in his hands.

Like you, I wouldn't change anything and I'm grateful for the change in my perspective about 'special needs' children.

I'm here if you need to talk - I really do understand your pain and will continue to pray for you.

Hang in there!

Love Clare Dungey xx

K said...

I learned something once after reading a book written by the father of little girl who died of cystic fibrosis when she was only 8 yrs. old. Apparently, the majority of people, especially children die without their parents or loved ones with them. In this book, the little girl seemed okay, then sent her dad to the kitchen to get her some rootbeer and when he came back, she was gone. The father then learned and shared in his book this fact.

My own grandmother, Jan. 3, 2008, waited until I was sound asleep, even though I was right beside her in bed.

I'll continue to pray for you and your family as you navigate this new course in your life.

Julie said...

Don't ever feel guilty for going to the store that day! You didn't have any indication that anything was wrong. Besides, like other commentors have said, God knew just when He was going to take Tristan home, and He knew you would be there to hold Tristan when the time came.
From what I've read/seen on your blog, you lived every second to the fullest. Tristan probably felt more love in his short 56 days than some people will feel in a lifetime.
You must be a wonderful, caring mother and wife, because it shows in every single post and picture. God knew that, that's why He chose you to be Tristan's mom!
Keeping you in my prayers.

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Yvette-

Just wanted to tell you that I love you and am praying for you right now! I know you miss sweet Tristan so much and through the hurt, like you said, you will see him again! I can't wait to meet him and thank him for being such a great friend to Maddox.

I Love you!
Kenzie

Laurie said...

Hi Yvette,

Just stopping by to let you know I think about you daily and pray for you. Asking God to help you begin to sleep soundly at night and restore you each day. And for your family too.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Donna said...

Grandmothers Are Grieving Twice

I stand alone as I watch and I pray,
And wait for the end of another day.
I'm a grandmother with no baby to hold.
Grieving twice, if truth be told. I grieve for our precious Tristan and all that "could have been;"

What happened to the days when my Trayc was a child,
And a kiss from me made his hurt seem mild?
When I could help him through all his problems, both big and small,
And most days, all it took to help, were prayers and a phone call.

I grieve for my Trayc, Yvette, Tanner, Tayden and our precious Tristan as I pray,
Please, Lord Jesus, help me. Help me know what to say.
I'm a grandmother with no baby to hold
Grieving twice, if truth be told.

...We all must grieve together and realize that even though we're grieving over the same precious little Boy, it's a different kind of ache for each of us and getting through the tough times will be much easier if we agree to heal together.

Our faith has been tested and hopefully strengthened. God mends broken hearts and fills them with peace that only He can."The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who asks Him." Lamentations 3:35

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

---Unknown---
(Altered to fit our Family)



Last night I spoke (in our church up here in Tennessee) about "Tristan Asher Hostetter - 56 days of miracles". I honestly do not remember much of what I said, because (I was very emotional to say the least) I had spent time with our Lord giving Him complete control of my mind, mouth and words. I had previously prepared a hard copy of the entire 'journey' (a 3 inch binder stuffed full of miracles) for those that wanted to read Tristan's Life Story and might not have a computer. I had also printed 8x10 pictures of your 'family of five'. I was so happy to share those!!!! There were so many that surrounded me afterwards sharing how "they had been blessed, it was exactly what they needed to hear, they were going to cherish their children every day", etc...and I gave our Lord all the praise for everything and I especially thanked Him for 'doing the speaking!' But I forgot to do one (1) very important thing!! I forgot to give Tristan's blog spot!!!! Grandma was giving 'it' out (by phone) when I got home. She has been ill for awhile and she was not strong enough to go to church with me. She wanted to know what I had said and I honestly could not tell her. But her best friend, Miss Evelyn, (our prayer warrior) called and filled her in. All I remember were the tears rolling down my face.

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers...I miss you and your warm and welcoming home so much. I miss our dinners each evening (I think it was breakfast or lunch for me!) Having all of us enjoying a special time of Christmas music and fellowship and great food!! ( The dear ladies providing meals for you was so special and giving.) My son close to my side, then our precious gift from God between his Daddy and Mommy, my 'gentle giant' on the other side of Mommy and our big brother entertainng his younger brother and keeping up with our dinner conversation. So many memories to cherish for the rest of my life.

I've had some trouble with my nights, too. I did not realize the one month anniversary had arrived. I went to bed when Grandma did, but I couldn't sleep. I noticed it was midnight, so I got back up. I took my laptop and went to the beginning of 'the Journey'. I needed to feel close to my little grandson, Tristan. I spent the rest of the night and some of the morning reading, crying, remembering... I did not realize until much later what DAY it was. (Since I've been home, I've found I've had a hard time remembering the 'time'. I've missed many appointments.)

Well, you can tell our Lord gave me my mouth back!!

I love you all so much and my heart grieves for our little one who is probably sitting on Jesus' lap right now and telling him all about the love his Daddy, Mommy, and big Brothers gave him during his time in your care. And I'm positive he's thanking Jesus for choosing you for his family.

Loving all of you into the arms of Jesus,

Mom/Unci

Donna said...

Yvette,

P.S.: I forgot to thank you for one of the most wonderful, lovable things I've ever had done for me --- the special 'goodbye' to my precious little grandson. How you could think of me at such a time and in such a beautiful way...Thank you, thank you, thank you sweet Daughter.

I love you so very much,

Mom