Taylor Ryan Kivisto
April 10, 1997 ~ April 11, 1997
Our little boy was delivered by scheduled cesarean section at 8:20 A.M. Thursday April 10, 1997. He weighed a bouncing 9 lb. 2 oz. and was 20.5" long~ with 9/9 APGAR scores and a very strong cry. We were so happy to have this little one. As they took our baby from me, Kurt & I hugged one another and cried. I remember thanking God as I gazed through tears at the lights above us in the OR. So thankful our fifth child had come to us healthy. I could hear Taylor cry~ he was so loud and strong! Our last child had been born with a congenital heart defect and we'd been so fearful of this happening again. As they first lifted Taylor over the sheet for me to see him I said "Just let me see his chest"... Timothy's chest had "stuck out" from his enlarged heart. Taylor looked perfect. They told me over and over how healthy and strong he was. I was SO at peace! They offered something to help me sleep through the rest of the c-section/tubal and I excepted. Proud and pleased that God had given us another healthy child to raise. This child came to us after two failed vasectomies and we were so blessed to have him. We were so thankful that our prayers had been answered. I didn't know this would be the last time my family would be complete, the last time I would be happy....and the last time I would be at peace.
My Moment of a Lifetime
"It's okay baby Taylor, mommy's here. You're alright sweetie~ mommy loves you"...
As the day progressed, I was in recovery and our baby was on the OB ward with most of the staff attending to him. I was moved from one recovery room to another and it seemed hours before I knew anything about my son. Kurt brought him in to me before he began to have problems... he was crying loudly and I rubbed his little cheek and told him that everything would be alright~ he calmed hearing my voice. But, mommy's don't know everything... and we'd learn that nothing would be "alright" again. I didn't see him again until he was intubated and waiting for an airlift to take him to Children's Hospital in Seattle. I was not aware that he was as sick as he was. The Dr. had said "The good news is~ if it's the defect we think it is it's repairable". Timothy had open heart surgery at 14 months~ I had seen him intubated, I'd held him as he seized from a blood clot going to his brain after surgery... and he was healthy. I didn't think Taylor would die, (though I prayed steady for hours) Everyone said that he was healthy! He had 9/9 APGARS! I had "gone by the books" with this pregnancy. But Taylor was intubated for hours before the airlift arrived and by then he was too unstable to transport. By 6:30 P.M. the plane left with our baby. I never got to hold him, they didn't lay him on my chest after birth~ and now I would never again see my son alive. Kurt's sister Jeannine is an RN and we asked her to go with Taylor. I had just had surgery and Kurt would fly out in the morning. He needed to settle our four other children, as they were away from home and very upset. And, as the Drs. said~ Taylor's CHD was repairable. Kurt would fly out on the first jet in the morning.....
morning never came for Taylor.
We got the call that night that Taylor was going to die. He was not strong enough for surgery and had gone into cardiac arrest several times. The DR. said that he could "continue massaging his heart but it would just prolong this". He assured me that they had done everything and "he can not live". I told him to stop. Taylor was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) with no VSD. (Our son Timothy had a VSD closure only 1.5 years prior to Taylor's birth) Taylor passed away in his aunties arms at 11:16 P.M. Alaska time on the very day he was born. Though he died in Seattle and the time there was 12:16 A.M. April 11, 1997. He lived only 14 hours and 56 minutes. I've been told that Jeannine loved my child as I would have... she "mirrored" my love as she held and talked to him. How I wish it had been me, but I'm so very thankful she was there for him. I know that he was held, loved and mourned, where many children are not. My child knew that he was loved. How fast our lives can change. How quickly our joy can turn to tragedy... and we are left to pick up the pieces~ not knowing if the pieces can be picked up. The hopes and dreams we had~ have vanished. Our friends and family~ have vanished. Our naiveté- gone. Life as we once knew it~ no longer exists. The "spark" I once carried within my soul is no longer with me....
Kurt brought our glider rocker to the church on April 14, 1997 where I held & rocked Taylor for an hour & twenty minutes. I looked at his little face & hands~ over & over again. I wanted to be sure that every part of him was etched forever in my heart, mind & soul... and he is. My milk had come in that day, and at one point as I was rocking my baby, I turned him to my breast... that was the most frightened I have been through this... I thought I was loosing my mind. I then hugged him close so that no one else knew what I had done. One of the most difficult things I've ever done, was placing my son back into that little white coffin... and walking away. How I wanted to stay longer.
He tends His flock like sheperds;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart.
He gently leads those who have young.
We buried our little boy on his due date April 16, 1997. He is wearing the sweater, hat and booties I made him. They are light blue & white with fluffy lambs on them. Little lamb faces on the toes! My mom had always called babies "precious little lambs". When I made this set for Taylor I told my friends that it made me feel as though my mom was going to be with us at his homecoming. How profound that statement would be... we buried Taylor atop of my mom and dad. I have made a temporary marker for him... it reads:
"Our Precious Little Lamb"
I designed Taylor's permanent marker- it was completed April 2001
A close-up of the collage on the marker
I found this on Taylor's 1st. birthday- I think it looks like him:)
When I gave Timmy Taylor's "plug" (pacifier) Rob got very upset... "It's TAYLOR'S" so we took it out to his grave the day after his burial- it is tucked amongst all the flowers here
Taylor was everything I prayed for. He was beautiful and perfect in every way~ except for the heart defect. How we had wanted this child. We miss him more than I could have ever imagined. A piece of my soul died with that little boy.