Featured Journal

Priorities

Written by Stacey Skrysak

People say your priorities change after children arrive. I didn’t believe them. I have always said that my kids will not take over my life, instead they will “fit” into my life. I still think that’s true for my husband and I down the road, but right now, Peyton is our only priority. After nearly 4 months in the Nicu, our miracle child finally came home. 116 days of staring at the hospital walls, then suddenly she was able to see the world around her. Peyton went through hell and back to make it to present day. She survived an infection that killed her sister, a surgery, a brain bleed, heart problems and several blood transfusions, among other hurdles. So it came as quite the surprise when the Nicu called us a few weeks ago, saying it was time for her to go home.

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Peyton has come a long way since the day she and her two siblings arrived. She no longer needs a feeding tube and can easily maintain a comfortable temperature. She is still in need of some lung support, which means she is tethered to an oxygen tank and monitor. But boy does she look like your typical newborn! And while she has proven to be a miracle child, she still has a ways to go. She has countless doctors appointments and will be spending the next several months sitting tight at home. We can’t risk her getting the flu or RSV. So with that, comes a change in priorities.

I’ve always been a workaholic, even writing an article about it here at “Her View From Home.”  I love what I do (I’m a news anchor in Illinois) and have always planned to be a working mom. But my pregnancy threw a wrench in my plans, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been off the air since May, when I began to have complications. After the babies arrived, I was too sick to work…and too heartbroken to put a brave face on and read the news. I’ve learned that you can’t put a timeline on grief and losing two children will stay with me forever. Between the death of Abby and Parker and Peyton’s health, I decided to take a leave of absence from my television station. I couldn’t bear the thought of not spending hours of my day in the Nicu with my daughter. And now that she is home, I can’t imagine not being there for every doctor’s appointment and therapy.

While most women take 6 to 12 weeks off, I’m now going on 6 months of being away from work.  I no longer get an income and I’m in jeopardy of losing my medical benefits. Sure, it’s stressful and I have shed many tears over the financial toll it’s taking on my family. I spend some nights awake, wondering how we will ever pay off our medical bills. Between me and the triplets, our hospital bill has reached into the millions. So when you look at the tens of thousands I’ll be paying after insurance, that’s a bargain compared to the actual bill. And Peyton is worth every penny. Sure, I plan on going back to work, hopefully in a few months. But, this experience has taught me that it’s ok to change your priorities, it’s part of life. My career will always be there to go back to and I know that I can balance motherhood and work. But right now, Peyton needs her mother…and I’m happy to be there for every special milestone.

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About the author

Stacey Skrysak

Stacey Skrysak may not be a native of Nebraska, but she called it home for many years. You may recognize her from her days as a morning and noon anchor on NTV in Kearney. She liked Nebraska so much, she even married into a Cornhusker family! These days, Stacey lives in Springfield, Illinois where she is a news anchor for WICS-TV. Stacey and her husband are parents to Peyton, their surviving triplet, who was born more than 17 weeks premature. Abigail and Parker are their triplet angels watching from above. Through her heartbreaking experience, Stacey has become a voice for dealing with grief, infertility and life with a micro-premie. Her triplets have touched thousands of lives around the world, thanks to Stacey’s blog “Perfectly Peyton”. Stacey looks forward to sharing the trials and tribulations of balancing work and home life, all with a little humor thrown in.

5 Comments

  • I am sure that you know she is one of the most precious things you will ever have on this earth. No price can ever be placed on such a miracle as this. The Lord will find a way for the bills to be paid.I have found in my 67 years that God has always provided a way.
    “I will rain down bread from heaven”–Exodus 16:4
    Remembering how day by day God sent nourishment from heaven while his people wandered in the wilderness. There was always enough for each day. They simply had to trust Him for the tomorrow’s.
    So, whenever you fell worried or discouraged remember this verse. It is ti remind us that… when we walk in difficult places, God sends the strength and nourishment to face what comes our way, not all at once, but day by day.
    I know that God has and will continue to strengthen and nourish you, your husband, and ..precious ‘Princess Peyton’ in every way and evry step of your journey with her in life–including the finances.
    My Prayers are with you all and God Bless the three of you every step of the way.

  • God said he will never give you more then you can handle ! As long as you seek in him everything will be fine! Trust in him !
    I would do the samething in your shoes no matter what it takes Payton needs your strenght t help her along in her journey … Be with your family God Bless you and your family ( dog too) .

  • Wow. Your wrote everything I have been thinking. My baby girl’s stay in the nicu was very short compared to yours but there are so many similarities- surgery, hospital walls, bills, love for work, doctor appts, nurse visits, therapy, several ultrasound appts, wanting to experience every moment with her while in the hospital and now out. I took 8 weeks with my other babies and while I didn’t feel like I wanted to leave them at 8 weeks, I was comfortable with it and ready to focus attention to work. I am so not comfortable with it with this baby and I know it is normal for me to need to be there for every moment, whether medical appt or milestone. She has more needs, special needs-it’s a fact. Everyone has told me God gave her to me for a reason. That it takes a special person. Well God is not One I plan to let down! Thank you for sharing. It made me journal and collect my feelings. God bless.

  • I just read your story and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy for you and your husband to finally bring home your precious daughter but also sad for your loss. My daughter along with many family members also walked those NICU halls and I will never forget some of those really long days and nights with very similar issues as your babies.
    She gave birth to twin boys at 23 weeks, it was a very eye opening time in our lives.
    Luckily both boys survived but with lots of ups and downs, several surgeries and lots of praying for wet diapers. After four months in the hospital she was able to bring them home
    one on his due date of Halloween and one on November 9 2012. She kept them away from most people all winter for fear of them getting sick and was very successful they have never
    had so much as a cold and they both came home on monitors and oxygen. They are both doing great now still behind physically but moving in the right direction always happy and smiling and receiving tons of hugs and kisses. I wish you and your husband and little daughter the same success. Best wishes.