Child Loss Featured Grief Journal

The Loss Of Two Children

Written by Stacey Skrysak

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Story originally posted, 2013.  To get the latest updates on Stacey and her family, please visit her website at Perfectly Peyton.

I’ve heard it time and time again–the death of a child is the worst grief possible. Over the years, I’ve had my share of grief; saying goodbye to my grandparents, a high school friend, even my childhood dog. But, it wasn’t until this past summer when I felt the most gut-wrenching grief of all. Two of my triplets died in my arms.

You know how you are born to do something? Some people are born to be a leader, others are born to be an athlete. Well, I was born to be a mother. I’ve always had that motherly instinct, thanks to my own nurturing mother. From the sorority days in college to the recent days in a television newsroom, I’ve been considered a mother hen. So, naturally my husband and I were thrilled when we found out in February that we were expecting triplets.

Fast forward four months and I was in the hospital on bed rest. Not an ideal way to spend countless weeks, but I was thrilled that my body was holding on tight to my trio. A triplet pregnancy is extremely high risk, but I never thought the worst would happen. You often hear of perfect pregnancies, so what do you do when everything possible, goes wrong?

It was June 23rd; a day I will never forget. It will always be my triplets birthday, but also my daughter Abigail’s death date. A day that is supposed to be the happiest moment in life, now a day that will forever be clouded with grief. It’s like oil and water, they never mix together. The joy of a birth and darkness of death should never mix together. But for my family, it’s a reality we will always be reminded of, every year on June 23rd.

Abby came out kicking, even making a squeak. It was a complete surprise, since my triplets arrived at 22 weeks and 6 days. The chance of survival is extremely low and most hospitals don’t consider babies viable at that age. And while Abby put up a good fight, she wasn’t strong enough to hold on. At 6:42am, her time of death was called. I laid there holding my beautiful daughter, wondering what could have been. Tears rolled down our faces, as we watched Abigail leave us and become an angel.

The death of a child is unimaginable. Your heart breaks into a million pieces as you ponder what their life would be like. Would Abby be just like her identical sister? Would they like the same hobbies? Would they be best of friends? It’s those questions I will always think about years down the road.

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Two months after my triplets were born, I was once again faced with the unthinkable. I had two survivors, Parker and Peyton. People around the world came to know them as P&P. But on August 16th, Peyton lost her other half. After putting up such a strong battle, our son Parker joined his sister Abby in Heaven. Once again, we felt our heart break into a million little pieces. Our lives shattered with the loss of a second child. No one should have to go through the death of a child, especially not two.

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The grief I felt, and still feel, is hard to put into words. My throat closes and tears well up in my eyes at the mere thought of my two angels. And nearly 4 months after they were born, the pain is just as raw as that first day.  Some nights, I find myself inconsolable. I wonder what my children would look like as they get older. I wonder if Parker would have been a football player like his dad. I wonder what our family would be like as a happy household of five, not three. Instead, I’m left with a few special memories that I’ll have to hold onto for a lifetime. Things like Parker’s calm personality and his wide eyes, wanting to capture every waking moment. And I’ll always remember Abby’s peaceful look as I held her for a short few hours and her powerful kicks when she was inside my womb.

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But soon we’ll be making new memories, as we hold onto the old. After nearly four months, our daughter Peyton will be coming home any day now. The days of feeding tubes and isolettes will soon be a distant thought, a blip on the map when we look back years from now. And our grief will change over time. As we look at our surviving triplet, Peyton will always remind us of Abby and Parker. While we don’t have them here on earth, we know her siblings are looking down on their sister, guiding her every step of the way.  Peyton is truly a miracle child, lucky to have two very special angels by her side.

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.

3 Comments

  • What a story. I am sitting here with tears and thinking what it would be like, My brother lost their first child at 6 weeks and remember seeing her in casket and the grief the 2 of them went through. Abby and Parker will always be there to protect and take care of Peyton. Wish you the best. And so glad you will get to take her home soon.

  • So beautifully written, Stacey. I have followed your story for the last few months and many times wondered how you and your husband have been able to get through this unbelievable nightmare. Thank God, you have had Peyton to love and care for and to give you a reason to get out of bed in the mornings! I have prayed for you and your family many times and I will continue to do just that. You and your husband (and your family and friends) have shown more strength and courage and faith in the last few months than most of us will ever be able to show in a lifetime. Your story has touched hearts all over the world and maybe just knowing that you have helped others going through the same heartaches will be of some comfort to you. I pray your Homecoming for Peyton will go smoothly and that your strength, courage and faith will forever continue to carry you through the difficult days. I wish you and your family a lifetime of happiness with your beautiful daughter…God Bless You All!!!