Child Loss Grief

When Will It Get Easier?

When Will It Get Easier? www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Stacey Skrysak

2013 was a year of hope and excitement. Not only were my husband and I going to be first time parents, we had triple the joy. After years of infertility, our luck had changed: we were expecting triplets! Over the months, I embraced my quickly growing belly. I chuckled when people would stop me to say I was ready to pop…yet I was only 16 weeks along. I enjoyed the roller coaster movement inside, my three children already picking fights with each other.

I absolutely loved being pregnant. 

But on June 23rd, 2013, our world came crashing down. I delivered my triplets at 22 weeks, 6 days. I held my daughter as doctors called her time of death. And nearly two months later, on August 16th, we were back in that same moment; holding our son, Parker, as doctors called his time of death. I remember thinking, “how can this world be so cruel?” In a two month period, my hopes and dreams of our perfect family were shattered. 

In the early days, I struggled to even get out of bed. The grief was unfathomable, weighing me down and sucking the life out of me. I shut myself off from most people, except for family. I listened to messages from friends and read emails from strangers, all sending prayers and kind words. And I pulled myself together each day, enough to visit Peyton in Nicu. I think I did a decent job of hiding the grief.

As the weeks and months rolled by, life moved forward. Nearly 4 months after my triplets were born, our survivor came home from the hospital. Another 4 months later, I returned to the working world. I learned not to dwell on what happened, I couldn’t change it. But, the grief crept up at random times. As the weeks got closer to Peyton’s first birthday, the grief became more constant. Mother’s Day was emotional; a reminder of a year before when I was happily pregnant with 3 healthy babies. June 7th, a reminder of the night Abby’s water broke, sending me to hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Each day was a milestone, but not a happy one. I longed to go back in time to when life was filled with the promise of bringing home three little babies. 

June 2014With the daily reminders of what could have been, Peyton’s first birthday was surprisingly uneventful. I scheduled several doctor appointments for Peyton as a way to keep us busy. So it wasn’t until the evening, when my husband and I finally grieved over our children. Fast forward to this year: I expected much of the same. I assumed the month of June would be difficult, leading up to Peyton, Parker and Abby’s birthday. But, it was quite the opposite. I was so busy settling into a new job and planning Miss P’s birthday party, that I didn’t have time to dwell on the past. I didn’t have time to allow my mind to go back to 2013. But, as the days right before their birthday arrived, my heart began to thump with pain.

On their birthday, the grief took over the happiness I should have felt for Peyton. My throat tightened and my eyes became a massive river of tears. At one point, I found myself curled into a ball, hysterically crying in bed. For some reason, this year’s birth date was much worse than the previous year. My heart physically hurt, my lungs felt like they were collapsing; the grief consumed my body.  As I laid in bed crying, I thought, “When will it get easier?” After spending the majority of the year happy with my life and accepting all that has happened, why is that the grief can grab such a hold of me and bring me back to those fateful days when I lost two of my children?

June 2015After Peyton’s birthday came and went, and our family and friends have since returned home, life has slowly returned back to normal. The grief has subsided and I’m able to breathe, though the tears still arrive at least once a day.

Peyton’s second birthday made me realize something: grief will never go away. I can’t take away the fact that two of my children passed away. I can’t take away the fact that Peyton’s birthday will always be bittersweet. Three beautiful children entered the world that day, but Peyton’s sister also died that same day. And I’ve learned that summertime is always going to be tough.

We have one birthday and two “angelversaries” during the summer months, so there will always be difficult days. But, I’ve come to accept that grief will be part of my life, whether it be next month or 20 years down the road. I just know that it will slowly change over time. So instead of hiding the tears, I’m proud to embrace the grief. If letting out a good cry brings back memories of all three triplets, then I am happy to wear my heart on my sleeve.

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.

4 Comments

  • I can not even begin to know your pain but thank you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings. I’m beginning to think maybe you should have been a writer…..you write so beautifully! Now you’ve got me crying too…..love and hugs to you, your husband and especially to your precious little Peyton.

  • Stacey I know all to well how hard it is. After years of miscarriages and infertility I too became pregnant with triplets after IVF. I lost the first one very early on around 6 weeks and was still hopeful to be caring twins a boy and a girl. The placenta for my girl didn’t form correctly and at 24 weeks and 5 days it fell apart. Lot of detail but on August 16, 2008 I was bleeding internally from the placenta and they could not stop it. My baby girl was born at 12 ounces, (348 grams to be exact). She was born alive and breathing but I was told she was too small to get the tube down her throat to put her on a ventilator. She was alive for about 8 minutes before she slipped away. Biggest regret is I don’t have a single photo of her other than ultrasounds. Then the start for the struggle with my son in the NICU. He was 1lb 9 oz, (710 grams). We spent 4 months in the NICU and endured 5 surgeries, one that was almost fatal from bleeding out. He survived and is now almost 7 years old, attending public school and a healthy kid. You would never know what horrible start to life he had except for the large scar across his belly and one behind his left shoulder. So I too celebrate the death of my baby girl on the birthday of her surviving twin brother, ironically August 16th the same as Parker’s. Their due date was December 1st. The first 3 years were extremely difficult and yes the second year was even worse then the first. It does start to get a little easier to cope with but the first few years I was often consumed with sadness and kept wondering “what if.” Why did this have to happen after all the struggles we went through?! I have always asked for a “sign” from God that she is okay but I can’t say that I have received one. Ironically I became pregnant with a boy a month after we got our surviving twin boy home. They are 13 months apart. I am always asked if they are twins. That use to really sting and some times I just said yes to a complete stranger. I just wanted to write you today and say that losing Abigail and Parker will always be a part of you, you can never be the same person you were prior to this. I still take my girls’ ashes with us when we travel except on planes. I don’t have the heart to leave her home. I still have my moments of really breaking down. First days of school, graduations from preschool, kindergarten. Seeing other twins in my kids classroom. I almost lost it volunteering at a school field day when a girl asked me to put her hair back in a pony tail. She was the same age as my daughter would have been. I had never put a young girls’ hair up and was quite bad at doing so…Just made me think I should be doing this every day with my own daughter! I had to fight back the tears. I have only been able to have a birthday party on August 16th with family. It is just too hard to pretend that this is a day of celebration when it is the anniversary of my daughters death although I try to balance it with celebrating my surviving son. Reality of losing a child just is unbearable at times and only those that have experienced it know that time does not heal this loss or pain. I just have to believe some day I will see her again and my other babies I lost to miscarriage. I have five babies in Heaven so they are not alone. So yes it will get easier but you are forever changed. You will never be okay with losing your children and the memories you should be creating with them every day. I get it. I have to believe they are all in a beautiful place that one day we will get to join them. I am not a super religious person but I do believe in there is a Heaven, a God and that I will see my children again some day. My surviving son really should have died during one of his surgeries and I started yelling at God begging him to not leave me without a child. That day is long story but really a miracle must of happened. He was bleeding out on the table, the Dr.’s told us we were losing him and after so many prayers and pleading with God he some how survived and is healthy. So I do believe you will be with Parker and Abigail again! Go ahead and talk to them, who knows maybe they can hear you 🙂 Thankful that Peyton is doing so well! She’s adorable!! So to answer your questions, yes it will get easier (for me it was around 4 years) but at times it will still feel like yesterday. Hugs to you from Portland OR. (I know you are a Duck grad, I grew up in Corvallis and was just in Eugene visiting family this past weekend) 🙂 Susie

    • Susie! I’m in tears reading your comment. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story of grief. While I wish this on no one, it comforts me knowing that I’m not alone. And it sure does help hearing from others who have walked the path before me. God bless your family and happy birthday to both children on the 16th!
      -Stacey Skrysak

  • Thanks so much for bravely sharing your story as it happens, Stacey. Your words feel so wise as I approach year one of my own loss. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone even when grief feels so lonely. Yet I’m so massively sorry I’m able to look to you for wisdom. Sending my love.