Child Loss Grief

Why I Never Want To Forget The Worst Day Of My Life

Why I Never Want To Forget The Worst Day Of My Life www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Stacey Skrysak

June 23, 2013. It’s a day that is etched into my memory. How could it be that one single day could serve as both the best and the worst day of my life? It’s the day my triplets were born, but also the day my first child passed away.

As first time parents, my husband and I were over the moon with news that we were expecting triplets after years of infertility. But, the weeks leading up to my delivery were touch and go as I spent nearly two months on bed rest. My body hung on, but ultimately failed me as I went into labor more than 17 weeks premature.

The sadness of that day are enough to cause my body to tremble and my heart to physically ache. I remember laying in my hospital bed waiting for hours, wondering if my babies stood a chance at survival. At 22 weeks, most hospitals don’t even consider a baby viable. Would my children even take a single breath outside of the womb? It’s an outer body experience knowing that the child you longed for and prayed for will mostly likely die. As emotional and hazy as that fateful day was, the memory of my babies being born is crystal clear.

After more than 12 hours of labor, my contractions sped up. At 4:48 on a Sunday morning, Abigail arrived. She gave a squeak and a kick as the doctor handed her to the Neonatologist. Before I could figure out what was happening, I received the news I feared: my child’s lungs were not strong enough to survive. My husband and I held our first daughter and stared in both awe and sadness. Despite being only one pound, her features were absolutely perfect. Her nose, a tiny button; her hands and feet, perfect with ten fingers and ten toes. Her eyes were fused shut, but we know they were beautiful just like the rest of her. We held our daughter as we held each other, crying as doctors called her time of death nearly two hours later.

By what we can only explain as a miracle, my two remaining triplets sat tight for 17 hours, critical time in the womb that proved to be life-saving. While doctors expected the same fate as Abby, the entire room was shocked as both Parker and Peyton arrived with strong enough lungs to survive that first night.

Why I Never Want To Forget The Worst Day Of My Life www.herviewfromhome.com

For weeks after my children arrived, I would press rewind in my mind and play every minute of that day. Each Sunday, I lay awake reminiscing over the moments I went into labor and the minutes when each child was born. And as the sobs grew stronger, I would stare at the clock, awaiting the exact moment when doctors called Abby’s time of death. Those memories were temporarily pushed aside nearly two months later, on August 16, 2013, when we were once again faced with death; this time our son, Parker. Doctors removed his tubes and wires and gently handed him to me. As our family gathered around us in a hospital chair, I began to read him books and comfort him like any mother would do. We talked about his siblings and the world outside the hospital. We even talked about college football and we watched our little blondie look at us with a slight smile. Nearly four hours later, at 6:12 in the evening, doctors called Parker’s time of death.

It’s been nearly three years since my triplets were born, and even now, my memory hasn’t faded. So why would I torture myself with difficult memories that are guaranteed to crush my heart? It’s easy—those are the only memories I have. For those us who have faced the unbearable experience of child loss, those heart wrenching moments are the few things we can embrace. We are given tangible keepsakes; the footprints, the tiny hats and hospital bracelets. But, it’s those few memories and pictures of our children that will have to last a lifetime.

As the years go by, I fear my memory will fade, and I pray to God those crystal clear moments will stay etched in my mind forever. While the early days were overpowered by emotional anguish and grief, these days, my memories are filled with happiness. Through my tears, a smile appears, as I think of my two beautiful angels. As I watch my lone survivor, so full of life and energy, I can’t help but think that a little part of them lives within her. I think back to the day my triplets were born and I’m reminded of the miracle of birth. All three of my babies existed, and that makes my heart swell with pride.

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

  • Oh my…..let me get a kleenex first. How can your words be so beautiful when you write about a such a sad time (Abigail’s and Parker’s death) and yet it was also a happy time (Peyton’s survival)……you tell such a personal, emotional story. I can only tell you that your strength and your courage inspire many. We are also blessed that you are sharing your thoughts and feelings and emotions with us. Your memories will be with you forever ❤️

  • Oh what a heartbreaking story! Your beautiful testimony to motherhood and loss and the hope of JOY in the journey, is truly inspiring.

  • It has been nearly 13 years, my memory has not faded. Extending my thoughts and condolences. ❤ TLC