Child Loss Featured Grief Journal Kids Motherhood

Sorry Friends…We’re In Hibernation

Written by Stacey Skrysak

P IN FALLLeaves taking over the yard, walks in the crisp morning air, curling up with a blanket and a cup of coffee. Autumn is my favorite time of year….and I think Peyton feels the same way! This toddler loves to play in the pile of leaves; the crunchy sound guaranteed to produce a giggle. But as much as we love our days outside, it’s time to say, “Sorry Friends, we’re going into hibernation.”

The days of play dates and Target runs will give way to indoor activities and plenty of hand washing. Even though Peyton seems like a healthy little toddler, she’s still considered a “22 weeker”. Her immune system is not like other kids her age. We learned that first hand in September, when Peyton landed in the hospital for a week. Her Nicu doctor thinks P most likely came down with the enterovirus, a nasty respiratory illness that has swept the nation. It turned into pneumonia and Peyton quickly became a hospital patient.

P HOME FROM HOSPITALLast year at this time, Peyton finally came home after a 4 month Nicu stay. We locked up the house and kept most people away. It was extremely difficult to turn friends and family away, especially when our child, who wasn’t expected to survive, arrived at home. After the year we had experienced, Ryan and I wanted to shout “She’s Home” from the rooftops! We were overwhelmed with excitement that our little baby was doing so well. But we also knew the risks she faced: A simple cough could kill her; a cold could land her back in the hospital. So we followed her doctor’s recommendations. We required visitors to get the flu and pertussis vaccines. We kept bottles of antibacterial gel all over the house and a box of medical masks came in handy anytime we felt the hint of an illness. We only allowed close friends to visit; people who had previously visited Parker and Peyton in the Nicu. And we didn’t leave the house with Peyton, unless we were going to a doctor’s appointment or therapy. It’s enough to make you go stir crazy…and I sure did after a few month! But, it worked. Peyton didn’t even come down with a cold. After the flu season ended, we emerged from our cocoon. We began to take Peyton on errands and introduced her to our favorite restaurants and activities. And the amazing thing: It took her 10 1/2 months of being home before she came down with her first illness.

image1Since it worked last year, we are sticking to hibernation for at least one more year. Peyton is doing so well and slowly catching up in size, but her immune system is premature and her lungs are still very weak. So, forgive me if I tell you that we will be skipping your Christmas party. And don’t take it personally if I say that we are not inviting any visitors to our home. We are simply trying to protect our surviving triplet, our precious little cargo. We’re keeping a low profile, away from germs…We will see you all come spring!





 corky creations



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.

1 Comment

  • I love all the new photos of her. So sweet! Curl up with that little girl and watch tons of movies all winter long. Sounds like a great way to hibernate to me! 😉