So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I’ve seen the promos for months, my heart racing each time I caught a snippet on television. It’s one of the most highly anticipated new shows. While I struggled to bring myself to watch the premiere of This Is Us, I’m so glad I did. Thank you network execs for shedding light on a topic that so many people experience, yet it’s rarely talked about. Thank you for showing the world the heartbreaking tragedy of losing a child.

I first saw a preview for This Is Us several months ago. It reminded me of my favorite show, Parenthood, so I knew that it was something I would sit down to watch. When the show debuted in September, reality sank in. Part of this plot mirrored my life, a period of time that was filled with so much sadness and heartache. Two of the main characters are a couple expecting triplets. But, the delivery wasn’t perfect and one of their children was stillborn.

My road to becoming a mother was anything but normal, so it’s not a surprise that I was shocked to find a show that so closely followed my devastating reality. In 2013, my husband and I were expecting triplets, our first pregnancy and first children. Unfortunately, our perfect life was shattered when I delivered my babies extremely premature. Two of my children eventually passed away and we were left grieving our losses, while searching deep within us for the strength to help our survivor.

The Skrysak Family

On the night of the premiere, social media went crazy. My Facebook feed was filled with quotes and spoilers about a “shocking twist” and nearly every one of my friends who tuned in shed tears. I wanted to watch, but I couldn’t in fear of the show triggering my grief. It’s been more than three years since the deaths of two of my triplets, and as any parent who has lost a child will tell you, grief can creep up when you least expect it. It may be something I read that reminds me of my children, or seeing other children playing together that makes me long for my trio to be here on earth together. I recorded the show and let it sit in my DVR.

As the days passed by, I kept thinking of this show; the characters and plot simmering in my mind. It wasn’t until nearly two weeks later when I finally broke down and turned on my television. The tissues were next to me as I pressed play and watched This Is Us. Over the next hour, I laughed and cried and wiped away tears. But all said and done, I absolutely loved the show. Not because I’m partial to anything triplet related, but because it felt so real. Each character has depth, giving the viewer a sense of empathy as we get to know each person.

No one truly understands the emotions of losing a child unless you have experienced the loss first-hand, but this show did a beautiful job of painting a picture of the painstaking moment when a family’s life comes crashing down. As I watched the show, I was brought back to the roller coaster of emotions: the sheer excitement of expecting triplets, the fear of complications that can arise from a high risk pregnancy, and the extreme agony when doctors told us that our first triplet was not going to survive. As I watched the couple on television, I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Actors Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore portray a grieving couple in a way that viewers can feel the shock and heartbreak as reality sets in.

Grief isn’t a quick, sharp emotion; it’s something that envelops your heart, becoming a part of you for life. 1 in 4 women will experience a loss, whether it’s miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. This Is Us is breaking barriers as it tackles a topic that is often considered taboo. From the initial loss of a child to the post-partum struggles, thank you NBC for helping others understand what so many of us have unfortunately experienced. 

Feature image via Twitter – Bravotv

Stacey Skrysak

Stacey Skrysak is a local television news anchor in Illinois, but her proudest role is becoming a mom after years of infertility. Stacey is mother to a 22-weeker surviving triplet and two angels. Even though two of her children were only alive for a short time, her triplets have touched thousands of people around the world. Through her blog, Stacey has become a voice for infertility, premature birth and child loss. These days, she sprinkles in the trials and tribulations of raising a daughter, who was once nicknamed “The Diva of the Nicu.”

Memories Fill the Holes in Their Hearts Where a Grandpa’s Love Should Be

In: Grief
Drawing, journal, and photo of man, color photo

“Girls, come here for a minute.” In some sort of yearly ritual, I guide my oldest two daughters to my bedroom, where a wooden chest sits. It’s painted in flowers of muted colors and has a brass keyhole on it, making it look like an antique. It isn’t. It’s only 20 years old. As my girls follow me into my room, I grab the skeleton key off my dresser that unlocks the wooden chest. I turn the key and open the wooden box that holds so many pieces that are supposed to remind me of my dad.  Pictures of him....

Keep Reading

The Calls Stopped When the Casket Closed

In: Grief
Father and toddler walking in cemetery, color photo

The night my mother died is raw. It was filled with a lot of emotions: anger, regret, sadness, guilt, and remorse. The next day, I woke up to multiple calls, text messages, posts on my Facebook wall, and Facebook messages. It was a flood. The flood soon turned into a drought. Before I could process what happened the night before, people were sending flowers, the funeral home was calling, and people were showing up at my door. The next two days there was an influx of people in and out of my house and a lot of food. But the...

Keep Reading

Losing a Child Changes Everything

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman at beach sunset

I‘ve had my life planned out since I was a teenager. My dreams were to be a teacher, wife, and mom in that order. I would teach elementary school and have the cutest classroom with the greatest lessons, and I’d teach until I was old and retired. The man of my dreams would sweep me off my feet in college, and we’d have a romantic wedding and start our great life together. Then, after a few years, we would have two children, a boy and a girl. We would be a blissfully boring, happy little family.  I didn’t want extravagant...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Lasts Forever

In: Grief, Grown Children, Motherhood
Silhouette mother and daughter

She was so pretty. So pretty it was hard to look away from that porcelain skin, those high cheekbones, stunning green eyes with just the right amount of sparkle and depth, and shiny black hair. And those lips, perfectly plump with neatly applied lipstick, always ready to give a kiss on the cheek or a knowing smile. More than pretty, she was beautiful—you know, beautiful inside and out. She was classy. Not fancy or prim and proper, not snobby—just classy. A certain air about her that made you notice and appreciate her presence when she walked into the room. She...

Keep Reading

Thumbprint Glasses and a Lifetime of Love

In: Grief, Motherhood
Broken thumbprint glass on floor, color photo

Yesterday my Nannie’s glass was shattered, intentionally thrown across the room by a child of mine. My heart shattered with it for that glass held memories. When we visited my Nannie in Florida, I would wake with the sun to the aroma of fresh eggs, bacon, and grits. I would stumble into her bright yellow kitchen. The counters always cluttered, the small white table nicely set, and the glasses full of orange juice. “Thumbprint glasses,” I called them. I would put my tiny thumb into the imprint of each beautiful dent and admire the rainbows the iridescent glass made. That...

Keep Reading

Some Babies Are Held Only in a Mother’s Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound of baby

“Whatever may come and whatever may pass, we have faith that our God will bring us to it and through it.” That’s what I wrote in a post after we announced our third pregnancy. It was the first pregnancy we went public with, but it was the third time we had two positive lines on a pregnancy test. You see, we had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. We went from surprised optimism to guarded yearning and finally stolen joy. The first baby was nothing more than a what-if before that test. It was a surprise to two people who loved...

Keep Reading

My Birthday Will Never Be the Same without My Mother

In: Grief
Mother and two daughters, older color photo

It’s been eight months since my mom took her last breath on earth and entered into her eternal resting place. Eight, long, motherless months. I expected holidays to be hard, as they should, because a piece of the family is missing. The spot where they once sat, ate, laughed, took pictures, and made memories is now empty. Just like a piece of my heart is empty. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose My Mom the Day She Died The holiday no one prepared me for was my birthday. A day that’s to be celebrated. It’s the day I took my first...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Mom, You Were There for All My Firsts…Except This One

In: Grief
Sad woman looking out window

Firsts are monumental. Inaugural. Annual. They say you always remember the milestones, the annuals, the inaugurals.  You were there for those firsts during my first few years of life: my first tooth, first steps, first boo-boo. Always supporting me. Always cheering me on. When I grew up, you stood by me for the next wave of firsts: my first bad grade, my first heartbreak, the first fight with friends, my first solo in choir, my first stitches.  You stayed by my side during the pain from your divorce and dried my tears when Dad moved out. You even loved me...

Keep Reading

I Wanted to Call You Last Night, Dad

In: Grief, Grown Children
Woman sitting on dock alone by lake

I went to call you last night. I was sitting in my room, watching grown men play a child’s game. Alone. And when the last out was registered, in an improbable no-hitter, I needed to share my delight. I wanted to call you. But I couldn’t. Since you left, a mere 18 months ago, there have been many moments, when I have wanted to call. To say, hello, to ask for advice, to share good news, and bad. To discuss world events or shoot the breeze. To hear your corny jokes and lift your spirits. Or have you lift mine....

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime