Many of you have followed Stacey Skrysak’s journey to become a mother. From sharing her story of infertility to embarking on a triplet pregnancy, she has let thousands of people into her life. In June, Stacey delivered her triplets, more than 17 weeks early. Her daughter Abigail survived for two hours, while identical sister Peyton and brother Parker were sent straight to the NICU. Stacey and her family were left mourning the loss of one child and praying for the survival of their two fighters. After 55 days, Parker joined his sister Abby in Heaven. He put up quite a fight, but health complications were just too much for Parker. In her first blog post since losing a second child, Stacey shares what it was like having to decide when is the right time to let go.
It’s hard to believe it’s already September. My family has been through quite the whirlwind over the last few months. And I have to admit, I’m ready to forget the summer of 2013. On one hand, bringing three beautiful lives into this world was absolute joy. On the other hand, no parent should ever have to bury a child…especially two babies within two months.
Peyton is our little miracle and doctors say she is doing remarkably well for a baby born that early and tiny. And look at that adorable smile! Every time I get sad, I just look at her beautiful face and it melts my heart. I’ll give an update and plenty of pictures below, but first I want share with you the emotional toll Mr. Skry and I have faced.
Losing Abby was devastating. After going through that loss, we never thought we would have to experience that heartbreak again. After P & P reached the one month milestone, I really started believing that they would survive and thrive. But on day 37, our world came to a screeching halt. Parker never fully recovered from his major intestinal surgery. And worse, the stress of his health caused a massive brain injury. He would never fully recover. I remember that day perfectly. Ryan and I were back to our cheerful selves. Our babies seemed to be doing well. We were meeting with their doctor for a routine visit, but never in a million years did we expect to hear the grim news. My body began to shake and I could barely breath. I remember trying to hold it together until the doctors and nurses left…and hysterically crying the moment they stepped out of the room.
So now we were left with a decision no parent should ever have to make. We knew Parker’s time was limited, we had to decide when was the right time to let him go. It was one thing losing Abby hours after she was born, but we didn’t have a choice. Here we were watching our perfect little son moving and smiling, knowing that he would slowly become paralyzed and wouldn’t survive another surgery. We were left not with a choice, but with having to tell doctors when to pull the plug. We sat on the information and did hours of research, hoping that a miracle would happen. But deep down we knew, Parker was sick and we didn’t want to see him in pain. After two weeks, our families flew in to say goodbye and Parker joined his sister Abby in Heaven.
Those two weeks were so memorable, filled with moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life. A local photographer from Lincoln, Jim Grimaldi, volunteered his time and took these beautiful pictures of P & P. When I look at the hundreds of photos, I see absolute bliss. Ryan and I forgot that a camera was there and Jim captured such candid moments that show how happy we were with our children in the NICU.
(The shoes are the same ones that I used to announce my pregnancy on television)
We bought a video camera and filmed our babies. Even the most mundane tasks, like changing Parker’s diaper, were captured. I can’t wait to show Peyton those videos years down the road. We never want her to forget that she is a triplet.
We enjoyed precious moments that nurses made possible. It took a lot of work, but they managed to let us hold both of them together. As you can see, they loved their time together. Peyton had her arm around Parker. I remember holding Peyton for the first time after Parker passed away. The first thing she did—reach her arm out looking for her brother.
(They really looked so much alike!)
The week leading up to August 16 was gut wrenching, but we stayed strong for our babies, not wanting them to see us in any agony. Before Parker passed away, one of our nurses took some beautiful pictures. Parker was wide eyed for Nurse Paige and these pictures show the love surrounding our family.
Ryan and I woke up the next day and we were at peace. I thought the grief would set in, but we spent weeks grieving before he passed away. Seeing Parker so happy and peaceful, made us realize that it was time for him to go. Now I won’t lie, I cry every single day over the loss of my two babies. I always pictured Parker following in his father’s footsteps and playing football. I imagined Ryan coaching his little league team and gathering around the tv for NFL games. But instead, I’m left with an adorable picture of Parker sporting his Oregon Ducks football hat. He sits in a frame next to me, watching college football with us in spirit. Some days are more difficult than others. When I open Facebook and see pregnancy announcements, I shut down my computer. It brings me back to the day we found out we were pregnant with triplets…a perfect day that would end in tragedy months later.
But those tough days are becoming “less” difficult. I read every single email, message and comments from all of you. When I post a picture, I get excited to hear from you. We have SO many people praying and thinking of us across the country. I love when people will “send me love” from their state (I think we have people reaching out from every single state in the country!). And the stories people share, make me realize the good that has come out of our tragic experience. Parker and Abby have touched thousands of lives. They have made people realize that the trivial things in life aren’t so important. They have made parents hug their children a little tighter. And if that was their purpose in life, they I’m at peace with it. I’m not going to spend my life dwelling on our losses. I’m going to cherish every single second I spent with my babies and use my experience to help others. Plus, I have one precious little miracle that keeps up our hope.
It’s time to dry those tears and move on to happier news. Miss Peyton finally reached 3 pounds!! It took about 10 weeks, or 70 days, but she’s slowly getting bigger….or should I say long and lean.
This picture shows her size. That 2 month sticker is what people put on onesies to show how big their child is. Well, Peyton doesn’t quite fill it out yet, but she is well on her way! She keeps the nurses busy and keeps the entire NICU entertained with her collection of bows and hilarious facial expressions.
She’s been smiling a ton and is starting to look around wide-eyed, taking in the world just like her brother Parker used to do. And while we remain cautiously optimistic, I truly believe that Peyton will be our miracle child and will be coming home with us sometime this fall. Keep up the prayers and comments. Ryan and I feel so grateful for all of the good people in this world, helping us work our way through this whirlwind experience.