Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Living With Grief: My Story of Infant Loss

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, part of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Preemie Babies 101 Blogger Stacey Skrysak shares her story, and if you are living with grief due to a loss, the Hand to Hold staff and Preemie Babies 101 bloggers share our heartfelt condolences. 

 

Pre-KidsKind, happy, personable… These are words that are often used to describe me. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky girl, looking at the world with the “glass half full” approach. But that was before my children died. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still that loveable old Stacey. But, death changes your outlook on life.

I’ve experienced death over the years when my grandparents passed away. But it is different when it’s your own child. Your children are supposed to outlive you. You should be changing diapers and watching them learn to crawl, not picking out a gravestone or an urn for their little bodies. It’s hard to explain how one day can turn your life upside down, how life takes a different direction. In my case, that day was June 23rd, 2013, the day my triplets were born. My daughter passed away after just a few hours of life. She entered this world kicking the doctor and making a squeak because she was far too premature to let out a scream. Not even considered viable by most hospitals, Abigail showed us that a one-pound baby could have more strength than a grown adult. But her lungs weren’t mature enough. Abby passed away in our arms after two hours of life.

The Skrysak FamilyNearly two months later, déjà vu hit. After already experiencing the unimaginable, death once again entered our lives. Our precious son, Parker, passed away in the Nicu. My husband and I were lucky to have two months with our child. Parker showed us his calm and laid back personality, a popular blondie among the hospital nurses. Our lone survivor, Peyton, eventually graduated from the Nicu and is doing amazing at 16 months old.

I guess you can say there is a “pre-triplets Stacey” and a “post-triplets Stacey”.  Pre-triplets, I was carefree, thinking nothing bad could ever happen to me. Sure, I faced my own problems over the years…I dealt with health complications and had been laid off from a job. But, I still looked through life with rose-colored glasses. Post-triplets Stacey is a different story. I wouldn’t say that I’m paranoid, but I am definitely more protective than I expected to be with our surviving triplet. We already lost two babies, I couldn’t fathom losing our only child still here on earth.

More than a year after my children died, I’m still getting used to this “post-triplets Stacey”. I’m more jaded in every day life. Little things that used to bother me, don’t anymore. I’ve always been sarcastic, but death has brought out a cynical side of me. And the biggest difference is the emotions I wear on my sleeve. I’m a girl…I’ve always been on the emotional side. But nowadays, the tears flow freely. I may be in line at the grocery store when a family triggers my grief. Or I might be watching a television commercial, when the tears start rolling down my face. But I’ve accepted it and so have my friends and family. Grief has no timeline, so this is now part of me.

Peyton celebrates one yearAs the months go by, my grief is slowly changing. My husband and I are now able to talk about all three of our triplets without choking up. A year ago, it was different story. These days, we can reminisce about little moments in Parker’s short life, even watching videos of him without breaking down in tears. We can look at pictures of Abigail and laugh about the thought of two identical girls causing a ruckus in the house.

And as time goes by, grief has made me a different person; in some ways a better person. I’ve become more compassionate and patient with others. I’ve learned how to love someone both here on earth and in heaven. And I’ve found new purpose in life. Grief has taught me so much about myself, and I hope through my experience, I can help others. While I will never get to hold my three triplets together in my arms, their legacy will live on through memories.

Comments

  1. You are amazing.I love your posts.
    Love seeing how Peyton is doing.
    I had 2 miscarriages and it was rough.I think about the babies I lost,what would they have been,who would they be etc.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    jane

  2. I saw this article through a mutual Facebook friend and just wanted to tell you how much peace it brought to my husband and I. We lost our baby boy a little over a month ago at 25 weeks. I identify so much with the pre/post pregnancy changes. Before I read this article, I was nervous that I would never be the carefree, sort of naive person that I was before we lost Bernie. I am so glad to read that you have been able to find some semblance of peace as time has gone by. It gives me hope! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Julie Rupert says:

    I too lost triplets and I know that I have spoken to you about it. I have to say that losing triplets did make me look at life differently. I learned many things, the most important was to cherish the moments you do have. I only had a few short hours with my triplets but I can tell you that I remember every single one like it was yesterday. I have been blessed to have been able to have twin boys who are the joy of my life. Somedays I feel like I try to “over mother” them but anyone who has lost a child can understand. God Bless you and your family

  4. Heidi Ortiz says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is not an easy thing to do. We also lost one of our multiples. Our hearts go out to your family.

  5. This is such a special post. Thanks so much for sharing, Stacey. And I am so sorry for your loss.

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