In Springfield, Illinois, local news anchor Stacey Skrysak is doing her part to raise awareness by sharing her story of the loss of two of three of her triplets in 2013.
Skrysak is helping other families whose lives have been touched by the pain of loss. Specifically, she is giving voice to those who have simultaneously navigated the sorrow of loss, as well as the multi-dimensional joys of parenting a survivor.
“In 2013 I delivered my triplets more than 17 weeks premature. We are blessed with one survivor, but two of my children didn’t make it … [M]y daughter Abigail passed away shortly after birth. My son Parker, he died just short of two months old. It’s a club no parent wants ever to join, but for those of us angel moms and dads out there, there is help getting through the hardest days of our lives."
Her surviving daughter is Peyton.
Skrysak is continuing her advocacy efforts on behalf of those who suffer pregnancy and infant loss.
Skrysak is working to provide children’s books to local neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The import of this is significant: she underscores that it is sometimes difficult for the parents of extremely premature babies to make physical contact with them.
As a result, reading to babies is one way to nurture an intimate connection between parent and child in the absence of touch.
Although Skrysak has been open about her struggle on the road to parenthood that has included infertility, the response to her decision to share the story of her triplets on an ongoing basis moved her profoundly. She describes herself as humbled.
“There was no backlash to sharing. [There was] just a complete outpouring of love and support. The grief does not go away but it changes over time. Once a triplet mom always a triplet mom."
Skrysak points to social media as one engine driving transparency about pregnancy and infant loss. The positive impact of Facebook and Twitter cannot be overstated in this regard, says Skrysak, who believes this openness to be a good thing.
“Parents want their children to be remembered."
Simple and profound, both.
Photographs courtesy of Stacey Skrysak. Used with permission.
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