Giving Thanks

Getting Bigger By The DayPeyton Weighing In At 5 lbs








What a difference a month makes! Peyton turned 5 months old over the weekend. I never thought I would be the type of person who documents every single milestone, but I am! It’s amazing what 31 days can do. Peyton is nearly 3 pounds bigger than when she left the hospital, weighing in at around 8 pounds! You can really see the change from 4 months to now. She is actually filling out that newborn onesie. And check out her chunky thighs…I’ve been waiting for months for little rolls!

Riley and Peyton with Grandma

Grandma Skrysak helping out with Peyton. Thanks mom!!

For the last few weeks, I’ve watched many of my friends share what they are thankful for as we approach Thanksgiving. (If you are on Facebook, you know what I’m talking about!). It got me thinking about my life and what I’m thankful for. I get a lot of emails and comments from people wondering how I am so strong and positive, given the tragic situation I’ve been dealt. It’s not easy. These last few weeks have been particularly difficult. As my therapist reminds me, I’ve put my grief on hold. I’ve been so busy adjusting to life at home with Peyton, that I forget about the need to cry and grieve. It all caught up to me last week. I walked into the nursery and broke down in tears. It was a “why me?” moment. Why don’t I have three healthy babies? While other babies Peyton’s age are laughing and starting to eat food, I have a child who requires me to wheel around oxygen and set an alarm at night to make sure she is getting enough milk to grow. And even though it’s been five months since I gave birth, there still are no words that can make me feel better. I wish there was a book on what not to say to a grieving parent. Telling me that I at least have one child is the absolute worst thing I could hear. Telling me to concentrate on my one survivor, is a close second. I know people mean well and I couldn’t imagine any “right” thing to say if the tables were turned. But to me, all I hear with those comments is that I should forget about Parker and Abby. Even though they were here for only a short time, it doesn’t make them any less important. I may not talk about them as much as Peyton, but I think about them constantly…and I miss them so very much.

Living With Grief

Someone posted this on Facebook and it’s exactly how I feel.

After the experience I have endured, how could I be thankful for so much? Well, Mr. Skry and I look at life as a glass half full. Sure I have those “why me?” moments, and I’ll continue to for a long time, but we have chosen not to dwell on the agony and pain we’ve gone through. We do have SO much to be thankful for this year. Number one–Peyton. When I think back to the day the triplets were born, it’s hard to ever imagine us being here on Thanksgiving, with our princess by our side. For a girl who should not have survived that first night, she is proving to the world how strong and brave she is. She continues to jump over every hurdle that comes her way, with grace and whole a lot of spunk! And while I will always be heartbroken over Parker and Abby, I’m so thankful for the time I had with them (and for my family who got to meet them). Abigail came out a fighter, kicking and squeaking. I will always admire her strength and remember her for saving the lives of her brother and sister. I’m thankful for the two months I had with Parker, that will easily last a lifetime.  I’m thankful for every moment we shared with him, from holding him to changing his diapers. And I can’t forget myself. I’m so thankful for my health and being able to bounce back. Ryan almost lost three children and a wife on June 23rd. I’m so lucky that my brush with death was short lived. Only a few months later and I feel like my old self. That leads me to Mr. Skry. I’m thankful for an amazing husband. This experience can destroy a marriage, but instead, it has strengthened ours. Ryan has shown strength when I needed it most. He is the perfect father and every moment I see with him and Peyton melts my heart.

Finally, I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come out of our not-so-perfect experience. Most recently, being part of the Children’s Miracle Network family. For years, I’ve been on the other side of the spectrum. I’ve hosted the MDA telethon and done stories on families facing various challenges in life. Never did I think that I would one day become one of those families. Through our experience. I’m meeting some very special people. I am getting to know other families who have overcome so many obstacles. They give me so much hope for the future. I can’t wait to look back a year from now and see all that I will be thankful for. Things are only look up for the Skrysak family!

One quick note–Did you see the “Monday Morning Cuteness”? I post a picture every week on my Facebook Page. Yesterday was a precious picture of WAND’s Newest Viewer. Our promotions department sent Peyton the onesie. It’s the smallest size, yet it looks like a nightgown! She will be able to wear it for several months. It was quite the ordeal trying to get the picture. I thought you would enjoy these outtakes!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I’m so thankful my family was here recently to help out with Peyton. They are back in California, so we’ll be having a “Friendsgiving” in Springfield.



  1. Mary says

    Hello Peyton! I so love to see all the pictures your Mommy posts of you. God Bless sweetheart! May you and your family have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. robin Williams says

    Wow such a change in looks from last month. She is so much more alert. Growing like a weed. Before you know it she will be a year old and walking! Keep it up Peyton.

  3. jane says

    HI!Peyton is such a sweetie.You are so precious.
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving with mom and dad.
    Love seeing new pics of you and reading the updates.

  4. Louise says

    Happy First Thanksgiving Princess Peyton!! You sure are growing and filling out nicely – - keep it up! Give Mommy & Daddy some hugs and kisses for taking such good care of you and give them our best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving too!

  5. says

    Peyton!!! You’re such an inspiration to us all. I can’t believe how much you have grown over the last month. Those rolls are starting to develop and it is the greatest sight ever. You are such an “Angel” God Bless and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with mommy and daddy. Looking forward to seeing pictures of you!! Keep up the fight, Peyton!!! <3

  6. Jo Ann Plopper says

    Little Miss Peyton is growing just on cue Stacey..she looks so awesome…She’s one very lucky little girl to have two great parents like you and your husband…And yeah it still hurts to know what you lost through this whole ordeal..BUT look what you gained !!!!! Parker and Abby will always be in your heart as well as little Miss Peytons..she had a closer life with them than even you did…But life moves on,,You guys will never forget the two awesome ones you lost, but Peyton will be there to give you all the happiness you guys need…love her like life ends tomorrow, be happy and enjoy your road and all your beautiful memory’s…loved your story today it was absolutely wonderful, and yes I grab the kleenex box too… waiting for the next Peyton Monday, she is so precious and keeps you looking… love you guys Stacey just like you are my family too…Jo Ann Plopper….PS we just had a little girl great-grand daughter borned this last week as well. And I’m hoping to meet her on thanksgiving day…Lots to be thankful for….HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS STACEY !!!!

  7. LeeAnne says

    Miss Peyton, you are just precious!! I love seeing your pictures and hearing how you are thriving and growing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

  8. Becky says

    I have a lot of health issues. My youngest was born with heart block which was so scary for us. He is now a 6’3 20 year old. I often ask why me? However I am blessed with friends and family. I always try to look at the positive. I am blessed! Peyton looks awesome! She is thriving!

  9. Shari Reeves Whalen Muench says

    I am heartened to see the growth from month 4 to 5–amazing–way to go Little Princess. Mom and dad have handled everything with such grace, dignity and love. Keep fighting the good fight–this is the most important thing you will probably ever do. Thank you for sharing your story and being an inspiration to others. May you also draw inspiration from them.

  10. Sharon Taylor says

    I read your post’s and have so many feelings right there with you……we have never met in person but I feel as if I know you because I can understand some of what you are going through. My “baby” would be 42 years old….she only lived 12 days….but I STILL remember the feelings. I so admire you two!! Keep that positive attitude BUT let yourselves grieve….its so very important. My marriage went in the other direction…..we were married 32 years BUT as much as I knew he loved her, as well as our other children, he did not allow himself to grieve. He didn’t talk about her or go to the cemetery with me…he got bitter…it was 10 years later during a heated conversation that he blurted out that he blamed himself for not having enough faith to believe she would survive. He kept it all inside… have to grieve! As for me, God has allowed people to cross my path that I know through my past experience, I have been able to understand them and they KNOW that I KNOW their hurt. I believe God will use you two in a mighty way……….and you probably are thinking like I thought…..but why did we have to lose a child …….if we had a choice of our child or helping someone….we know what that answer would be!! But God has a plan that we don’t understand. Already you two have been such a blessing to so many people and such an example of seeing the glass half full and of having faith. Peyton is really growing and you are correct, there is a big difference in the past month….she’s really starting to fill out. I also understand some of the things people say…..they want you to know their love and concern but sometimes the right words don’t come out……because they just don’t understand. My prayers are with you…………….you have so many people praying for you. Thank you for sharing with us…..its good to get the updates…and its good for you to share. I pray that you have a good Thanksgiving……..enjoy the time with Peyton at home….just know that we all will be glad to see that bubbly personality of yours on TV again…..I have enjoyed seeing and hearing you since the first day you were on WAND. You won’t be able to see through the TV but know that there will be hundreds/thousands of people that will be cheering you back….with a few tears running down our cheeks!!

    • StaceySkry says

      Oh Sharon, you brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing your experience. I read every email, Facebook messages and comments….it means so much to my family knowing how many people are cheering us on!

  11. Karen says

    You are awesome parents. Personally I do not know how you deal with all the grief and all. You both are amazing. Oh and what a difference a month does make. She is a cutie! She is growing and getting bigger seems all the time. God bless you 3 at Thankgsgiving and everyday from this day on.

  12. Kandi says

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful family with us… have left a mark on all of our hearts… Beautiful Princess Peyton is so blessed with her 2 guardian angels sitting on her little shoulders whispering in her little ears all the time….So glad that God has answered all of our prayers and continues to keep his loving arms wrapped around your entire family…Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!! Hugs…..

  13. Linda H says

    You are so right, Stacey. There are NO words one can say to a mother(or father) who has lost a child no matter how old the child was. My mother lost her oldest son and 3 wks. later, my sister lost her oldest son. The only thing our family could so was hold one another and cry together. Somehow, that made us ‘feel better’. It has been 5 yrs. and the time has healed some of the wounds, but there are those moments when we all still say, “Why them?’ or Why us?’. Those moments will probably always be there, but hopefully they will become easier to bear. Peyton is really growing(remember, I told you our preemie gained a pound/wk. the first month he was home). Peyton has almost done that too. Cherish your time with her, but don’t forget to ‘take care of yourself’. We say prayers for all of you every day.

  14. says

    Just remember .. you DO have three children. Never let anyone tell you differently. Two of them are living with the Lord now and Peyton is with you. As Peyton grows, know that Abby would look just like her. I picture Parker taking after Ryan, so, look at his pictures growing up and there you have Parker. Peyton will be the cross-over between the two. Her own little self, yet with traits of her sister and brother peaking out at times. You will know. A look, a movement, a little different sound …. Peyton – yet not quite. Don’t let “not grieving” get in your way of life. Crying is an act of letting out loss, anger, despair, sorrow, the ‘why me’ times ….. If you feel the need to have to do more drastic things, then do them. Go in your closet, close the door and scream and shout. Release those inner held-in feelings and get them out of your soul. Not doing that can cause them to turn into bitterness – not a nice result. Lash out, hit the clothing and let them know you are doing the best with what you have. Then, get calmed down, get a beverage, go pick up Peyton and hug her to your heart .. tell her that her mama has times when she gets overwhelmed with life .. that mama needs to vent and it’s not her vault .. tell Peyton she is so loved and needed .. let the healing times wash over you and know that – you will survive. You will get through the low times as well as the high. Remember those of us out out here upholding you and your precious family in prayers .. EACH day. That means 24/7!!! You are strong and that will show itself to Peyton.

    Sending love from Las Vegas! <3 <3 <3 … remember, one heart for each child – ALWAYS!

  15. says

    Little Peyton you are so cute. Thank you so much for your updates and pictures. I wish there was a magic wand to help all those who have lost a child, but as you know so well there isn’t. Grieving is a process and even when the pain of loss gets better, there will always be that pain in the corner of your heart for Abby and Parker. No one knows how you feel, I lost a great grandaughter this year,gone before she even drew her first breath and I know how I feel, but although we share the grief that come from loss I don’t really know how anyone else feels. However, I do know as I pray for my precious Lillian I will say a prayer for Abby and Parker that all three are happy and know they are loved and missed.

  16. Barb says

    Miss Peyton is growing so much in a month. Love those chubby little legs and the statement “News is on, where’s mom”. There will come the day that she can say “there’s my mom on TV”….you have a lot of courage for what the 2 of you have gone thru, but you survive because not only do you have Parker and Abby watching over you they are there whispering little thoughts in Peyton’s ears. In a few years you will have to watch as she will try to do triple things because they will be telling her that. Love and faith is all you need as God will take care of the rest. Enjoy the Thanksgiving with your family and friends, as there will be 5 of you there in each others hearts. Thanks for the pictures and updates, it’s nice to see how she changes from week to week. Hugs coming your way along with prayers.

  17. brenda brown says

    its ok to grieve you have been through a lot you will never foget your other two children and you shouldn’t you and your husband have been thorugh so much you have and amazing husband and beautiful little girl she is so beautiful like her mother happy thankgiving to your family

  18. Pat H says

    What ajoy and a tribute to your lost children and yes did need a tissue, but the miracle of little Peyton is just more special each time you post pictures and we see the changes in her. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and you just do those crys when you need to cause that will help with your lost. God be with you all each day

  19. Kathy says

    Hello beautiful lil one. It is amazing how your growing. You are a true blessing from God. And I’m sure as your sister and brother look down from heaven they are cheering you on. Hope you and Daddy and Mommy have a great Thanksgiving.

  20. Teelah says

    Congratulations on those chunky thighs! She has grown so much and I’m so happy for your family. The girl is a miracle. God be with you.

  21. Kathie Welch says

    Miss Peyton, You are such a sweet one. I hope you and mom and dad have a great Thanksgiving Day. As for mom and dad, I see how you make them so happy! Please keep the pictures coming…you are getting cuter every day!

  22. says

    Miss Peyton, all I can say is my goodness gracious how you have grown in the last month!! You look so cute, and have really filled out. Tell your Mommy and Daddy that I wish you all a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. (((PEYTON)))

  23. says

    I just got a chance to read your Thanksgiving column. You are so right – you have so many things to be thankful for; your WONDERFUL husband. I’ve thought about him so often during your trial by fire. He must be so strong – he HAS been strong and you are both so lucky to have each other because I know YOU are strong. The hospital! You’ve praised them over and over, and rightly so. It sounds like they should win the Nobel prize for kindness and your doctor for – whatever, something. :) I know all of us have just tiptoed through the past months wondering and worrying with you and I’m so glad things are getting better. Eventually that oxygen thingy will go away and you won’t have to deal with it anymore. *I* am thankful for you sharing your story. It’s truly a story of love, perserverence, and determination. I know how much the bad stuff has hurt you and I’m glad you’ve been able to plow through it and come out on the other side, still your smiling sunny self. xoxoxo

Tell Peyton Hi!