For the first time in 2 1/2 years, I feel like my typical self. I have returned to the old Stacey, the one filled with so much hope and happiness. Life is good!
As most moms will tell you, being pregnant is an amazing time in your life. Despite the morning sickness and swollen feet, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are creating a little person inside of you (or in my case 3!). When I look back at the past few years, I can pinpoint my pregnancy as the last time that I was genuinely happy with everything in life, where all that surrounded me felt perfect. You can see it in my face, I had that “pregnancy glow”. But life isn’t always perfect, which is something I learned as I delivered my triplets 4 months premature. It was a difficult time to process the events in my life: losing one child within hours of birth, almost dying from septic shock and spending days in the ICU, and eventually losing a second child. So it’s no wonder that I wasn’t my chipper self.
Over time, life settled down. Peyton came home from the Nicu, I eventually returned to my career, and our family got into a routine as we learned how to move forward with one surviving child. But a year ago, Ryan and I seriously considered uprooting our family. We pondered moving back West, closer to our family. We thought about moving in order to get that fresh start, since there are so many bittersweet memories we associate with Springfield. But as the months went by, things were slowly coming together. I started a new job, Mr. Skry got a job promotion and Peyton began to excel with her health and development. Several pieces of a puzzle suddenly fit perfectly together. Every sign kept pointing to Springfield, so we finally realized this is where we are meant to be.
This summer we decided to plant some roots and bought a house. Every day I wake up and think, “I feel at home.” Peyton and Riley love everything about it: the big open spaces filled with too many toys and the beautiful backyard where they both can run free and play. Even while I type this, I am smiling as tears roll down my cheeks, thinking about how happy I am. We may not have all of our family nearby, but the Central Illinois community has become our support system, sort of an extended family. Springfield has become our comfort zone, a place where we’ve shared our lives with so many people. We’ve made lifelong friends through our Nicu days and our coworkers over the years have become family. Our dear friend and nanny, Leda, came into our lives for a reason. She doesn’t just help Peyton, Leda has enriched our life in so many ways.
But it’s more than that. I’m at peace being a mother of two angels. Through the grief, I’ve learned to embrace this role. I have found purpose in helping others through sharing our story and I have found special ways to keep the memories of Parker and Abby alive. I have an amazing husband, who truly is my rock. And thanks to family and friends, both near and far, our little family has supporters stretching around the world. What can I say? I’m a lucky girl. And even though it took some time, I’m lucky to find my old, happy self.
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