When I embarked on a mission to raise awareness about child loss, I never imagined how far it would reach. I never expected my story to be thrust into the national spotlight. Two months ago, I pitched an idea to my news director about doing a three part series on pregnancy and infant loss. It’s a touchy subject, but he was very supportive, knowing my background of my triplets. As I began to put the pieces together, I interviewed the staff at St. John’s Children’s Hospital, where I delivered my children. I decided to add a little personal touch to the story because it would help make the topic more relatable. I know that many people in the community are familiar with my story, but I was at a different television station, from when I gave birth two years ago.
Within minutes of my story airing, I began receiving messages on Facebook and emails at work. Some viewers shared their own personal losses, others wanted to thank me for bravely bringing to light a topic that’s not often talked about…especially not in the public eye. A lot of people wondered how I even got through my introduction, where I shared the story of losing my first triplet, then my second triplet two months later. The truth is: I taped that introduction. I knew better than to try and share my story live on television. Even more than two years later, my children can bring me to tears in a matter of seconds. I miss them every single day; it’s obvious if you have ever heard me talk about my triplets.
Within 12 hours of my story airing, it spread throughout the internet. Yahoo interviewed me and shared my story on their website and other news outlets were contacting me. It never crossed my mind that being an open book would touch so many people. It made me realize how important this subject is and how grateful I am that I can use platforms, like television and social media, to help raise awareness and educate people about child loss. Over the next two weeks, I shared more stories of hope after loss. I introduced viewers to a beautiful organization that takes donated wedding dresses and creates beautiful angel gowns for babies who have passed away. The founder of “Allison’s Angel Gowns” has her own story of loss, and she’s using her angel to help others. I also introduced viewers to the term, rainbow baby, a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. I met a sweet family who shared their story of weathering the storm of infant loss and eventually welcoming their own rainbow baby.
As I was wrapping up a month of emotional stories, I got a wonderful email from a writer: People.com was going to do a story about my family. Diane spent a lot of time on the phone with me, learning about me and Ryan and how we have coped with the losses of Parker and Abby. She learned about our survivor, Peyton, and how it’s obvious that she knows she has a brother and sister, even at only 2 years old. We talked about what it was like having to make the worst decision in life: telling doctors when it was time to end medical care for our son. And she took every little piece of our story and wove it together into a beautiful article. I could tell she did a perfect job when I kept getting calls from family and friends saying, “I hear your voice telling the story as I read the article.” The tears I shed reading our story on People.com weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of strength and happiness. Seeing my story put on paper made me realize that my family has been through hell and back, but in the end, we’ve found happiness. We are living proof that you can survive the unimaginable, that life will continue and you can find peace after losing a child. Sure, there are many rough patches and there are still many heart wrenching days, but the happiness outweighs the sorrow.
As I read this article, I thought of the thousands of people who have reached out to me this past month. I thought of the coworkers who shared their stories of loss. I thought of the emails from moms of twins and triplets, who also had “survivors”. And I thought of the friends that I’ve made because we share that mutual connection of getting through the loss of a child. This article represents every single one of them. I have the opportunity to “break the silence” and tell the world that it’s ok to grieve, that it’s ok to talk about your angels. I have the chance to make a difference in so many lives and I will continue to honor my triplets as I do so. As reflect on these past few weeks, I can’t help but think of Abby and Parker. I know they are cheering me on from heaven; my little angels so proud of their mom.
To read People Magazine’s article, click the link:
Illinois Mom Shares Heartbreak To Help Others
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