“‘Are you going to name your children?’ It’s a question a nurse asked me as I laid in the ICU. My triplets were two days old, and up until then, they had been known as Baby A, Baby B and Baby C.
It’s not uncommon for parents to wait until they see their baby to choose the perfect name. But that wasn’t our case. The truth is, we were scared. After almost losing our triplets at 18 weeks gestation, we began to hold our breath, counting down the weeks until our children would be considered viable by hospital standards. That didn’t happen as our children were born at 22 weeks, 6 days. But, our doctors gave the triplets a chance, and each one was born alive.
As we learned on day three, the NICU nurses took a liking to our 1-pound children, giving them nicknames all with the letter ‘H.’ That’s when it clicked; we couldn’t put it off any longer. I had only met our children briefly on day three when I was wheeled up to the NICU for the first time. Though, deep down I knew, it was time to name our children. As I sat in my ICU bed with a dozen wires and IV’s dangling from my frail body, my husband and I began to brainstorm.
Peyton and Parker were always my favorites, and luckily, my husband agreed. That was the easy part — Peyton and Parker were alive.
Several floors below, in the hospital morgue, was our peaceful angel, only known as ‘Baby A.’ It’s hard to admit, but I was hesitant about picking her name. What if none of our children survived? What if I wasted a name? How was I supposed to name a child I only looked at for a few hours and whose eyes were fused shut? In the end, we always thought Abigail had a beautiful ring to it.
Here’s what I didn’t realize years ago: it’s not the name that is important, it’s the person behind it. Your name is your identity, but it’s how you live your life with that name, that becomes your legacy. When we named our children, there was no rhyme or reason. We didn’t name them after family members or for symbolic reasons, they were simply names we fell in love with. After Abby died, followed by Parker two months later, I wasn’t sure when I would hear their names. Some people get uncomfortable talking about death, especially the death of a child. I didn’t expect to hear their names, except from friends and family.
Now nearly six years later, all the fear that my angels would be forgotten is long gone. I hear all three of my children’s names every single day. Sometimes it’s me talking about them, other times it’s a friend or supporter sharing their name through an email or in conversation. But, it’s the voice of my surviving triplet, Peyton, softly saying Abby and Parker’s names that touches me the most.
Abby and Parker are two babies who spent only a short time here on earth, but their legacy will last a lifetime. And my precious daughter, Peyton, embodies all three of them, a powerful young girl who has already made a big impact around the world.”
This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. It originally appeared on her blog. A version of this post originally appeared at Her View From Home. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
Read more about Stacey’s triplets:
‘How are the kids?’ I gave her a puzzled look, wondering if I heard her correctly. My heart began to race and my breathing became faster. Tears erupted as my mind instantly flashed back to 3 years ago.’
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