Brittney was 5 years old and in Kindergarten when, tragically and unexpectedly, her mother went into premature labor with triplet boys. When she was 20 years old, she forever memorialized a reminder of the three loved and lost lives in ink on her wrist.
The story that follows was shared with me by her mother.
“It was her first tattoo. She got it about 2 years ago or so. At the time, I didn’t approve of my daughter getting a tattoo, but she was open and honest with us, and invited her father and I to come along.”
Jerri was 35 years old when she lost her sons. I asked her if she would feel up to sharing about her pregnancy. “Well, when we first found out that I was pregnant, I was flooded with emotions; excitement, uncertainty, fear… the normal. I was a working mom with a dedicated and busy husband, and had an active 5 year old keeping us on our toes. It was several weeks later during an ultrasound not long after Christmas, when what we thought was a normal, singular pregnancy was confirmed to, in fact, be triplets.”
During the course of the pregnancy, Jerri and her husband, David, attended several ultrasounds, as is typical for expectant mothers of multiples. Everything was fine, nothing out of the ordinary, no red flags. “We did find out that 2 were confirmed boys, but the 3rd baby was being shy. We had such a hard time coming up with their names… especially since we didn’t know the gender of the third baby.” With the expectation of a rapidly growing household, the family knew they had much to get ready for.
“When we found out we were having triplets, my doctor wanted me to go on bed rest. I had to quit my job, which was devastating for me. What were we going to do?” They had just bought a brand new car before receiving the news that their family would literally be doubling in size. They found a trade, and came home with a minivan. Bit by bit, they began to make gradual changes, all in anticipation of the expansion to their beautiful family.
25 and ½ weeks into carrying her triplets, Jerri was shocked when she went into early labor. They rushed to the hospital, and the doctors were able to stop the labor. Everything seemed ok through that following evening… or so they thought. The next morning, the doctors performed another ultrasound. It was during that final ultrasound that revealed the heartbreaking news; all three babies had died.
“They induced labor, and I delivered about 45 minutes later. They were all born perfect. They were all boys. They weighed less than 2 lbs. apiece, each under 12 inches long. They were perfect, just perfect. We named them Colton Lee, Preston Tyler, and Dalton Earl.”
The baby boys were born on a Wednesday, and as soon as the doctor released her from the hospital, Jerri and her husband went straight to the funeral home to arrange a funeral and burial for her precious sons. “We had the visitation on Friday night, and a burial on Saturday.” The triplets were laid to rest together, just as they had spent the beginning stages of their lives and development.
It is something that we will never get over or understand, but with each other, we are able to move forward.”