For three years, we tried to have another child. We wanted to give our 5-year-old daughter, Skylar someone to play with. Finally we asked the church to pray for us. In February, 1999, our prayers were answered. We were told that we were expecting and that we were carrying twins! We were so happy. After 6 weeks, we had another ultrasound. The doctor was looking at Baby A and then Baby B when Roger (my husband) noticed something different on the machine. The doctor studied it carefully and looked at us and said, “It’s another baby! You’re going to have triplets!” You could have picked us up off of the floor. So when we went to church the next Sunday we asked the church to stop praying. We were so happy that God would let this happen to us.
During the following months, I became very sick and was in and out of the hospital for 9 weeks out of the 32-1/2 weeks that I carried our triplets. I was forced to quit my job and put on complete bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. Through it all we never lost our faith and trust in God. The church and friends continued to pray for us and the babies the whole time.
Dr. McC. was my OB/Gyn. I had to see her every week. She became more than a doctor to us, she became a friend. By week 25 I was seeing her twice a week to keep a close watch on the triplets’ growth. Until my 24th week we thought we were having three boys, then it was discovered that we were actually having three boys. Then it was discovered that we were actually having two boys and one girl. At this time we gave our babies their names: Baby A became Autumn Rae, Baby B became Seth Marcus, and Baby C was named Thomas Scott.
Beginning with the 29th week, I had to go to the hospital and have a stress test done twice weekly. Finally, on August 24, I was 32-1/2 weeks along. Roger took me to the hospital for the test and I was there all day. I had to let Dr. McC. check me out before I could go home. Around 5 p.m. I went to the restroom and on my way out I got a sharp pain in my right rib. At first the doctor thought I was having a heart attack and they did an EKG on me. Then they thought that Baby B had kicked my rib and broken it. Then they thought my placenta had ripped. So the doctor said we were going to do an emergency c-section.
At 8:50 p.m. Autumn Rae came into this world, Seth Marcus at 8:51 and Thomas Scott at 8:52. Three hours later I woke up and the doctor came to check me out. She asked me if I still had my pain and I said no. That is when she told me what had happened, Autumn’s cord was almost cut in half. If I would not have had that pain, Autumn would have died. We gave God all the praise and glory for our Three Little Miracles!
Our lives began moving in fast speed. The next three weeks were so busy going to the hospital a lot. We got to bring Seth and Thomas home first. I hated to leave Autumn in the hospital, I cried. She came home the next week. She was the smallest so they had to keep her in there for weight gain. Autumn was 3 lbs., Seth was 3 lbs. 4 oz., and Thomas was 4 lb. 3 oz.
Now I had all three of my beautiful babies in my arms. I breastfed all of them, plus I gave them formula. Seth ate very well. Thomas loved to eat and still does. With Autumn you had to put your foot down and tell her who was boss. You had to work with her, but when she got started she was good. The boys slept together and Autumn besides my bed. The next couple of week every time the babies moved Roger and I jumped up.
At night I would get up with the babies. I would do one and then the second and third one. Now when Roger didn’t have to work he’d get up and help. I will never forget the time when all three of them had an ear infection. I was up for the next 5 days. I felt so much better when they started to feel good.
The day came when they started holding their bottles. I cried that day. It was one of the happiest of my life. All three of them were lying on the livingroom floor and I was staring at them and crying up a storm. I called Roger on the phone. We would go through 33 bottles a day, 3 bottles every three hours, and 33 diapers a day, sometimes more.
Then crawling started. Autumn was the one who loved to start everything first. She crawled at 6 months, Seth 6-1/2 and Thomas 7 months. This year went by so fast. Roger and I made it. Autumn started to walk at 12 months, though everyone said they would be slow because they had come early. Well they showed everyone they could do it, Thomas at 13 months and Seth at 13-1/2.
We had the babies a big birthday party. We knew everyone couldn’t fit at our house so we had it at the church, and there were 80 people there. The kids had a great time. Winnie The Poo and Tigger cakes and Seth and Thomas with cake all over them. Autumn was just like a beautiful flower. She just put one finger in at a time, never got any on her-then after a while she dove into it. Everyone had a great time.
Then the holiday came. Thanksgiving and Christmas – Santa came and there was NO room to move around. The kids had so much fun playing together, it was the four of them just playing. We took them out to play in the snow, you should have seen their eyes light up. Roger pulled everyone in the wooden wagon.
It was now the year 2001 and Roger and I knew this was going to be a great year. Well we were wrong. It has been a nightmare for us. The end of March Roger and I went to Lancaster PA for a week, and my parents came to our house and stayed with the kids. It will be one time in my parents’ life they will never forget. The next week we came home and it was great, Roger and I had missed the kids so much. Then on April 8, Roger was at work. I fed the kids supper, plus I was getting ready for work. Roger got off work and went to church to sing. Then he came home and I kissed the kids good-bye. I was holding Autumn and she gave me a kiss and told me Bye-bye. I didn’t know it was the last time I would see my beautiful little girl alive.
I went to work at 6:15, and my husband sat down to eat supper and Skylar was playing with the kids on our deck. She walked into the house to get a drink, it took three minutes. She walked back outside and yelled for her Daddy, “Autumn is missing!” Roger went to look for her and he found her in our family swimming pool. Skylar called 911. They took Autumn to the hospital where I work. The doctors and nurses I work with worked on her. They were so great, they did everything they could have done for her. The night was like a bad dream and you tried to wake up from it but you couldn’t. We got to hold her for about 4 hours, my parents live 3 hours away from us. That was one of the hardest phone calls I had to make, to tell my parents that their granddaughter had passed away.
The next couple of days were so bad I know God helped us with everything. Over 300 people were at the viewing Wednesday night. Roger and I were so tired. Thursday was Autumn’s funeral. We had our pastor say things, plus Roger wrote a poem to Autumn and other people in our church did also. We had a song sung, it was from “NSYNC”-“God must have spent a little more time on you”. Now every time I hear that song I think Autumn is singing it to me. Autumn is at one of the local cemeteries. It’s about 1-1/2 miles from our house. Roger and I go every morning, afternoon and every night. We go and talk to her. She is our guardian angel now.
Mothers Day and Fathers Day were so bad for us. Now our triplets’ birthday is here. They are two years old. On August 24 we sent balloons to heaven for Autumn. There were 70 people there and we sent 210 balloons off. It was so great to see those balloons go to the sky. I know Autumn got every one of them. We had a birthday party for them. We had three cakes. The boys walked up to Autumn’s stone. It has her picture on it. They both kiss her good night. They see her picture and look to heaven and say, “Baby Autumn is in heaven”. Our happy family was great and in one minute our lives changed forever, but know that we will get to see our little angel again. Until then we will always keep you in our hearts forever and ever.
It has been 5 months since our nightmare began, so when you say your prayers just say one for us, remember us. The holidays are coming and I know they will be bad. With all of our love, Daddy, Mommy, Sissy Skylar, triplet brothers Seth and Thomas, and Grammy, Pappy and Uncle Scottie – we love and miss you so much.
Autumn Rae K. 8-24-99 – 4-8-01