Three Cribs Minus One

We took Owen’s crib down.  The very place our sweet child stopped breathing.  The crib bumper and mobile were the last things our precious baby saw before death swept in.

What could have been the last thing Owen saw:

Owen’s crib was in the middle/corner.  We placed them in birth order.  First Logan, then Owen and on the end Weston.  The first night back at home we moved the cribs so Logan and Weston would be right next to each other.  I didn’t want them to feel the gapping space of a lost brother and empty crib in between them.

Doug really wanted to take it down … keep moving forward.  I dragged my feet for the first few days but was ready.  Jaden was spending the night at my parents and we found time where the two of us could be together and get it done.  I stood in the corner taking pictures … documenting the removal of my child’s bed.  Not because he was now a big boy and no longer needed a crib, but because he was dead.

A mother and her camera usually spell out proud mother, milestones, sporting events, birthdays, happiness.  I had my camera to hang onto the last moments of the physical evidence that we have triplets.  Every bolt removed, every board removed – I photographed.  Not sure what else to do … I couldn’t let his crib be taken down without notice.  It was a big deal – a milestone of sorts.  Just not a milestone I ever thought I would want to remember.

The frame is disassembled and in the back shed.  The linens are folded neatly and stored to be sold with the other bed sets, as a three pack.  Hopefully to offer comfort to another child at some point in time.  I debate who would want the bedding of a dead child?  But if they never knew who’s it was … would it matter?

As a new mother I’m not sure I could lay my child to rest on the very sheet a child died in.  Disgusting.  How often does it happen tho?  Will the sheets that Owen used in the hospital be used again with another child?  How much do we not know about the ones and the things we encounter in life?

The room that was once crammed with cribs, now feels so open and almost empty.  There are still two cribs and a changing table … but it feels empty.  I want to get a rocking chair for where Owen’s crib was.  On some level just to fill the space so it feels as full as before, but also for a place to sit while the boys sleep.  To keep them company when they may or may not need it.

Owen’s crib was removed, but it was replaced with the feeling and sense of loss.

I am thankful that Weston and Logan won’t know the feeling of a missing bed.  They at least won’t have their own memories of three beds being cut down to two beds.  For that I’m thankful.  I can take away some of the pain from my kids … I can carry this weight for them.  As a mother all I have ever wanted to do was give my kids happiness and protect them from pain.

They will be raised knowing that they are triplets.  That their brother Owen died at 6 months old.  But may they feel warmth from his memories that Doug and I keep alive.   May they never feel the pain of emptiness when they are referred to as twins.  I pray that Jaden, Logan and Weston come through this feeling more loved than before … now they have an angel on their side.

Love, Mel


  1. Praying for your family! I remember the day I had to take down one of my cribs. So difficult and left me with such an empty feeling. My boys will always be triplets too and they will always know that one piece to their puzzle is always looking down on them from heaven.

  2. As a mother of five month old twins who spent some time in the NICU your story really hit me hard. While I don’t know you you have been on my mind a lot the past few days. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope your writing helps you find comfort.
    All the best-

  3. I continue to pray for you and your family. I think of you daily and whisper prayers as your cross my mind. I hope that you find comfort knowing that someone somewhere is lifting you up in prayer, even during the moments you don’t even know but that you are dealing with a “process of moving forward” – there is someone praying for you. Screaming, whispering, saying petitions to God for you and your family.

  4. I like hundreds of other mothers around the country have been following your blog as you’ve detailed the pain and anguish of losing your sweet Owen. As a parent of five month old twins reading your entries has been heartbreaking, and has changed my perspective on motherhood entirely. While I feel it is impossible to find the right words to comfort a grieving mother, and the support of thousands can never take away the emptiness, you will make it through. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Again the tears roll down my cheeks and my heart aches a little more for you all. I can’t fathom where you find the strength that you do. It really is amazing. I often think about what you do when feel weak though and imagine today may have been one of those moments. When you set up that beautiful nursery it didn’t occur that one would be taken down due to an untimely death. It seems beyond comprehension. I continue to think good things for you and pray that your strength keeps you living on in Owens memory.

    I like the idea of a chair to perch yourself on while watching Logan and Weston sleep or rocking them into a restful night of slumber and sweet dreams of their Owen. I think I would do a glider though as I suspect Owen now glides with the angels.

    Much love,


      • It truly was a nice comment, and the comment about the memory bear, fantastic, each baby could have a bear from brother. You fb people are all so caring n thoughtful. Mel doug n boys. Hugs to all n prayers !

  6. I, also, am heart broken for you and your family. tho i can FEEL through your words what strength that you have. Know too, that we pray for you, cry with you, and support you on your journey. Owen’s name will live on in our thoughts and spoken words of the love your family together has as a unit, and the strength of you & your husband. every word you write is read by others who lift you up in prayer. My mom had a favorite Psalm….121. i read it often and it brings me comfort..i will include it in my prayers for Owen & for you.

    stay strong, we are listening and hearing you. we hold you close in prayer.

  7. Oh Mel, wish I could give you a big hug right now. Can’t imagine what you and Doug are going through on this journey, but what a strong unit you are. Those boys are so lucky to have you two for parents.

    Stay strong, and find comfort in knowing a precious angel now protects all of you.

    I’m here for anything you might need. Keeping you all in our continuous prayers.


  8. As many others, I do not know you or your family but have been following your blog the past couple of weeks. I only wanted to comment to suggest maybe you keep Owen’s sheets, blankets, and or clothes that remind you of him and have someone make a quilt out of all the pieces. Just an idea of something for you to hold onto.

    You are inspriring and we are moved by your story. We keep your family in our prayers.

  9. My heart breaks for you, but I know you will survive this. Your boys will feel love like they never knew possible. Put the chair there and snuggle with all your boys. Keep close with your husband and family. You ar always in our thoughts!

  10. I think Julia has a beautiful idea of making a blanket something you can wrap yourself in, wrap the children in or whatever you decide to make them it is part of Owen and he is now the angel looking down on you would be nice for him to see the sharing

  11. Wow. How difficult that must have been for you and Doug. I can’t even begin to imagine. Your husband looks so strong. May God continue giving you the strength you need during this time of sorrow.

    I, too, hope you make a quilt with Owen’s bedding, favorite clothes, etc. Maybe one for each of the boys. And I love your idea of a rocking chair and rug in the area where Owen’s crib once stood. A place to rock your boys and tell stories of their warrior brother, Owen.

    I wish you peace, although I know that won’t come for some time. I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. You are so strong to be able to remove Owen’s crib so soon. Piper has been gone for almost 5 months, yet her room still sits exactly as it was the day she died. I can’t let go of it. I continue to think of you and your family everyday. My heart aches knowing the pain you are going through.

  13. Mel,
    I would think that it would be an honor to put my child on a sheet where a child was so loved and went to be with God. Maybe Warrior Owen left a tiny spark in that crib to watch over any who use it in the future. I understand about photos and sheets. The only photo I have as proof of the baby I lost was a picture of the home pregnancy stick reading positive, and I still use the sheets that have a slight stain from my miscarriage. It is a tangible reminder of an intangible person. Take all the pictures that you want. Can’t wait to see them.

  14. I found your post today off of topmommyblogs and have spent HOURS catching up on your story (in fact my husband just came out and said, “you do know it’s 12:30Am do you not?”). I’m so sorry for your loss. I truly am. As a mom of 4 young boys (7,5,3,1) myself I can not even fathom losing one of them. I would be crushed.

    Even though I knew the outcome of the story when I went back, I found myself pleading and praying and crying with you for his recovery. You have such strong faith. Hold to that. It will be be the key to your endurance.

    I believe that families can be together FOREVER! For now his mission is in heaven (maybe he’s YOUR guardian angel now) but I believe you will see your sweet angel Owen again.

    My prayers are with you and your boys.

  15. You do not know me but I saw your blog on a post of a friend on facebook. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. As a mother of a 10 year old and a 1 year old I can not even imagine what you are going through. I read in your latest post you are looking for a rocking chair to place where Owen’s crib once was. I have a glider/rocker w/ottoman that I no longer use in my daughter’s room and wanted to offer it to you if you would like. I can imagine there will be peace found as you rock your other boys to sleep at night or comfort them when they are sick, all while still remembering your little Owen, their triplet brother. You can send me an email if you are interested
    Prayers and love to you,

  16. I can’t imagine what you 2 are going through but watching the process with this awesome faith and love you have, has been amazing. I think about you all, alot. The prayers for peace and comfort have not stopped. Please if you guys need anything let us know.
    God Bless you and keep you in his arms. Amy J.

  17. Wow Mel,
    How strong you and Doug are to have taken down that crib. I probably would have been crying the entire time. I continue to give you just so much credit for being such a strong mother. I think that a rocking chair would be perfect in there. Tell Owen’s brothers many stories, if it were me, I’d probably sit in that rocking chair for hours watching the 2 other beautiful babies sleep and make sure they are safe. God bless you and your family Mel, thanks for the continuation of your wonderful day by day experiences. We are all here for you and are keeping you in our prayers.

  18. My cousin carried quads, but one was born still. To this day, they aren’t the triplets, to me, they’re still quads….we just have one in heaven and three on earth.

  19. Melissa and Doug, thank you so much for continuing to share your journey with all of us. There isn’t a day that goes by that Owen and your family are not in my thoughts and prayers. I truly hope you continue this blog so that all of us can continue to walk with you and your family in the comming days, months and years and celebrate your faith and strength. May God continue to bless you.

  20. I can’t imagine how hard that was. I also like the idea of the quilt and the rocker. You can sit in the rocker during those times when you just want to be with Owen and “feel” Owen around you. It will be a very special place for you and the other boys. Owen’s spirit will always be there. I think you are an amazing woman and I feel like I know you through your blog. Maybe one day I will be able to meet you… I hope so. Continued prayers being sent your way!

  21. Mel,
    I am a mother of 21 month old triplets girls plus a 7 year old boy. A member of sewmot. I am touched by your story and by the way you expresses yourself on your blog. It is amazing that way you Carrie yourself and how strong you truly is.
    I find myself crying & heartbroken every time I read your blog. I can’t imagine what you & Doug are going through. Your story has made me think a lot. And I do find myself going into my baby’s room a lot more now. I look at my babies and all I see is Owen, his story. OMG!! I can’t stop thinking about it. it has touched my heart in so many ways. I really don’t know where you find the strength that you do. It really is amazing!! God is with you. You & Doug are so strong and great parents. I admire you both. Jaden, Logan & Weston They will always have an angel on their side” little Warrior Owen” My thoughts & prayer are with you & family.

    PS, I love the rocking chair idea. I think that would work perfect for you.

  22. First of all, my deepest sympathies on your loss. Secondly, your writing is so beautiful and heartwrenching. I hope the act of putting all your thoughts down is eventually a big part of your healing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  23. It truly was a nice comment, and the comment about the memory bear, fantastic, each baby could have a bear from brother. You fb people are all so caring n thoughtful. Mel doug n boys. Hugs to all n prayers ! Mel you share your innermost personal thought, you show us pics, we hear your voices , meet your families. U make us feel better you will survive, I want you to put this in a book. We all can buy and spread the word on little warrior Owen. And tee shirts and bracelets. Love. N hugs to all

  24. I was led to your blog by a dear friend who was probably led by the same way times 5.

    I have prayed for Owen, you, your family – and I know it doesn’t mean a whole lot in a time like this but please know there are people who are reading your story and feeling your pain and would do anything to take it away.

    You are very strong and your words help other who you may or may not know make it through their day…even though they might never feel the loss you have been through. God love you.

  25. Hi, Mel. Thanks for sharing your words here. My wife and I lost all three of our triplet boys 4 days ago and, as overwhelmingly encouraging as all the support and sympathies we’ve received have felt, it’s still hard to shake the loneliness and profound sadness that this loss has inspired. We feel very unnerved and out-to-sea and reading your story helps a tiny bit.

    Prayers for you, friend. I wish neither of us knew how this feels.

  26. We didn’t have the chance to assemble all three of our cribs, but I do understand your sentiments here. There was something very big and hollow-feeling when they took our children away for the last time, leaving that empty bassinet in the room with us.

    I’m sorry, I’m sure none of this helps. It’s just too tempting to share with someone who has any idea what we’re going through.

    Sorry. Thanks again.

  27. Oh sweet Owen! Your brothers, daddy and mommy and the WHOLE world miss you sweetheart! Remembering you guys every day in prayer. Lots of love! Rach and family

    *It was good to see you out at the SEWMOT dinner-wish I was sitting next to you though because I felt like I hardly got to talk with you. I hope you had a good time. HUGS!

  28. …you all have an angel on your side. Life goes on. Take it a breath at a time, a day at a time. You and Doug are amazing. Stick together, help each other and know that we continue to pray for you everyday. Love you guys.

  29. Melissa and Doug,

    I have been following your blog since Owen was admitted to Childrens. My friend is a nurse there and told me about it. While I lost a baby pre-term that heart ache cant compare to what you are going through. While following your story I laughed, have been astonished, and of course cried. I would like to offer my sewing skills to your family. As my daughter has grown up she has had favorite outfits, special tshirts from people, special blankets etc. We plan to cut each article into squares and quilt a memory blanket when she gets older. As I read your blogs I cant help but think what comfort such a blanket might bring to you. Maybe even small cuddle one for each boy as a reminder of their warrior brother who was too strong to be held on this mortal earth. Free of charge of course! Please email me if your interested,

    May God give you the strength to get through the weeks and months to come and may he show you the light in what seems like only darkness.


  30. God bless your heart!!! He is the lifter of our heads, when we are weak HE is strong. Even though this was so tragic, God is sovereign and knows all that goes on, and yes we get angry about it but ultimately He knows the perfect will for our lives,

    I love you and your family (even though we never met) I love you with the Love of Christ…if nobody else knows what you have gone through. HE does because God sent his Son Jesus to die for us.But Praise God He is alive and all powerful!!!

  31. I started following your blog when I heard your story on the radio. My thoughts and prayers have been with you and your family, and I’m happy that our friend Neil from Front Room was able to help you out at the hospital as well. Anyway, I know you mentioned in one of your posts that you were worried about Jaden understanding and dealing with the loss of his brother, and I wanted to let you know about Kyle’s Korner. I recently heard about them when approached to do some pro-bono photography for them, which we’ll be working on soon. They are a wonderful organization, that could hopefully help you and your family in this time of need:

    The raw honesty and emotion in your postings is something to commended, and people can relate to you on so many levels. While strangers have been reaching out to help you, you’re also helping them by being so open about your feelings on this blog. Hopefully knowing that can be a beacon of light for you as well.

    God Bless,

  32. Hello,
    I am so sorry for the sudden loss of your little one. What a jolt — a horrible, unfair jolt — to your family. We have 3 children (including twins) with us…and 3 children that never became our “take home babies.” Anyway, I just wanted to offer a link to a website that my clients have found helpful (I am a parent coach).

    On that link, if you look at the box mid-screen and click on “Bibliography” it gives suggestions for many books for children on grief/death/dying. Perhaps you will get what you need from the library or via another search…but I just wanted to offer…

    The website as a whole is helpful in talking about what a grieving child goes through and what is normal as far as reactions/behavior, etc.

    Please ignore me, and I apologize if this was a bit out of bounds to post to your — a stranger’s blog.

    With wishes for healing and strength for you and your entire family,

  33. This is so heartbreaking. I will keep you guys in my prayers. I can’t image the feeling you must have had, taking down his crib. I’m so sorry.

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