I am grateful to be bringing back Real Stories of Loss, Hope & Healing to the blog. This week I am honored to share this story featuring Kelli Hayes.
Kelli, thank you for trusting us with your story.
Tell Us About Yourself.
I’m 30 years old. I have 5 total children. Two stepchildren that I have had since they were 3 and 4, my son Grady who would be 3, Canaan who is 2 and Hollin who is 7 months. I spend my days at home with my littlest two! I enjoy being at home and pouring myself into the lives of our children and making memories. Our favorite place is Walt Disney World, we have so many great memories there.
Tell Us About Your Loss.
During what I thought was a normal routine anatomy scan I found out I had no amniotic fluid. My doctor was called in to look at the ultrasound, he immediately referred me to see a specialist. My son was diagnosed with Potters Syndrome. He had no kidneys which meant he would never develop lungs, making his diagnosis fatal. I chose to carry him to term. I went into labor at 34.5 weeks. I opted for C-Section because after a lot of research I learned that Potters Syndrome babies don’t typically survive labor.
Grady was born on June 12,2015 at 3:42, he lived a beautiful 69 mins before The Lord called him home and heal him forever.
What Surprised You About Grief?
The most surprising thing about grief were the highs and lows. Just as you think you have a hold on your grief the wave crashes down on you again. 3 years later those waves still roll in, just not as often.
What Was The Most Meaningful Thing Done For You?
Our church really rallied around us. They loved us well. They fed is, they checked on us, they loved us at every stage of grief.
But, my husband has truly loved me the best. He supports me and protects me from things that sting my heart.
What’s The One Thing You Wish People Would Ask You?
I wish people would continue to acknowledge my Grady. To think about how things feel to me on holidays when he’s missing, to acknowledge that I don’t get to ever see any of his firsts here on a earth. I wish people wouldn’t think that just because he was a newborn that his life and death were somehow less significant.
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Who Has a Grieving Friend?
Be there. Even if you have to sit silently. Be there. Send cards. Send a pizza. Don’t stop reaching out. Understand that birthdays are hard, holidays are hard, getting out of bed is hard. Have empathy.
Tell Us How You Remember, Celebrate & Honor Grady?
- We always have a cake and a candle for him set up at my son’s birthday, who is one year younger than Grady.
- We keep his pictures in our home.
- We visit his grave often.
What Resources Have Been Helpful to You in Your Grief?
- Books. Specifically: Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie.
What Verses Have Been Particularly Helpful?
- “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” Psalms 118:5
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” John 16:20
- “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…” Isaiah 25:8a
What Encouragement Would You Give to Another Grieving Mom?
- Grieve at your own pace.
- Don’t let others tell you how to feel.
- Reach out for help.
- Trust the Lord to help you!