Miracles still happen, right?


It has been a long time since I read a story in the newspaper to find it splotched with my tears by the time I get to the last word.  The last time that happened was when I read how John Challis would sit up late at night with his father and would apologize to him for not being able to beat the cancer that eventually took his life at 18 years of age, but not before he managed to rally the city to make the most of the moments we’re given.

I am still affected by him.

So this week when I saw WTAE’s Kelly Frey’s gorgeous blue-eyed face in the top header of my morning Post-Gazette, little did I expect to read the story that I did.

Before I say anything, I beg of you, do not turn the comment thread into an abortion discussion.  If politics is the boiling lake of lava of controversy, abortion is the actual Sun. You can’t get any hotter. (Dear space scientists, if there is something out in the universe hotter than the Sun, keep it to yourself.) You will not convince someone to change their view on abortion by using your words any more than you will convince someone to switch political parties based on some statistics.

What I do want to tell you is this:  Kelly Frey is carrying a baby not expected to live long at all outside of the womb. You know how I feel about sick kids, and this baby is the youngest and the sickest possible and I can’t imagine ever having to look at an ultrasound and daily feel a baby kicking around with glee inside of me, all the while knowing I will never have the chance to know the child long enough to see him simply smile.

It’s heartbreaking and I just wanted to be sure you were all aware of it and I’m sure, like me, you have never wanted a miracle for someone else more than you want this one for Kelly.


  1. malbrec92
    August 27, 2009 1:31 pm

    So heartbreaking. I read it yesterday online. I just think of a stranger in a grocery store asking her, “are you excited?” How is she supposed to answer a question like that? At least she’s probably not in a position where an acquaintance is likely down the road to say, “I remember you were pregnant last time I saw you. How’s motherhood?” Ugh. The heartache.

    I appreciate Kelly’s comment that she would never judge anyone in a situation like hers. Parents who lovingly conceived a child they wanted to keep, only to find themselves facing this situation? Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

    Praying and sending good thoughts their way for peace of mind, peace of heart, peace from the judgement of others.

  2. BryanS
    August 27, 2009 1:41 pm

    That was a heart-wrenching read, especially as my sister is 3 months pregnant. I feel for Kelly and her husband.

    It has to be doubly hard to go to work every day when you work with Jennifer Antkowiak and Wendy Bell, two women who have healthy kids on a regulare basis.

  3. bluzdude
    August 27, 2009 1:42 pm

    It’s hard to imagine a more painful situation for two parents to experience. I wish them the best…

  4. Ed P.
    August 27, 2009 1:42 pm

    It’s personal, sad, and a really hard choice that they are living with as best as they can.

  5. chrys
    August 27, 2009 1:44 pm

    This is too heartbreaking. I am 38 and 9 weeks pregnant with my 3rd.. I can’t imagine.. This happened to a co-worker of mine years ago. She was pregnant with her second and she decided to carry the baby too. She is one of the strongest people I have ever known. I will keep Kelly, her husband and her beautiful baby boy in my prayers.

  6. TwinMamaTeb
    August 27, 2009 1:59 pm

    There is a special place in heaven for people like Kelly, Jason, and little Bennett.

  7. Pa-pop
    August 27, 2009 2:03 pm

    Suddenly my worst day seems so trivial. Kelly and Jason will be remembered in my prayers so that God may grant them continued strength and courage.

  8. Carla
    August 27, 2009 2:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! This is the first time I saw the article, so heartbreaking. I am 21 weeks pregnant and could not imagine having to go thru that, but completely respect her “not judging” comment. What an amazing couple to share their story with all of us. Knowing the good people of Pittsburgh – we will shower them with love and support thru all of this, maybe helping just a tiny bit.

    Special prayers to Kelly and her family!

  9. Sexy Jesus
    August 27, 2009 2:11 pm

    It’s trite but, unfortunately, absolutely true. Losing a child changes a person permanently. I often wonder if people (people who do and don’t know that my wife and I lost a child) realize that I used to be a different, happier person. For Kelly and her husband to take this on publicly is incredibly courageous and saddening.

    I also appreciate the kind and delicate way that the comments have addressed this topic. Not unexpected, but reassuring.

  10. Carie
    August 27, 2009 2:11 pm

    A friend of mine, a few years back, carried a baby to term that she was told would likely not survive, I believe Matthew had Potter’s Syndrome. He died within hours of his birth. She carried him, hoping that a miracle would occur, and sadly, it didn’t. It was so heartbreaking.

    My heart goes out to Kelly and Jason, it really, really does.

  11. Tinare
    August 27, 2009 2:17 pm

    I read the story yesterday and was in tears. A truly heartbreaking situation. I have great respect for Kelly and her husband.

  12. Pensgirl
    August 27, 2009 2:24 pm

    There are people who say “everything happens for a reason,” but it’s nearly impossible to imagine what reason could be valid enough for people to have to go through this kind of pain. Can’t even begin to imagine how this feels.

  13. Jennifer
    August 27, 2009 3:47 pm

    So very sad, I can’t imagine much worse than going through pregnancy only to lose your little boy so soon, and thinking about it for so many months in the process instead of thinking happy thoughts. After reading the article, I had to go look at the pictures I posted earlier today of Wyatt who gave us an ultrasound scare at 28 weeks followed by 5 weeks of worrying about a possible problem before the next ultrasound was clear. http://omg2babies.blogspot.com/

  14. Michael
    August 27, 2009 3:48 pm

    My prayers go out to Kelly and her family. I truly admire her for not only going through with what she is going through, but to do so publicly. That has to be one of the most gut wrenching things anyone would have to deal with.

    The births of my children are truly two of the most joyous things that I have ever witnessed. To know that that joy will be shortly ripped from you is unimaginable.

    Thank you Kelly for sharing your story. You are a brave, brave woman!

  15. Bobbo
    August 27, 2009 4:50 pm

    There aren’t even words. I cried when I read this story. :(

  16. mudbugs
    August 27, 2009 5:12 pm

    I so so so hope they get a miracle.

  17. Steelman
    August 27, 2009 5:14 pm

    I will be praying for Kelly and the baby. Miracles do happen.

  18. Emilie
    August 27, 2009 5:18 pm

    Prayers to Kelly and her husband….this was the most heartwrenching story to read….I can’t even imagine what they are feeling…all I know is that my heart breaks for them and I can only pray that is God watching over them as they go through the next few weeks until Bennett’s arrival.

  19. PittGirl Fan
    August 27, 2009 5:54 pm

    I read this yesterday and I it broke my heart. So very sad.

  20. Christine
    August 27, 2009 6:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I would have missed it otherwise. How brave they are for telling their story. I know they’ll be receiving a ‘Burghful of prayers, including mine.

  21. fsbigbob
    August 27, 2009 7:18 pm

    read it on the pg site yesterday

    ripped my heart out…And drained my dad super powers

    hopefully her being strong enough to share her story helps others in a similar situation

  22. Joyce
    August 27, 2009 7:23 pm

    I can’t imagine going through something like that. I really admire them for not only being so brave, but for going public with their story. I’ll be praying for a miracle every day.

  23. No Princesses Here
    August 27, 2009 7:45 pm

    What an impossible and soul shattering situation. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am to have a healthy child. It’s so unfair (to say the very, very least) that not everyone is so lucky. No parent should ever have to experience that kind of heartbreak. I’ll be praying for a miracle for them.

  24. Kacie
    August 27, 2009 7:59 pm

    So terribly sad. What do you say to a pregnant woman who is carrying a terminal baby? How do you comfort her?

  25. spoon
    August 27, 2009 8:18 pm

    My heart goes out to her. As soon as i read it in the morning I ran upstairs and hugged Teaspoon for a good 10 minutes as he woke up. We spent a lot of time with those girls in the Mercy NICU and maternity wared. she is in excellent hands. I cant say enough good things about those women.

  26. Nancy
    August 27, 2009 8:31 pm


    If you have any way of getting in touch with Kelly, please please please let her know about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, found at http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/. They support parents in difficult situations such as this by providing photography services at no charge, so that even if the little one can only be here on earth a short time, the memories can be beautifully preserved. I hope she will look into it.

    And we’ll be praying for them.

  27. Summer
    August 27, 2009 9:00 pm

    They are incredibly strong people. My prayers will be with them and their son.

  28. Kristy
    August 27, 2009 9:05 pm

    I was shocked when I read this yesterday. I was at a baby shower where Kelly was this spring. I was dealing with an overly fussy 3-month-old at the time and apologizing profusely to all the women, who were nothing but gracious. Then Kelly announced to all of us who didn’t work with her that she was expecting. I think I told her something like, it won’t be long until this is you, ha ha…as my daughter wailed because she was tired. Kelly was so excited. May God bless her, her husband and the baby for as long as he is with us.

  29. tehamy
    August 27, 2009 9:08 pm

    I read the story in the PG yesterday morning. I was sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my face. I can’t not even imagine what Kelly and her husband are going through. If miracles do exist, I pray with all my might that a miracle happens for them.

  30. Scott
    August 27, 2009 10:14 pm

    Reading the article in the Post-Gazette, I think the miracle, that Bennett Ryan has been blessed with parents like Kelly and Jason, has has already occurred.

  31. sbr
    August 27, 2009 10:19 pm

    How do you comfort a couple going through this? Bless them with your prayers. The story hit very close to home for my husband and I. Reminded us of our first pregnancy, when we learned at 18 wks. our son would be born with Down syndrome. And our third, where at 20 weeks our baby no longer had a heartbeat. My advise is that they cling to eachother, and trust that He knows what he is doing. We prayed every day that God would change our son…in the end he changed us (for the better). Also, not to give up hope for growing their family. We went on to have two more children. Our girls are their brothers best advocates at 4 & 5 yrs. old. And the five of us can’t wait to meet Baby (our last name) when we get to Heaven. http://www.benotafraid.com

  32. Lala
    August 28, 2009 10:14 am

    When we lost our baby at 25 weeks, it was a more horrible experience than I ever could have imagined. I can’t even fathom how they are going to feel after carrying a baby full term, but I hope they feel strength from all the readers who are sending warm wishes.

  33. Dan (Not Onarato)
    August 28, 2009 10:37 am

    Miracles do happen and to Kelly, Jason and little Bennett, we are praying for you.

  34. Kayla
    August 28, 2009 1:06 pm

    How absolutely heartbreaking… I followed a blog of a woman who went through a similar situation (http://sgirl79.blogspot.com/), and I just can’t imagine the strength it takes to go through something like this, hoping and praying for a miracle.

  35. Erin
    August 28, 2009 1:20 pm

    I’m the mother to 5 glorious children, one of whom is severely disabled. If I knew while I was pregnant with her what her diagnosis was, I’m not sure what I would have done. It’s so difficult living every day taking care of an 11 year old child who depends on you for everything from feeding to diapering. Everything my entire family does and everywhere we go, depends on her needs and capabilites. It’s physically and emotionally draining. My wish for Kelly and her husband would be the same wish I have for my family: when the time comes for that sweet little angel to leave this world, I hope that they are ready to say goodbye and have made peace with it. Losing your child must be the most horrific pain on this Earth. I have spent every year since my daughter’s diagnosis wondering if she will see another birthday. It’s more than other parent should have to go through. Their entire family are in my thoughts.

  36. Chris
    August 28, 2009 2:22 pm

    How very heartbreaking. It makes me appreciate all over again how lucky we were to have a pregnancy with no complications and now have a healthy happy almost 14 year old. My prayers go out to Kelly and Jason.

  37. Megan
    August 28, 2009 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story! We know a couple who’s baby had a similar ‘condition’, they carried him to term and celebrated his life every day, for all 10 days. I have 5 losses under my belt and was told on 4 occasions that I could lose my son (who’s now 16mos) – miracles do happen! Prayers for them indeed!!!!!!

  38. Pittsburgh girl
    August 29, 2009 1:40 pm

    very sad story, thanks for sharing this. I will definitely keep the family in my prayers. may God be with them and give them peace

  39. Shannon
    August 29, 2009 1:58 pm

    I am in tears. I hadn’t heard about this yet. Thanks for sharing.

  40. TJ
    August 30, 2009 1:30 pm

    I agree with Scott. As sad as this is, I think the miracle you pray for and the one you get may be two different things, but no less miraculous. Kelly has gone public and given strength to others in similar situations, I don’t doubt. She will be changed, and hopefully after the time she needs in the long run, she and her husband will get closer and continue to be a resource for others in their life together. Based on my own experience, I have found that certain life-changing events lead one to find an even more meaningful sense of purpose and meaning.

  41. Michael C
    August 31, 2009 6:34 pm

    My wife and I were expecting our second child to come in late August 2008. During a routine exam in her 29th week, we found out that the baby had a very fast and irregular heartbeat (floating around 300 beats per minute). My wife was admitted to the hospital and, over a week of treatments at Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, they thought they had this problem under control.

    Well, they were mistaken.
    The subsequent week, Sweet Pea (My wife) went back to the hospital to be checked out two times and both times the baby’s heart beat was hovering around 250/minute. Finally, the Thursday before the 4th of July 2008 they admitted her again and tried a new drug to get things under control. They told us if the baby was going to be born prematurely, he/she was not going to make it.

    In-utero, he developed a very serious problem called ‘hydrops’ which is kind of the infant form of congestive heart failure. His heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs were being crushed by fluid and he stopped moving. Typically 95% of boys born with this die (girls it is still above 85%). The next day “Rocco” was born by emergency c-section. We nicknamed him “Rocco” because he had to be so tough.
    The night he was born, the doctors told us that we should be prepared for the worst…and the next day they told us to get ready to make funeral plans.

    Then a miracle happened:

    After two days of ‘we’re doing everything we can’ he began to show very slight signs of improvement. He was by no means anywhere near stable and was very critical…but he STAYED here, and that made all the difference.

    We celebrated his 1st birthday last month and he is walking and blabbering and is a wonderful and healthy(ish) little peanut of a tough guy. He beat the incredible odds and we have been praying VERY hard for Ms. Frey’s family, though the chances are very small, that their little one can beat the odds also. We only wish there was something we could do to help.

  42. Anne
    September 5, 2009 2:15 pm

    My heart hurts for this family. To decide to carry a child, knowing you must make plans for his death, rather than his life…I think many of us cannot even wrap our minds around the strength and faith this would take. I am saddened and awed at the same time.