Human Interest

NFL player announces stillbirth of baby girl at 19 weeks: Our ‘souls are crushed’

Indiana Colts player Ryan Kelly and his wife Emma announced on Instagram that they lost their baby girl, Mary Kate, on December 17 when her heart stopped beating for unknown reasons at 19 weeks.

“There is no easy way for us to say what we’re about to say… but we lost our sweet baby, Mary Katherine Kelly, aka Mary Kate, this week,” Emma wrote. “I was 19 weeks along, 1 week from the halfway mark. Women have a 1% chance of losing their baby this far along, and yet somehow, here we are.”

She continued, “[T]his feels worse than hard, it feels so evil and cruel,” she continued. “The pain and brokenness is so unbearable for Ryan and I we don’t even know where to begin.”

via Ryan Kelly's Instagram

In an emotional and heartbreaking message to Mary Kate, Emma told her baby girl that their “souls are crushed.” She added, “I have never been as happy in my life as I was growing you inside me. You gave me real purpose.”

Emma explained that on Wednesday the 15th, she experienced some bleeding and rushed to the hospital where she learned Mary Kate’s heart had stopped. She labored for 24 hours before Mary Kate was born sleeping on December 17.

“I was so angry at first that I had to deliver her, only for it to become the biggest blessing out of this nightmare,” she said. “It gave Ryan and I the opportunity to hold our little Saint, Mary Kate, before officially saying goodbye to her. These 19 weeks with her opened our hearts & souls more than we ever imagined possible & I’m forever grateful we had some time, earth-side, with the little girl who made us mom and dad. She was tiny, perfect and incredibly loved from everyone who knew she existed.”

Ryan also posted to his Instagram account, announcing the loss of Mary Kate. “Nothing made me happier than being your Dad. You gave your Mom and I that gift. You were simply a miracle and always will be. I’m sorry you never got to open those sweet eyes and see us or take your first steps but you have angel wings now. […] Thank you for watching over us and your future siblings. I’ll forever wonder who you’d be today. Until we meet again my sweet girl, I love you.”

Emma also said that sharing the news of their tragic loss was “necessary” for her and Ryan to “begin our healing and accept our new reality.” She thanked her friends, family, and the Colts community for helping them get through this.

“I don’t think we’ll ever understand why God decided to call her home when he did,” she said, “but our faith is unshaken.”

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