Because of previous C-sections a vaginal delivery would have been risky but with the factor of placenta previa it wasn’t even a possibility. The Graysons were adamant that they wanted to have a “whole” baby, which meant that the best option would be for Melissa to undergo a C-section. “The doctor said he could do it that night or he could do it the next day so we could spend another night with the baby,” Keith said. “We opted for the next day.” On May 7, 2011, Kensley Addison Grayson was delivered stillborn at 22 weeks gestation. She weighed 9.7 ounces and was 9 inches long. ••• ••• ••• ••• “I went into the operating room with Melissa,” Keith said. “They went through the whole thing like they normally do.” “We stayed on the OB floor,” Melissa said. “That was important to me because it validated our experience that we had just had a baby. I didn’t want to go to a medical floor. I wanted to see her,” Melissa said. “Keith was hesitant, but I had to be able to see her. “Angie (OB nurse) brought Kensley to me,” Melissa said. “I didn’t know what to do. The nurses had cleaned her, dressed her and they took pictures. She had every feature of a live newborn.” Keith emphasized that their nurses were great, but Angie was “probably the biggest godsend.” “She explained the various options and encouraged us to hold the baby and interact with Kensley,” he said. “She talked about different funeral homes. Null & Sons offers a cremation option at no charge for people who have just lost babies.” Through the Baby Steps program, the obstetrics nurses took photos and had them developed for the Graysons. They also provided a grievance guide, keepsake box, crocheted blanket and a gown for Kensley. “They also gave us a children’s book titled, ‘We Were
Foundation In Focus │ Spring 2012
Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead,’” Melissa said. “This was very helpful to bring home to Kensley’s siblings.” Weeks later the results came back from the placental testing and a definitive answer was not revealed. Melissa recalls being devastated all over again. “There was no answer for me to have lost our baby. I thought I had to know an answer to ‘Why?’ but, what I know now is that to know ‘why’ would not change the fact that Kensley is gone.” ••• ••• ••• ••• Melissa and Keith can recall a number of conversations they had once Melissa was discharged from the hospital, and there was a common theme. “First and foremost, we knew we needed to put God first and find a church family,” Melissa said. Then Keith added, “And what can we do to make it more bearable for the next mother or family? We are very aware now that these losses happen. Whatever we can do to help them, we want to make it easier.” Melissa, who is an avid scrapbooker, incorporated the photos taken by the nurses into a small keepsake album. Melissa is working with the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation to provide an album for other mothers who do not have a baby to bring home from the hospital. Each album bears the message, “Handmade from the Heart: Inspired by Kensley,” on the back. In addition, the Graysons are planning to donate several copies of the book, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven” by Jack Hayford, to the hospital. “We could look at it as a tragedy, but losing Kensley was a waking-up moment for our family,” Keith said. “She had a big impact on our family. We started going to church and got our kids involved. The experience has really opened our eyes and made us appreciate a lot.” “And not take anything for granted,” Melissa added.