Part of the joy of having a baby lies in the anticipation of the whole process. What will this little life look like? As the baby grows into a child, what likes and dislikes will he or she develop?
What will it be like to go to their graduation or plan a wedding?
That’s part of the reason why a miscarriage is so devastating. Those dreams for your little one’s life disappear as you grieve the horrible loss.
Krysta Davis faced a similar heartbreaking situation. While pregnant with her daughter Rylei, she learned her unborn baby had a serious problem.
According to Parents, doctors discovered that the child had a fatal birth defect called anencephaly, where parts of the skull and brain don’t develop.
Many children with anencephaly live for only a few minutes after birth. Doctors gave Davis the choice to induce the baby which would almost certainly end the baby’s life.
But Davis made a different choice: She decided to carry Rylei to term. She wanted as many precious moments with Rylei as possible and knew she’d be able to donate her organs to help other sick infants.
Davis told The Western Journal that during her pregnancy she remained focused on Rylei, focusing the majority of their discussions about her well-being. “I was so worried that I wouldn’t have any time with her while she was alive.”
Tiny Rylei was born on Christmas Eve.
“At 5:04 p.m., we welcomed this beautiful little girl into the world. Rylei Arcadia Diane Lovett came out 19 inches long weighing 6 pounds even,” Davis wrote on Facebook. “She has amazed me from the moment I saw her little face. I am so in love with my daughter, and I am so grateful to all of the people who shared this day with her.”
Rylei defied the odds and lived far longer than the doctors expected. Rather than living a life measured in minutes or hours, she survived for a whole week.
“After she was born and everyone had a chance to hold her, I cuddled skin-to-skin with her for hours,” she told The Western Journal. “We knew any time we had with her was not promised, so we spent the rest of our time with her smothering her in love and savoring every precious moment.”
The strength of Davis and her partner Dereck Lovett so inspired photographer Clarissa Tilley that she and other photographers decided to dedicate their talents to document as much of Rylei’s life as they could.
“They have taken something devastating and made it beautiful,” Autumn Cleek of Autumn Cleek Photography said. “I mean, what an extraordinary act of kindness they’ve done, and you don’t get to see that every day.”
After Rylei’s passing, her organs were donated to help save the lives of other infants.
“Derek and I are so proud to be the parents of such a special little girl,” Davis told The Western Journal. “Because of Rylei, more people are aware of the importance of organ donation and of anencephaly. She is completely changing the way people see organ donation.”
“The biggest thing we want people to understand is that this is her story,” Davis continued. “We gave her a voice, but none of this would have been possible without our little warrior beating the odds. She will forever be her parent’s miracle and our favorite hero.”
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