Two Greenville County mothers who both lost their children due to unsafe sleep at Upstate daycares first bonded through a fight to save children. Then, they learned they were pregnant at the same time.
Now, they celebrate the arrival of their “rainbow babies” with a renewed desire to educate and inspire.
When Kathryn Martin learned she was pregnant with a second child, she wrestled with the question, “is it possible to love again after loss?”
Her first baby, Kellie Rynn, was taken too soon at just 3 months old due to unsafe sleep at a Greenville daycare that was over capacity and operating illegally.
“How am I going to love two children? How do you do that,” Kathryn Martin said she questioned.
All it took was Finley Reid Michael Martin’s arrival in April to get an answer.
“Your heart just doubles. You know, half of my heart is just scarred and torn and broken. The other part is brand new and ready for him,” she said.
Kathryn’s is a story of loss, of advocacy and, ultimately, of sisterhood.
Within weeks after Kellie Rynn died, “Kellie Rynn’s voice” was formed by upstate mothers willing to take a stand for tighter daycare laws. It’s a fight they won, passing laws requiring more checks on daycares and they aren’t done.
“The moms of Kellie Rynn’s voice, they have been so supportive, especially Kerri,” said Martin.
Kerri Gray was fighting her own grief with they met. 3 months before, she lost her baby Jackson in ways all too similar to Kellie Rynn.
“I’m so glad to be able to reach out to someone who knows exactly what we went through,” said Gray.
When they learned they were pregnant at the same time, they knew it was fate.
“We went through the pregnancy together,” Gray explained.
Like clockwork, Bailey Kate entered the world ten days before Finley. Two families are linked through tragedy and, now, these little lives are forever bonded through friendship.
“The children will grow up knowing Jackson and Kellie Rynn and I think that’s just a blessing and they always will have their guardian angels,” said Martin.
The days are once again filled with feedings and naps, with these mothers’ arms full again. This finally matches the full hearts they’ve had ever since their first children were born.
“Every day is just “thank God he’s here.” Every moment is a special moment. We take nothing for granted,” said Martin.
They will continue to fight in memory of their children in heaven.
“It’s nothing you want any parent to go through, but our children are saving others. It’s their legacy and it’s our legacy as their parents to continue their mission,” said Martin.
Learn more about Kellie Rynn’s Voice and their movement HERE.