Kelly Frey gives birth

Tuesday, 22 September 2009 04:39 PM Written by 

WTAE viewers probably noticed the absence of pregnant morning anchor Kelly Frey this week. I spoke to her Monday and she told me she was scheduled to have a C-section this morning.

As regular readers will recall, the Post-Gazette's Mackenzie Carpenter wrote about Frey's troubled pregnancy and her and husband Jason's discovery that their baby had a severe form of holoprosencephaly, a major defect of brain formation.

Frey told me that knowing the birth was going to come earlier than her October due date, she had planned to say something on the air last Friday, her last day at work before maternity leave. But, she said as much as she has appreciated the thoughts and prayers of Pittsburgh viewers, she, undertstandably, wasn't up for the outpouring of concern and phone calls that would come with that announcement.

"We're just praying he'll come out and have a loud mouth like his mom and be able to breath on his own and we'll go from there," Frey said Monday. "And if he can't, we'll have some extremely difficult decisions ahead as parents."

Frey gave me a famly friend as a contact and I spoke with that person today, who said, "It's been a good day. She is resting and family and friends are all around. She and Jason are doing great."

The family friend said they were not releasing any information on baby Bennett's condition. With that, I planned to wait a day to report anything until we had more concrete information.

But now a photographer has publicly posted a photo journal about the baby's birth. Frey had told me about a photographer who had taken pictures of the couple last week for a volunteer group called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Today's photos are raw and filled with emotion. The photographer wrote:

It would be impossible for me to describe the emotion that I witnessed today with Jason, Kelly and their families.  They entered the hospital with a terminal diagnosis for their son and the anxiety and emotion leading up to his delivery was difficult to process.  But I can tell you this, in no uncertain terms, I witnessed a miracle when I heard Bennett cry as he was born. He was able to breath on his own. A MIRACLE. ... It was amazing to watch [Bennett] wiggle and hear him making newborn sounds. He even yawned, which I thought was just the best thing in the world. Poor little guy was so tired from all of the activity. ... They transported Bennett to Children's Hospital for further tests, please keep him in your prayers. And congratulations to Jason and Kelly on their first newborn son! Praise God!

During Frey's maternity leave, Michelle Wright will fill in on WTAE's morning news until Janelle Hall returns from her maternity leave to sit in for Frey.

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