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Alabama football star shares journey to parenthood after tragedy

Former Alabama All-American and current Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly and wife, Emma, have been through tragedy together. They suffered a miscarriage and the loss of their daughter Mary Katherine.

But just over a year later, the Kellys were blessed with Duke and Ford, their twin boys. Ryan and Emma opened up about their journey to parenthood on NBC’s TODAY:

“We prayed. There were so many nights I cried, for months. Almost a year crying and praying. So everything is a little bit different on this side of the fence when you’ve gone through what we’ve gone through. The sleepless nights when they’re both screaming at the same time, it’s all worth it,” Emma said.

Duke and Ford ended up arriving three months early at just two pounds each. The Kelly family spent the first 85 days of their life in the hospital. When they were finally ready to go home, one of the first places Ryan and Emma took them was Mary Katherine’s grave site.

“To bring the boys there was full circle, there was nothing better. From the hospital and not being able to hold them for the first two weeks, everything had led to that moment,” Ryan said.

“I want them to never forget just how much we wanted them and how important she was in them getting here,” Emma said.

Ryan Kelly was a three year starter at Alabama before being drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft to the Colts. He was a critical part of both the 2012 and 2015 national championship teams, winning the Rimington Trophy in 2015 as the nation’s best center.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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