Walker Hayes Details the Heartbreak of Losing His Newborn Daughter and His Wife’s Traumatic Surgery

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Walker Hayes and his wife, Laney, lost their seventh child earlier this year during childbirth. The “You Broke Up with Me” singer and his wife have opened up about the tragic day, admitting that Laney’s life was also at risk following the delivery.

Laney tells People Magazine that a rupture of the uterus caused the death of their daughter, who they named Oakleigh Klover. She explains that the deprivation of blood flow made the baby suffocate inside her. It also served as an explosion within her body.

“I remember going to sleep hoping the baby was okay,” she tells the publication. “I had no idea I was in danger … I remember feeling like I didn’t think it was all going to be okay, but still hoping.”

After a two-hour surgery and massive transfusions, Laney was stabilized. As Walker waited, he wasn’t sure how to tell his wife that they lost their daughter.

“I just waited,” he says. “I really just hoped that this wasn’t going to be the worst day of my life, even though it kind of already was . . . Laney and I have cried a lot but one thing that makes me the happiest is how much love there has been around us. We’ve had the most remarkable questions answered and advice given from people around our neighborhood and in meet-and-greet lines. People walk up to me and tell me their life, and it’s like, geez, thank you for sharing. I don’t even know these people.”

Once Laney awoke and processed the news of losing their baby, the couple decided to spend the rest of the day with their daughter’s body. The encouragement of a stranger who lost her newborn four years before suggested the idea and offered guidance to the two parents.

“I didn’t know what was morbid, I didn’t know what was normal,” Walker says. “But she began just walking me through the process. … It is a miracle she was there.”

The couple buried their daughter several days after Laney was released from the hospital. Laney’s father built a tiny casket for their child while Walker and his three sons served as pallbearers. “It’s not easy to just say goodbye,” he concedes.

Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter is a freelance journalist based in Nashville. When she's not covering the latest music news or interviewing countless country artists, she can be found at a writers round listening to the best up-and-coming songwriting talent Music City has to offer.

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