Country music star Granger Smith and his wife Amber have opened up about the harrowing moments leading to their 3-year-old son's drowning death and the struggles in their journey toward having another child in the hope of helping others who may be grieving.
The two speak about the death of their son River in 2019 and the journey toward having their son Maverick this month in a new video released on Thursday titled "Honesty in Suffering" from the storytelling media company I Am Second.
Granger Smith shared that he was outside their Texas home as their sons were having a water gun fight in the backyard in June 2019 when River somehow got through their locked pool gate to refill his water gun without Granger seeing him.
Amber was inside the house and came outside to see Granger giving River CPR after he had only been in the pool for about two minutes. The couple then took turns performing CPR until paramedics arrived. They said they were later told at the hospital that there was zero chance of River recovering brain function.
"I experienced the lowest of lows in the days to come, and those days turned into weeks and months," Granger says in the video.
The couple both underwent therapy for post-traumatic stress and trauma following River's death. Granger also said he found solace in the Bible.
At first, Amber dismissed the thought of ever having another child.
"I couldn't do that," she says in the video. "I felt almost guilty like it would be some sort of a betrayal to River."
Granger was in favor of it, but Amber also had reservations about "playing God" because they were have to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. Amber said she had her tubes tied after having River because they had planned on him being their last child.
"I looked at her and I said, 'God makes all the babies, but sometimes man needs to plant the seeds,'" Granger said.
They ultimately decided to have another child through IVF and got pregnant in July 2020, only for Amber to have a miscarriage a month later. They tried again in December, leading to the birth of Maverick last week.
"It is one of the greatest definitions of grief and joy coexisting together," Amber said in the video, which was filmed while she was still pregnant with Maverick.
The baby boy joins daughter London, 9, and son Lincoln, 7, as their fourth child.
"He’s here! Wow…so many emotions," Granger wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Amber with their son. "Maverick Beckham Smith made his debut today. He and @amberemilysmith are doing great."
Just days after giving birth to Maverick, Amber responded to nasty comments made about River's death on social media.
“I never like to give these people more attention than they deserve, but it’s a reminder that we live in a dark world, where people judge one another, and say the most hurtful, cruel things,” she wrote on her Instagram story, alongside screenshots of social media posts questioning their parenting skills.
"Please think before you type or speak your opinions."
The couple had announced in May that they would name the baby Maverick, saying that the name shares the letters R, I and V with River.
“I wanted this baby to have his own identity, and I didn’t want him to be so tied to River,” Amber shared in a YouTube video. “But I did want him to have a little piece of his brother in his name.”