by Betsy Ballweg (mom)
Our boys came barreling into our lives on July 9 at 27 weeks, 4 days. A tad premature but thanks to the amazing NICU staff at St Mary’s SSM hospital in Madison, WI these boys have come such a long way. It has been quite the roller coaster with really high highs and really low lows but these boys are resilient and have such a strong fight in each of them. We have quite the adventure ahead of us (even though it already has been a chaotic adventure up to this point). For all the sleepless nights, the diapers full of poo, the numerous times getting peed on, and for all the projectile spit up- there is that much happiness and love and that much more snuggles. Worth every moment.
ETHAN born at 2lbs 4oz. He was Baby A and started this escapade as he was the one that couldn’t wait to meet his awesome parents and caused all the ruckus leading to my emergency C-section. He has never looked back since and like the stereotypical oldest child he was the first to reach many of the milestones- first to get off the ventilator, first to master bottle feeding, first to come home, and the first to reach double-digit in weight. He is extremely chill and content and one of the best cuddlers. He’s the brute of the three and will undoubtedly watch out for his little brothers for life.
BRYCE born at 1lb 15oz. He was Baby B and the tiniest from the get-go. What he lacks in size he’s determined to make up for in his large loveable personality. He has the infamous alarm clock cry and thrives on getting everyone’s attention, but when he stares at you with his beautiful blue eyes, you forget all about how he was screaming at 4am to “hurry up momma and get my bottle”.
OWEN born at 2lbs 2oz. He was Baby C and always the feisty, restless one since in utero. He has had the toughest road yet keeps surprising everyone at what he’s been able to overcome. He had been known to do one-arm push-ups in his isollette, but his inner strength has helped him endure several blood transfusions, fighting off an infection in his lungs a couple times, and intubation after extubation after intubation after extubation, etc. He still has a bit of a path ahead but like everything else he will overcome and thrive. He’s a sweetheart with his daddy’s dark brown eyes and long eyelashes. No wonder mom’s a sucker for this kid.
It is an indescribable awful feeling to not always be able to be with each of my babies in their most vulnerable state while they fought day in and day out, night in and night out in the NICU. The Zaky hand has provided comfort to each of my sons since they were born. Whether it would be draped over the body, laid right next to them, or even palmed over their head, The Zaky hand soothed them in their most fragile moments. Now with all three boys sprung out of the NICU and finally all home, The Zaky hand continues to provide comfort (as indicated in the pictures).