Six weeks and thriving
In January Anthony and Megan Boyenga, already parents of two young boys, learned they would add to their brood by late summer. They didn’t expect the addition to be triplets.
Hazyl Moran, Levicy Pearl and Bronly Wade arrived via C-section shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2. Together the babies weighed more than 15 pounds.
Their arrival has left the Boyengas in somewhat of a shock. “I don’t know where the last month went,” Anthony admitted.
From July 9 to Aug. 2 Anthony became the sole parent to Rayden, 7, and Coyer, 2, while Megan was admitted into the hospital for monitoring. The July date marked the triplets’ expected delivery.
“Instead I spent three weeks in the hospital,” Megan said.
Since learning she was carrying multiples, Megan, a stay-at-home mom, curtailed many of her activities, such as any lifting, and focused on gaining weight for the pregnancy.
Periodically she would snap a picture of herself and her growing abdomen. When she entered the hospital in July, her stomach’s circumference reached 44 inches. By the time of delivery, the normally slender 30-year-old’s belly had extended to more than 45 inches.
“Laying down felt the best,” she admitted.
Although a birth in July would have meant fewer aches and pains, Megan said the longer the babies gestated, the less time they would spend in neonatal intensive care (NICU) before going home.
They prepared themselves for the possibility that the babies would spend months in the hospital.
The Boyengas were surprised, however, when Bronly (born at 5 lbs. 3 oz.) was discharged after 10 days in the NICU.
By Aug. 19, Hazel (born at 5 lbs. 5 oz.) was the last to arrive home. Levicy (4 lbs. 15 oz.) was home after 14 days.
The staggering of their hospital releases helped the parents to adjust to having the premature babies in the house.
She admits she was alarmed at first when Bronly spit up as he was being readied for discharge.
“But he was passing the tests,” she said. He was ready to leave.
The tests included sitting in a car seat for 90 minutes. He was hooked to a monitor to measure any change in vital signs. No change meant a passing grade. There were also tests for hearing, the heart and the ability to maintain weight.
Now at home, the triplets are thriving, thanks to a routine filled by the Boyengas themselves.
Anthony said they are succeeding because the triplets’ care is relatively simple. Circumstances would have been different if the three babies had any special needs.
With the assistance of their older children, they are easily handling the eight feedings a day.
The couple prepares 2 ounces of formula or more for each triplet and changes their diapers. That adds up to 24 bottles and as many diaper changes a day.
“Every three hours we are in demand, ” Anthony, a farmer, said.
Family members have filled in during outings with the two oldest children and to complete occasional midnight feedings.
“It’s nice to have some uninterrupted sleep,” Megan said.
The couple expects they will ask for more help once the triplets get older.
For now they said they’re grateful for the support that has come through gifts and a recent gathering where participants were encouraged to bring a package of diapers. The more than 90 packages will eventually be used.
Already Hazyl has gained the most weight in five weeks since their births. She weighs in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. Bronly is at 6 lbs. 15 oz., and Levicy (named after a character from the television program “The Hatfields and the McCoys”) weighs 6 lbs. 1 oz.
Their names come from the fulfillment of both parents’ wishes.
“Tony likes older names,” Megan explained. “(And) I wanted their names to have a ‘y’ in it — Something that’s the same in the names of all the children.”
Thankfully what is not the same are the triplets’ physical features, especially the girls. Hazyl has dark hair and a darker complexion when compared to fair-skinned Levicy. The differences make it easier to tell the girls from one another, Megan said.
At first the triplets slept in the same crib in the nursery. Now Bronly sleeps by himself in another crib and a third crib will be erected shortly.
“We don’t want them to get too used on relying on each other to get to sleep,” Megan said.
As the family’s routines change, Megan updates friends and family on the “Boyenga Triplets” Facebook page. So far, the site has grown to more than 1,000 followers.
As Megan wrote on Aug. 23, “These babies are blessed to have all of you in their lives.”