Jake & Josh are fortunate to have a wonderful big brother, Zac.
He also was our introduction to prematurity.
While pregnant with Zac in 1997, Lori began having contractions at around 23 weeks (ironically) and was put on bed rest. She was given medicine to hold off the labor and steroid injections to help speed the development of his lungs. The day after she went off the labor-prevention medicine, Zac arrived. That was Feb. 17, 1998.
Labor was difficult -- landing Lori in ICU, as happened with Jake & Josh's delivery. Yet Zac (and us!) were fortunate. Although he weighed only 4 pounds, 12 ounces, he never needed any special treatment. He avoided the NICU and all that goes with it.
Zac was 4 when Jake & Josh arrived. There was no way for him to understand everything that was going on, yet visiting his brothers in the NICU must've reached him on some level because he's always understood that Jake & Josh had a difficult start to their lives.
Zac was the one who picked out the red and blue Beanie babies that we put in their cribs early on. Once we realized the boys were the same size as the bears, they took on extra meaning -- and have become almost as iconic to us as the boys' footprints.
The first hospital visit
A close-up shot of Zac, post-braces:
Zac began learning taekwondo in January 2004. Over the years, he has slowly but surely worked his way up in rank, through all the various color belts. On Saturday, April 28, 2007, his perseverance paid off with him earning his black belt.
You can have look of pictures in gallery below !
Zac with Grand Master Yim and Master Lee
Zac was 4 when his twin brothers were born and was nearly 5 by the time they came home from the hospital. The older he's gotten, the more curious he's become about their early struggles. He's now 10 and has an amazing appreciation for what they overcame. Below are several examples, all part of 3rd-grade classwork. (They are typed up as-is, followed by scanned versions of the originals)
Students were asked to write a true story and provide a one-page illustratration. Here is what Zac chose to write about, without ever telling us he did it; we found out when the entire class album was sent home.
My Brothers' Miracle Surgery
It all happend five years ago, when my brothers were born four months early. They were the size of Beanie Babies and they needed surgery or they would not survive. Their arms were so skinney you could fit a dime all the way down their arms. A few months after they were born it was time for the surgery and the docters said, "They might not survive through it." My mom, my dad, and I said goodbye to them, but the surgery worked and they lived!! HORRAY!! I was as happy as someone curing world hunger.
Their names are Jake and Josh and they are now very healthy.
By their brother,
My brother Jake is an everyday hero because he was a miracle baby. How is he a miracle baby you ask? Well he is a miracle baby because he and his twin brother Josh were born 4 months early and the doctors said they would not survive but the surgery worked and they lived. Jake is now 5 1/2 and he is a very helathy boy and if you want him to sing in front of 1,000,000,000 people then he will do it without getting scared at all.
Dear Jake and Josh,
Thank you for always helping me when I need help and why did you try to come out of your mom 4 monthes before you were supposed to. You are vary lucky you lived because I was super scard you were not going to live. If you two were not my brother then I probley would go on your web site and show all my friends and be braging that I know you. Love you.