May is for Miracles: The big, challenging surprise of the Ward triplets

When parents Chelsea and Cody decided to add one more child to their five children, they were in for a big, and challenging, surprise.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 7:09 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - When parents Chelsea and Cody decided to add one more child to their five children, they were in for a big, and challenging, surprise.

“It was really interesting because with five experiences in the past when they put the ultrasound on,” said Cody Ward, the triplet’s father. “I instantly thought – that’s not what it looked like before. She pulled it off really quick to make sure there were heartbeats. I said, ‘was that three?’ And she said ‘I think so.’”

Chelsea had a pretty normal pregnancy with lots of monitoring due to her being pregnant with triplets and the potential risks. Although a little over 33 weeks, she felt different and decided to go into Sparrow.

“She came in and checked me and I was more dilated and she’s like ‘okay we’ll be cutting in about an hour. Call your husband,’” said Chelsea Ward, the triplet’s mother. “There’s like five kids to get placed, so we went in. I was freaking out and all of the NICU staff that came in told me their name, and who they were and what baby they were going to follow.”

“So months in advance, we knew there were two sets of triples in our community and because of this we had our small baby isolettes set up in labor and delivery close down to the operating room in case one of these moms came in for an emergency C-section so we were ready go from a very early stage – we had extra nurse on call at home, extra providers on call and we had a plan,” said Amanda Terrill, the triplet’s nurse.

Cody rushed to the hospital and a Sparrow nurse took him right up to see Chelsea, minutes before her emergency c-section.

Triplets Theo, Rowan and Merrick ward were born at 33 weeks and three days, all born just under five pounds.

“Everything was really fast paced, but it didn’t feel chaotic, which was really nice,” said Cody. “They were seven and a half weeks early, so, everybody was on c-pap, everybody needed feeding machines, they couldn’t feed by mouth at first, a couple of pic lines for these two ‘cause they kept losing their IV’s and then these two had neutropenia, so they were at high risk for infection,” said Chelsea.

The Ward triplets needed help eating when in the NICU. When babies have a hard time sucking and swallowing, feeding pumps are vital during their stay. Each feeding pump comes with a price tag of $3,500 and Sparrow needs 47 – one at every bedside.

“It was a pretty big deal – they needed them,” said Cody. “Certainly, essential. I think essential for how well it ended up going for them in the long run. Being a preemie, not having that, would have certainly been a problem. I would highly recommend Sparrow Hospital – we always felt like the staff was helping us through it and we never really felt, I guess, lost and if we did – we’d just ask them, and they were always really helpful – called at all hours. Absolutely.”

“It’s so good to see the babies,” said Terrill. “We loved taking care of the babies while they are here in the hospital but always the happiest day for a NICU nurse is the day they get to go home with their parents. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling – to see that they are doing so well and thriving at home.

“Haven’t been a lot of complications at all, post leaving the hospital,” said Cody. We’ve been really blessed.”

Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.