Mother of preemie twins on Christmas: ‘They are my everything’

Ryan Smith and Elyssa Williams won’t look under a Christmas tree this morning for presents.

Instead they will drive from their Middletown home to the Berry Women’s Center neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Miami Valley Hospital where they will unwrap their bundles of joy: twin boys, Bradley Wayne Smith and Grayson David Smith.

The boys were supposed to be born closer to Valentine’s Day 2020, but were born at 30 weeks on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day.

Bradley was 16 inches long, weighing 2 pounds, 15 ounces and his brother was born 10 minutes later at 15.5 inches, 2 pounds, 15 ounces. The identical twins are being monitored in separate incubators and probably will remain in the NICU until close to Feb. 15, their due date.


Williams, 23, was a patient at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown until she and her boyfriend, 21, were told they were having multiples and they were transferred to Miami Valley Hospital. Williams said she found out she was pregnant after two weeks.

Then they were told “the biggest shock of our lives,” she said.

During the examination, the nurse at Atrium told them: “You want to know something? There are two babies.”

A few seconds later, the nurse dropped this bomb. “Wait, there are three babies.”

But after 11 weeks, they lost “ Baby C.”

Williams said the pregnancy was all natural and she always wanted twins.

“I love kids,” she said.

“She will be a great mother,” said Ryan’s Smith mother, Renee Smith, who was in the NICU.

The pregnancy was “a little bit rough” and Williams was admitted to the hospital for two days because of leaking fluid, she said. One week after her baby shower her water broke. Eight hours later she was a mother to twins.

“They were ready,” Williams said while holding Grayson’s hand as he slept in his incubator. “They said, ‘Here we come mom.’”

And just like that, their lives changed forever. Priorities are different now, she said.

“When I look at them I see nothing but beauty and love,” she said. “I can’t express how much I love them. I never thought I’d love something like this. It’s hard to express.”

Then she found the right words: “They are my everything.”

The couple plans to tell their twins about Baby C and how they were supposed to be triplets. Williams said her aunt gave her onesies as a baby shower gift with the boys' name embroidered and a third outfit with the words: "Not all triplets walk side by side. Sometimes one has wings to fly."

They plan to hang the onesie in the nursery.

“They have an angel watching over them all the time,” she said.

This year’s Christmas will be different for the couple. Before it was about visiting family and friends over food and giving gifts. Christmas 2019 is all about Bradley and Grayson.

“I can’t believe how blessed we are to have the boys,” she said. “This feels like the best thing in the world. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with my boys. It’s time to start traditions with the boys and being together as a family and making memories.”

Renee Smith wonders about the significance of the timing and location of the twins’ births.

Five days before they were born, Smith said her brother-in-law, Freddy Thomas, 39, died at Miami Valley Hospital following a gun accident in Middletown.

“We needed some good news,” she said. “And we go some great news when the boys were born.”

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