The Shaetz Family| Green Bay, Wisconsin| a.lentz photography.
This beautiful, Wisconsin family was photographed by the incredibly talented a.lentz photography. The way she stepped back and allowed the boys to be themselves and explore their environment is truly what we look for in our photographers. We hope that all of our photographers are observers of the story and let it unfold before them. Thank you for your amazing work Alyssa.
Parents Michelle and and Beau have their work cut out for them in the best of ways. Having three boys is undoubtedly beautifully chaotic. Big brother Brayden is 6 and Carson and Jackson are 4 year old twins -- both with autism. We will let Mom tell the rest of their story,
"Jackson and Carson had a pretty rough start to life. I had a very complicated pregnancy with them, which resulted in a surgery while I was 20 weeks pregnant. Doctors warned us that if I didn't undergo this surgery, there was the potential to loose both boys. They weren't gaining weight like they should have been, and there was a condition of twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Incase you are unfamiliar with that, basically one twin was getting their blood from me and transferring directly to the other twin. So one twin had significantly low blood counts, and the other twin had significantly high blood counts (dangerous to them both). So at 20 weeks we had a surgery done to correct the blood flow issues which would hopefully also help them to start being able to gain weight. I remained on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy (which was difficult because their big brother was only 1 at the time), and drank whey protein to help with weight gain for the boys.
Carson and Jackson ended up being born at 33 weeks, and spent a month in the NICU once they were born. They were delivered by c-section, as I could not deliver naturally because of the incision not being scarred for long enough. We also had issues with their embilical cords being misplaced on the placenta, so the doctor worried cords would get wrapped around their necks if we did a natural delivery.
They started out on breast milk, but we ended up having to switch to a high calorie formula to help them gain weight.
Jackson was born with clubbed feet, and also no toes on his left foot. So pretty much his whole life so far he has spent time in casts and braces, and has also had 2 foot surgeries.
Both boys had surgery around 1 year old for hernia and hypospadias repair.
At age 2 1/2 Carson had his adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears. We did this as we were worried he wasn't hearing properly which was interfering with his delayed speech.
The boys are so playful, adventurous, have such big hearts, and we could not be more thankful that they are both here with us.
After their diagnosis of autism, it has taught us to not get so caught up on the little things in life, and to just be thankful for each day we have."
This family has clearly had their share of trials and tribulations. They were not dealt the best cards in terms of health and pregnancy and infancy. Yet, here they stand. All together. A tribe. Fighting through it all together and so freely without any bitterness. In fact, if you look through these images you will see their contentment, and smiles, and laughter, and wildness, and freedom. And their beautiful, bright blue autism that colors their lives and personalities daily.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, You are beautiful.