Like the STL Cardinals, little Wilhelmina Marie Ratley struggled earlier this season. Born several months premature in August, she needed four blood transfusions to survive.
But as anyone can see from this photo — and posted on the Post-Dispatch Facebook (stltoday.com) — she has rallied under care at Mercy Hospital and felt strong enough Saturday night to dress out and pose for the paparazzi.
"I'm just a little excited, you could say," said first-time grandmother Deborah Bruyere of New Melle. "She was so tiny and had so many problems when she was born. But she's doing great now."
Bruyere said Wilhelmina, who likely will be called "Mina," weighed only 2 pounds, 4 ounces when she was born on Aug. 10. So when proud papa Nicholas Ratley (equally proud mom is Jackie Heck) wanted to put his first child into a Cardinals jersey, the only ones small enough were ones at Build-A-Bear.
"All of the clothes they had at St. John's for preemies were even too big; she was swimming in them," Bruyere said. "So the nurses all told us to go to Build-a-Bear."
Then echoing a line that has likely been used by hundreds of thousands of grandmothers about millions of Facebook photos, Bruyere said:
"I know I'm a little biased, but I think she's really cute."