April 08, 2018 06:01 PM

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife Sarah welcomed twin boys into their family earlier this year — but stayed mum about the births until both babies were home.

Sarah shared several photos of the newborns, who they named Marshall Thomas and John (Johnny) Matthew, on Instagram Sunday.

She also opened up about the health concerns surrounding her pregnancy and the boys’ birth, explaining that the babies were born six weeks after she was placed on hospital bed rest due to pregnancy complications on Jan. 9.

“It has been a long and challenging road but it has all been worth it,” Sarah tells PEOPLE exclusively. “Matt and I couldn’t be happier to have them home.”

Sarah Ryan/Instagram

Speaking with PEOPLE, Sarah says the couple appreciates the public’s support and respect for their privacy as their journey into parenthood begins — a process Sarah discussed in her Instagram caption.

“They were small but tough and fought their way through their time in the NICU to get strong enough to come home,” she wrote of Marshall and John.

After five weeks in the NICU, their first-born Marshall was able to head home, and John joined him a week later.

“To say that having Marshall and Johnny at home is a dream come true for Matt and I would be putting it mildly,” Sarah penned. “We are endlessly thankful for their doctors and nurses in the NICU who gave them the most incredible care and will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We are so grateful for our family and friends who we couldn’t have gotten through this journey without. And we thank everyone/all of you who checked in on us over these past few months. We so appreciate it.”

She continued: “Now after a lack in posting I will be flooding your timelines with baby photos🤗 Exactly what I said I would never do🤷‍♀️”

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Matt also shared a post on Sunday, celebrating his new status as a dad.

“Welcome our boys Marshall and Johnny,” he captioned a series of photos, adding the hashtags #Family and #DadLife.

The Ryans, who both attended Boston College and married in 2011, announced that they were expecting twins in November with an Instagram post of the couple holding onesies and standing in front of a gold “2” balloon — which also happens to be Matt’s jersey number.

“Happy to announce we’re having twins!” the 32-year-old athlete captioned the image.

Sarah also shared the snap, writing, “It’s been a long road, but Matt and I couldn’t be happier to announce that we are expecting twins! We are anxiously awaiting their arrival in April. There’s just something about the number 2 in our house, I guess.”

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