All About Babies

Mom Of Preemie Triplets Shares Her Powerful NICU Experience On Instagram

Get a rare look at the amazing journey this mom and her triplets have taken since their premature birth this past September.

Kayla Richardson gave birth to identical triplet girls Olivia, Sanaa, and Shiloh back in early September. Her beautiful babies were born at just 24 weeks and they've spent the past three months living in the NICU. The proud mama started an Instagram account in order to document her journey and the result is a rare raw look at the emotional side of life with preemies.

In her very first post, Kayla shared an image of herself sitting somberly next to Olivia's incubator. "The girls were 2 days old & fighting for their lives," she explains in the caption. "I was crying because of how much joy I felt to be able to finally connect with my daughter after waiting to meet her for such a long time. Due to her being so fragile, I was only allowed to gently stroke her foot; but it was still so amazing!"

My first time touching Olivia. The girls were 2 days old & fighting for their lives. I was crying because of how much joy I felt to be able to finally connect with my daughter after waiting to meet her for such a long time. Due to her being so fragile, I was only allowed to gently stroke her foot; but it was still so amazing! My sweet girl. This is the baby who was trying to ease her way out at only 25 weeks gestational age! I guess she was tired of Sanaa & Shiloh weighing down on her 😉😂 #NICU #nicubabies #nicubaby #25weeker #triplets #tripletsmother #identicaltwins #identicaltriplets #trippinwith3 #preemie #preemiebaby #preemiebabies #micropreemie #multiples #identicaltriplets #tripletmom #tripletsofinstagram #Nicustrong #huffpostgram #uniteinmotherhood #munamommy #frobabies #blackmomsblog #wombmates #growingupgerber #marchofdimes #nicustrong #huffpostgram #tripletslove

A post shared by Kayla + 3 #blessedtrinity (@trippinwithkayla) on

NICU days are hard. And while this milestone is small, it's so meaningful!

In another post, Kayla introduces us to Sanaa, pictured with a breathing tube down her throat.

Meet Sanaa Ali! Previously known as Baby B 😂 The girls were 12 days old in this photo. Sanaa was only 1 lb 3 ounces when we was born & has remained the biggest baby (now 2 lb 15 oz). In this photo you can see Sanaa is intubated which means that she has a breathing tube down her throat to help her breathe since her lungs are so premature. All of the girls were intubated immediately after being removed from the womb. Sanaa & Shiloh were on conventional ventilators & Olivia needed to be on the oscillator ventilator because she needed more support with her breathing than her sisters. The girls remained intubated for their first 4 1/2 weeks of life. Sanaa was the first to be extubated & put on CPAP (a step in the right direction towards not needing any support breathing at all!). The day that all 3 were extubated & put on CPAP was a victorious day! It hurt me so much to see those tubes down their throat & them not being able to move much because of it. They still have feeding tubes down their throat but it's not as stiff & aggravating as the ventilator was. #NICU #nicubabies #nicubaby #25weeker #triplets #tripletsmother #identicaltwins #identicaltriplets #trippinwith3 #preemie #preemiebaby #preemiebabies #micropreemie #multiples #identicaltriplets #tripletmom #tripletsofinstagram #Nicustrong #huffpostgram #uniteinmotherhood #munamommy #frobabies #blackmomsblog #wombmates #growingupgerber #marchofdimes #nicustrong #huffpostgram #worldprematurityday #tripletslove

A post shared by Kayla + 3 #blessedtrinity (@trippinwithkayla) on

"All of the girls were intubated immediately after being removed from the womb," she captioned the shot. "The girls remained intubated for their first 4 1/2 weeks of life. It hurt me so much to see those tubes down their throat & them not being able to move much because of it."

Heartbreaking! Later, Kayla shared a shot of her third baby girl, sweet little Shiloh—who was only 1 pound, 1 ounce when she was born!

Shiloh at a month & a day old! Her favorite nurse, nurse Holly, asked me to take a photo because Shiloh grabs her fingers whenever Holly picks her up 😂 Look at how brown little Shiloh has gotten & how much she's filled out in her first month! There's hope for all of the #preemieparents out there! Being patient, trusting the nurses & God has made this journey easier for my family & I. In this photo Shiloh was being prepared to be held by me so we could do #kangaroocare which is holding the baby skin-to-skin on the mother's chest so they can bond. Kangaroo Care also helps the mother's lactation & helps the baby learn to regulate their own body temperature as well 👍🏾 #NICU #nicubabies #nicubaby #25weeker #triplets #tripletsmother #identicaltwins #identicaltriplets #trippinwith3 #preemie #preemiebaby #preemiebabies #micropreemie #multiples #identicaltriplets #tripletmom #tripletsofinstagram #Nicustrong #huffpostgram #uniteinmotherhood #munamommy #frobabies #blackmomsblog #wombmates #growingupgerber #nicustrong #marchofdimes #huffpostgram #tripletslove

A post shared by Kayla + 3 #blessedtrinity (@trippinwithkayla) on

"Being patient, trusting the nurses & God has made this journey easier for my family & I," she captioned the image. "In this photo Shiloh was being prepared to be held by me so we could do #kangaroocare which is holding the baby skin-to-skin on the mother's chest so they can bond."

Way to go, mama!

And on November 5, Kayla finally got to hold all three of her babies together for the very first time.

Got to hold all of my babies at the same time tonight. It was so much fun. The nurses were having a ball helping & positioning them in different ways & were taking a lot of pictures. Olivia (far right) was undoubtedly knocked OUT. Completely undisturbed & unbothered by being reunited with her sisters 😂 Shiloh is on the left & Sanaa is in the middle. I'm so thankful their nurse Holly offered to let me hold all of them tonight, it was such an amazing feeling. Holding all of them at the same time made the reality of me now having three babies sink in even further 😂 I know it's going to be stressful at times but I've grown to see these girls as the blessing that they are & I know I'll be thanking God countless times throughout my life for blessing me with these three beautiful, healthy, & outstanding girls. 💚 #triplets #tripletsmother #identicaltwins #identicaltriplets #trippinwith3 #preemie #preemiebaby #preemiebabies #micropreemie #multiples #identicaltriplets #tripletmom #tripletsofinstagram #huffpostgram #uniteinmotherhood #munamommy #frobabies #blackmomsblog #wombmates #growingupgerber #marchofdimes #blessedtrinity #blessedtrinitytriplets #huffpostgram #bourgiebabies #worldprematurityday #tripletslove

A post shared by Kayla + 3 #blessedtrinity (@trippinwithkayla) on

"It was so much fun," she wrote. "Holding all of them at the same time made the reality of me now having three babies sink in even further. I know it's going to be stressful at times but I've grown to see these girls as the blessing that they are & I know I'll be thanking God countless times throughout my life for blessing me with these three beautiful, healthy, & outstanding girls."

Aww! We're so happy for this amazing mama and her beautiful girls who are getting stronger every day! In fact, Kayla recently told The Huffington Post that they can now take bottles instead of being fed through a tube and, even more exciting for their mama, they can actually wear clothes.

"It might seem like a silly thing to be excited about," she explained to HuffPo. "But for preemie babies it's such a huge accomplishment! It means that they're able to control their body temperatures which is something that a lot of premature babies have to grow into being able to do."

Follow the rest of her incredible journey on Kayla's Instagram feed.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.