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!"
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.
"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!
"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.
"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.