Tommy's blog, 19/01/2017
The first few days, weeks and months with your premature baby can be hard, and it is the little milestones your baby reaches that can give you strength.
Kayla Richardson, mother to triplet baby girls Olivia, Shiloh and Sanaa, documented the progress of her little ones and their milestones on Instagram.
On the day of her baby shower, just 22 weeks pregnant, Kayla’s waters broke and she went into pre-term labour.
‘I was already scheduled to be admitted into the hospital the following week because my doctor wanted me to be closely monitored the remaining two months of my pregnancy, so I ended up there a week earlier.’
Kayla had her babies at 24+6 weeks and each weighed just over 1lb.
They spent the following three months in the neonatal intensive unit (NICU). This can be a very hard time for parents, and can also feel very isolating.
Kayla used this time to connect with other parents of premature babies and read their stories on blogs and Instagram accounts.
‘I remember faithfully going to this woman’s Instagram every day to see if she posted anything new about her twins because they were born at 24 weeks and seeing their progress made me feel like my girls had a chance at surviving and thriving as well.’
Kayla wanted to give other mothers the comfort that reading these stories gave her so she began sharing her story on Instagram.
Her first post showed the first time she was able to touch baby Olivia in the incubator.
Kayla has continued to share her triplet’s development, crediting the hospital’s team of doctors and nurses for the babies’ incredible progress.
On November the 5th, nearly 2 months after the triplets were born, Kayla got her first cuddle with all three of her babies.
This moment means so much for parents who have often had to wait a while for it.
Kayla said that it made her feel whole and complete.
‘It was very calming, and I felt at peace. It felt normal and like how things are supposed to be. It kind of felt like taking a Band-Aid off after having a cut; when you look at how your skin stitched itself back together and that feeling of relief that everything is back to normal and how it’s supposed to be.’
We’re so pleased that Olivia, Shiloh and Sanaa are doing so well. They’ve been home for two weeks and are thriving.
If you or someone you love is doing their own NICU journey, you can read all of our information about the baby unit here.
Get our free app for parents of premature babies. It is the first of its kind in the UK. 'My Premature Baby' is available on all devices (phones, tablets).
Skin-to-skin contact with your premature baby is a wonderful way for you both to bond. It also provides health benefits.
You will play an important part in your premature baby's care, even while they are in the NICU.
Your premature baby's diet will be carefully balanced to suit their tiny digestive system while meeting the needs of their growing body.