Ashley and Deryk (and big brother Baylor) welcomed triplet girls on April 28, 2022, and I was fortunate enough to capture their maternity session in the desert before they arrived! Ashley would be the first to tell you that it was a rough road to pregnancy and labor. She and Deryk had undergone IVF treatment to conceive and learned they were expecting twins early on! A little while later, during a routine ultrasound, they received the shock of their lives.
One of the embryos had actually split into two so now they were pregnant with triplets! The prognosis was touch-and-go though, because the split resulted in what’s known as mono/mono twins. This means that the babies were sharing one gestational sac and one placenta (instead of two different sacs and two placentas). Mono/mono twins plus a singleton in one pregnancy has quite literally a one-in-a-million odds of happening. It’s truly miraculous!
But there were also a lot of risks at play. Ashley herself said it perfectly:
“Because of [the shared sac and placenta], the two babies are at an incredibly high risk for cord entanglement leading to miscarriage or stillbirth. When you have a singleton along for the ride, this outcome could result in premature delivery of the singleton (an otherwise healthy baby).”
I photographed their family maternity session in early March, when Ashley was 25 weeks pregnant. I typically like to shoot maternity sessions close to 28 weeks. However with her expecting triplets, not only was her belly showing sooner but I also wanted her to be safe and comfortable for her portraits. That’s why it was best to shoot the session a little earlier.
Throughout their pregnancy, Ashley and Deryk held on to their faith and steadfast prayer. By the grace of the Lord, the three girls remained healthy and safe. Noa, Rowan, and Maisyn were born at 30 weeks gestation and are absolutely perfect! Noa was released from the NICU after about 7 weeks. The Matheny family was finally reunited as a family of six when the mono/mono twins, Rowan and Maisyn, graduated from the NICU and went home on July 8.
Ashley and Deryk, your story and faith are so inspiring. Your vulnerability, I’m sure, will help so many families who may experience the same situation in the future. Thank you for allowing me to document the girls’ pregnancy.
Here are a few of my absolute favorite images from their Desert Triplet Maternity Session that captured their growing family in such a beautiful and powerful way!
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