Editor’s note: Our May 2008 “American Nurse, American Talent” department featured newborn photographs taken by Cheryl Briggs. They were so popular that we decided to publish another group of her photos. (See photos in the downloadable pdf available at the bottom of this page.)
The babies shown in these photos were preemies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where I work. As you can see, two of the photos show twins and the other shows triplets.
The triplets are an especially rare type called spontaneous monochorionic monoamnionic identical triplets. The odds of such triplets being born without fertility drugs (as was the case here) is 1 in 5 million. Two of them were enclosed within the same amnion (sac) in utero—a condition that carries a high prenatal mortality from cord entanglement, prematurity, and other problems. Their umbilical cords were tied in a knot—fortunately, a loose one. (A tight knot can compromise circulation).
The triplets were jaundiced when I took this photograph; that’s one reason I shot it in black and white. With photography still a new hobby to me, I like to experiment, so I decided to colorize the girls’ hats in lavender, yellow, and green.
I find I’m still inspired by the responses of the families I work with. As my photography skills improve, I plan to continue doing more creative things.
Cheryl Briggs is a staff nurse in the NICU at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, and an award-winning photographer whose photos have been published in textbooks.