Behind The Scenes With The Ayala Triplets

March 1, 2011

With the room temperature set at 90 degrees and their tummies full, triplets Nia, Isa and Max relaxed into their peaceful portrait session.  This was the first time Michelle had photographed triplets and she knew the session may last a while.  We thought it would be a great idea to profile this unique and special family so we asked the parents, Dave and Missy to give us some details about their family.  Here is their story:

Dave and Missy met three and a half years ago on a blind date.  During those few years, they’ve been through a lot together including blending Dave’s two children from a previous marriage (Gavin & Gillian who were adopted from Guatemala) into their new life, Dave being diagnosed with cancer in March of 2009 and now the birth of their triplets!  Their motto seems to be, “Go big or go home”!

Blending Gavin and Gillian into their new life started when Gavin was three and Gillian was one.  “The most important thing to me to integrate Gavin and Gillian into my life was to take away any ‘negative’ connotation that comes with being a Step Mom”, says Missy.  Her name became “Bonus Mom” and their home became known as “Vacation House”.

Dave first discovered his cancer during a massage (a surprise from Missy to help his back pain) at Lifetime Fitness.  The massage therapist discovered a hard spot and encouraged Dave to go to the doctor. After a core biopsy, it was confirmed that Dave had Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Although they were already engaged, plans for a wedding were at least a year away.  With this change of events, Dave and Missy quickly planned their wedding in only four weeks.  Missy says, “As soon as we found out Dave was diagnosed, we quickly moved into planning mode…wedding and family security!”  They made it through the nausea and tiredness that comes with chemo with a positive attitude.

Missy and Dave looked into their fertility early on, knowing that Dave had been in a position to adopt in his previous marriage.  They knew time was of the essence since she was 36 and he had cancer.  They were hopeful for just one child.

When they found out they were to be blessed with triplets, Missy says, “I think we were in shock!”  After one failed round of IVF, they didn’t think all three eggs would take.  The pregnancy was without complications, though walking became hard at 26 weeks.  The triplets were delivered at 35 weeks and two days.  Missy says, “I believe Dave counted 20 medical personnel in the room!”  Aside from the fact that the ice storm was going on, the only other complication was that Nia had a distended stomach and needed a feeding tube.  She was in the neo-natal intensive care unit for a few days.

Now that they are all home, Missy says they have had many family and friends to help out for the first few weeks.  They have a nanny to occasionally help them until she goes back to work, but most days, Missy is by herself.  Missy relies on a schedule to keep her sane and says, “It’s [like] an assembly line…feed, diaper, and then back to a nap”.

Gavin and Gillian have adapted to their new siblings.  According to Missy, “Gavin couldn’t wait for the duty of Big Brother!  He stayed with his Bonus Mom to feed Max while Dave and Gillian did errands…Gillian did actually want to hold Isa so that was a big step in the right direction!”

When asked what they wished for when as their kids grew up, Missy responded, “Health, love and happiness.  We want them to find their identity and be leaders, not be handed their identity and be followers and we pray that they make great choices!  We don’t want them to always feel that their social calendar is booked.  We want them to know what it means to ‘play’ instead of having their lives so structured by all the activities…they will be forced to grow up soon enough!”  Excellent words for thought!

The portrait session with Michelle went smoothly as the sleepy babies were put into position for the memorable shots.  It did last longer than most newborn sessions, but was an amazing experience for all!

Of the portrait session, Missy says, “Michelle has done an amazing job capturing such a unique and special moment in our lives…our maternity photos and then the newborn photos of our triplets!  We are excited to have her do our photos in the future as our children grow!”

What an amazing family with a wonderful story of love and hope. We wish them the best and can’t wait to take more pictures of this beautiful family!














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    National Association of Professional Child Photographers

    National Association of Professional Child Photographers