Newborn photographer Ashley Childress was a bundle of nerves before her photo shoot with the Driskell quintuplets on Sunday, July 23. “The most I’ve ever done is twins,” Childress exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I had no idea what to expect with five!”
But the 11-week-old babies from Versailles, Kentucky, were perfect models. “It was a five-and-half hour session and they slept almost the entire time,” Childress adds.
Zoey Hart, Dakota Faith, Hollyn Grace, Asher Blaze and Gavin Lane were delivered via cesarean section at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital on May 2.
Their parents Briana and Jordan Driskell, who struggled for more than two years to conceive, learned at their eight-week ultrasound that they were expecting quintuplets. Though Briana, 29, underwent a series of fertility treatments, she was told by her doctors there was only a four to eight percent chance her pregnancy would result in triplets or more. “I was in such shock, I couldn’t speak,” Briana told the Today Show in May. “I sat there staring at the screen in disbelief. I couldn’t believe there were five sacs.”
The babies were born at 28 weeks into Briana’s pregnancy and each spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, but as of July 16, all have been discharged from the hospital.
Childress says the infants already have distinct personalities. Zoey, who wears pink in the photos, is the smallest and the feistiest. Hollyn, in yellow, was the most relaxed. Meanwhile, first-time mom Briana helped Childress make sure everything was perfect. “Briana joked that she’s very type-A with her kids, with everything. But you sort of have to be that way to be the parent of that many babies,” she tells Us. “You need someone in control to say ‘this is how it’s gonna be.’”
But Briana was able to take a break during the shoot thanks to Childress, who called in three nurses to help hold and feed the premature quints. “Briana and Jordan were able to sit down and eat a warm meal without it getting cold,” Childress tells Us. “They have timers that go off on their phone every 30 minutes alerting them that it’s time for a baby to eat. They got to ignore the alarms for a few hours!”
At the end of the day, Childress’ Georgetown, Kentucky, studio was littered with burp clothes, pacifiers, blankets and car seats. “It was pretty crazy,” she says. And though she was sad to see the family go, she was happy to crank up the air conditioning. “We had to keep the room super hot even though it was more than 90 degrees outside. You want warm babies or they won’t sleep,” she says. “Everybody was pouring sweat!”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Driskell family with medical bills and the purchase of a vehicle that can seat the quintuplets.