Fort Scott, Kansas, residents and grateful parents Shelby and Kenny Shaw had much to celebrate earlier this week when their triplets were born on Feb. 4, entering the world at 35 weeks.

Today the first-time parents are admiring  their “tiny but mighty football cheerleaders and quarterback” suited up in football uniforms designed by Overland Park Regional Medical Center NICU nurse Maddie O’Laughlin and handcrafted by her NICU nurse colleagues.  Emrie, “Baby Girl A” who weighs 4 pounds 15 ounces;  Everly, “Baby Girl B” 4 pounds 15 ounces ; and Escher, “Baby Boy C” 5 pounds 1 ounce are rare spontaneous triplets, according to Overland Park Regional Medical Center OB/GYN Kristi Weaver, M.D.

What means the most to this family, despite it being scary to see their babies hooked up to tubes in NICU isolettes, is the caring staff that has thoughtfully created a meaningful experience through their thoughtfulness and love. 

“Dr. Weaver told us that it’s rare to have spontaneous triplets, and that I was able to carry the babies as long as I did, and to deliver triplets ‘naturally,’ so I’m beyond thankful to have had a healthy and positive experience,” says Shelby Shaw. “I’m so impressed with the compassion and care that’s been shown to my husband, me and the babies.  This team truly cares like family.” 

“It’s a joy and blessing creating memories for parents whose babies are in our NICU with something like a footprint card to show a milestone or growth,” says NICU nurse Maddie O’Laughlin. Parents can take home a memento even when their baby has to stay in the hospital and it’s something to look back on that r shows the baby’s size and journey. The Chiefs outfits were a big project, but I knew it would be worth it for the parents and even the staff. I couldn’t do it alone though, so with the help of my fellow nightshifters we had an assembly line of crafting — someone making bows, someone tracing numbers, someone making pom poms. In the end we created about 40 outfits. The happiness it brings not only the parents, but the entire care team, makes it all worth it — these people are the baby’s real-life cheerleaders who celebrate their progress. And to provide an experience that’s ‘normal’ during a time that’ anything but for this families is a priceless opportunity.”

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