Eric and Courtney Waldrop’s sextuplets are finally home. Photographer Ashley Sargent visited them in Boaz, Alabama, this week to snap photos of the newborns with their parents and three older brothers.
The Waldrops sextuplets – Rivers, Rayne, Rawlings, Blu, Tag, and Layke – were born on December 11 at a hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. The couple first announced their surprise pregnancy in August, then revealed the babies’ genders later that month at a 5K run organized by their neighbors to raise money for their expenses. The six babies join the couple’s three other children, sons Saylor, Wales, and Bridge.
Ashley Sargent, of Ashley Sargent Photography, recently visited the hospital to take elegant photos of the newborns wrapped in the different colors of the rainbow, which will be published in the Huntsville Hospital magazine. To celebrate the newborn’s first trip home, the couple called on Sargent again to take family photos, this time with the sextuplets’ older brothers.
“It was a lot easier than I expected, I went into it knowing that the game plan I had planned might not turn out the same,” Sargent, 29, says “The hospital shoot was sort of a warm-up for the big game, this big shoot.
The photos of the bundled-up babies took about three hours from start to finish, according to Sargent. The shoot was a team effort, she says, and there were about a dozen volunteers – stylists, assistants, friends, and family – who helped with different aspects of the project.
“I’m used to wrestling with kids – kids are my forte, so I can get down on their level and goof around and goof off,” explains Ms. Sargent. “It wasn’t bad, but it took several people to complete the whole project.
She also benefited from the help of companies who donated props for the shoot, such as the bed (donated by Jennley Studio Props) and custom hats (made by KNOTS).
Fortunately, the newborns fell asleep just before Sargent took the photos of the older brothers and parents holding the six children (a white noise machine was also playing in the background, to help the babies sleep through all that was going on). Still, Sargent had to move fast to get it all done.
“By the time I’d wrapped each baby and finished the individual shots, the first baby was waking up because he’d been asleep for an hour,” Sargent recalls. “So it was a bit of a challenge to get all the babies to sleep in one shot.
After photographing the babies so many times, Sargent noticed some of their personalities, particularly in the third baby born, Rawlings.
“She’s going to be the wackiest of the bunch, because every time I’ve photographed her individually, she struggles to fall asleep and makes the wackiest faces!” explains Sargent. “I had to choose the best photos of her, but I think she’ll be the funniest.
Sargent became friends with Courtney – who was a photographer – when they consoled each other about their struggles with infertility. Courtney said in August that she turned to fertility treatments to help get pregnant after suffering multiple miscarriages. The treatment led to the birth of twins Wales and Bridge, and, later, sextuplets.
Today, after a four-year battle with infertility, Mrs. Sargent is a mother herself. She used an adopted embryo to get pregnant, and her one-year-old son Sam is a “snowflake baby”.
Sargent explains that she and the Waldrop family have gotten to know each other more and more with each photo shoot, and she adds that despite all the attention she’s been getting, she wanted above all to take pictures to help put a smile back on the family’s face.
“They’re like nothing I’ve ever met. Courtney is the most positive person you could ever meet,” says Sargent. “She has a heart of gold. She’s the perfect mom to handle all this craziness.”