PLEASANT GROVE — After years of trying to have a child, a Pleasant Grove couple is now making room for four babies.
“We both were like, 'Oh, my gosh!” Ashley Gardner said.
Gardner and her husband, Tyson, had been trying for eight years to have a child. After undergoing in vitro fertilization, they were stunned to learn the two embryos that were implanted split and became two sets of identical twins.
“It’s a 1 in 70 million chance that this would happen,” she exclaimed, excitedly glancing around a small living room accented with baby clothes and children’s books.
Tyson Gardner said he initially questioned whether the technician was reading the results right, but sure enough — with Ashley Gardner now 10 weeks pregnant — the four babies are taking shape and growing with each new batch of ultrasound images.
“I’ve never been so happy and so terrified all in one moment,” she said.
The couple won’t know for another two to three weeks if the babies are all boys, all girls or an even split, but Ashley Gardner is already well aware hers is an extremely high-risk pregnancy.
She is anticipating a regimen of full bed rest at home when she reaches 20 weeks. She said she is likely to be in the hospital on bed rest several additional weeks before her quadruplets are delivered by cesarean section possibly two to three months before her March due date.
“It’s unpredictable and it’s complicated,” said Dr. Calla Holmgren from Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. As a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, she regularly deals with high-risk birth.
“Patients need to be counseled early on, even before they get pregnant, and then they need really close attention when they are pregnant," Holmgren said.
She said the clinic sees some kind of scenario involving four babies perhaps once or twice a year. That’s out of the averages of 350 at-risk births and 4,800 total births at the hospital each year.
“If you have identical twins, two sets of identical twins, because you put in two embryos, there’s nothing you can do about that,” Holmgren smiled. “That’s just luck, or fate.”
The Gardners said they hoped the babies might be able to start coming home one at a time as early as their due date in March, but perhaps as late as June or July.
“(We’ll) get our whole family here in one shot,” Ashley Gardner said.
“You get a little emotional thinking about it because it did take so long," Tyson Gardner said, "but, I mean, (we’re) just unbelievably happy.”
The couple acknowledged they’ll likely have to move from their current townhouse into a larger house, and Tyson Gardner said he’d likely have to find another job or two.
The Gardners are also trying to raise money through several different avenues to address the looming mountain of medical bills. Their fertility treatments were not covered by insurance and alone cost them close to $20,000.
Ashley Gardner said her sister plans to hold an auction the evening of Sept. 27 at a yet-to-be determined location.
The couple is also accepting PayPal donations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gardners are posting regular updates at www.facebook.com/gardnerquads and on Instagram @gardnerquadsquad.