A journey that began with utter astonishment has turned into sheer happiness for Tyson and Ashley Gardner, affectionately dubbed the “Quad Squad” and the brand new parents of two sets of identical twins.
The couple showed off their tiny babies, all girls, in an exclusive interview with TODAY.
“They're just real fighters. They're doing incredible — more than I ever expected,” Ashley said.
“We started this year not knowing if we would ever have our own children and we're ending it with four babies, so it is absolutely an answer to our prayer and it's a miracle,” Tyson added.
The Gardners, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, tried to conceive for eight years when they turned to in vitro fertilization this summer. In July, they got the “surprise of our lives” when they went in for an ultrasound and found out she was pregnant with quadruplets. A photo of the couple looking shocked while holding the ultrasound images quickly went viral.
Ashley was due in March, but when her water broke over the weekend and she began having contractions, she gave birth on Sunday via Cesarean section to Indie Mae, Esme Jean, Scarlett Elizabeth and Evangeline Faith.
"They got all the babies out in under two-and-a-half minutes. All four of them,” Ashley recalled.
"It was crazy to watch with my own two eyes. They just kept pulling them out,” Tyson noted.
The babies arrived 12 weeks early, with the smallest girl weighing less than 2 pounds, so they will spend the next 10 weeks or so in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Doctors are cautiously optimistic about their outlook.
“It's about as good an outcome as you can possibly have at this point, although we're not out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Stephen Minton, medical director of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center NICU.
The parents were able to hold all of the girls for that important skin-to-skin contact after the birth, he added.
"They cry when the nurses take them away from you," Ashley said. "And we cry."
There’s been so much interest in the Gardners that the family set up a Facebook page and YouTube channel so people could follow the progress of the pregnancy. Fans have sent in countless donations, including boxes of diapers and baby clothes.
The couple also hopes that by opening up they can promote infertility awareness.
“There is a need for information regarding infertility. There's a want, and there are people out there who identify with this story,” Tyson said.
The couple will be featured in an upcoming reality series on TLC about first-time parents.
For now, they’re getting ready for their new life at home with their four girls.