Quad Squad mom Ashley Gardner will be on hospital bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy.
Thursday’s move comes as a precaution after a scheduled doctor’s appointment and is not a sign of trouble, Ashley said.
She has been on bed rest at home for the past three weeks after two surgeries in late October. Hospital bed rest will make it easier for doctors to more regularly monitor the babies and spring to action if the need arises, she said.
The 27-year-old Pleasant Grove mom-to-be is 23 weeks pregnant and due March 11, 2015. Since it is common to deliver early when carrying multiples, Ashley is expected to give birth to her four baby girls in late December or early January.
It’s exciting but nerve wracking, she said of being in the hospital. It’s exciting because it means the babies will arrive soon, but also scary for that same reason.
Her husband Tyson, 33, plans to visit her everyday after work and spend the night with her in the hospital on weekends. He could stay every night, but out of the two of us, at least one of us needs to get some sleep, she said.
Since she’ll likely be there through Thanksgiving and Christmas, the couple plans to decorate Ashley’s room with holiday garb to make it feel more festive.
“It’ll be hard to be stuck in a hospital room over the holidays, but we’re here for a good purpose,” she said. “It’s something so small to give up to get our babies here.”
Preparing for four babies
In the weeks before her hospital stay, the couple together with Ashley’s mom Marylou Weisenburger have been preparing for the babies’ arrival. They have car seats, strollers, and a quad feeding table for when the girls are older, but they still lack a few major necessities.
We don’t have any cribs or nursery furniture items, Ashley said, or, more importantly, a vehicle to hold all four car seats.
The couple plans to buy a van and move out of their two-bedroom condo into a larger home or townhouse after the babies are born but before they come home from the hospital. Since they’ll likely be premature, the babies may spend the first few months of their lives in the hospital as they grow stronger, she said.
They don’t have a home picked out yet and are on the market for a four-bedroom rental.
To help offset the costs, community members, local businesses and strangers across the world have donated time, money and gifts. From the couple’s Amazon baby registry alone, they’ve received thousands of diapers, plenty of bottles, hundreds of clothes and other items such as toys, bouncers and books.
“It’s so incredible how much support they give me,” Ashley said of her Facebook followers and friends. “Reading their postcards makes me cry.”
Strangers from across the world -- from a couple in Richmond, Va. to a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan -- have also sent her notes in the mail to offer encouragement and share their stories.
In return, online friends often request details, such as how many diapers the couple has received and what names they plan to give the babies.
Only one baby’s name has been released so far, and only after Ashley slipped in a video update a few days following the October surgeries. Indie Mae, one of the babies cured of twin-to-twin syndrome disorder, had to be given a name before the surgery, Ashley said in the video.
Her middle name makes her the namesake of Tyson’s maternal grandmother who helped raise him, Ashley said.
As for the amount of diapers, let’s just say our garage looks like we’re diaper hoarders, Ashley said. Her mom Marylou was still counting at the time of press.
“As hard as the pregnancy has been, I’m going to miss being pregnant,” she said.
After eight years of infertility, Ashley and Tyson found out in early July they were expecting two sets of identical twins. Nicknamed the Gardner Quad Squad, they have seen support from across the world as they’ve shared their story via social media, blogs and through media publications. The couple’s Facebook page, A Miracle Unfolding-Gardner Quadruplets, has 184,318 likes. For continuous updates, visit heraldextra.com/quads or find the couple on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and at gardnerquadsquad.com.