American Ashley Crandell, 36, and her husband battled ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ for four years. When they finally did, the surprise came: there would be four at once! The babies were born in February of this year and the mother burst into tears when she was able to hold them for the first time in the I.C.U.
It took seven days for Ashley Crandell, 36, to hold onto her quadruplets, who were born 9 weeks early. But the wait, to her, felt much longer than that. She and her husband, Lance, 41, struggled with ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ for nearly four years after having their first child, Isla, 5.
“There was a point where I thought we could never give Isla a sibling and I was devastated. I’ve always wanted a big family,” Crandell said. “I tried to stay positive, but there were times when I thought, ‘OK. It just won’t happen. Our bodies aren’t working’”.
Crandell found out that she has ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀʏ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and Lance has low sᴘᴇʀᴍ ᴍᴏᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ. Both conditions contributed to her ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ problems. Crandell and Lance weren’t sure they wanted to go ahead with I.V.F, but decided to give I.U.I a try – a type of ᴀʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ in which healthy sᴘᴇʀᴍ are placed in the ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs as close to the time of ᴏᴠᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴ as possible.
Crandell was convinced it wouldn’t work, but six weeks later, Wesley, Emma, Leah, and Nora appeared on the ultrasound screen. “I remember looking at those four heartbeats and thinking, ‘Should we be excited or terrified?’ I decided we could be both at the same time,” she said.
The quadruplets were born on February 11 at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. All four babies spent 10 weeks in the N.I.C.U, learning to eat and breathe on their own. “But all things considered, they were pretty healthy,” Crandell said. The visits were daily. “I couldn’t believe they were finally here,” she said.
When Wesley, Emma, Nora, and Leah were finally placed in Crandell’s arms, she was overcome with emotion. All those negative pregnancy tests, all the heartbreak, and now four beautiful babies were resting on her chest. “I’m going to cry just thinking about it,” Crandell said. “When you’re pregnant with quadruplets, it’s hard to imagine that there are four humans there. I saw them on ultrasounds every week, but it’s not the same. So when I held them, it was like, ‘Wow, these are all my babies. They all belong to me,’” she said.
“Somehow I was presented with this incredible blessing of having all four of these perfect babies at the same time,” she added. “The only thing that could have improved the moment is if my oldest daughter was there too.”