The Gardner quadruplets: a one in 70 million pregnancy

Pregnancy ultrasounds are usually a time of joy and happiness as the parents-to-be get a sneak peek at their growing baby.

But the emotion felt by this couple during their first trimester scan was most definitely extreme shock as they found out theirs was a one in 70 million conception.

Ashley Gardner at the moment she learnt she and husband Tyson are expecting quadruplets.
Ashley Gardner at the moment she learnt she and husband Tyson are expecting quadruplets. 

After struggling for years to fall pregnant with even one baby, Ashley and Tyson Gardner are now expecting four children.

A camera was on hand to capture the couple's first ultrasound visit, where they would learn if one or both embryos transferred in their latest IVF attempt had implanted successfully.

The mum and dad-to-be appear to be rendered speechless as they are told not only had both embryos implanted, but both had split  - meaning there were now two sets of twins.

After recovering from their initial shock, Ashley and Tyson Gardner, from Utah, USA, last week held a party where two balloons containing pink or blue confetti were popped to reveal the gender of each set of twins. There, the couple, their friends and family discovered all four babies are girls.

"Our battle with infertility was a long journey and we are so happy to finally be where we are," Ashley told US website Baby Centre. "The funny thing about us having four girls is that Tyson is the oldest of 10 kids and 8 are boys. This was the last thing anyone expected and everyone is so excited!"

The Gardner quadruplet girls are due to be born in March next year, but as high order multiple pregnancies rarely go full-term it is more likely they will arrive around Christmas or New Year.

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As they prepare to go from a family of two to six, Ashley and Tyson have set up a Facebook page to document their journey. The page already has more than 24,000 people following regular updates and weekly pictures of Ashley's growing bump.

"We could not be more thrilled! Every single baby looks GREAT! All measuring perfectly and sounding perfect! We can already see their little personalities forming with every ultrasound," Ashley wrote in her most recent Facebook post.

"Baby A is sweet and likes to comfort baby B by rubbing her head! Baby D is so funny and does summersaults every time we try to look at her. She flips and flops everywhere! Baby C likes to just hang out and suck her thumb! They are the cutest little babies ever!

"As for me I am feeling great! Nausea is gone! Hallelujah! I'm still really sore but nothing I can't deal with! I'll take that over nausea ANY DAY!" 

The Gardner babies come after a mother in Texas gave birth to four boys, who also comprised of two sets of identical twins, on Valentine's Day last year.

Tressa Montalvo and husband Manuel had decided to have one more baby in order to give their son Memphis a little brother or sister, but ended up welcoming four more sons.

At the time of the birth of the Montalvo boys, experts said the chance of such a pregnancy was one in 70 million.

About two percent of all pregnancies result in twins. The odds of having non-identical twins are one in 80 and with identical twins this rises to one in 240.

"In the case of this couple, two eggs were fertilised by the sperm and then both decided to split before they were implanted, the odds of which are indeed somewhere in the region of one in 70 million," UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists spokesperson Basky Thilaganathan told the Mail Online last year.

The Gardner's friends have organised an auction in their hometown next weekend in a bid to help raise money needed to buy everything required to care for four babies.

Dozens of items have been donated to the auction. There will also be a "diaper raffle", in which guests donate a box of nappies to get five raffle tickets and those who donate a packet of baby wipes get one ticket.

Ashley is currently 16 weeks pregnant and has set an initial goal of making it to 28 weeks, however the longer the babies have to grow before being born the better. 

Visit the Gardner Quadruplets Facebook page to keep up to date with the pregnancy.