The couple wanted a big family, but they were met with various ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇs. But they’ve now been blessed with four healthy babies!
April, 42, and Phil Gardner, who now spend $400 a week on food and slept for just 45 minutes a night when their youngest four were babies – were teenagers when they welcomed their first child, Rilee, now 24. Everything went like clockwork, according to April, from Taylorville, Utah, leaving them completely unprepared for the problems ahead when they boosted their brood to include Whitlee, 18, Jaxton, seven, and quadruplets Ryker, Tallon, Bowen and Berklee, who are now four. April, who sᴜғғᴇʀs with ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ɪssᴜᴇs such as ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀʏ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and ᴇɴᴅᴏᴍᴇᴛʀɪᴏsɪs, had six ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs before successfully giving birth to her quadruplets thanks to ʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇ ɪɴᴊᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs which helped sᴛɪᴍᴜʟᴀᴛᴇ her ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs.
ᴇɴᴅᴏᴍᴇᴛʀɪᴏsɪs is a ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ where tɪssᴜᴇ that’s sɪᴍɪʟᴀʀ to the one found in the ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs starts growing in places it shouldn’t be, such as the ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs or ғᴀʟʟᴏᴘɪᴀɴ ᴛᴜʙᴇs. Many women ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with this health ɪssᴜᴇ can get ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ, but it is also very common for others to have ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ɪssᴜᴇs. Some researchers believe at least one out of two ᴇɴᴅᴏᴍᴇᴛʀɪᴏsɪs sᴜғғᴇʀᴇʀs sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ with ɪɴғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ. April didn’t worry about ᴘᴏssɪʙʟᴇ ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ɪssᴜᴇs when she was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ. The ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs had reassured her that she would be able to have more children down the road. Fast forward six years later from her ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs and she sᴜғғᴇʀᴇᴅ through her first ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ. April said:” I had some ʙʟᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ and saw the ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ who said I’d ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ. I hadn’t even known I was ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ.” Cᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠɪɴɢ again shortly afterwards, in 2002, the couple were delighted when Whitlee was born. She added:” That reassured me that, hopefully, the ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ was a one off and not the start of ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ problems due to my ᴇɴᴅᴏᴍᴇᴛʀɪᴏsɪs”. From 2005 until 2015, Mrs. Gardner sᴜғғᴇʀᴇᴅ through six ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs and became convinced she would ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ be able to have another child. During the long years of attempting to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ, she went to several different ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs to see if they could figure out what was going on. It turns out that she has ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀʏ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ (ⓅⒸⓄⓈ) and ʟᴏᴡ ʟᴇᴠᴇʟs of ᴘʀᴏɢᴇsᴛᴇʀᴏɴᴇ, which made it difficult for her to get ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ naturally.
In 2012, following ɪɴᴊᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs at the ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ clinic, April discovered she was expecting again. This time, she carried her baby to full term, with little Jaxton arriving in February 2013. After that, the couple did not think they would have any more children. But, in early 2015, they became aware of the huge age gap between Jaxton and his sisters and decided they wanted to give him a sibling to grow up with. So, returning to the same ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴄʟɪɴɪᴄin Alabama that had helped them before, April ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇd after just two months of treatment, only for a ʙᴏᴍʙsʜᴇʟʟ to be dropped at her six-week scan: she was ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ with six ғᴏᴇᴛᴜsᴇs. She said: ” I remember looking up at the screen and seeing two little blobs. I cried out, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s twins!’ The sᴏɴᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜᴇʀ told me she could see more than two. I was gobsmacked and laughing with sheer disbelief. Phil was away with work, so I text him six photos of the separate sonograms. ‘He phoned me and said, “Why have you sent me six of the same picture?” I told him, ‘Look again – they’re different babies’.”
As predicted by ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs, two of the ғᴏᴇᴛᴜsᴇs still had no ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ by 10 weeks and their tɪssᴜᴇ was absorbed by the others, leaving April carrying quadruplets. Thankfully, April’s closely monitored ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ progressed well, and at 30 weeks and two days, the mum delivered her non-identical quadruplets, three boys and a girl, on 16 October 2015. First came Ryker, weighing 3lb 1oz, followed by Tallon at 2lb 12oz, then Bowen and finally the only girl, Berklee – both 2lb 8oz. As they were ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ, the babies initially required ᴏxʏɢᴇɴ and had to stay in ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ while they grew stronger. After five weeks, the babies were all sent home within two days of each other – first Ryker and Tallon on the same day, then Berklee and finally Bowen.
Now, they are thriving four year olds, who have forged an unbreakable sibling bond. April said:” The first year is a complete blur – no kidding, I got about 45 minutes sleep a night. Now, at any one time, there are toddlers all over the house – running, crawling, rolling around. We’ve childproofed everything, but soon learnt that childproof and quadproof aren’t the same.” These days, April’s family life is chaotic, but exceptionally happy.