An Ohio couple who had been trying to have a baby unsuccessfully for five years got more than what they bargained for when they finally asked the woman’s sister to be their sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ mother.
Annie Johnston, 33, and her husband Joby, of Lewis Centre decided last February to take a break from the sᴜʀɢᴇʀɪᴇs, ɪɴ-ᴠɪᴛʀᴏ ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ and ᴀʀᴛɪғɪᴄɪᴀʟ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ they’d gone through for five years to try to have a baby. Annie said:” We were tired of doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Chrissy was our different thing this time around.” The couple got married in 2005 and starting trying to have children in 2008. They tried everything they could to have a child, including ɪɴ ᴠɪᴛʀᴏ ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ twice, but Johnston had not had one ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ ᴛᴇsᴛ in all the years she had been trying to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ. That’s when her older sister, Chrissy Knott, stepped in.
Chrissy is Chrissy Knott, Annie’s only sibling and older sister, a 37-year-old married mother of two boys. Knott told her sister and brother-in-law in 2011, after their first few rounds of ɪɴ-ᴠɪᴛʀᴏ ғᴀɪʟᴇᴅ, that she would carry their baby for them. Two years later, on Feb. 19, the Johnstons took her up on her offer and a ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ two ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏsin each sister. On Valentine’s Day, they retrieved ᴇɢɢsfrom Johnston and ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪsᴇᴅ them with her husband’s sᴘᴇʀᴍ. Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛᴇᴅtwo ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏsin Knott, and since Annie’s was on the same cycle, they decided to implant two ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏsin her too, just to give it one more try. They were hoping for just one baby, but then they got the call from Dr Jaina Lindauer. Annie said:” The doctor made sure that everyone was OK with the possibility of four babies because it was possible. But, for us, after trying for so long, we were just trying to increase our chances of getting at least one. But I got the call from Dr Jaina Lindauer. She started off by saying she had double great news, and we just gasped.”
One month after that, at the seven-week ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ, the two sisters learned they were each carrying twins, classified technically as quadruplets. Annie said:” They found one in me and then they moved over and saw another little sac with another ғʟɪᴄᴋᴇʀɪɴɢ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ, and we knew that we still had Chrissy left to go. I was relieved, more than anything, that the babies were still developing. My husband, I think, was thinking more down the road of what we were going to do with four babies.” On Oct. 24, Annie and Knott gave birth to four healthy babies in scheduled C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs so that the quadruplets would share the same birthday. According to Annie , as they were ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇd on the same day, born on the same day but just being carried in two sᴇᴘᴀʀᴀᴛᴇ ᴡᴏᴍʙs. The children respectively weighed Charles 6 pounds, Thomas 6 pounds, 2 ounces, Grace 5 pounds, 7 ounces , Hadley 5 pounds, 4 ounces – were all born healthy.
Annie said the family had transformed the great room of their four-bedroom house into a makeshift nursery until the babies were big enough to sleep in their cribs. She and her sister are both pumping breast milk and feeding the babies with bottles. Once the babies are big enough, they’ll move upstairs into their nursery, and eventually be told by their mom and aunt the happy tale of how they came into the world. She added:” We still can’t believe it sometimes. We’re very thankful for what she did for us. We’re very grateful and thankful that they’re all here.”