Ashley Adams and her husband, Andy, were shocked to discover they were expecting quadruplets. The couple had been married for four years and were looking to start a family. After trying unsuccessfully for some time to conceive, Ashley underwent infertility treatments and received a double dose of Clomid, which often results in a multiple-birth pregnancy.
“When the doctors told us we were having quads, we were extremely terrified and ridiculously excited all at the same time,” Andy said. “It was just unimaginable.”
Ashley added, “I didn’t know how to process it initially, but it felt like a blessing.”
But their surprise turned to fear when doctors diagnosed 24-year-old Ashley with thyroid cancer four months into her pregnancy. Doctors had discovered an abnormality in Ashley’s thyroid during an ultrasound, and a biopsy diagnosed it as stage 1 cancer. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.
“It was scary to find out about the cancer and thinking about what could happen, but if I stressed out about it, the babies would feel it, and I could possibly go into labor even earlier,” Ashley said. “Dying was not an option, and our doctors were so reassuring that we just held on to that.”
Multiple-birth pregnancies are often complicated, said Ashley’s doctor, Julie Scott, a high-risk obstetrician at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. As a result, Ashley wanted to wait until after the babies were born at 30 weeks to undergo cancer surgery. She delivered one boy and three girls, two of them identical twins, on August 26.