After three long years, two miscarriages and many prayers, Tiffany and Matt Davies are counting their blessings this Christmas.
All four of them.
The couple from Green recently became first-time parents by welcoming quadruplets into their family.
The four babies — Addison Pamela, Brady Jay, Riley Patricia and Parker James — are spending their first holiday growing bigger and stronger at Akron Children’s Hospital after arriving nine weeks early.
“It’s the best gift we could get,” the proud new mom said.
The journey to parenthood was far from smooth for the Davies, both graduates of Green High School.
The couple started dating during her senior year and married four years later in 2006. Within several years, they decided to start a family, without any success.
Five rounds of an oral medication to stimulate ovulation didn’t result in pregnancy. And when she did get pregnant after taking fertility shots, the pregnancy ended in her second miscarriage.
None of the visits to a fertility specialist or the thousands of dollars’ worth of fertility medications were covered by the couple’s health insurance.
But they weren’t ready to give up their dreams of parenthood.
After another round of shots this May, a pregnancy test confirmed she was pregnant again.
Her doctor had warned the couple there was a one in four chance of conceiving multiples with the ovulation-stimulating shots. But the Davies weren’t fazed, thinking they might have twins or maybe triplets.
Matt worried when he saw the look on the doctor’s face during the first ultrasound five weeks into Tiffany’s pregnancy.
Had they lost another baby?
“I warned you there was a chance of multiples … ” the doctor began.
The ultrasound showed not one but five sacs, meaning the possibility of as many as five fetuses. At the time, only one heartbeat was visible.
A follow-up ultrasound a week later confirmed four heartbeats.
After years of trying for a baby, Tiffany and Matt were expecting quadruplets.
“It was a bit overwhelming,” she said.
“I’m still shocked,” he added with a laugh.
Doctors immediately began talking to the couple about selective reduction to give their babies the best chance to survive. Her physicians were concerned whether the petite, 4-foot-11 mom-to-be could carry four babies without risking her own health.
Despite their reservations, the couple reluctantly scheduled a surgery to remove the two weakest fetuses before the end of the first trimester. They had two weeks to think about their decision.
“It was honestly the worst two weeks of my life,” Matt said. “We cried. We couldn’t sleep.”
A few days before the procedure was scheduled, they called it off.
“We just couldn’t do it,” she said. “We decided we would rather put it in God’s hands.”
Feeling relieved and at peace with their choice, the couple started planning — and praying daily — for their expanding family.
“You’ve got to have a lot of faith through all this,” she said.
An ultrasound showed they were expecting two boys and two girls. Each baby would have a grandparent’s first name as his or her middle name.
Tiffany traded her Nissan Sentra for a minivan that could accommodate four car seats. “She always swore she would never drive a minivan,” Matt joked.
In September, Tiffany was placed on bed rest.
She took an extended leave from her job as a programmer at Diebold, while Matt continued his job with his family’s business, Integrity Homes Inc.
By mid-November, Tiffany was admitted to Akron General, where she and the babies could be monitored. When it became clear about a month later that the babies weren’t growing any more, her high-risk obstetrician, Dr. John W. Stewart Jr., scheduled their arrival via cesarean section at 31 weeks gestation.
“I was hoping to get a little more time, but they pretty much stopped growing,” Stewart said. “If they can’t get what they need on the inside, then they need to come out.”
Three minutes shy of noon, the babies were born within the same minute on 12-12-12.
One by one, staff rushed the newborns from the operating room into an adjoining infant stabilization room. Each was greeted by a dedicated team consisting of a nurse practitioner, a respiratory therapist, two registered nurses and another nurse to record vital signs and other information.
“These babies are doing real well,” Akron Children’s Hospital neonatologist Dr. Alison Protain commented minutes after their births. “They’re small but spunky.”
The babies initially were known by the letters A through D based on their birth order. Tiny-but-feisty Addison earned the letter A by arriving first with a loud cry, weighing 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
Baby B, Brady, was the smallest but healthiest of his siblings at 2 pounds, 4 ounces.
Three-pound Baby C, Riley, quickly made her presence known by kicking off her plastic covers in the isolette.
And Baby D, Parker, was the biggest of the bunch at 3 pounds, 1 ounce.
“We’re shocked at how well they’re doing,” Tiffany said.
The Davies are getting support from family, friends and members of their church, RiverTree Christian Church in Jackson Township. The community also has rallied behind them, with churches they don’t even attend donating diapers and strangers giving to the 4 Davies Babies benevolent fund at FirstMerit Bank.
As they celebrate Christmas today, the Davies are looking forward to future holidays at home with their four unexpected, but treasured additions.
“It was never in the plans,” Tiffany said, “but now that they’re here, we’re thrilled.”
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.