Yes, it’s a thing. And the condition is so rare that the ultrasound technician had to leave the room to Google it!
Ashley Ness was going to get a refill on her birth control prescription when she heard two words she never expected: you’re pregnant. The hair stylist, who is already mom to 8-year-old Chanel and stepmom to Isaiah, 10, and Zayden, 7, was initially calm and decided to go with the flow. But two weeks later, when she went in for an ultrasound, there was just no way she could keep her composure. You’re gonna need to sit down for this one.
Of the ultrasound, Ashley recalled things taking a turn when the technician had to step out of the room for a moment, which is never a reassuring feeling. “I’m now in the room by myself panicking, like, ‘What’s going on? What did she see?’” Ashley told People. After what felt like an hour of waiting, the technician finally came back with what we can only assume was a less-than-comforting question. “She was like, ‘Did you tell anybody you were having twins?’ And I was like, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘Can you just hold off on telling people?’” At this point, nobody could blame Ashley for the terrifying thoughts that were probably running through her head.
The news that she would be having twins wasn’t actually a shocker for Ashley—twins run deep in both her family and Val’s. Ashley’s grandfather was a twin and her mom has twin brothers. She also has twin cousins. As for Val, his mom was a twin and his sister gave birth to twins. But that still didn’t prepare her for the ultrasound technician’s shocking revelation: “’Honey, there’s actually four babies in here.”
Ashley found out she was pregnant with two sets of identical twins—four babies in two placenta sacks—a pregnancy so rare that the technician had to make sure she wasn’t seeing things. “I had to step out of the room to Google it to make sure,” she told Ashley of the condition, which Dr. Ahmet Baschat told People has odds of around 1 in 10 million. It happens when two eggs are fertilized and each of those eggs splits, with each pair of babies remaining in the same placenta.
The mom of three reacted to the news the way any mother who just found out she’s having quadruplets would. “I was like, oh man, I’m going to mix them up. I’m going to forget who’s who. They’re going to play tricks on me.” Thinking even further ahead, Ashley was concerned about transportation. “We have to get a new vehicle because we can’t, I mean, obviously you don’t have an eight-passenger, nine-passenger vehicle just lying around.”
Despite already having experience with parenting, Ashley is understandably stressed about raising four babies at once. “I’m a very scheduled person. I like everything on a schedule, so, I’m like, how am I going to get four kids on a schedule?” Still, she understands that this is going to be hard and that she should give herself a break.
Thankfully, the soon-to-be mother of seven has great clients who stepped up to help her with baby expenses. From car seats to high chairs and clothes, “honestly, just people I don’t even know that have gone on my registry and bought me stuff,” she said. And a GoFundMe page set up by her friends has already raised more than $11,000 USD.
Our minds are still absolutely blown by Ashley’s two sets of twins, but we’re so glad she’s getting all the help she needs. Especially since, like so many women, her fertility journey had a number of bumps in the road. After suffering four miscarriages, Ashley had given up on getting pregnant again. “I just kind of accepted that I was blessed with one child.” Raising her daughter and her step-sons with boyfriend Val made Ashley feel “complete.” But clearly, life had much more in store for this Massachusetts mom.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all with crazy pregnancy stories, stories like this make you think again!
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today’s Parent’s daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.