Ashley Gardner’s TTTS surgery: An update from the ‘Quadfather’

The past handful of days have been harrowing for Ashley Gardner and her husband Tyson, as they learned two of the four babies they’re expecting were suffering complications. On doctors orders the pair boarded a flight to California and the mom-to-be underwent surgery.

Opening up to BabyCenter about TTTS (twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a dangerous condition in which blood flows more to one twin than to the other), Tyson Gardner has shared an update from their hospital room on all they’ve just been through and what’s on the horizon.

“Babies A and B had the TTTS,” he explained in an email to us. “Baby A was the recipient, and B the donor. There are complications with both babies because of this. The donor was giving blood flow but receiving none back, which made it difficult to see her bladder. This was our first red flag. After our ultrasound with Dr. Chmait, however, the concern was more great for the recipient as she was gaining excessive amounts of fluid causing her heart to work harder. She was the sickest of the two.”

“Ashley went to Dr. Schemmer without me Monday, so she had to hear the initial bad news,” the man nicknamed the ‘Quadfather’ continued. “This was the first appointment I had missed. How’s that for ironic? She immediately called me at work and I rushed down to the hospital.

She was crying on the phone as she told me the doctors concerns that one set had TTTS. It was extremely frightening for me, as we had discussed these risks with our doctors several times before. We were hoping TTTS would never present itself. Everything else in the world didn’t matter at this point. We just wanted options as to how we could correct the situation.”

“We flew out the very next morning early,” Tyson went on to tell BabyCenter. “Ashley’s mother came with us. Throughout our entire infertility journey, and our pregnancy, we have both tried to keep a calm and positive demeanor. I cannot lie however, we were both extremely worried that entire night, flight, next day. On the flight we shared many stares at each other. We didn’t say much, as we both knew each other’s thoughts. As stressed out as we were, we continually prayed and asked for others prayers. I know that is the only thing that got us through the night before surgery.

“As a dad-to-be watching, I truly understood what our parents and heavenly parents go through watching us grow. I’ve never been worried so much about another individual as I was those days about Ashley and the babies. I couldn’t help but think of all the trying times I put my parents through, and how helpless they were in some situations. They must have had tremendous faith that things would turn out the way all parents want for their children.

“I did the same thing, I increased my faith in my Heavenly Father and prayed that all of my girls would come through this trial, and stronger because of it. Every day you gain more and more respect for your own parents. Being a mother or father is no easy task. Being a great mother and father is a commitment. How blessed Ashley and I are for our parents’ examples.”

In addition to the TTTS surgery, Ashley Gardner underwent a procedure to try and keep her cervix closed. Cerclage is a procedure in which a band of strong thread is stitched around your cervix to reinforce it and help hold it closed.

When asked for the latest word on both the fetal surgery and Ashley’s cerclage surgery, Tyson assured BabyCenter that both went “extremely well.”

“The doctor couldn’t be happier about the outcome,” the dad-to-be shared. “He said to me ‘it’s a good day Tyson.’ We have an ultrasound in a little over 2 hours after he’s out of another surgery. If we hear all 4 heartbeats, he told us the chances are good that the sick baby would pull all the way through! The first 24 hrs are the most crucial. We’re optimistic we’ll hear all 4 heartbeats! That baby is a fighter, I know it!”

Reaching out with a personal note to the throngs of followers the Gardner family gained after our initial story went viral around the world, Tyson added: “I want all of our followers and supporters to know how much we appreciate their prayers and support. They will never know how critical those prayers and texts and messages are at 3 a.m. waiting for surgery as your mind is racing.

I also want our followers to know of our undeniable belief in our savior Jesus Christ. He suffered all things, and understands perfectly every trial we have ever experienced. How comforting it is to go to him for comfort. He is always by our side.”

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