There were just 228 sets of quadruplets born out of nearly 4 million births in the U.S. in 2015, which means the Allyson and Tony Ponto just joined a very exclusive club. After an 10-year struggle with infertility, the first-time parents from Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, welcomed four girls on July 4.
Olivia Susan, Anna Louise, Morgan Price and Carolyn Grace were delivered by cesarean section — in just four minutes! — at The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis. The smallest was Anna, who weighed in at 2 pounds, 7 ounces, while Carolyn, the largest, was born at 3 pounds, 8 ounces. “Ironically, Anna is the strongest!” Allyson, 39, tells Us Weekly exclusively.
Though Allyson underwent IVF, she was told by her doctors that there was only a 30 percent chance that the procedure would be successful. So the Pontos were shocked when they learned at their six-week ultrasound that they were expecting quadruplets. “I was totally prepared for a let down. Or for something to be wrong,” Allyson, who endured four devastating miscarriages, tells Us. “When I saw those four heartbeats. I just started crying. All I ever wanted was the chance to be a parent.”
Indeed, it was a rocky path to motherhood for the dental assistant and her husband, who underwent a series of fertility treatments including five rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI). “We would start the month with high hopes and then my monthly friend would come. It took a huge toll on our marriage,” says Allyson. “I ugly cried before every single baby shower I went to. I wondered ‘why not us? Are we not worthy of children?’”
Finally, after one round of IVF, the Pontos saw two pink lines. “The best way I can describe carrying four babies at once is to picture a clothes dryer with four tennis shoes in it,” Allyson tells Us. “That’s what it felt like . . . constant movement. And I loved the feeling.”
The Ponto quadruplets were delivered at 32 weeks into Allyson’s pregnancy. “I cried as soon as I heard each one of them cry. Tony would tell me who was coming out and I would listen and listen,” she gushes. “Four different times and it was the best sound I have ever heard in my entire life.”
Allyson and Tony are hoping the girls will be discharged by their August 31 due date. “They are thriving so it could be earlier,” says Allyson, who is feeding the infants breast milk exclusively. “It’s unbelievable.”
Allyson started a Facebook page, Four Peas in a Ponto, documenting her pregnancy and continues to post updates on the quadruplets. A YouCaring page has been created to help the family with the babies’ expenses.
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