A mom who lives in Georgia was getting ready to welcome her second child when she got a surprise. As she went to have her ultrasound, the mom found out she would have quadruplets.
The initial shock gradually turned into so much joy, and the family grew a lot bigger, not just in numbers but filled with warm hugs and love.
What are the details?
"I never thought it would be me, but I really love it," Madison Collier from Marietta shared with The Epoch Times.
The 34-year-old teacher had no history of multiples in her family, so finding out about the babies certainly came as "the shock of a lifetime."
As the mother went to her eight-week scan, she thought it would be simply a routine appointment. She went there on her own, not suspecting the wonderful news she was about to get.
"I ended up calling Justin [Madison's husband]. He was very shocked; I ended up sending him a picture because it was just so crazy," Madison recalls.
The two are high school sweethearts, and their love story has been going strong ever since. After finding out about the quadruplets, the parents also had to let their daughter Isla know.
"She said, 'Do we have any plan for the four babies?' and Justin told her, 'No, we don't.' And she was like, 'Well, we'll always have somebody to play with!'" was her reaction.
Madison's pregnancy was healthy, even though there were some difficult times too. The four babies made their "fast and furious" entry into this world after 28 weeks, almost three months before they were due.
Callaway, Iris, Eliza, and Wilder were born within minutes of each other and had to stay in the NICU while they gained enough strength.
"The girls, to me, look similar, and the boys seem a little different now that I'm getting to know them. They may be all fraternal, but again, it could be they all are identical twins," Madison said.
While they were staying in the NICU, Justin and Madison came to see the babies every day.
"At first, we couldn't hold them, but we were quickly able to. After a while, we could start helping with changing and feeding, and then they came off oxygen, and it was great," the happy mom recalls.
The babies came home within three days of each other, with Callaway having "the hardest time."
Once they were all discharged, the Colliers had to deal with the logistics of looking after five kids.
Bath time, bottle making, dressing, and undressing were a big part of their schedule. The parents' sleep routine was changed, and they ended up only getting two hours of sleep in a row, which was "exhausting," according to Madison.
Now the quadruplets can sleep five hours each night, and they're also having naps, so their parents are finally catching a break.
As to their daily schedule, Madison revealed that her husband, who is a marketing consultant and works from home, looks after the babies while Madison works part-time in the morning. The couple also has some sitters coming a few times a week to help out.
"Our life is different, but we've adjusted. We have a system down; I figured we'd get there, and we did," the mother added.
The one thing that has stayed with them is the shock of having to jump from caring for one kid to looking after five. The Marietta community has been very helpful, and they organized a diaper drive for the couple. The couple also got a family van, and their mortgage was paid off for six months by a local radio station.
"That was a huge blessing," Madison said, marking how thankful they are for every kind gesture that helped them make the change to a big family.
The happy mother shared that each of her kids is developing a unique personality. For example, Callaway is always relaxed and has a smile for everyone, Wilder lets his parents know precisely what he needs, Iris is very laid-back, and Eliza is set to become a food expert.
In the meantime, Isla loves her role as a big sister and is "almost like a teacher" to her little brothers and sisters. She picks up their clothes, helps with the bottles, holds them gently, reads, and plays with the babies.
"We're blessed; they're very good babies. It isn't something we expected, but it is wonderful. Now that we have them, we love them dearly and couldn't imagine a life without them," the mother concluded about the fantastic surprise that changed their lives permanently, with added blessings and the knowledge that whatever life has in store, you can always meet it with an open heart and a will to see the good while loving more each day.