Having a child is a dream many couples have, but when the right time comes to grow a family, many face the uncertain struggle that comes from having difficulty conceiving. Too many wishful parents are forced to spend thousands of dollars on uncomfortable treatments before they learn they can never parents the natural way.
Thankfully, for every person who wants to be a parent, there is a child somewhere out in the world who is praying to be adopted or someone who loves them enough to step in and help. When Annie and Joby Johnson learned they couldn’t have kids themselves, they were devastated, but when an angel stepped in to help, they could have never guessed how much their lives would soon change…
Mom + Dad Dreams
Annie and Joby Johnston of Lewis Center, Ohio, were married in 2005 and spent three years as a family of two before deciding they were destined to be parents. They were both healthy and had no reason to doubt their ability to get pregnant.
Yet as a few months of trying turned into more than four and a half years, the realization that it was all hopeless dawned on them. They would ever become parents. In 2012, they decided to take a break from all the intensive surgeries, in-vitro fertilization, and artificial insemination…
The Last Resort
“We were tired of doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” Annie, 34, told GoodMorningAmerica.com in 2013. The couple was at their wit’s end and decided to try their one last resort. “Chrissy was our different thing this time around.”
A Generous Offer
In 2011, after multiple failed attempts at in-vitro, Chrissy Knott, Annie’s older sister, saw her family struggling and offered to help. She told Annie and Joby she would carry a baby for them, but they didn’t take her seriously at the time. Two years later, they were finally ready…
Best Big Sister
Thirty-seven-year-old Chrissy had two boys herself and wanted her younger sister to be able to experience the joys of motherhood that she so heartily desired. She knew if she didn’t step in to help the couple, they may not ever be able to become parents. She didn’t want to watch them struggle any longer.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Chrissy “When they started having problems getting pregnant it was devastating to watch…” On February 19, 2013, the Johnstons took Chrissy up on her generous offer and a doctor implanted two embryos in her…
The Process Begins
The process began by collecting two eggs from Annie to be fertilized with a sample of Joby’s sperm. After about 24 hours, the two embryos were then inserted into Chrissy’s uterus.
Since the two sisters were on the same cycle, doctors inserted two fertilized eggs into Annie, as well. They figured one last attempt would increase the odds of at least one sister getting pregnant, even though Annie was deemed barren…
One Last Try
“After trying for so long, we were just trying to increase our chances of getting at least one,” Annie told ABC. A couple of weeks later, the women checked in with the doctor to see if either implantation had been successful. They soon received a call from Dr. Jaina Lindauer…
Although the doctors had warned the women of the slight outside possibility, they could have never guessed the news she had for them. ‘She started off by saying she had double great news, and we just gasped,’ Johnston told Vimeo…
The procedure was more successful than anyone could have imagined. Both women conceived on the same day and were now a few weeks pregnant! In a sense, they were having twins and the Johnston’s couldn’t have been happier about the wonderful news.
However, the biggest shock was yet to come. Around seven weeks pregnant, both went back to see Dr. Lindauer. “They found one in me and then they moved over and saw another little sac with another flickering heartbeat,” Annie wasn’t just pregnant with one of her sister’s kids: she was having twins!
And they still had to examine Chrissy, the miracle mom! When the doctors examined her, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Chrissy immediately knew something very strange was happening and the doctors’ faces said it all.
Sure enough, Chrissy was pregnant with twins as well! After five long years struggling to become parents, in just six short months, Joby and Annie were going to be bringing home quadruplets. Their prayers had been answered, but they couldn’t believe how…
With two sets of twins on the way, the parents were understandably both excited and overwhelmed by the big news. “I was relieved, more than anything, that the babies were still developing,” Annie told ABC. “My husband, I think, was thinking more down the road of what we were going to do with four babies.”
Luckily for the new parents-to-be, Chrissy wouldn’t just be their quadruplets special surrogate mother and aunt. She and her husband were looking forward to pitching in and help raise the miracle babies, as they lived down the block from them…
Girls + Boys
Annie was also looking forward to receiving some big help from her parents who decided to move from their home two hours away to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. As the delivery day grew closer, the Johnstons were excited to learn they had a set of twin boys and twin girls on the way.
The Big Day
The women scheduled c-sections so all the babies could share the same birthday and finally on October 24, 2013, the sisters delivered four healthy newborns. Chrissy went first, so her younger sister could watch her baby boys, Charley and Tommy, being born.
A few minutes later it was time for Chrissy, a woman who was told she would never give birth, to deliver her two beautiful daughters, Grace and Hadley. Although the babies were born in two separate wombs, they are technically quadruplets, sharing the same parents.
“‘Trying to get at least one baby, we are just so excited to take all four of them home and they’re all healthy,” the new mother, Annie, told Daily Mail. “The miracle continues,” added her husband. Today, Annie’s parents live with the couple and help take care of their four babies. And with the Knotts and their two boys just seven houses away, they finally have their big, happy family!