For a long time, Kayla Glines didn’t think she would be able to have biological children.
She and her husband, Allen, tried for 10 years without success.
Yet now, thanks to a combination of fertility drugs, genetics and what Kayla described as “the grace of God,” she is a mother to eight children — six of them under age 2.
The Glineses adopted two little girls in 2011 and 2012 to help her brother and four years later received fertility medication from a doctor that enabled them to have triplets.
However, tragedy struck when Allen and Kayla attended a routine appointment and learned one of the three, an unborn girl they had named Allie, had died due to a complication.
Concerned there could be other problems, her doctor induced Kayla and she delivered the two boys later that night, Aug. 18, 2017, at 27 weeks and four days. Parker and Graysen both needed to spend about 90 days in the newborn intensive care unit of McKay-Dee Hospital, because they were too small to go home.
Allen and Kayla described the loss of one triplet as devastating. Yet, there was some part of them that said their family wasn’t done and that they ought to press forward and have one more.
So they tried and — sure enough — soon learned Kayla was pregnant again.
But things were different this time around. The loss of their daughter, still raw, had changed their perspectives.
Kayla recounted being adamant that she didn’t want multiples and even saying to Allen when they arrived at the doctor’s office for their first appointment that she was relieved to be carrying only one baby.
The ultrasound showed a very different picture.
“I’ve never sworn in a doctor’s office. I work in the medical field, and I had been to this one and worked before but I could not stop swearing,” Kayla said. “It was just one of those moments where you are sitting there and you feel like it is a 100 percent dream. Or like someone is lying to you and put something on the screen that wasn’t supposed to be there.”
Four babies — quadruplets.
Kayla said she had to take a couple of days off work to process it. Although a triplet herself, quadruplets are an anomaly in her family. Nobody in her entire genetic pool has had them.
“I couldn’t even comprehend it,” she explained. “I knew I could handle the triplets, but the concept of growing four little babies inside of me? I just couldn’t even figure out how that was going to work.”
The pregnancy itself was grueling. Kayla was wracked with morning sickness and a fierce terror that something would go wrong.
Kayla and Allen never wanted to experience losing a child again, which is why she said they didn’t tell anyone about the quads except for close family members — not until they were born.
“That’s how it is for most people who have multiples,” Kayla said. “It is high risk. Anything could happen. Even now I look at all four of them and I say to myself, ‘I have to raise all four of these guys and I know I can do it, but it is absolutely terrifying because now I have to love four other human beings all at one time instead of just one baby.'”
The pregnancy itself was a series of meeting one goal after another. Kayla said she strived to reach 23 weeks, then 28, then as long as possible.
Despite the challenges, she made it to 30 weeks and, on March 21, the quadruplets were born: two boys and two girls.
Allen described the operating room as teeming with life, packed with what seemed like 150 people. “It looked like a party,” he said.
The quads were still early and had to spend weeks in the NICU, but not nearly as long as their brothers, and Kayla said the additional time made a big difference.
The two boys, Jamesen and Reese, came home May 1 and the two girls, Oaklee and Lincoln, on May 6.
Allen and Kayla, who met online in 2007, work together to balance the needs of their bustling young family. Graysen has special needs and requires a live-in nurse. The two eldest, Adysen and Amiliya, who are 8 and 6 years old, respectively, need to be dropped off at school. Someone has to watch Parker, who is just shy of 3, and the arrival of the quadruplets complicates things further.
Family members and friends pitch in frequently, when they can.
Allen described Kayla as “superwoman.” And given the challenges she confronts every waking hour — and there are many, many of those every day — she will need all her powers.
However, Kayla and Allen said they believe they can do it together.