Eight months after leaving the hospital with quadruplet girls, Ashley and Tyson Gardner still can’t believe they are awakened each morning by four distinct cries.
“The good news is that they’re all now sleeping a solid eight hours through the night,” says Tyson, 33, who gives bottles to two of the babies while Ashley tends to the others.
The bad news?
Tyson laughs. “There is none,” he tells PEOPLE. “It’s been so amazing to watch their personalities develop. Not a day goes by that we’re not grateful. This is what we waited for after trying to have a baby for more than eight years.”
Conceived last summer with help from in-vitro fertilization treatments, Ashley’s emotional reaction to finding out she was pregnant with quads went viral on YouTube in July 2013. The couple’s emotional journey was told exclusively in PEOPLE last March.
Now the “Gardner Quad Squad”, as they’re known on Facebook, are rolling all over the family’s house in American Fork, Utah, eating solid foods, laughing at their parents and throwing toys from their cribs.
The two sets of identical twins (believed to be a one-in-a-million occurrence) were delivered prematurely on December 28 at 29 weeks, weighing just a few pounds each and requiring a two-month stay in Utah Valley Regional Center’s intensive care unit.
Now the girls are having their milestones documented by TLC as part of an upcoming series about first-time parents, which will premiere in January.
Indie, Esmie, Scarlett and Evangeline attract attention wherever their parents take them, from shopping malls and grocery stores to swimming pools and parks.
As they wheel the girls around in a quad stroller, Ashley and Tyson have learned to deal with being rushed by crowds of people with a vested interested in their daughters’ welfare.
“So many people followed our story every step of the way – they feel like we’re part of their family,” says Ashley, 28, who is finally getting a full night’s sleep after months of being awakened every few hours around the clock.
“Those first months since they were born were exhausting, but so rewarding,” she tells PEOPLE. “Every day, I feel so grateful as I watch these little miracles grow. They’re healthy now, they’re happy and thriving. I’m soaking up every minute with them – I can’t get enough of holding them and watching every little milestone.”
She and Tyson are now baby-proofing their four-bedroom townhouse, knowing that their daughters will be learning to crawl soon.
“We need to rest up – they’re going to be all over the place,” says Tyson, a former sales rep who now works at home for A Miracle Unfolding, the couple’s online baby blanket and headband business. “Four little girls getting into everything. That’s going to be fun.”
Thankfully, he and Ashley are getting plenty of help with baby care from friends and family, including Ashley’s dad, Steven Weisenburger of Lehi, Utah, who stops by once or twice a week to give the couple a break.
“The first time I was alone with all four babies, they all started crying at once and I panicked,” he tells PEOPLE. “But now, I get right down on the floor with them so I can look them in the eyes and watch them smile back. They’re just such a joy.”
Adds Ashley, “Every morning brings a new adventure and a new challenge, but we’re up for whatever happens. Every minute of every day, we’re making memories.”