For 29 year-old Kayla Gaytan the news that she was pregnant was something she’d never expected to hear, having been told only weeks before that she would most likely never be able to have children. At such a young age such a forecast on the future would be devastating for anyone, but for Kayla it was yet one more emotional blow. And she had already endured so much.
As a newly married woman, Kayla should have still been in the throes of the honeymoon stage when she noticed a suspicious lump on her neck that was later diagnosed as Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. With the diagnosis came an aggressive plan of action for chemotherapy treatments, and so she and her new husband Charles went into full battle mode. As a sergeant in the Army stationed at Ft. Campbell, Charles Gaytan certainly knew his way around combat, and together with Kayla, the newlyweds formed a strengthened unit to face the greatest battle of their lives. Over the next five months, Kayla received rounds of the powerful treatment, showing success that came with the word they hungered to hear: remission.
The happy news did not come without its shadow of sadness, however, as the treatments had essentially increased the likelihood that Kayla’s body would go into early menopause, making pregnancy nearly impossible. Already the mother of two, Kayla knew the joys of bringing a new life into the world, but she and Charles had shared dreams of having children together and growing their family—a dream that most newlyweds share without thought that it will never come to be.
Their hopes dashed, the news that Kayla was, in fact, expecting was miraculous—and even more so was the news that she was pregnant with quadruplets. With the heartbeats of four healthy fetuses showing strong, Kayla’s doctors made it their goal to help her carry the pregnancy to at least 28 weeks. Their highest hopes were for 32, but Kayla set her sites on 34, determined to defy all expectation.
The pregnancy ran smoothly. Her blood pressure was normal and the babies were developing at a healthy rate. And all indications showed that Kayla’s cancer was remaining in remission. But intuition told her otherwise, and unusual swelling in her neck impelled her to get further testing. After a biopsy of her lymph nodes proved that the cancer had indeed returned—fast and with fury—Kayla’s doctors knew that she needed chemo as soon as possible. Just over 28 weeks pregnant, chemo would have meant a death sentence for the babies growing in her belly. So Kayla and her doctors decided to put treatment off as long as they could without increasing the risks to her own health, finally inducing her at 30 weeks along.
On December 30, 2016, after a delivery by C-section, Kayla and Charles welcomed their four healthy babies into the world, each weighing between two and three pounds. And with Victoria, Lillian, Charles, and Matthew fueling her determination to face the fight even harder, Kayla is now once again undergoing chemo, fully intending to win the battle ahead.
In an effort to help provide for the quads’ future needs and Kayla’s medical care, the Gaytans’ friends at Ft. Campbell have established a GoFundMe page to accept donations. For more information on ways to help, visit www.gofundme.com/2mur9fyf. It’s also listed at GoFundMe under “Gaytan’s Quadruple Pregnancy.”