A Pennsylvania couple who spent the past eight years trying to welcome a child are now the parents of four infants born in two different births.
Zac and Brittney Wolfe of St. Mary's adopted their now 3-month-old daughter, whom they named Charlie, right after her birth on July 27, 2023.
Four months later, on Oct. 19, Brittney Wolfe, 32, gave birth to triplets, two girls and a boy, who were conceived through embryo adoption.
"We always talked about a big family," Zac Wolfe, 31, told "Good Morning America." "That’s something we dreamed of."
The Wolfes' long journey to becoming parents started right after they got married in 2015. The couple said they tried to get pregnant naturally for around one year before going to a fertility specialist.
While working with a fertility specialist, the couple tried several unsuccessful rounds of intrauterine insemination, or IUI, before moving onto in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, a process in which a woman's eggs and a man's sperm are combined in a laboratory to create an embryo, or embryos.
At that time, Zac Wolfe said he and his wife were both working full-time while also traveling two hours each way to the fertility clinic, on top of managing the injections and medications Brittney Wolfe had to take as part of the IVF process.
"It was very trying because we were still working and trying to arrange our schedules of when we could go before [work] and go into work later," Zac Wolfe said. "So, it was a lot of it was a lot of stress on us, and it's a lot of stress on relationships as well because it's hard."
The Wolfes said they were thrilled when they became pregnant on the second round of IVF, only to see the pregnancy end in a miscarriage just weeks later.
After taking a break to recover both emotionally and physically, the couple resumed IUI and IVF treatments again in 2020, only to face more disappointments.
The Wolfes said they were told by doctors they had "unexplained infertility," meaning tests showed no obvious cause for their fertility problems.
"We weren't sure at the beginning if it was because of my injury as well," said Zac Wolfe, who was left paralyzed from the waist down following a 2011 car crash. "We had to have all my tests done, and it was very hard."
As their infertility struggles continued, the Wolfes began to explore adoption, taking courses and undergoing a home study so they would be ready to welcome a child. The couple also created a website about their adoption journey in hopes it would help publicize their wish for a child.
After putting their adoption hopes out on social media and their website, the Wolfes said they got many replies, but none that were actual adoption opportunities. When a relative told the couple about embryo adoption, Brittney Wolfe said they began to explore that option as well.
With embryo adoption, a person can choose an embryo that has been donated, and then carry that pregnancy themselves. The embryo donors are people who have unused, frozen embryos left over from the IVF process.
In late 2022, the Wolfes traveled to an embryo donation center in Tennessee.
"We got access to their database of embryos and had our first transfer in December 2022," Brittney Wolfe said.
The Wolfes said soon after the transfer, they learned Brittney Wolfe was pregnant, but were met with devastating disappointment just weeks later when she suffered another miscarriage.
Despite the loss, the Wolfes said they decided to try one more round of embryo adoption.
Around the same time, earlier this year, the Wolfes got an unexpected call from a neighbor asking if they were still interested in adopting a child. The couple said yes, and then were introduced to a local pregnant woman who wanted to pursue adoption.
"We met with her and she asked us if we would adopt her baby," Brittney Wolfe recalled of their first meeting with the woman in March. "So, we were there from about the middle of her pregnancy. I was with her at her 20-week ultrasound when we found out it was a girl. I was there through all of her appointments."
While the Wolfes said they were excited about the adoption process, they decided to continue pursuing embryo adoption as well, in case either one of their options failed.
"We'd had the failed embryo transfer and we also had so many [adoption] scams," said Zac Wolfe.
"We knew both of them may not work. It's a 50-50 chance," added Brittney Wolfe. "So we went for it."
In April, the Wolfes said they traveled back to Tennessee for another embryo transfer, and found out again that the transfer resulted in a pregnancy. The couple had transferred three embryos and, due to the quality of the different embryos, said they were told there was a less than 1% chance the three embryos would result in triplets.
"We got the [first] ultrasound and I said to the tech, 'Can you tell me there's one? Please, please tell me there's one because we really want this,'" Brittney Wolfe recalled. "And she smiled, and she said, 'Oh, there's two,' and I looked at Zac and we're both smiling, like, 'Holy cow, we're going to have three kids. This is so crazy.' And then [the tech] said, 'Oh my gosh, wait ... there's three.'"
Zac Wolfe said of his own reaction, "I almost fell out of my chair," while Brittney Wolfe said her "whole body went limp" at the news she was expecting not one but three babies.
The timing of Brittney Wolfe's pregnancy meant she was 20 weeks apart from the pregnancy of their adopted daughter's birth mom.
Despite suffering from multiple miscarriages previously, Brittney Wolfe's pregnancy with triplets came with no complications.
"When you're going through this, you're so stressed out," Zac Wolfe said. "And when Charlie came to us, I think that we weren't stressed as much, and Brittney's pregnancy went so good because we weren't focused on the negative. We got Charlie. We were so happy and Brittney's pregnancy went amazing."
Brittney Wolfe ended up delivering the triplets -- whom they named Knox, Noa and Navie -- via C-section on Oct. 19, 30 weeks into her pregnancy.
Though born premature, the triplets, who each weighed between 2 and 3 pounds at birth, are thriving. While Brittney Wolfe went home from the hospital last week, the triplets are expected to remain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for another four to six weeks, according to the Wolfes.
Their son Knox is named after Knoxville, the city in Tennessee where the embryo transfer occurred. Their older daughter Charlie is named after the restaurant where the Wolfes first met her birth mom.
The Wolfes said that once the triplets are discharged from the NICU, they will be ready to care for four babies under the age of 1.
"We're going to blink and we're going to look back and say, 'How the heck did we do that?'" Brittney Wolfe said. "But we did it. We're all thriving. It's going to be good."