"When we came back to the house, it was very difficult for either of us to sleep in here," she says. "We changed the comforters out and changed the mattress out, and I just developed a certain sense of peace, almost like her telling me: 'It's okay. You can do this.'"
In just a few months, Ashley and Blue have adapted to their new routines. Ashley wakes up before dawn to care for each child before heading to her full-time job. All nine children require specialized medical care. Emma, the baby of the family, has Down syndrome and must be fed through a feeding tube. Katie and Nicholas take seizure medication, while Ricky takes an anti-psychotic medicine, which helps with his behavioral problems.
Watch and see how Ashley's life is today.
When she gets overwhelmed, Ashley draws strength from her mother's memory. "I feel like she's right next to me, pushing me to go on," she says. "I feel like her strength is in me to keep me going, because I know I have to."