Tuesday I traveled to New york alone.  Earlier in the day Stephanie had her routine examination with the OB GYN and all was on schedule for February 13.  Cervix-2.75 (length not dilation).  2.50 and below is  a warning sign things are close.  A 4 day trip away should be fine.

Img_4598All day Thursday Stephanie complained to me over IM from Austin of cramps.  She’d drink water, lay on her left side, write.  At 5:30pm, Stephanie calls my cell again complaining of cramps but this time something different.  There was a mucus discharge with a strain of brown blood.  "What should I do?" she asked.  "Call the Doctor, Stephanie".  "But I don’t want to disturb him, its probably nothing".  "Would you rather disturb him at 5:30 or 11:30" i questioned.  Stephanie called the Doctor and explained her situation.  He instructed her to go to the hospital.  We’re at 30 weeks and just took our first tour of the hospital a week ago.  I drove. Stephanie calls a friend to drive her but she is unable and her husband is sick so Stephanie gathers her ID and health insurance card, feeds Linus and drives the 20 minute trip to the hospital which she has little idea where it is.  The rush hour traffic turns her trip into an hour of cramping and phone calls to me and her family alerting them.  At the hospital Stephanie is told she is preterm labor.  I frantically attempt to find a flight to Austin and speak with the Doctor about the labor reducing drugs he is utilizing as well as the steroids to speed up the babies development if they continue to come early.  The Doctor is trying to hold off the labor for 48 hours.  All flights had left New york.  The next flight was 7:40am which I reserve.  At 10:30pm the Doctor reveals that the babies are not to be stopped. Stephanie is dilating.  Alone she fills out forms.  Alone she lays in a hospital room.  By speaker phone we ask the questions and make the decisions required prior to child birth.  I stay with her via phone through most of the prep at which time Stephanie is brought into delivery. On hold about an hour later my call is forward to the operating room where Stephanie is alert and composed.  The first baby was born at 11:12pm on December 7 and the second at 11:13pm.

Lucas Beckett and Abigail Ruby

10 weeks premature.  Stephanie alone faced childbirth.  She is a strong woman.  I love her. 

Although severely underweight (less than 3  elbs each) and in need of significant assistance, the babies are in capable hands.  The last 3  days have been filled with joy, fears, exhaustion.  The babies are seen daily by NICU Doctors, Respiratory Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and full time nurses overseeing breathing tubes, IVs, temperature controls, apnea alerts, feeding tubes.  We have been allowed to lay our hands on the little ones with no stroking as their skin is too delicate.  The excessive red blood cells cause Lucas to get beet red when we stand over him discussing his status. He is ornery.  They say tomorrow we may be able to hold them. 

Every 2 hours Stephanie is pumping in hopes to begin producing breast milk.  She lays beside me now sleeping.  She is an amazing woman.

This is Stephanie’s blog and most likely the only time I will ever write a post here.  She’s been overwhelmed by the events of the last few days and agreed when I asked if I could present a factual description here.  I leave the color and heartfelt emotions to her.  I know she will post her experiences, feelings in time.



  1. Congratulations on your new additions! I hope everything goes well for you all. (Also, the names you picked out are adorable!)

  2. Oh, congratulations to your beautiful family! And I hope you get to take those babies home soon.

  3. Oh, my! Congratulations a million times over. I'm sorry it happened the way that it did, but I hope you both are well and that the little babies grow big and strong in a hurry. Best of luck and best wishes and just best everything…

    ps. Lucas and Abigail… a boy and a girl, right? Am I remembering correctly – isn't that the combo you (Stephanie) had hoped for? Yay for you and your new family!

  4. You have two little fighters (just like their momma)! Prayers and thoughts are with you as you begin your parenting experience, albeit a little early.

  5. Congratulations!

    I don't know what to say, except that I'll be hoping for Lucas and Abigail.

  6. Wow. Congratulations, you two…or I guess I should say four now! You will all be in my thoughts. I hope everything from this point on gets much better. And big hugs to Stephanie. Strong woman, indeed.

  7. Mazel Tov! I too had twins prematurely and my little one weighed a little over 2 pounds. NICU is a rough road, and it is only now that I am able to look upon those times fondly. The best of luck in the coming weeks…I hope they go as quickly as possible and that your babies grow big and strong and are home safe in your arms soon. If you need any support…please e-mail me…i know how hard it is right now…keep the faith…i'll be praying for your little guys…beautiful names by the way…much love,

  8. First, congratulations! Second, I am shocked and hope that all is well with you, Stephanie, and your children.

  9. Congratulations! A girl and a boy! Just what you wanted!

    I have full faith they will both be fine and your babies will be home with you soon.

    Pumping gets easier. Good luck.

  10. Longtime and loyal reader… first time poster. Just had to send my heartfelt congratulations on your children and my VERY best wishes for the strength and well-being of both them and their mother. Although not how anyone wanted or planned, it somehow seems appropriate that this strong, independant and passionate woman would bring her children into the world this way. They will learn from her example and be strong, fiery children too!

  11. Congraduations! Good Luck Stephaine with the breast feeding, it's hard work. Enjoy your little babies!


  12. i knew they'd come early. you've wanted them so badly. soon you'll be able to go back to your list of things you're good at and add "being a mommy"…

    many congratulations. could your life be more beautiful?

    best of luck!

  13. Another longtime reader and first-time poster, here to say congratulations and to let you all know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    I'm sure this wasn't the beginning you'd hoped for, but it's an early start to what's sure to be a wonderful lifetime together. Congratulations, and best wishes for the road ahead.

  14. Firstly, congratulations! I have been returning to the site two sometimes three times a day looking for updates and when I had not seen any since Thursday, I somehow knew something had happened. I would like to agree with Cara, as soon as I read that you, Stephanie, had delivered your babies alone – I thought, although not the way you had planned or hoped – it was oddly appropriate. You are in my thoughts and prayers and congratulations again!

  15. Mazel Tov!!! Congratulations!!! Wow!!!

    Much love to the new family.

    I was under 3 pounds at birth in 1973 and doing great, NICU is amazing. My niece-in-law just got out of NICU yesterday, she was born 16 weeks early this year (september), and is doing great.

    Send our love and healing thoughts to Stephanie, please. Good job, mommy.

    Kiss those little ones the first chance you get!

  16. I sit here and say over and over, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God."

    I cannot imagine the fear and shock you both have been through in the past three days.

    My prayers are with you. My prayers are with your beautiful babies. You've got a long road ahead of you, all four of you. But just in learning about Stephanie's strength through the beauty of her writing, I trust you all will prevail.

    And God bless you — three pounds is excellent at this stage — Stephanie, you did EVERYTHING right during your pregnancy so NEVER, EVER, EVER doubt that! And, a boy AND a girl.

    Rest. Peacefully. Know the babes are being taken care of, that they needed out when they did. Trust in that, and have no doubts.

  17. Oh my gosh!!! what a surprise! May the Heavens bless your new family and the names are beautiful and perfect. What lucky children to have such great parents!

  18. Stephanie and Phil – congratulations. While I'm sure this was not the way you pictured childbirth, I am sure that your family will be healthy and happy in time. Wishing you all the best during this wonderful time!

  19. oh god, stephanie. i want to call phil's cell, and i don't even know him. you will be ok. my daughter was premature. not twins, but you know what? intense therapy since she was six months. and i'll tell you this. she's 6.8 years old old and reads at a third grade level (she's in first grade) and is funny and beautiful as all hell. i mean it. you are like me. a fighting sagittarius. and this is what i had. i wish i could send photos. maybe phil will held with it. you and the guppies with be absolutely fine and fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. yay! I am such a lurker on this site … always reading (for quite awhile) and never posting, but how could I not send my congrats and prayers for you and your little ones.

    Be well!

  21. Congratulations and many blessings to you both. As I continued to check online to see when Stephanie was going to make a new post I started to get nervous and kept you both and the babies in my prayers.

    Phil, thank you for writing. No matter what kind of flack you receive on here sometimes, you are an amazing man who's love and respect for Stephanie is easy to see, even in one post.

    Stephanie, funny how things can change so fast. Last week people were posting about letting Phil sleep at home and whether you would have a c-section or not. I guess you don't always get to choose how things happen, but just be thankful for the blessings. I am so happy you have 2 blessings added to your family and I am so proud to hear of you driving yourself to the hospital and being so brave on your own. These babies need to be strong right now and it is easy to see that they will get that strength from their beautiful mother.

    The names are adorable, the story is one that people will be unable to forgt (really, did I expect anything else from Ms. Klein), and again I thank you for sharing this joy with us all.

    God Bless you both and your new angels as well.

  22. Congratulations Mom and Dad!
    All the best to your two little ones and hoping they are home with you very soon. Delighted to learn you have one of each!

  23. Like another poster, I'm a long time reader, first time poster. Congratulations and I'm wishing you all the best of luck with everything! You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. Oh my goodness – Congratulations to you all! I cannot imagine what an emotional rollercoaster you've been through, but I'm glad the babies are here and in capable hands. I wish you and the babies all the best to grow big and strong and come home soon. My hat is off to Stephanie for getting through this alone and so unexpectedly – I am in awe of her.

  25. Thoughts and prayers, for your family of four. Congratulations, and best wishes to you all. I'm amazed by your courage.

  26. Stephanie: don't let them make you feel guilty for not breastfeeing when you are absolutely exhausted. icu nurses wanted me to breastfeed every two hours to my preemie when i had her. they killed me. i talked to old ladies in my neighborhood who told me that they were allowed to stay in the hospital two or three weeks in the 1940's or 1950's when they had their children. I think it's inhumane now. my daughter was allowed to stay precicely 48 hours, and she was preemie, only 4.0 pounds when we took her home. fight for your rights. (although we fought for ours and they still send us home. but at 6.5 years, she's doing ok now.)

  27. Congratulations to you both!! You will be wonderful loving parents. Best of luck to you are your little ones.

  28. Stephanie,

    Just want to say that you and the guppies are in my thoughts and prayers.

    What lovely names you picked!

  29. Stephanie- I'm so proud of you, giving birth all alone must have been so hard. I know Phil, your family and all your readers were with you in spirit! I adore you and CONGRATS to the Happy Family!!!
    I'll be praying for those teeny tiny babies!

  30. Just wanted to add my congratulations and amazement at the strength your new family has shown these past few days.

    Like Holly, I was really touched to read Phil's post. As an outlet for venting Stephanie's frustrations, we often only see the inevitable negative aspects of his personality and I was really pleased to see how committed he was here.

    And yay for the boy/girl combo!! I almost woke my roommate up as I surpressed my yelp of delight. The names are perfect, and I'm sure their struggle to enter the world will only make their lives and yours more meaningful.

  31. This is Kathi, in NY…God bless all of you!
    Wishing all the love in the world to all FOUR of you!
    Much love today and always

  32. Wow. Bless her heart for having to go through that alone…and bless yours for all the frustration you must have felt trying to get to her.

    My brother was barely a six month baby…and that was in 81. He was teeny, like yours. Couldn't be touched for a few days…and had to stay with the doctors and specialists for a little while. But after that he was perfectly fine – other than the spoiled rotten part.

    Can't wait for you to bring Lucas and Abigail home.

    Praying for you and your lovely family.


  33. Congratulations, Stephanie & Phil!
    I am a fraternal twin & weighed a whopping 2.2 pounds when I was born – my brother was 1.9. 23 years later, we've gained a few pounds, but are happy & healthy! I wish the very very very best for you all, praying for everyone's health & perseverance!

  34. I was 14 weeks early in 1975 and I've (knock wood) been perfectly healthy ever since. The babies will be fine. Congratulations and blessings to your family.

  35. First off I want to say congrats and second I want to say that I just went through the exact thing 4 months ago. My twins came 10 weeks early. I have been through the monitors and the hospital stay. If for any reason you want to talk or have any questions or anything at all feel free to contact me. It will be a very emotional and trying time. At 30 weeks the babies have a very good chance of being perfectly normal and soon becoming what the NICU calls feeders and growers. You will be in my thoughs. Feel free to visit my site it's all about what we went through at the NICU and after.

  36. You're blessed with a boy and a girl… A little early, but still – what a joy! Congratulations!

    Beautiful names…

    I'll send some hopes and prayers your way!

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