Julie and Drew Kleymann met while working the overnight shift at west Omaha’s Lakeside Hospital in 2006. They were married in 2010.
The couple’s first daughter was born at Lakeside and now spends her weeks in the day care at the hospital, where the Kleymanns still work.
And on May 26, Julie gave birth to Lakeside’s first set of triplets.
The triplets slept silently in the neonatal intensive care unit Tuesday afternoon, a week after their birth. Nurses and doctors told the parents that their babies are doing exceptionally well.
Julie, 33, gave birth first to 5-pound, 5-ounce Jett, at 7:20 a.m., followed by 4-pound, 13-ounce Lyla at 7:21 a.m. then 5-pound, 13-ounce Knox at 7:22 a.m.
The triplets’ 18-month-old sister is named Hayden.
Jodi Hoatson, a spokeswoman for CHI Health, said that typically triplets are cared for at another CHI facility, Bergan Mercy Medical Center, which has a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. Lakeside’s NICU is classified as Level 2.
But since Julie gave birth at 34 weeks, which is an ideal time frame for triplets, doctors assured the family that Lakeside had the resources needed to care for the newborns, she said.
Lakeside Hospital, northeast of 170th Street and West Center Road, opened in 2004.
For now, the Kleymanns will spend plenty of time with the triplets in the NICU. They said they hope to bring the new additions to their family home by the Fourth of July.
Until then, Julie will spend her days feeding the babies every three hours — 30 minutes per baby — taking their temperatures, changing diapers and more.
But at least she doesn’t have to lie down all day, which she had to do for about four months.
She had to stop working her nursing job at the catheterization laboratory at Lakeside to start bed rest on Jan. 30. Drew, 30, kept working as a CT scan technician at Lakeside but was on call all hours of the day for his wife and daughter.
He made every meal and put a fridge in their bedroom so Julie had her egg salad, cheese, fruit and water nearby throughout the day. She said she spent a lot of time watching Netflix, knocking out the entire series of “Parenthood” and “Sons of Anarchy.”
There was plenty to deal with, especially for a stretch of seven weeks.
“Weeks 17 through 24 were difficult,” Drew said. “If they were born, they wouldn’t survive.”
The next four weeks were tough as well, Drew said. If the babies were born then, he said, they would likely survive but have cerebral palsy or other disorders.
The most painful part for Julie, though, was not being able to watch her daughter grow up. She couldn’t hold Hayden and play with her, though Drew helped by building a small playset in their bedroom so Hayden could spend as much time around her mother as possible.
Eventually, Julie made it through 24 weeks, and the family let more people know what was going on. Word spread around the area and even across the country. A lady from Illinois sent a weekly handwritten letter, telling Julie how much she was thinking about her.
It helped, just like encouragement from her doctors, James Smith and Bob Bossert. Bossert told them to come to his office whenever they needed. Whenever Julie felt something was off, the couple drove to his office.
“They were both incredible,” Julie said as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I seriously don’t know if I could have made it through everything without them. Their words and texts telling me I was doing great. It meant the world.”