Ryan and Stephanie met while in law school at the University of Nebraska. They married in 2007 and soon began their dream to start a family. They became pregnant with twins in 2009 and so began their journey to become parents. Unexpectedly though, one morning, Stephanie awoke with complications at 30 weeks into her pregnancy. Their twins, Nolan & Caroline, were born a few days later at 31 weeks, weighing just over 3 pounds each. Caroline stayed in the NICU for five weeks and Nolan for six weeks due to complications with apnea and bradycardia spells. Nolan was then released to come home on an apnea heart monitor. Nolan and Caroline are now very healthy and active 8-year-old kids in second grade and participate in a variety of activities including piano, cub and girl scouts, tumbling and baseball.
In 2012, Ryan and Stephanie found out they were expecting again. However, sadly, complications again arose, and Stephanie’s water broke around 20 weeks. She remained on bed rest for a few weeks but during a doctor visit, they were unable to find a heartbeat for the baby. Stephanie was immediately admitted to the hospital to deliver their baby at rest. On Dec. 19, 2012, Hannah Dolla Caldwell was born directly to heaven. She is buried in Papillion with Stephanie’s family.
In 2015, Ryan and Stephanie began their third pregnancy. Stephanie had a relatively normal pregnancy, and they both had high hopes of having a full-term baby. However, at 31 weeks, her membranes ruptured again, and she was admitted to the hospital. On March 7, 2016, their son, Decker, was born at 32 weeks, weighing just over 4 pounds. They began their NICU journey again. Decker remained in the NICU for five weeks. He, like his brother Nolan, also developed respiratory and apnea issues and was sent home from the hospital on an apnea heart monitor.
Thanks to the medical advancements supported by the March of Dimes, Nolan, Caroline and Decker are all very healthy and vibrant children that bring tremendous joy to their family’s lives. The Caldwell family became very active supporters and fundraisers for the March of Dimes due to all of their struggles with prematurity and infant death. They look forward to participating each year in the March for Babies through the March of Dimes. They are also very passionate about sharing their story in hopes of providing others comfort and support.