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New Dad Get Unexpected Surprise Just in Time for Father's Day

by on June 14, 2014 11:45 AM

Ross Bellinger wasn’t expecting to be a father for another few weeks.

His two daughters were due June 30 but came a little early – just in time for Father’s Day.

Ross and his wife of nearly six years, Eve, were initially told their due date was July 13. Once the doctors realized Eve was pregnant with fraternal twins, the date was moved up. The first-time parents had no idea just how early their daughters would come.           

It started out like any other Monday. Ross, a nurse anesthetist at Mount Nittany Medical Center, went to work in the morning. Eve, a nurse practitioner at Foxdale Village retirement home, had been feeling uncomfortable for the past few days and occasionally had contractions. Her contractions became more regular as the morning wore on, so she went to see her doctor, still not expecting anything unusual.

Her doctor realized Eve was going into labor, so she called Ross, who was three floors below at the hospital at the time. Ross then called everyone's parents, both sets living two hours away in opposite directions, to tell them to come right away to be there to meet their granddaughters.

“At 9 a.m., I learned I’d be a dad that day,” says Ross, a State College resident.

The parents had a big decision to make. Because Eve was only 35 weeks pregnant, childbirth is riskier than for more mature babies. Ross and Eve had to decide whether to give birth to the twin girls in State College or at Hershey Medical Center. They chose to stay at the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The twins were considered breech babies, meaning their feet were pointing down. That meant Eve had to have a cesarean section, her husband holding her hand the whole time.

Emma and Eliza Bellinger were born one minute apart -- at 11:25 and 11:26 a.m. Emma weighed 4 pounds, 13 ounces while Eliza came in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Two days later, Ross and Eve said they can’t decide which parent the girls resemble more.

“Well, the girls have blue eyes, and both of us have blue eyes,” Eve says while gazing down at the twins in her arms. “But other than that, I can’t really tell yet.”

Ross says he’s very happy about their decision to stay at Mount Nittany because the doctors and nurses were so helpful, especially after the birth. In addition to closely watching the babies to make sure they were healthy, nurses at the hospital taught Eve and Ross a few tricks about parenthood.

The biggest challenge so far, Ross says, has been learning how to breastfeed twins, considering the girls need to eat every two to three hours. The nurses have taught the new parents different techniques, which Ross says he appreciates. It was especially beneficial that no one at the hospital seemed to be in a rush.

“I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who took part in our delivery, especially the care afterward,” Ross says. “Everyone on our floor has been awesome. As first-time parents, we need all the help we can get.”

For now, the plan is for Ross and Eve to bring the twins home on Friday morning. Ross said he doesn’t think they will have big plans for Father’s Day this year as the new parents will still be adjusting to their new lives. Still, Ross said he can't express how thrilled he is to now be a father.

“My father is one of the most special people to me,” Ross says. “I hope I have the same impact on my daughters’ lives.”

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Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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