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02-26-04: And babies make seven

Former Celina man and wife are parents of healthy quadruplets


Celina native Jeff Klosterman and his wife Pam have been seeing double lately — make that double times two.
The couple became the parents of quadruplets on Feb. 16 at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. In just four minutes, from 11:32 to 11:36 a.m., Alexis Michelle, Lauren Marie, Hunter Alan and Jakson Charles, came into this world.
Jeff Klosterman, 37, a 1984 graduate of Celina High School, is the son of Norman (Whitey) and Rita Klosterman of Fairground Road, Celina. He was married in 1993 to the former Pam Dolle of Kettering, and the couple now resides in Redmond, Wash.
The two boys and two girls were delivered by Caesarean section at 30 weeks and five days of gestation. This is about seven weeks shy of a full-term pregnancy. Each baby weighed a little more than 3 pounds and is expected to remain in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for five to seven weeks after birth.
They will be welcomed home by the couple’s 22-month-old daughter Sophia.
“We took her to see her brothers and sisters the other day and to her, they’re doll babies, something she can play with,” Pam Klosterman, 38, said in an interview earlier this week from the hospital. She was dismissed from the hospital Friday and now returns daily to be with her small babies.
The proud daddy, a finance director for AT&T Wireless, went back to work on Monday and visits the hospital when time allows.
“They’re doing fine. They all came out breathing on their own. There have been a few minor problems, but nothing serious,” Pam Klosterman said. “The two girls I can tell apart because one has blonde hair and the other has dark hair. But the boys, they look alike.”
The couple’s odyssey began in September 2003, when an ultrasound revealed more than one baby.
“I had been trying to get pregnant for six years and went to a fertility specialist when we lived in Chicago. Sophia was then born 22 months ago and we wanted another child,” Pam Klosterman said.
Needless to say, they got their wish, times four.
“We were told that there was a chance of multiple births, but we thought mentally, at first, that maybe I would have twins. But when we found out in September that I was carrying four babies, we were stunned and had some soul searching to do,” she said.
Jeff Klosterman described their reaction to the news as a plethora of emotions, from being stunned initially to excitement, elation, anxiety and concern.
“And you can add relief when they were born healthy,” he said.
“I know the doctors meant well, but at first they talked about selection reduction (removal of one or more fetuses), to lower the number of babies. That’s done about 11-12 weeks into the pregnancy. But we never even considered that,” he said.
The average gestation for quadruplets is 29 and a half weeks, but Pam Klosterman successfully carried the babies 30 weeks and five days. Doctors also told her she would be admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks for bed rest, but she didn’t go on bed rest until six days before the babies were born.
“I only gained 30 pounds during the pregnancy and my doctor in Chicago (where they lived before moving to Washington) predicted I would gain 70 or more pounds. We’ve been blessed. I’m healthy and the babies are doing fine,” she said.
The couple is now concentrating more than ever on getting their four-bedroom home ready for the quads. Four cribs, dressing tables and all the accouterments will fill the room.
Two tandem strollers will allow the couple some mobility.
“We’ve thought all along, about how we’re going to handle this when they come home. We have to take this and break it down, as a project and into mini steps, otherwise it’s overwhelming,” Jeff Klosterman said.
A schedule will be made out to keep the feeding, burping, bathing and diapering right on cue. They estimate going through about 280 diapers a week.
Transporting the children, for now, likely will be done by two cars. They hope to someday get a Suburban, a vehicle that can handle five car seats.
“We educated ourselves and did a lot of research while Pam was pregnant. We have talked to support groups for parents of multiples to see how they handle everything. Beyond that, we’re going to take things one day at a time,” Jeff Klosterman said.
Pam’s mother, Gerry Dolle, has been staying at the Klostermans’ home since the early part of January, but is returning to her Kettering home this week to await the birth of another grandchild.
Paternal grandparents Whitey and Rita Klosterman said they plan to visit the family soon.
“Each of those babies was 15 inches long and that’s 60 inches, which equals 5 feet. That’s a lot of baby,” the proud grandfather, Whitey Klosterman, said. “I know she was very uncomfortable there at the end. But she always kept a positive attitude and I believe that’s the key. We’re thrilled they’re all doing well and the best advice I can give them right now is don’t be afraid to accept help.”
Jeff Klosterman said he feels raising these children will be an “awesome responsibility and a daunting challenge.
“But we’re up to it,” he added. “From now on it’s early to rise and late to bed.”
Locally, in 1989, Greg and Lynn Rinderle of St. Henry became the parents of quadruplets (all girls), and in 1992, quadruplets (three girls and one boy) were born to Dennis and Shelly Brunswick of Coldwater.


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