The day after Thanksgiving, Deonna Fletcher’s water broke — nearly four months early. She and boyfriend Antonio Livingston rushed to UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh where she learned she had to be on bedrest until her triplets were born.
This meant that Fletcher would miss her baby shower, her anniversary with Livingston, Christmas and New Year’s Eve as doctors monitored her in the hospital. But Livingston planned something special to show her how much he loves her.
“December 5 was our baby shower, and I planned on proposing then. But since Dee had been admitted in the hospital on November 27, we had to cancel it,” Livingston, 26, a photographer in Pittsburgh, told TODAY Parents. “I had to come up with a different plan and worst-case scenario, we would have just had dinner in the room. But I wanted to get her out of the room.”
A few times, doctors allowed Livingston to push Fletcher around the hospital to get a break from her room. They found a private alcove on the fifth floor that overlooked the hospital’s atrium and that seemed like a romantic spot for a night out. Hospital staff worked with Livingston to make the surprise engagement special: They set the table with linens, champagne flutes for sparkling cider and delivered the food as if the couple were in a restaurant.
“Everything was just beautiful on that balcony,” Livingston said. “I knocked on her door and I had, like the limousine of wheelchairs. It was nice and long. It was like a couch. So, I came to her door knocking on the door and pick her up, just like our first date.”
While Fletcher knew about the meal, delivered from a local restaurant, she had no idea there was more. During dinner, Livingston acted like he was going to show Fletcher a magic trick but instead proposed, which he caught on video and they shared on YouTube.
“Oh, my goodness, Antonio, it’s so beautiful, yes,” she said, followed by “Are you serious?”
She told TODAY Parents she was completely stunned.
“I had no idea that he was going to propose that day,” the 23-year old hairstylist said. “I thought he was going to get a plain white tablecloth just to make it seem like we were outside of the hospital and in a restaurant setting. But he did way more and I was very shocked.”
“I was just very very shocked. I was not expecting that,” Fletcher said.
Neither was Livingston.
“We tried for one,” he said. “When the (technician) said we had three in there, oh man, I was shocked. It was crazy."
While the babies are due in March, the doctors hope that Fletcher can make it until at least the end of January to deliver the triplet girls. She hopes that others embrace the spirit of Livingston's proposal.
“Don’t let anything stop you from accepting love,” she said. “We’re in a pandemic and this could have stopped him from proposing — and me being in the hospital that could have stopped him as well … He just made the best out of it. You’ve got to make the best out of everything.”
The couple hopes to marry in 2022 and that their daughters can be flower girls in the wedding. They have been floored by the response from people who saw the YouTube video or who follow them on Instagram.
“Everyone has just been in tears — so happy,” Livingston said. “The love they’ve been giving it, it’s like wow.”