For many, raising children can be a lifelong dream and a defining element of their lives. That’s why one of the most heartbreaking things a married couple can learn is that, for whatever reason, they can’t have children.
That’s the sad place one couple was in for years, trying to find a way to make their dream come true. When a kind soul came forward with a solution for them, it would come as the surprise of a lifetime…
Like most married couples, Nicole and her husband Kevin wanted to have children. Unfortunately, Nicole suffered from a disease called “thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura” or TTP. TTP is a very rare disorder of the blood that causes extensive microscopic blood clots to form in the small blood vessels throughout the body, resulting in low platelet counts.
High Risk Pregnancy
Without going too far into the repercussions of the disease, it meant that if Nicole was to become pregnant, both she and the baby would be at a high risk of dying. With the prospect of having a child the conventional way off of the table, Nicole and Kevin had to search for another option…
Paying a Surrogate?
When they looked into hiring a surrogate to carry their child to term for them, Nicole and Kevin found out that it wouldn’t be possible. The couple lived on Long Island and as it turns out, paid surrogacy is illegal in New York.
Can We Adopt?
The last choice left to them was to adopt a child. When they began to investigate the possibility, Nicole and Kevin found out that it can be expensive, potentially costing as much as $90,000. That kind of price put adoption out of their reach…
We Need A Hero
Because TTP is not genetic, the couple decided to have Nicole’s eggs harvested and frozen so they could keep trying to find some way to have children biologically. A few female friends over the years had offered to carry for the couple but for various reasons it never worked out.
Each time a surrogate fell through the possibility that they would ever have children seemed to grow more remote. Then, one night Nicole and Kevin were out having dinner with 2 friends of theirs, a married couple named Shawn and Lianna. After they had eaten, Lianna made an announcement that would change everything…
I’ll Do It
Lianna offered to carry Nicole and Kevin Barattini’s baby for them, asking nothing in return. The Barratini’s were beyond shocked. “To see their faces, their excitement, I don’t think they believed it themselves,” Lianna said.
My Family First
Lianna had known about Nicole’s inability to have children for about 6 years. At the time, she was between her 2nd and 3rd child and didn’t offer to be a surrogate because she wasn’t done having children of her own yet…
But now that Lianna and Shawn had 5 children of their own, they were happy to help their friends out. “At first it was difficult for me to get a sense of why she wanted to do this,” said Nicole. “She is an angel. She wanted to do this out of the kindness of her heart.”
They Deserve it
“I was blessed to have 5 kids and they are all amazing,” said Lianna. “I couldn’t picture my life without them. To see this family so deserving, it broke my heart.” Now that the Barratini’s had a willing surrogate in Lianna, there was a long road to go to making their dream come true…
Shawn had to begin giving Lianna hormone shots in order to prepare her body for the implantation of the embryos that would be created with Nicole’s eggs and Kevin’s sperm. When her body was ready, the first “In Vitro Fertilization” or IVF attempt was sadly unsuccessful.
Fortunately, the second attempt succeeded. Then came the many visits to the obstetrician, so numerous they were sometimes twice a week. Both of the Fives and the Barrattinis went to as many of those appointments as they could, with all 4 being present at 95% of them…
They began the process in June of 2015 and by Labor day, they were ready for a baby announcement party. In front of 60 guests, including the Fives’ 5 kids, aged 1 to 13, they let the world know that the would be having twins, a boy and a girl.
As surrogacy isn’t the most common thing, a people at the party had a lot of questions. The most common of which was to Lianna, asking how she’d be able to give up the babies. “Their buns, my oven,” was her response. “I will always have a connection to the twins, but I had problem with letting them go.”…
To the Hospital
After several more months of waiting, it was time for the twins to be born. One of the twins was breech, meaning it hadn’t turned to be head down yet. Because of that, the Barratini’s joined Fives at the hospital where their obstetrician would perform a C-section.
Hot and Dizzy
The operation was a complete success and on February 10th, little Dominic was born, followed minutes later by Luciana, both happy and healthy. The Baratinis had been able to stay in the operating room during the procedure. “I felt hot and dizzy,” said Nicole. “We saw the whole thing.”…
As Close As Possible
After the twins were born, it wasn’t too difficult for Nicole and Kevin to choose Lianna and Shawn as their godparents. The 2 couples had become even closer friends than they had been 9 months prior. “I don’t have a sister but I’d consider her like that,” said Nicole. “We don’t hold back, we are open, honest, and I am constantly turning to her for advice.”
Can’t Get Over It
Even though the surrogate pregnancy was behind them, Nicole said she “still can’t process” Lianna’s generosity. “Every time I look at the babies it reminds me of what she went through, she never complained, ever,” Nicole added…
They Saved Us
Nicole’s husband was equally grateful, saying “Lianna and Shawn saved us.” Before they had offered their help, Kevin said, they thought they’d “hit rock bottom and you think it’s the end of the road. We are literally blessed. There are no words.”
Funnily enough, Nicole and Kevin’s twins weren’t technically theirs. “The kids aren’t on our birth certificate yet,” Nicole said. “We have to adopt our own children that are 100% maternally and paternally ours.” They didn’t expect any resistance from the Fives.