Thursday, September 27, 2012

words that will shatter your world

When I was in my twenties, there were a lot of words that I'd never heard of. Words that describe things that happen to other people. Words that later would drastically impact the course of my life and those that I love.

For me they were words like...infertility. Endometriosis. IVF.
But this post isn't really about me. It's about someone who is near and dear to my heart. You could say that we bonded through our grief. Sitting at an industry function, trying to hold back tears, we shared the heartache and pain that we'd experienced on our journey to motherhood. The foundation for our friendship was cemented in that moment.

My friend Dorine's life was torn apart by words like...preeclampsia. Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). Pre-term labor. Unlike us, Dorine and her husband Dave conceived quickly and were excited to welcome identical twin girls into their lives. Tragically, Dorine suffered from a condition called preeclampsia and went into labor more than 4 months before her due date.

Dorine's girls, Siena and Adrianna, each weighed a little more than a pound. At the time of birth, the doctors discovered that the twins suffered from a rare condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. One child receives more blood and nutrients than needed, while the other receives less. In this case, Siena received less.

Upon delivery, Dorine and Dave were allowed mere seconds to gaze at their beautiful baby girls before they were whisked away to the NICU. From that point on it was a constant struggle for survival. Both babies’ skin had been transparent and underdeveloped.

On her second day of life, Adrianna required surgery that would allow her to accept the necessary nutrients she needed to survive. However, on that same day, Siena took a turn for the worst. She suffered a massive hemorrhage in her brain and was not strong enough to endure it. The doctors prepared Dorine and Dave to tell their baby girl goodbye.

Losing Siena and watching Adrianna struggle to survive was the most painful, heart wrenching experience that my friend will probably ever have to endure. Her strength and courage are an inspiration to me. When my own sadness seems unbearable, I often think of her.

Thankfully, after almost 3 months in the NICU, Adrianna was able to come home. She is now a beautiful 1 1/2 year old little girl who just became a big sister to baby Aline. Even after Dorine's tragic experience with her first pregnancy, she still forged on to build her family. Her second pregnancy was not easy, requiring surgery to sew her cervix closed, months of bed rest and daily medication which took a toll on her body, her husband and her daughter, Adrianna.

With Dorine's blessing, I wanted to share her story to help raise awareness about the very real and scary words that could turn your world upside-down. People have a tendency to share the easy child birth and conception stories and bury the painful ones. But I believe that it's important to talk about the difficult stories too because they may be able to help someone else.

These words may not just affect other people.
TTTS. Preeclampsia. Infertility. Endomentriosis. 
They can happen to anyone.
Adrianna and Aline
Baby Aline fell asleep in my arms. Now Dorine calls me the baby whisperer.


Giselle said...

Beautiful and very moving! I think she and I have the same photographer and might have heard her story once before. Such a wondeful post reminder to feel live each day to its fullest. You're right that you never know what words you might be faced with one day.

Shannon Elise said...

A very poignant and moving story. It is a good reminder for me (one who suffers from infertility) that even though others have children, their road to get them wasn't necessarily an easy one. Thanks for sharing Jess!

mrs jp chaos said...

What an amazing story.

I read these stories (yours/hers) and you just wish you could fix it and make it all better. I know that I can't...but I want to. Thank you for sharing.

Sybil said...

There is something so wonderfully reassuring in knowing that we are not alone, whether it's hearing unexpected words or being in unexpected circumstances. Thanks for sharing this story.

Ali @ Not All Dreams Are Free said...

Thanks for sharing that amazing story. Some people have to endure such emotional heartache, and others get it easy. In thrilled that your friend has fought to find joy again, and had two beautiful girls to love. Just inspiring!

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing this story! I am so thankful to learn so much through Blogland. Those are some beautiful pictures!

myfertilityjourney said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad there was a happy ending for your friend, inspite of her heartbreaking loss.

Alicia said...

This is so sad. I wish none of us knew any of these awful, painful words. The road to motherhood, for so many of us, is wrought with extreme heartache. Thank you for sharing.

You look gorgeous with that baby girl!

Gretchen Etzold said...

This is a beautiful post Jessah. I have a friend on bedrest in the hospital (approx. 26 weeks along)- she's been having contractions and is dilating. She's in good spirits and being monitored but it's still a scary situation.

I had 2 early miscarriages in a row before I conceived my daughter - those were emotionally heartwrenching but nothing like losing a baby I had bonded with and carried in my body for months. I'm awed by your friend and the many others that have the courage to go undergo a pregnancy again after losing a baby. Her daughters are beautiful (and so are you)!

On a completely unrelated note, but I feel compelled to comment on it - that sofa and the curtains are gorgeous - I absolutely love the color and shape of that sofa!

ADSchill said...

I appreciate you sharing your friend's story. You are right, people only talk about the easy and positive roads to parenthood, not the ones that end in tregedy. The more people know about these difficult situations, the more empathy and compassion will be out there in the world. I think a lot of people wanted me to brush my twin loss under the rug and get on with trying again. I couldn't do that for myself or my much loved and missed babies. Their story has been told and I will continue to tell it.

Christie said...


Thank you so much for sharing your heart! We, too, have struggled with infertility for 5 years and lost a baby to an ectopic pregnancy last November. Fortunately, the Lord saw fit to bless us with the GREATEST gift almost 2 years ago through adoption! Please know that I'm praying for your journey and I'm your newest follower!


Sarah Jane said...

Found your blog through the ornament swap and I have to say I have fallen in love with it... you have gotten yourself a new follower! I cannot wait to read more and catch up on what I've missed!

Joanna said...

Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing!

And thanks for following ModaMama! I really appreciate your support. Can't wait to hear and read more from you.

Following back ;)


kendra kay said...

so sweet those babies. every day i am thankful for my healthy babies. when i read stories like this i wonder why some people and not others?? you have a beautifully strong friend with a lovely family.

Katie @ Loverly She said...

thank you for sharing this story Jessah. I'm sure you will touch many people by being honest and transparent about your journey :)

kimberly @ lush lounge said...

Oh my gosh! I could feel my whole body tingling while I read this! Very sad, but also r Greeley inspirational & eye opening. Thanks for sharing her story with us.

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