Kevin and Nicole Barattini were just like any normal couple who wanted to start their own family. They married in 2010 and built their home in Smithton, New York. They were happy with their two dogs, but it wouldn’t be the same as having their own kid running around the house. So the couple decided that they were ready and visited a doctor for a check-up. However, the doctor unveiled the truth that it was going to be too hard for them to bear a child.
The couple spent years trying to build their dream little by little. But one important thing they couldn’t succeed was Nicole getting pregnant. Without haste, the couple went to the hospital and appointed a professional. When they met the doctor, it brought bad news for them. Nicole revealed that she had a medical condition way back from her teenage years. But she didn’t expect how much it would take a toll on her pregnancy.
Nicole was 16 years old when she was diagnosed with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). It was the day when red dots emerged all over her body until she couldn’t open her eyes. When Nicole suffered from constant fever and over fatigue, she was rushed to the hospital. The professionals told her parents that blood clots formed throughout her body and she needed blood transfusions. After spending days in the hospital, Nicole recovered, but the doctor prescribed her a medication that she would take for the rest of her life. Then again, the doctor missed out a detail about the side effects.
Decades after the incident, Nicole thought back to her problem, but it wasn’t entirely her disease’s fault. The doctor told the couple that the medicine she had been taking created detrimental effects on her uterus. The doctor added that it would be too dangerous if Nicole tried conceiving a baby. She could stop taking her medication, but it was like putting half of her body on the grave since TTP was a fatal condition. Now the couple was left on the fence because they had to make the toughest decision.
It was between Nicole’s health or a child. Kevin knew that his wife could be so stubborn and would nonchalantly risk her life for a child. But he wouldn’t allow that. Kevin believed that her wife’s life was more important than everything else, even their dreams. Sure he was desperate too, but he loves his wife, and he wouldn’t want Nicole to suffer from TTP again. So he started looking for other possibilities.
There was no way the couple would lose hope just because of one inevitable problem. So Kevin laid out other options without the need to gamble Nicole’s life. The first one they considered was adopting a child. However, when the couple did intensive research, issues started to arise.
One problem in adoption was paying for its legal fees. There were tons of additional charges and the cost was high. Kevin heaved out a sigh and thought of the next option, surrogacy. But it also came to his mind that this procedure might cost a lot more than the adoption. Therefore, surrogacy was not feasible for the couple as well. However, it caught Nicole’s interest, and she wanted to seek help from professionals first before they abandon this route.
Mountains to Climb
Finally, the couple received a positive response from the doctor. The clinic assured that the surrogacy would be 100% safe for Nicole. Her eggs were unaffected by TTP and her medication. But when the doctor explained the procedure and the amount of money the couple had to shell out… they both gasped.
They have to compensate the surrogate mother with a staggering amount of around $75,000. And it still depended on where the surrogate mother would come from since this procedure was not yet legal in New York, so they had no other choice but to source out. The couple started to have doubts about considering this option. However, Nicole’s face lit up when an idea struck her.
Seeking for Help
The couple asked their friends and family for help regarding their surrogate plan. Thankfully, Nicole and Kevin were known to be good people, so they received a lot of volunteers. The couple were really moved by the number of offers they had. Unfortunately, the hope that was only starting to rise died in an instant because the doctor declared that none of these people were fit for the procedure. A tide of agitations surged on Nicole and Kevin. After days of running tests on different people, the couple was already on the verge of giving up. Until one day, somebody came into their doorsteps.
The dejected-looking couple beamed when they saw familiar faces. It was Lianna and Shawn Fives, their friends for 20 years. The Barattinis looked up to this couple because they were successful in growing a big family. When Lianna was still 37 years old and Shawn was 40, the Fives already had five children. Lianna and Shawn invited the Barattinis to dinner and made a life-changing offer that would spark a new hope for them.
“You know I have five children, Shawn, and I want to have maybe one or two more,” said Lianna while chewing her food. A mix of confusion filled the air. Kevin and Nicole were wondering why Lianna wanted another child when she just conceived their fifth kid six months ago. Then Lianna chuckled, “No, not for me, for you guys—I’d like to carry a child.” The Barattinis blinked their eyes for a couple of seconds until it dawned on them. Emotions started to overwhelm Nicole that she burst out crying. When Kevin saw his wife’s reaction, he couldn’t help but weep too.
Nicole started to have future visions with Kevin and their child. Unexpectedly, an image appeared on her head—it was Lianna getting so attached to her child. She suddenly felt anxious because it wasn’t impossible for someone who would carry a baby for nine months. Nicole became afraid that Lianna would change her mind. But she shook her head and didn’t let negative thoughts overtook her. The Fives were their only hope and Nicole was beyond grateful to them, so she gladly accepted the offer.
Since Lianna had already conceived five children, she passed all the medical and mental tests without breaking a single sweat. The doctors proceeded with the operation and implanted embryos in her uterus. Nicole and Kevin didn’t leave Liana’s side throughout the process. It was all going smoothly until the doctors broke the sad news that the embryos had failed.
But this wasn’t the end of the road. The doctors told them that they could try implanting again. Lianna encouraged Nicole and she agreed. She thought that if it doesn’t work out the second time, then having a child wasn’t meant for them. The result took weeks, and it was nerve-racking for both of the couples.
The day came. Nicole, Kevin, Lianna, and Shawn were all waiting for the doctor to hand out the result. When the nurse assisted them in the office, the doctor greeted them with the brightest smile—Lianna was pregnant. Kevin and Nicole couldn’t contain their happiness and hugged each other. However, before they could celebrate further, the doctor dropped another news.
Since there were two implants, two embryos succeeded, which resulted in Lianna being pregnant with twins. Both of the couples couldn’t believe the fantastic news. So they planned a celebration because of the double blessings that came into their lives. Everyone was ecstatic about the announcement. Both friends and families of the Barattinis and Fives plus over 60 guests came to congratulate them. They all anticipated the big day and soon it arrived.
Nicole and Kevin never left Lianna’s side and provided all the assistance she needed. Lianna had a healthy pregnancy. When her water broke, Nicole and Kevin were also there. They rushed her to the hospital and Lianna successfully gave birth to a girl and a boy on the 10th of February 2017. When the nurse handed the newborn twins, Nicole was brimming with tears and softly whispered “Dominic” and “Luciana” as the names she gave to them.
Nicole and Kevin couldn’t control themselves anymore that they broke down in happiness. They only asked for one child, but heaven gave them two. And of course, if it weren’t for their friends’ grace, the couple wouldn’t have the chance to call a family of their own. So they made Shawn and Lianna as the twins’ godparents, and their bond became stronger than ever. Nicole and Kevin wanted to express their gratitude even more from being blessed with such selfless friends and two beautiful children. Thus they made their way of appreciating by paying it forward.
They made their story public, and it went viral on Facebook. Nicole and Kevin took the golden opportunity to campaign about making surrogacy legal in the state of New York. They wanted to help and give hope for other couples who were going through the same troubles. Kevin started typing on his laptop, “We have been working with local legislators and Reproductive Specialists of New York to make surrogacy recognized,” then he clicked post on his Facebook profile.
They continued their campaign and encouraged other couples to keep going. Because they believed that there would always be people who were like Lianna that were willing to help without asking anything in return. “It’s never the end of the road,” Nicole stated in an interview.