Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vicki Forman's twins weighed only a pound at birth. She thought they should be allowed to die. Doctors disagreed

Born too soon
By Katharine Mieszkowski
July 25, 2009

After years of trying to conceive, writer Vicki Forman's twins were finally coming. Way too early.

Evan and Ellie were only 23 weeks gestation when Forman went into labor. They were so premature Forman thought she was having a miscarriage. At birth, each baby weighed only about a pound.

"One of life's great illusions is the notion that we can want -- and get -- things on our own terms, no matter what. It's human nature to seek pleasure and avoid suffering, but what happens when suffering finds you?" Forman writes in her harrowing new book "This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood." "My husband and I had tried for two long years to conceive these twins, had lived through miscarriages and fertility treatments to bear them. When I learned they were coming so early and so fragile, I had only one wish: to let them go."

While Forman thought the twins should be allowed to die, their doctors struggled to save them. While Ellie lived for only four days, Evan, who endured severe disabilities including the inability to speak or see, died just shy of his eighth birthday...

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